High rate of coeliac misdiagnosis
Some coeliacs are waiting up to five years to be diagnosed with a large percentage misdiagnosed at first, the Coeliac Society of Ireland has warned.
Speaking as Coeliac Awareness Week kicks off, chief executive Gráinne Denning said increased public awareness of the signs and symptoms of coeliac disease is important in tackling the high rate of misdiagnosis.
She said: “In a survey of our membership, 42% of people with coeliac disease said they had been misdiagnosed before receiving a confirmed diagnosis. 39% said it took over one year for a positive diagnosis of their disease, 12% said that it took over five years for a diagnosis, while 11% waited 10 years or more to be diagnosed.
What is Coeliac Disease?
Coeliac disease is an auto-immune disease that prevents those affected from digesting gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. The disease can manifest itself at any stage in a person’s lifetime, with symptoms including abdominal pain, recurring mouth-ulcers, weight-loss, vomiting and diarrhoea. It is estimated to affect 46,000 people in Ireland.
Signs and Symptoms of Coeliac Disease
- Weight loss.
- Chronic tiredness.
- Failure to thrive in children.
- Chronic mouth ulcers.
- Stomach pain and bloating.
- Bone pain.
- Moodiness or depression.
- Recurrent miscarriages.
Recurrent flatulence, nausea, vomiting and Irritable Bowel Syndrome can also indicate a need to be tested. According to the Coeliac Society, symptoms vary from person to person and may be constant or only occur from time to time.
Partnering with Knorr throughout Coeliac Awareness Week, the Coeliac Society wants to show people affected by coeliac disease and their families, that eating gluten-free does not need to be restrictive.
“We’re inviting those with coeliac disease to come along to our events to meet the wider gluten-free community, learn some new recipes, and enjoy healthy walks and delicious food. We’re also encouraging anyone who thinks they may be affected to contact their GP”, Denning said.