Diagnose coeliac prior to GF diet

THE willingness of members of the public to embark on a gluten-free diet (GFD) may be hampering the diagnosis of coeliac disease, Australian research suggests.

A Melbourne-based survey of GFD followers found 15% had never undergone tests for coeliac disease, while for 65% their testing had been insufficient to rule it out.

A common problem was inadequate gluten intake at the time of endoscopy, or a gluten challenge insufficient to trigger a reaction, a researcher found.

“Lots of people are following a gluten-free diet and they have not had coeliac disease properly excluded,” said PhD candidate Jessica Biesiekierski, from Monash University and Box Hill Hospital. 

“If patients are going to go on to have a biopsy, and for that to be detectable for coeliac disease, they must have an adequate amount of gluten in their diet,” she said.

“If they don’t, then it is not going to be picked up.&rdquo