If you have symptoms of coeliac disease, you should first discuss your concerns with your GP. Do not remove gluten from your diet at this stage. Your GP will take a simple blood test to check for antibodies which can indicate the presence of coeliac disease. However, it’s possible to have a negative test and yet still have coeliac disease. Your GP will then refer you, if the blood test is positive or there is clinical suspicion of coeliac disease, to a gut specialist – a gastroenterologist – for a gut biospsy.
For further information, visit the Coeliac UK website.
Many foods are naturally gluten-free, including:
- fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, pulses
- meat, poultry, fish
- eggs, soya, milk, cheese, natural yoghurt, cream
- rice, corn (maize), tapioca, polenta, buckwheat, sago, arrowroot, cornflour, gram flour, potato flour, soya flour, teff, quinoa
- butter, margarine and cooking oils.
Gluten can be present in food knowingly as an ingredient or accidentally by coming into contact with gluten-containing ingredients, such as wheat flour or breadcrumbs, used in the same premises. Gluten is found in wheat, barley and rye. The main sources of gluten are foods such as wheat flour, bread and rolls, pizza, pastry, pasta, crackers, biscuits and cakes.
Other foods and drinks that also contain gluten are beer, lager and stout, soy sauce, sausages, some breakfast cereals, ready meals, ready made gravies and sauces.