New guidelines on the recognition and assessment of coeliac disease state that patients with any symptoms suggestive of the condition should be offered serological testing.
These symptoms include: chronic or intermittent diarrhoea, failure to thrive, persistent or unexplained GI symptoms, prolonged fatigue, recurrent abdominal pain, cramping or distension, sudden or unexplained weight loss and unexplained iron-deficiency anaemia.
Patients with the following conditions should also be considered for serological testing, NICE suggests: type-1 diabetes, autoimmune thyroid disease, dermatitis herpetiformis and irritable bowel syndrome.
GPs should advise those being offered testing that a gluten-containing diet must be followed before testing and a diagnosis needs to be confirmed by intestinal biopsy, but that delayed diagnosis can result in continuing ill health and long-term complications.
Comment below and tell us what you think