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Associated Conditions

Most Common Associated Conditions

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There are a number of conditions associated with coeliac disease. Many people with coeliac disease also suffer from other autoimmune and gastrointestinal conditions, dermatitis herpetiformis or malnutrition.

However, people who suffer with these conditions will be relieved to know that just like coeliac disease, they can hope to see a significant improvement in their symptoms after following a gluten free diet for some time. While research is still being conducted on many of the conditions, here is what we do now about them:

SYMPTOMS OF COELIAC DISEASE

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Malnutrition

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Symptoms of Coeliac Disease
Malabsorption may lead to malnutrition and/or a number of associated conditions. These can include alopecia, dental enamel defects, iron deficiency, lethargy, mouth ulcers, osteoporosis and infertility. Some of these conditions (like dental enamel defects), may already be established in people diagnosed with coeliac disease and can be difficult to remedy.  
However, once coeliac disease is diagnosed (NB: it is very important you receive a diagnosis prior to starting a gluten free diet), consuming a gluten free diet will improve the majority of these associated problems. . It will also minimize the risk of developing new problems related to malabsorption, because as the gut heals, absorption of nutrients increases.

Autoimmune Conditions

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As it is likely there is a common gene link, people with coeliac disease are genetically predisposed to developing other autoimmune conditions, such as thyroid disease and Type 1 Diabetes. Though further research needs to be undertaken, there is also a correlation with other autoimmune conditions such as arthritis and psoriasis.
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Gastrointestinal Conditions

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Gastrointestinal conditions associated with coelaic disease can include:
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Pernicious anaemia (inability to absorb B12)
  • Pancreatic insufficiency (inability to properly digest food)
  • Microscopic colitis (watery diarrhoea)
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS)
  • Gastrointestinal cancers

Long term undiagnosed coeliac disease has a small associated risk of developing certain kinds of rare gut cancers. However, once you have been following a gluten free diet for some time there is no increased risk above that of the general population.

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"Together, we are GF for life"

Coeliac New Zealand is available throughout your journey. As part of our community, you’ll get support, advice, and assistance. We work with health professionals, manufacturers, and researchers to raise awareness of coeliac disease in NZ.

Together, we can reach a day when every person with coeliac disease gets diagnosed quickly, lives a healthy life, and has the prospect of a cure.

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Learning Resources

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Access the online course, approved by the Division for Pediatric Gastroenterology & Hepatology, Munich, Germany.

Understand coeliac disease

TREATMENT

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Coeliac disease is treated by a life-long gluten free diet. By specifically removing the cause of the disease, this treatment allows all abnormalities to recover completely. As long as the diet is adhered to strictly, patients can recover.

An initial few weeks on both a gluten/lactose free diet will allow the bowel lining to replace its 'lactase' enzyme quantities, which digest lactose sugar prior to absorption. This may take longer for some individuals than others.

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GET
DIAGNOSED

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Think you may be Coeliac. Find out what you need to do here

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ONLINE ASSESSMENT

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Not sure? Take our free and confidential self-assessment

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About Coeliac New Zealand

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Your partner in
healthy living

Coeliac New Zealand is available throughout your journey. As part of our community, you’ll get support, advice, and assistance. We work with health professionals, manufacturers, and researchers to raise awareness of coeliac disease in NZ.

Together, we can reach a day when every person with coeliac disease gets diagnosed quickly, lives a healthy life, and has the prospect of a cure.

LATEST NEWS

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15/06/2024
Sharing lived experience of coeliac disease blank

Each year we ask our members to share their lived experiences of coeliac disease to raise awareness, promote understanding and foster a supportive community for those affected by the condition. If you would like to share your story please email admin@coeliac.org.nz This is Rebecca Tibbots' journey..."I have suffered from daily abdominal discomfort since childhood. Fruit […]

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12/06/2024
Coeliac disease in the workplace blank

Everyone loves a morning tea shout or celebration at work, however, for our colleagues with coeliac disease, this may bring on some anxiety wondering if there will be suitable food options for them. So, how do we make our workspaces more coeliac-friendly? Whether it’s work functions or staff kitchens, there are a few things we […]

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11/06/2024
General Manager’s Report for Annual General Meeting June 2024 blank

This year marks the 50th AGM for our organisation, which is an occasion worth commemorating. The society had 2 AGMs before its incorporation in 1976 and has supported people with coeliac disease in New Zealand for over 5 decades. A lot has changed in that time, but our vision remains the same, and that is […]

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