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CoeliacScreen

Coeliac Disease (Gluten Intolerance) Home Test

1 test per pack

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About Coeliac Disease

Coeliac Disease is a common medical condition affecting up to 1 in 100 people of all ages, and yet only 15% of these are diagnosed because of the non-specific and confusing nature of the symptoms.


Coeliac disease (also known as Celiac Disease) is a serious gastrointestinal autoimmune disorder that occurs in predisposed people of all ages from middle infancy onwards. It is a common condition affecting up to 1% of the UK and Irish populations and causes a wide range of symptoms that can include:

  • diarrhoea
  • unexplained gastrointestinal symptoms, such as nausea and vomiting
  • abdominal bloating or cramping, recurrent stomach pains
  • weight loss (although not always)
  • tiredness and/or headaches
  • skin ailments
  • signs of malnutrition and iron deficiency

The non-specific nature of the symptoms has led to the under diagnosis of coeliac disease being common place and a serious problem. It is estimated that only 15% of people with the condition are diagnosed and studies have shown that on average it takes 13 years for an individual to be diagnosed with coeliac disease in the UK.

Coeliac disease is caused by a permanent intolerance to gluten, a group of proteins found in wheat, barley, rye and many other cereals, which results in an immune response and specific antibodies (IgA and IgG) to tissue transglutaminase being produced.

What is the difference between Coeliac disease, Gluten Intolerance, and Wheat Allergy?

Coeliac Disease, Gluten Intolerance and Wheat Allergy are often confused becuase they all have similar symptoms so CoeliacScreen can be very useful in distinguishing these conditions.

Coeliac disease is an autoimmune condition that is triggered by eating foods containing gluten. People with Coeliac Disease are genetically predisposed to the condition, and once they have reached a gluten threshold in their diet, an autoimmune reaction is triggered and their immune system is stimulated to attack the lining of the small intestine. This gives rise to the symptoms highlighted above.

Gluten Intolerance (or Non-Coeliac Gluten Sensitivity) occurs when gluten causes the body to have a stress response. Unlike Coeliac Disease the response does not involve the immune system. This often results in gastrointestinal symptoms that are very similar to Coeliac Disease, but Gluten Intolerance does not lead to intestinal tissue damage. Gluten intolerance often arises when there are insufficient enzymes to digest the amount of gluten consumed, and the symptoms can be avoided by supplementing digestive enzymes, or reducing the gluten in your diet below your intolerance level.

Wheat Allergy causes your immune system to respond to a type of food it considers harmful. The immune response it triggers is often temporary and does not cause long lasting harm to the small intestine, unless it produces anaphylaxis. Those people who have wheat allergies are often affected by a number of proteins found in wheat, including gluten. Unlike Coeliac Disease, wheat allergies are not permanent. Symptoms include skin rash, nasal congestion, headache, difficulty breathing, cramps, nausea or vomiting, and can be avoided with a wheat-free diet.

CoeliacScreen is used to support the diagnosis of Coeliac Disease, although this must then be confirmed by your doctor. There are no tests specifically for Gluten Intolerance, but if CoeliacScreen is used to help rule out Coeliac Disease, it is most likely that you will have a Gluten Intolerance if your symptoms are the same. A Wheat Allergy produces specific IgE antibodies that can be detected by a food intolerance test.

If you are diagnosed with Coeliac Disease the clinical advice is normally to adopt a gluten-free diet to avoid the symptoms of the disease. A gluten-free diet will decrease disease symptoms and also the levels of the coeliac disease-associated IgA and IgG antibodies. These will often become undetectable a few weeks after adoption of the diet, and certainly within 6 weeks, so if you are on a gluten-free diet, it is likely that your test result will be negative. Please note that a gluten free diet should only be adopted on the advice of your doctor