Prevalence & Symptoms

Prevalence

 

Previously considered a paediatric gastrointestinal disease affecting Caucasian populations, CD is now recognised to affect all ethnic populations (2), primarily those of north European ancestry.

 

It is thought to affect approximately 1% of the UK population, and onset can occur at any age, but the diagnosis appears to be increasingly common in adulthood versus childhood- a ratio of 9:1 as described (3).

 

 

Symptoms

 

Symptoms vary and can be gastrointestinal or as a result of nutrient malabsorption (e.g. decreased bone mineral density or iron deficiency anaemia). However, it is becoming more common for individuals to be asymptomatic and present with non-classical coeliac disease (4).

 

 

Gastrointestinal Symptoms include:

 

 

  • Bloating/ Distension

 

  • Abdominal pain

 

  • Constipation

 

  • Diarrhoea

 

  • Steatorrhea (fatty, pale, oily stools as a result of fat malabsorption)

 

  • Indigestion

 

  • Nausea

 

Other symptom include:

 

  • Fatigue

 

  • Headache

 

  • Mouth ulcers

 

  • Weight loss

 

  • Alopecia

 

  • Dental enamel hypoplasia

 

  • Ataxia

 

  • Infertility and miscarriages

 

  • Delayed puberty

 

  • Delay of menstruation

 

  • Bone disorders – osteoporosis and osteopenia

 

  • Poor concentration