Prevalence & Symptoms



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 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