A review article led by the University of Newcastle has recommended screening high-risk patients for

coeliac disease

as statistics reveal many sufferers are going undiagnosed.

Coeliac disease is expected to impact 1 in 50 people, with the majority unaware they have the disease.

The purpose of the article, co-authored by University of Newcastle Professor of anatomical pathology,

Marjorie Walker

was to review the recent guidelines for diagnosis and management of coeliac disease.

The article highlights the changing symptoms of the disease has led to cases being overlooked as patients are not presenting with traditional symptoms such as weight loss, bloating and delayed development, particularly in children.

Other unexplained symptoms include mouth ulcers, fatigue, vitamin and iron deficiencies, IBS and auto-immune diseases.

Marjorie Walker said there is a simple blood test that can look into the condition and diagnose raised anti-bodies.

“Patients do have to be on a gluten containing diet when the blood test is taken because otherwise we cannot find the anti-bodies to gluten in the system. Once you stop taking gluten, those anti-bodies disappear” she said.

Individuals are encouraged to contact their general practitioner if they suspect they may be suffering the symptoms of coeliac disease.

University of Newcastle Professor of anatomical pathology, Marjorie Walker.