Coeliac disease – common myths and misunderstandings

Checking in on our health is so important. So many of the common conditions which go on to be serious and debilitating, if caught early, are easily managed through diet or lifestyle changes. And being aware of the different risks at every age can help you know what to be on the lookout for. 

Coeliac disease, common myths and misunderstandings that lead to confusion about the condition

Coeliac disease can be cured

Unfortunately, coeliac disease is a lifelong disease with no cure. Once you have coeliac disease, you will always have it. And while there are some treatments in development, currently, the best way to manage the disease is by following a strict gluten-free diet.

It’s the same as any other food intolerance

While both people with coeliac disease and non-coeliac gluten sensitivity must avoid gluten, the way gluten reacts in their bodies is very different. Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disease and gluten sensitivity is a food intolerance.

Coeliac disease is rare

It’s estimated that around 1 in 100 people in the UK has coeliac disease, making it a relatively common condition. And this figure only accounts for those who have been diagnosed. True figures are likely to be a lot higher.

A small amount of bread won’t hurt

A little bit of bread or pasta may seem harmless, but for someone with coeliac disease, even a crumb of gluten can be enough to trigger an autoimmune reaction.

This means that people with coeliac disease need to be careful to avoid cross contamination and be aware of foods which may have been packaged or prepared in environments where gluten products are present.

Coeliac disease will go away with time

Coeliac disease is a lifelong condition and following a gluten-free diet is the only treatment. If gluten is introduced back into the diet at a later date, the immune system will react, damaging the gut lining again.

Not eating gluten is healthier generally

A common misunderstanding about gluten, and products which contain it, is that they are generally unhealthy. A lot of people assume that cutting them out – regardless of food sensitivities – will lead to weight loss and other benefits, but this isn’t a healthy assumption.

Cutting out gluten when you don’t need to only means you could be missing out on essential fibre and other nutrients. Likewise, substituting gluten-based products for gluten-free alternatives can be costly and unnecessary, leading to a diet with more processed foods than before.

Gluten is only found in bread

When we think of gluten, we tend to automatically think of bread, pasta, pastry and cakes. But gluten is found in so many more products than you might think.

From soups to sauces, stocks to gravies, gluten can sneak into all sorts of pre-packaged foods and condiments. It’s also often used to bulk out processed meat products like sausages and can also be found in some sweets, alcoholic beverages and even some types of medication so it’s important to always check the ingredient labels on the packaging.

Coeliac disease only affects the gut

While it’s true that a large number of coeliac disease patients complain of classic digestive issues, such as bloating, gas, diarrhoea, acid reflux, constipation and leaky gut, the truth is that there are hundreds of symptoms of coeliac disease, many unrelated to the digestive system.

Around 10% of coeliac disease patients experience a painful skin rash known as Dermatitis Herpetiformis. Nutritional deficiencies, joint pain, dental disorders and hair loss are also problems which can be caused by the disease.

A private blood testing service for coeliac disease 

If you are concerned that you might have coeliac disease and want to be sure, a blood test is a quick and convenient way to get confirmation.

Our coeliac disease blood test measures antibodies in the blood to determine the presence of the disease. With confirmation, you can then seek the right treatments for your symptoms and can be sure that following a gluten-free diet is the right course of action for you to take. 


Booking your private coeliac disease test 


We make sure the experience of booking a private blood test is as easy, convenient, and painless as possible. By partnering with Spire Healthcare, we make the process simple and seamless by offering easy-to-book appointments at your local Spire Hospital. Here’s how it works:

After you have selected the right test for you, simply order online through our secure payment system or chat to a member of our team. Once your order is placed, you’ll receive all the information you need to arrange your convenient blood draw appointment at one of our Spire Hospital locations.

Your pathology passport – the information sent to you after you place your order – will also tell you whether you need to fast ahead of your test. Included in each request for sexual health testing are:

  • A doctor’s referral
  • All phlebotomy
  • All laboratory fees
  • Our GP’s comments (optional)


How your appointment works 

We partner with Spire Healthcare to offer a professional phlebotomy service. This guarantees that your blood samples are taken and handled correctly and that your results are processed efficiently by clinical professionals. Our confidential blood examinations are available at over thirty private clinics around the UK.

At your appointment, the friendly team will talk to you about your test, collect your blood sample and send it off for testing at an accredited partner laboratory. All you need to do is arrive for your appointment. We’ll take care of the test, and the rest.


Clear, accurate results

The time it takes to receive your results will depend on the type of test you have chosen. When they are ready, your results will be sent directly to you, via email, within the time specified. If you would prefer to receive a paper copy of your results through the post, that can be arranged for you.

You can also choose the option of reported or unreported results. Reported results include information and comment from our GP which you may find helpful to discuss with your own consultant, or for your records.

Find out more about our coeliac disease testing

"With GP waiting times increasing in many practices, and appointments for non-urgent care more difficult to access, private blood testing is becoming a common alternative for many people looking to take control of their health.”

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