An investigation of some implications of coeliac disease

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Abstract

Following even ‘simple’ dietary advice for long periods is problematic and substantial disruption of home and social life is likely. The variety and extent of problems faced by coeliacs has received little attention compared, for example, to that given to diabetics. Therefore the inconvenience caused to coeliacs by their diets was investigated using a simple questionnaire. Usable replies were obtained from 46 adult coeliacs and were compared to information from 46 matched ‘control’ subjects. There was evidence that coeliac disease did restrict activities and was a constant source of worry. About a quarter of coeliacs thought that it was impossible to have a normal social life. It is possible that women in particular, showed indications of an unacceptable level of anxiety. The Coeliac Society is an excellent vehicle for help but greater awareness of such problems amongst health-care professionals would also be beneficial.

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