Coeliac disease nowadays generally presents with milder, more nonspecific symptoms than 20 or so years ago, providing a diagnostic challenge. It is readily treatable with a gluten-free diet and regular monitoring of health and nutritional status.
- Coeliac disease is an important and readily treatable cause of malabsorption and nutritional deficiency.
- The prevalence of coeliac disease in Australia is not known but is almost certainly higher than previously suspected.
- Coeliac disease can commonly present without gastrointestinal symptoms.
- Coeliac disease should always be considered in patients with unexplained iron and/or folate deficiency.
- Antibody testing alone cannot substitute for histological diagnosis.
- Coeliac disease is treated by lifelong withdrawal of gluten-containing foods from the diet.
- There is no role for a trial of gluten-free diet without a preceeding biopsy.