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New NICE Guidelines: Type 1 Diabetes and coeliac disease

14 November 2016

NICE recommends people with Type 1 diabetes be offered a test for coeliac disease as they have a higher risk of the disease compared to the general population.

Coeliac disease is an autoimmune condition associated with chronic inflammation of the small intestine, which can lead to poor absorption of nutrients from food. It is a common condition, research suggests that in the UK, 1 in 100 people are affected.

Coeliac disease is often underdiagnosed at GP surgeries and other non-specialist healthcare settings. A delayed diagnosis is a concern because of the possible long-term complications of undiagnosed coeliac disease such as osteoporosis and nutrient deficiencies. People with conditions such as Type 1 diabetes are at a higher risk than the general population of having coeliac disease.

The quality statements highlight the need for people at increased risk, such as those with Type 1 diabetes be offered a serological test for coeliac disease.  Those that test positively for coeliac disease should be referred to a specialist and advised to continue with a gluten‑containing diet until diagnosis is confirmed through an endoscopic intestinal biopsy within 6 weeks of referral.

People newly diagnosed with coeliac disease should discuss how to follow a gluten‑free diet with a coeliac disease specialist healthcare professional and offered an annual review.

Diabetes UK supports Quality Standard on Coeliac Disease.

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