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Diagnosis breakthrough: Coeliac suffers could soon be easily identified

A world first medical breakthrough could allow coeliac suffers to be diagnosed through a blood test.

Head of coeliac research and gastroenterologist at The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Jason Tye-Din, says the new test will avoid the need for the current invasive procedure.

“At the moment people can have a blood test to screen for the condition but the diagnosis is made on a small intestinal biopsies, it’s an invasive but a straight forward procedure,” said Professor Tye-Din.

“There is a distinct set of markers in their bloodstream that comes up within hours of symptoms.

“As it currently stands, patients are required to eat gluten for six weeks prior to undergoing the procedure.

“The blood test will only require a single meal of gluten.”

The gluten free diet has become one of the most popular requests in restaurants around Australia, but Professor Tye-Din says restricting gluten from your diet unnecessarily is “not that healthy and also very expensive”.

“Signs that you may be coeliac include: nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, tummy cramps, head aches and fatigue,” Professor Tye-Din said.

“The long term effects can be severe with osteoporosis, infertility and even some forms of cancer if left untreated.

“About 1.5% of Australians are effected by coeliac disease, and 4 out of 5 haven’t been diagnosed.

“So it’s far from being a fad, it’s serious medical illness that can lead to devastating medical problems if not treated properly.”

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