Coeliac Disease is a life-long condition. In other words, there is no cure for it. But, with the correct management, there are no health problems and you can live your life pretty normally.
Sadly, I often seen people with coeliac disease who seem to have been seen once, diagnosed and never followed up again. When really they need a yearly ‘MOT.’
Please read this post to find out what your yearly MOT will cover, why it is important and how you can book one.
Your Yearly Coeliac MOT
An annual review for your coeliac disease needs to be carried out. This can be done by your dietitian, a specialist nurse or gastroenterologist. It can even be done by a GP if they have a good understanding of the condition.
What Will Be Covered? (1)
- your weight and height: to ensure you are not malabsorbing and have not shrunk in height which may indicate bone problems.
- your symptoms: continuing to have symptoms is an indication that the gut hasn’t healed, you may have ‘refractory’ coeliac disease or what we commonly see now is that you may have IBS which can be helped. You may even experience constipation as prior to diagnosis you only concern was diarrhoea.
- your diet: ensuring your diet is gluten free and contains adequate calcium. Calcium is important in coeliac disease because there is a higher risk of osteoporosis.
- an update on any changes in recent research: there is quite a bit of research going on in this condition and so what you were advised on at diagnosis, may have changed.
- an update on any changes in food labelling: laws and legislations around food labelling can change which mean that food that was previously gluten free is no longer suitable and vice versa.
What Blood Tests Are Needed?
Depending on how stable you are with your condition, the following blood tests may or may not be required;
- full blood count
- vitamin B12
- coeliac disease antibodies either tissue transglutaminase (tTG) and/or endomysial antibodies (EMA)
- thyroid function tests
- liver function tests
Other Specialist Tests
Depending on the outcome of your review, you may be referred to a specialist or need a DEXA scan (bone scan)(2).
If your coeliac antibodies remain high at 12 months despite being on a gluten free diet, you will need a further endoscopy to check what is going on (2).
How Can You Book Your Yearly Coeliac MOT?
If you are still under your gastroenterologist, they should automatically be booking you in for this – it may not be with themselves but it will be with a member of their team such as the dietitian or specialist nurse.
If you are no longer under a gastroenterologist, you can book your review in with your GP or ask them to refer you to a dietitian. Alternatively, you can book in to see a gastroenterologist or specialist dietitian privately.
Personally, I would highly recommend the specialist dietitian route. I know this is quite a biased point but they are the only healthcare professional that will have a combination of in depth knowledge around both the nutrition needed for your coeliac disease management and the medical management. If a dietitian feels that you need any further testing then they will request this via your GP or gastroenterologist.
If your are interested in booking for a coeliac disease MOT – contact us today for a complimentary 15 minute phone call to discuss. You can do this on our contact page.