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Perspectives

Challenges of coeliac disease in type 1 diabetes

Hamish Russell, Kylie Smythe

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Abstract

Coeliac disease is more prevalent in people with type 1 diabetes but symptoms may be absent or nonspecific, which can lead to it going undiagnosed. Diagnosis is, however, essential to allow treatment and prevention of complications. There are special management considerations when seeing an individual who has both coeliac disease and type 1 diabetes.

Key Points

  • Coeliac disease is more common in people with type 1 diabetes than in the general population and it is essential that it is diagnosed and treated.
  • Treatment of coeliac disease with strict adherence to a gluten-free diet allows resolution of symptoms and the investigation, treatment and prevention of complications.
  • Having both type 1 diabetes and coeliac disease can pose many difficult challenges for patients.
  • Education and guidance from an Accredited Practising Dietitian experienced in both type 1 diabetes and coeliac disease is vital.

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