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Coeliac disease is a lifelong, auto-immune disease caused by gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. The presence of gluten in the diet of someone with coeliac disease causes the body’s immune system to produce antibodies which attack the lining of the small intestine. When the lining is damaged, the body cannot absorb the nutrients it needs from food, leading to a wide range of symptoms which are easily confused with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) such as bloating, wind or diarrhoea.

Once diagnosed, coeliac disease is treated with a strict gluten free diet and most people regain their health and vitality within weeks after years of suffering.

As accurate as a doctor’s or laboratory test, the Gluten Sensitivity Self Test kit (RSP £19.99) identifies whether IgA antibodies to tissue transglutaminase (tTG) – a key marker for coeliac disease – are present in a small blood sample taken quickly and easily from your finger tip. Results take just 5 minutes and have been shown in clinical trials to be over 97% accurate when compared to the gold standard intestinal biopsy.

If you have already been on a strict gluten free diet, that is, avoiding all traces of gluten from wheat, barley and rye, for longer than a few weeks, then you may get a negative result with tests for coeliac disease. Experts recommend that you should be on a normal gluten containing diet for at least 6 weeks before having any test for coeliac disease.

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