Healthdirect Free Australian health advice you can count on.

Medical problem? Call 1800 022 222. If you need urgent medical help, call triple zero immediately

healthdirect Australia is a free service where you can talk to a nurse or doctor who can help you know what to do.

beginning of content

Coeliac disease treatment

A strict, lifelong gluten free diet is the only recognised medical treatment for coeliac disease. This is because your sensitivity to gluten will never go away. The only way your small bowel can heal, and then stay healthy, is by removing all gluten from your diet, even if your symptoms are mild. Mild symptoms don’t mean you have a mild disease.

Gluten free diet

Maintaining a gluten free diet involves learning new skills including reading and interpreting food labels. Foods can be labeled gluten free in Australia if they don’t contain any detectable gluten, oats or malt.

Most packaged food in Australia must list ingredients from grains that contain gluten on their ingredient’s list. Alcoholic beverages are exempt from this labeling law. This means you will need to know which drinks are safe to consume and which are not. For example, all regular beers contain gluten. Your state coeliac association, or a dietitian, can help you understand which foods and drinks are gluten free.

You should also look for the crossed grain logo on packaged foods. This logo means the product has been reviewed and approved by Coeliac Australia and is suitable for a gluten free diet.

Where to find help

Contact your state coeliac organisation for advice and ongoing support by calling 1300 458 836.

Making an appointment with a dietitian who specialises in coeliac disease diet is also useful. They can:

  • explain what a gluten free diet involves
  • plan your gluten free diet with you
  • make sure you will have a balanced diet
  • determine if you need dietary supplements
  • provide advice about how to read food labels.

You can find an Accredited Practicing Dietitian through the Dietitians Association of Australia website.

Sources: Coeliac Australia (Coeliac disease, Crossed grain logo, Diagnosis), Gastroenterological Society of Australia (Coeliac disease, PDF - document)

Last reviewed: August 2015

Need more information?

These trusted information partners have more on this topic.

Found 60 results

Coeliac disease

Coeliac disease Coeliac Disease is a condition where the lining of the small intestine is damaged due to sensitivity to a protein in food called gluten

Read more on Diabetes Australia website

Coeliac disease

Coeliac disease is an abnormal immune response to gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and oats. It causes damage to the small intestine, also known as the small bowel.

Read more on WA Health website

What is coeliac disease? Dietitians Association of Australia

What is coeliac disease? Coeliac disease (CD) is a condition affecting the small bowel, damaging the lining and preventing absorption of food nutrients

Read more on Dietitians Association of Australia website

Coeliac disease - myDr.com.au

Coeliac disease is a condition caused by an abnormal immune response, or sensitivity, to a dietary protein known as gluten. Gluten is found in wheat, rye and barley.

Read more on myDr website

Coeliac disease and osteoporosis

Osteoporosis is a condition in which the bones become fragile, leading to a higher risk of breaks or fractures. A minor bump or fall can be enough to cause a break in someone with osteoporosis. Osteoporosis is one of the most common health problems associated with coeliac disease. This factsheet explains how coeliac disease can affect your bones, how to find out if you are at risk of osteoporosis, and what you can do to help protect your bone health.

Read more on Osteoporosis Australia website

Testing for coeliac disease | Issue 3 | Volume 40 | Australian Prescriber | Australian Prescriber

The symptoms of coeliac disease vary markedly from person to person. What is the gold standard for diagnosing coeliac disease?

Read more on Australian Prescriber website

Coeliac disease and breastfeeding | Australian Breastfeeding Association

There is very little information available for breastfeeding mothers who may be concerned about coeliac disease and their breastfed baby. ABA asked Penny Dellsperger (BSc (Nutrition), Accredited Practising Dietitian and coeliac disease expert) questions about this topic:

Read more on Australian Breastfeeding Association website

Parenting and Child Health - Health Topics - Coeliac disease

In people with coeliac disease, gluten (a protein in many cereal foods such as wheat, rye, barley and possibly oats) causes damage to the lining of the smallintestine (bowel). This damage affects the digestion of foods and nutrients. Nutrients are not absorbed properly, causing a range of health problems.

Read more on Women's and Children's Health Network website

Kids' Health - Topics - Coeliac disease and gluten sensitivity

In coeliac disease (say see-lee-ak), gluten (gloo-ten) causes damage to the lining of the small bowel. It is sometimes spelled celiac disease. Gluten is a protein which is found in cereals like wheat, rye, barley, triticaleand oats.

Read more on Women's and Children's Health Network website

Coeliac disease - Lab Tests Online AU

Coeliac disease is an autoimmune diseasecharacterised by an inappropriate immune response to gluten. Gluten is aprotein found in wheat, similar proteins are found in barley and rye and to a lesser extent in oats.This response leads to inflammation of the small intestine and to damage and destruction of the villi that line the intestinal wall. The villi are projections, small tissue folds that increase the surface area of the intestine and allow nutrients, vitamins, minerals, fluids, and electrolytes to be absorbed into the body. When a susceptible person is exposed to gluten, their body produces autoantibodies that act against constituents of the intestinal villi. As long as the person continues to be exposed to the proteins, they will continue to produce these autoantibodies. When villi are damaged or destroyed, the body is much less capable of absorbing food including iron and vitamins. They may begin to develop symptoms associated with malnutrition and malabsorption. Malnutrition causes weight loss in adults and growth delay and failure to gain weight in children. Malabsorption causes diarrhoea and foul smelling bowel motions that float and have a greasy appearance because of the unabsorbed fats and oils in them.

Read more on Lab Tests Online website

Check your symptoms Find a health service

Healthdirect 24hr 7 days a week hotline

24 hour health advice and information you can count on

1800 022 222

Government Accredited with over 140 information partners

We are a government-funded service, providing quality, approved health information

Australian Government, health department logo ACT Government logo New South Wales government, health department logo Northen Territory Government logo Government of South Australia, health department logo Tasmanian government logo Government of Western Australia, health department logo
Feedback