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Coeliac Disease annual review clinics

Coeliac

Coeliac disease is an autoimmune condition. Gluten, which is found in wheat, barley and rye triggers an immune reaction in people with coeliac disease which causes damage to the lining of the small intestine. It is believed that around 1 in 100 people have this condition.

Common symptoms include; diarrhoea, excessive wind, constipation, stomach pain, bloating, cramping, tiredness, weight loss, osteoarthritis, anaemia, and infertility. However, some people have no symptoms at all.

Appointment process

If you have coeliac disease, it is recommended that you have a review every year to ensure your diet is gluten free and balanced to prevent deficiencies. If you have previously been seen by the service, you will have been added to our database and will be notified about your appointment.

You will be sent a letter by post 6-8 weeks before your appointment, which will include full details of the clinic you have been allocated. We aim to offer you an appointment as close to your home address as possible. You are welcome to bring someone with you and an interpreter will be arranged for you where necessary.

Your appointment letter will explain that you are required to have a blood test; this will allow us to see if you have any deficiencies in your blood and if your diet contains any gluten. In order for your blood test results to be returned to us in time for your appointment, we ask that you visit your GP within 2 weeks of receiving your letter for the blood tests which will cover the following:

  • Full Blood Count
  • Calcium
  • Ferritin
  • Folate
  • Vitamin B12.
  • Coeliac Disease Antibodies Either Tissue Transglutaminase (tTG) .
  • Thyroid Function Tests
  • Liver Function Tests.

We also send your GP a letter explaining that we have asked for the blood test, and ask that your blood test results are sent to us within 2 weeks of them being taken.

What to expect at your appointment

Your appointment will last for 40 minutes. In this time we will discuss; your blood test results, the balance of your diet, and other lifestyle factors such as contamination and eating out. The review is an opportunity to discuss any problems you are experiencing and it would be helpful if you could bring along a food diary of the foods you generally eat. It is also a chance for you to review the use of your gluten free prescription. After the appointment we will send a feedback letter to your GP explaining what was covered in the appointment. Unless you are experiencing any problems, you should expect your review one year later.

What to do if you can’t make it

Every month, clinic time is wasted when patients don’t come for their appointment, and don’t let us know in advance. If you can let us know as soon as possible if you can’t make it, we may be able to use your slot for another patient. This also helps to keep our waiting times low, as unused clinic slots mean everyone else has to wait longer for an appointment.