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HealthInfo Canterbury

Self-care for coeliac disease

There are several things you can do to help yourself if you have coeliac disease.

Learn more about coeliac disease and eating gluten-free.

Take nutrition supplements prescribed by your GP or dietitian. Some people with coeliac disease have low levels of nutrients such as iron, folate, vitamin D and vitamin B12 when they're first diagnosed. When your small bowel heals and you're able to absorb nutrients properly, you'll no longer need to take supplements.

Check that any medications and supplements you take are gluten-free. If you have any questions, talk to your pharmacist.

Keep physically active. This is one of the best things you can do for your health. Aim for at least 30 minutes of activity most days. Read about ideas for getting more activity into your day.

Join Coeliac New Zealand. As a member, you'll receive:

Have a yearly check-up with your GP to check your general health, have blood tests and discuss any concerns. Your GP may send you for a bone density scan to check for osteoporosis.

Lactose intolerance

Some people with coeliac disease also have lactose intolerance or other food intolerances. Lactose intolerance caused by coeliac disease is usually temporary. It usually disappears when you're on a gluten-free diet and your small bowel has healed.

If your symptoms of bloating, diarrhoea and excessive wind continue despite being on a strict gluten-free diet, you may have another food intolerance. Talk to your GP or a dietitian.

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On the next page: Getting help for coeliac disease

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed August 2020.

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