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HealthInfo Waitaha Canterbury

Getting help for coeliac disease

Whai āwhina mō te matenga witi-kore

A gluten-free diet for coeliac disease is a lifelong diet. With it, you will need to avoid all foods that contain gluten. Even tiny amounts of gluten is enough to damage your small bowel. Even a pea-size piece of wheat bread.

To start with, following a gluten-free diet can be overwhelming. It is harder if you do not have the right information and support. A dietitian can help get you started. They can make sure you have the right information to follow a healthy gluten-free diet.

At an appointment with the dietitian, you would expect to discuss and cover:

Group education about eating gluten-free for coeliac disease

You may be diagnosed with coeliac disease at Christchurch Hospital or Ashburton Hospital. If so, your specialist or general practice team will refer you for group education. This is a 60-minute group session about eating gluten-free for coeliac disease.

You can attend a session in the early evening at Village Health, 30 Lincoln Road, Spreydon. Online sessions are also available. A dietitian who is an expert on eating gluten-free facilitates the session.

Village Health will text you to confirm if you have been accepted into group education. If you have been accepted, they will invite you to book a session via the Village Health website.

Te Whatu Ora Waitaha funds the group education sessions so there is no cost to attend.

Lactose intolerance

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

Other food intolerances

Sometimes, bloating, diarrhoea and excessive wind continues. If this happens even when you are on a strict gluten-free diet, you may have another food intolerance. Talk to your general practice team or dietitian.

On the next page: Gluten-free diet for coeliac disease

Written by HealthInfo clinical advisers. Last reviewed November 2023.


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Review key: HICOA-25716