After diagnosis of coeliac disease it’s important that you receive regular follow up. Generally, this will mean going to an annual review or check up appointment.
Although you may feel that you cope well on the diet and that your symptoms have gone away, regular follow up helps to ensure that you are doing as well as you can on the gluten-free diet. It also makes sure you are kept up to date with any new developments in managing your condition.
During your review, the following is recommended:
- your weight and height are measured
- your symptoms are reviewed
- your diet and adherence to the gluten-free diet is assessed and the need for specialist diet and nutrition advice considered.
If there are any concerns raised in your annual review, then you should be referred to a specialist for further assessment where they will consider the need for specific blood tests, a bone scan to test for osteoporosis and the risk of long-term complications and other conditions.
Blood tests that could be carried out include:
- full blood count
- vitamin B12
- coeliac disease antibodies either tissue transglutaminase (tTG) and/or endomysial antibodies (EMA)
- thyroid function tests
- liver function tests.
If you have not had a coeliac disease check up for a long time, contact your healthcare team to discuss this with them.
Coeliac disease in children
For children, the British Society of Paediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (BSPGHAN) recommends ongoing monitoring by an experienced paediatric dietitian and gastroenterologist. Children should be followed up six to 12 months after diagnosis followed by a yearly check up after this. This should include an antibody blood test every year or less often. Another biopsy may be offered but is not carried out routinely.
Children should also have their height and weight checked to monitor their growth and development.
However, if your or your child’s symptoms have not improved or have got worse since following the gluten-free diet, speak to your healthcare team.