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Frequently Asked Questions

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I don’t have diarrhoea as a symptom, does that mean I don’t have coeliac disease?

Coeliac disease is known as a 'multi system' disorder' - symptoms can affect any area of the body. Symptoms differ between individuals in terms of type and severity.

I've heard spelt is suitable for people with coeliac disease. Is this true?

No. Spelt is an ancient strain of wheat and contains gluten. It is not suitable for people with coeliac disease.

Can anyone help with research?

All Members have the opportunity to be registered with Coeliac UK for research purposes. However some research projects are not open to all as they can have specific inclusion criteria eg age, length of diagnosis, gender, living location etc. which can result in some people not being suitable. Non Members with coeliac disease may also respond to recruitment for research advertised on our website.

What alcohol can I drink?

Cider, wine, sherry, spirits, port and liqueurs are gluten-free. Beer, lagers, stouts and ales contain varying amounts of gluten and are not suitable if you have coeliac disease. Specially manufactured gluten free beers are available and are listed in your Food and Drink Directory in Section 1 Drinks chapter.

Branston Pickle states it contains barley malt vinegar in the ingredients list, why is it listed in the Food and Drink Directory?

Branston Pickle contains barley malt vinegar, if it is used in a food product the manufacturer must list the word ‘barley’ in the ingredients list in line with European Union wide allergen labelling law. 

Barley malt vinegar is made using a fermentation process. This means that the amount of barley, and therefore gluten, in the end product is extremely small and is well below a level which is safe for people with coeliac disease.

Are you funding any research into a vaccine (or cure) for coeliac disease?

Coeliac UK funded the initial project of Professor Bob Anderson which identified the most important gluten peptides causing problems for people with coeliac disease. This research formed the basis of further research and eventually the development of the NexVax2 vaccine, which is now being used in early stage clinical trials. The availability of a vaccine is still many years away whilst the essential process of testing for safety, dosage, effectiveness and possible side effects are determined.

Who can attend the Coeliac UK Research Conference?

The Research Conference is open to Healthcare Professionals and researchers working in coeliac disease. It allows them to share knowledge and experiences which can support them in their work. All Coeliac UK Members can access Powerpoint presentations (where permission from the speaker has been given) and videos for each of the talks which can be accessed via Membership login. 

How do you decide on what research to focus within Coeliac UK?

Everything we do is to support our Members and in particular the strategic aims of the Charity. The research we carry out ourselves is usually generated to determine a policy position on which we can campaign for improving the lives of people with coeliac disease.

Can the Community pharmacy supply of gluten-free foods toolkit be used for individual GP dispensing practices?

It would be difficult to set up a pharmacy led supply scheme as an independent. If you are interested in setting up a pharmacy led supply scheme we would recommend speaking with your local Clinical Commissioning Group and other GP surgeries in your area to consider the potential for collaboration.

Items supplied on prescription are reimbursed through the national Prescription Pricing Department (PPD). The PPD receives all prescriptions dispensed and reimburses individual pharmacies and GP dispensaries accordingly.The cost of each prescription is taken from the appropriate GP surgery prescribing budget. In Northamptonshire, when the pharmacy led supply scheme was introduced in 2006, the funds came from the existing Primary Care Trust (PCT) prescribing budget.

I’m currently studying at University and wish to do a project on coeliac disease for my final year thesis. Who can I contact to discuss my ideas or ask for advice?

Our Research Manager will be able to help you. Please email research@coeliac.org.uk.

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