Frequently Asked Questions Find everything you need to know about coeliac disease, the gluten free diet and the work we do.

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How does coeliac disease affect the growth of a child?

One symptom of coeliac disease is faltering growth, or a change in growth pattern. Find out more about the symptoms of coeliac disease.

Should I put my child on a gluten free diet?

A gluten free diet should only begin once a child is formally diagnosed with coeliac disease by a healthcare professional. Find out more about diagnosing children with coeliac disease.

Is coeliac disease inherited?

You need to have certain genes to develop coeliac disease so it can run in families, but not in a predictable way. 1 in 100 people have coeliac disease but the risk rises to 1 in 10 if a close family member (sibling, parent or child) has the condition.

How do I know if my child has coeliac disease?

Symptoms of coeliac disease in children can include:

  • severe or occasional diarrhoea, excessive wind and/or constipation
  • persistent or unexplained nausea and vomiting
  • recurrent stomach pain, cramping or bloating
  • any combination of iron, vitamin B12 or folic acid deficiency
  • anaemia
  • tiredness
  • sudden or unexpected weight loss (but not in all cases)
  • mouth ulcers
  • skin rash (dermatitis herpetiformis)
  • tooth enamel problems
  • liver abnormalities
  • neurological (nerve) problems such as ataxia (loss of coordination, poor balance) and peripheral neuropathy (numbness and tingling in the hands and feet)

Take our online assessment on behalf of your child at

Read more about diagnosing coeliac disease in children.

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.

How common is coeliac disease?

It is thought that one in 100 people in the UK has coeliac disease but only 36% of these people are diagnosed. We estimate there are nearly half a million people who have coeliac disease but aren’t yet diagnosed.

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