Coeliac Disease - negative impact on the quality of life
In the last 20 years the diagnosis of Coeliac Disease experienced a revolution through discovery of coeliac disease-specific antibodies as well as introduction of population screening. One of the most common gastroenterological conditions was for a long time regarded as a rare childhood disease. The incidence of the disease has increased manifold over the last quarter of the century which may be partially explained by increase in coeliac disease awareness. Despite that, even now it is estimated that only one in every four people suffering from this disease get diagnosed. Coeliac disease affects almost twice as many women and as it is currently understood presents most commonly in the 4th and 5th decade of life.
It would be no wonder to find out that Coeliac Disease has a negative impact on the quality of life. As reported in the article “Quality of life in people with ongoing symptoms of coeliac disease despite adherence to a strict gluten-free diet” published in Nature Scientific Reports, the study of a group of patients conducted in Australia tried to find out a health-related quality of life changes in the case of people who reported persistent symptoms of coeliac disease despite following strict gluten free diet. A significant number of patients that took part in this study reported only partial symptoms resolution. It is estimated that the main cause of that is inadvertent ingestion of food which contains gluten.
The study was conducted during clinical trials of probiotic supplements which were administered to help with persisting symptoms. Quality of life was scored in four main aspects of social, emotional, worries and gastrointestinal. The lowest score was seen for emotional quality of life followed by gastrointestinal. Anxiety, fatigue, and depression were the most common complaints. The findings were concerning indicating that medical and dietary treatment of the conditions must be supported by mental health and wellbeing care to increase emotional quality of life.
Harnett, J.E., Myers, S.P. Quality of life in people with ongoing symptoms of coeliac disease despite adherence to a strict gluten-free diet. Sci Rep 10, 1144 (2020)