Coeliac Australia


My GP noticed a dramatic decline in my iron levels in my annual blood test about 18 months ago (I was 78). He assumed it was from bleeding in the bowel and sent me for a colonoscopy. The colonoscopy showed my bowels were fine, so the surgeon who had previous experience of low iron and coeliac did an endoscopy immediately and immediately diagnosed coeliac which a tissue sample later confirmed. I had no other obvious symptoms of coeliac – I ate large amounts of gluten with nary a twinge. I have the gene for haemachromatosis and my gastroenterologist is exploring whether the two somehow maintained a balance until recently, thus obscuring the fact I was not absorbing iron. When I returned to by GP, he admitted that he thought I had terminal bowel cancer. He claimed to be unaware of the low iron/coeliac connection and was grateful that my case had expanded his diagnostic capabilities.