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Coeliac disease is an unusual disease in that the principal management tool is the avoidance of a particular element of food, in this case gluten. In the short term, someone with the condition well-managed develops abdominal pain that can last for a day or two. Continuous ingestion of very small amounts of gluten will lead to malabsorption, and an increased risk of lymphoma. The prevalence in western Europe is about 1%, of which at least 95% is undiagnosed. A typical GP will have a handful of patients, many of whom will choose not to request gluten-free food on prescription. The "bureaucratic burden" is therefore much less than for many patients with multimorbidity, especially as the patient can do most of the research - the Coeliac Society has a lot of useful resources.
We should only be prescribing gluten-free foods for patients who have been properly diagnosed by a gastroenterologist, so it is not just indulging a fad. Not all gluten-free food in supermarkets is good quality, and the shops in poorer and more isolated areas have a very limited selection. Other countries, such as Italy, provide vouchers to allow patients with coeliac disease to but gluten-free foods in supermarkets, and this would be a solution well worth investigating. What should not be an option is GP and CCGs refusing to prescribe treatment for a serious disease without a national debate and uniform prescribing policies across the country.
Conflict of interest: a close family member has coeliac disease.