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Is coeliac disease a disability?

Is coeliac disease a disability

Understanding if coeliac disease is considered a disability

Is coeliac disease a disability?


This is a question that many people living with the condition often ask. In this article, we delve into the topic, exploring the legal, medical, and social perspectives to provide a comprehensive answer.

If you feel your situation warrants further investigation, it's important to talk to your employer, school, doctor or family and friends to see what support is available to you.

If you're finding things difficult and can't get the help you need, book a free discovery call with Ali to discuss your needs. Just click the link below.



Is coeliac disease legally considered a disability in the UK?

In the UK, coeliac disease is not considered a disability under the Equality Act 2010, although associated problems may be taken into account depending on the severity and impact on the individual's daily life.

Can I get disability benefits for coeliac disease?

Eligibility for disability benefits depends on your ability to work and carry out daily activities, not the coeliac diagnosis itself.

Does coeliac disease mean I qualify for a blue badge?

Blue badges are typically given to individuals with mobility issues. While coeliac disease can cause fatigue, it does not typically qualify for a blue badge unless it causes significant mobility problems (e.g. through problems with osteporosis).

Can coeliac disease affect your work?

Yes, if not properly managed, coeliac disease can cause symptoms that affect your ability to work effectively.

Can a gluten-free diet cure coeliac disease?

While a strict gluten-free diet can help manage the symptoms and prevent further damage, there is currently no cure for coeliac disease.

Can coeliac disease lead to other health conditions?

If not properly managed, coeliac disease can lead to a number of complications, including osteoporosis, infertility, nerve damage, and other autoimmune diseases. However, adherence to a strict gluten-free diet greatly reduces risk factors.

Is coeliac disease a lifelong condition?

Yes, coeliac disease is a lifelong autoimmune condition where the body reacts to gluten, causing damage to the small intestine.

What is the difference between coeliac disease and gluten intolerance?

Coeliac disease is an autoimmune condition where the body's immune system attacks its own tissues when you eat gluten. Gluten intolerance, or non-coeliac gluten sensitivity, does not damage the gut lining.

What are the symptoms of coeliac disease?

There are many different symptoms and not everyone presents them, which is why some people have no idea they have coeliac disease. Physical symptoms include (but are not limited to) bloating, diarrhoea, nausea, constipation, tiredness, sudden or unexpected weight loss, and hair loss. This is by no means an exhaustive list, however, and some coeliacs report having no symptoms at all.

Can children have coeliac disease?

Yes, coeliac disease can develop at any age after the individual starts eating foods containing gluten.

Ali Walsh gluten-free coach

Understanding if coeliac disease is considered a disability

The tough thing about having an invisible illness is it's not immediately apparent to others that you have different needs.

Because it's not considered a disability as such, you may find others trivialise what you're going through, telling you "it's just food" or not even understanding that you really, truly can't eat gluten. They might wrongly assume if you don't know gluten's in your food, you won't suffer.

Or it may be that your condition is linked with other health problems such as osteoporosis or another autoimmune disease, thereby compromising daily life.

So educating others about your situation is vital. Your employer, school, family and friends need to know exactly how your day to day life is affected, and your employer/school have a legal obligation to meet your needs. 

For example, if you're expected to work away from home or go on a trip, are you being safely provided for? Do you feel anxious because past experiences haven't been good and you've been glutened? 

if you're unsure about the next step, book a free discovery call with Ali to discuss how things can change. Just click the link below.

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