- On September 21, 2015
AMA (NSW) President, Dr Saxon Smith, is warning against relying on in-pharmacy tests for coeliac disease.
“Tests for coeliac disease that are being offered in pharmacies are unreliable and will not give you a clear idea if you have coeliac disease or not.
“The in-pharmacy tests provide both false positive and false negative results.
“This means someone with coeliac disease may test negative and someone without it may test positive.
“Additionally, coeliac disease has a range of symptoms that are similar to a variety of other serious conditions.
“Even a true negative test for coeliac disease from in-pharmacy testing may give someone, with a different serious illness, false confidence,” Dr Smith said.
“Coeliac disease is a notoriously difficult to diagnose illness and can only be definitively diagnosed by a small bowel biopsy performed by a doctor.
“An on-the-spot pinprick test, that researchers warn should not be warned as a population screening tool, is nowhere near sufficient.
“If you are concerned that you suffer from coeliac disease, don’t go to a chemist – see your family doctor.
“He or she can begin diagnosis and connect you with the specialist treatment you will need, and this is something your pharmacist cannot do.
“So, save yourself the money and time and go straight to your doctor,” Dr Smith said.
Media contact: Lachlan Jones (02) 9902 8113 / 0419 402 955