MORE must be done to diagnose people with coeliac disease, which leads to an adverse reaction to gluten, a charity has warned.
If the disease is untreated it can lead to a range of other medical problems, but at present, only 24 per cent of people with the autoimmune condition are diagnosed, a spokeswoman for Coeliac UK said.
The charity said the rate of diagnosis has quadrupled since 1994 but more needs to be done to identify sufferers.
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Sarah Sleet, chief executive of Coeliac UK, said: "The three-quarters undiagnosed - around 500,000 people - is a shocking statistic that needs urgent action."
The charity has set up a campaign, the Gluten-free Guarantee,challenging supermarkets to stock core items of gluten-free food.