Coealic Disease & Incontinence -
What's The Connection?

Did you know that Coeliac Disease and incontinence are actually linked? Read out article to find out just how the two are connected.

Coealic Disease & Incontinence -
What's The Connection?

Did you know that Coeliac Disease and incontinence are actually linked? Read out article to find out just how the two are connected.

Did you know that 1 in 70 Australians are living with Coeliac Disease?

There are also 80% of people who have Coeliac Disease yet remain undiagnosed. Along with these startling statistics, many people have no idea that Coealiac Disease and incontinence - both faecal and urinary - are linked. Seeking a diagnosis is essential to then begin effective treatment of both conditions.

This Coealic Awareness Week (March 13-20) we wanted to lift the lid on incontinence as an underrepresented symptom of coeliac disease.

Common Symptoms of Coeliac Disease

Coeliac disease is a condition that causes your body to have an inflammatory immune response to gluten - a protein which is found in wheat, barley and rye.  

In people with Coeliac Disease, the consumption of gluten (whether on-purpose or accidentally) can cause symptoms such as:

  • Bloating
  • Cramping
  • Nausea and vomiting
  • Urgency and faecal incontinence
  • Constipation
  • Anaemia and other mineral or vitamin deficiencies
  • Skin rashes
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Fatigue and lethargy
  • Weight loss or gain
  • Joint pain

Coeliac Disease and Urinary Incontinence

Constipation associated with Coeliac Disease and may put pressure on the bladder, leading to urinary incontinence.

It could be as little as a leak when sneezing or straining, or more complete incontinence requiring heavier treatment.

Coealic Disease is also linked to Internal Cystitis (IC), a chronic condition which causes bladder pressure and pain, as well as pelvic pain. Symptoms of this condition also include the frequent urge to urinate and excessive night time urination.

Coeliac Disease and Faecal Incontinence

It isn't uncommon for people with Coealic Disease to experience symptoms such as bloating, abdominal pain and diarrhoea. They may also experience increased urgency to empty their bowels.

Although some people are able to get to a toilet in time, factors like age, pain and reliance on carers can lead to a faecal incontinence episode. Though for the person experiencing incontinence this may feel embarrassing or upsetting, we want to reassure that there is nothing to be ashamed of and it is more common than you'd expect.

Treating Coeliac Disease Related Incontinence

As with any chronic medical condition, the first step is to seek diagnosis.

Untreated Coeliac Disease can lead to long term systemic inflammation and poor nutrition due to malabsorption. If you suspect you are suffering from any of the symptoms, speak to your doctor or healthcare practitioner. Once diagnosed you’ll be placed on a strict gluten free diet to remove the cause of the disease and allow the intestinal lining to heal. For more information and support on diagnosing and managing Coeliac Disease, visit Coeliac Australia.

While treatment can prevent or reverse many of the associated health conditions, including the pain linked to constipation and easing of pressure on the bladder, for some the associated incontinence will have become habitual and will continue to persist.

To help manage any residual incontinence, a doctor can recommend a treatment plan. We also have a full range of pads for light leakage and pull-up pants to offer discreet incontinence aids for those needing higher absorbency.

Coeliac Awareness Week


Slimline underwear protection for light leakage


Comfortable pull-up pants with superior absorbency technology


Very high absorbency - for urinary and faecal incontinence


1. - Coeliac Australia

2. - Tye-din, J. PhD, “Everything you need to know about Coeliac Disease and whether you really have it”

3. - Mitchell Wilson, J. “Celiac Disease: Managing Fecal Incontinence”

4. - Celiac, Gluten Intolerence and Interstitial Cystitis

5. - Better Health Victoria - Coeliac Disease

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