What are the symptoms of Celiac Disease?

Stomach symptoms - Other Symptoms

Like many people, you could be suffering the symptoms of Celiac Disease without realizing what is causing them.

You may have visited many doctors trying to discover what is making you ill. Because the symptoms are so varied, a correct diagnosis can take time. In fact, many people end up working it out for themselves! So why can't the medical profession work out what is wrong  straight away?

The classic symptoms of celiac disease include either diarrhoea or constipation, nausea and vomiting, severe stomach pains or cramps, and unusual bowel motions. The problem is that these symptoms can also suggest other, more common, ailments!

Celiac disease is not necessarily the first thing your doctor will think of if you present him with these symptoms, as he may not come across the condition often and is therefore more likely to diagnose Irritable Bowel Syndrome (also known as IBS).

Although celiac is now known to affect 1 in 133 people, most of those have not yet been diagnosed. If you think you might have celiac disease, check the lists of symptoms below...

Celiac disease symptoms in babies and young children can present differently, so you might like to click on the link above to check them out if you have concerns..

Gastrointestinal symptoms of celiac disease

If someone suffering from Coeliac disease/celiac disease is undiagnosed, or inadvertently eats gluten, they may suffer from the following symptoms:

  • abdominal pains and stomach bloating
  • awful smelling, severe diarrhoea
  • constipation
  • greasy stools that are pale in colour, float and are difficult to flush away
  • nausea and vomiting
  • mouth ulcers
  • wind and flatulence (a big problem when in company!)

Other symptoms of Celiac Disease

While you are unlikely to have all the symptoms below, you ay experience some of them.

  • Weight loss (failure to thrive in babies)
  • Malabsorption
  • Short stature (in children)
  • Anaemia
  • Alopecia or hair loss
  • Unreadable fingerprints - white lines across them
  • Excessive fatigue
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency
  • Infertility and problems with pregnancy including excessive morning sickness
  • Abnormal menstrual cycle
  • Brain fog (inability to concentrate)
  • Behavioural difficulties 
  • Depression and mood swings
  • Headaches
  • Nose bleeds
  • Excessive phelm
  • Muscle cramps
  • Restless leg syndrome
  • Joint pain
  • Respiratory problems such as asthma
  • Itchy rash (DH - dermatitis herpetiformis)
  • Thyroid problems

It gets even more difficult to decide whether someone has celiac disease when you take into account that some sufferers are asymptomatic (have no noticeable symptoms at all).

It is important to find out what is wrong, as undiagnosed celiac disease can cause serious repercussions in later life, including osteoporosis, refractory sprue (very rare) and small bowel cancer.

If you suspect this may be the cause of your symptoms then a trip to your doctor for a celiac disease test is your first step. This may be followed with an elimination diet to see if you have an intolerance to gluten, even if you don't have full blown Celiac disease.

If you have Celiac disease and it took a while to be diagnosed please share your story as it may help others who are still unsure.

- - Symptoms of Celiac Disease


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