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Celiac Disease Symptoms

Celiac disease is an autoimmune digestive disorder marked by the damage in the lining of small intestine. This damage interferes with the absorption of nutrients from the food. Gluten sensitivity or intolerance is the feature of celiac disease. People who have celiac disease cannot tolerate gluten, a protein that is found in wheat, rye, and barley. Gluten is also found in many everyday products such as medicines, vitamins, and lip balms.

Symptoms of celiac disease vary from person to person and from age to age. Celiac disease in children causes malabsorption of nutrients which can hamper child’s normal growth and development. Some of the symptoms like failure to thrive in infants, delayed growth and short stature, delayed puberty, and dental enamel defects of the permanent teeth are manifested due to malabsorption. In children, the symptoms are basically related to digestive system. In adults there can be symptoms of complications of celiac disease.

Here are few symptoms of celiac disease in children:

  • Abdominal distension, bloating and pain
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Pale, foul-smelling, or fatty stool
  • Weight loss
  • Irritability

Adults do not show the digestive symptoms of celiac disease but they may have symptoms of complications of celiac disease. Some of the symptoms in adults are:

  • Unexplained iron-deficiency or anaemia
  • Bone loss or osteoporosis
  • Fatigue
  • Tingling numbness in the hands and feet
  • Bone or joint pain
  • Arthritis
  • Canker sores inside the mouth
  • Depression or anxiety
  • Seizures
  • Missed menstrual periods
  • Infertility or recurrent miscarriage
  • An itchy skin rash

Gastrointestinal-Related Celiac Disease Symptoms:

  • Chronic indigestion
  • Chronic bloating
  • Constipation
  • Poor appetite
  • Abdominal cramping
  • Pain
  • Distension
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Diarrhea
  • Lactose intolerance

Mal absorption-Related Celiac Disease Symptoms:

  • Weight loss
  • Anemia
  • Failure to growth in children
  • Fatigue
  • Osteopenia or osteoporosis
  • Deficiency of Vitamin K leading to abnormal coagulation
  • Overgrowth of bacteria present in the small intestine

Some Less Known Celiac Disease Symptoms:

  • Delayed puberty
  • Unexplained short stature
  • Abnormalities in dental enamel
  • Autoimmune endocrine disorders like diabetes
  • Thyroid disease
  • A condition called dermatitis herpetiformis involving a paticular type of extremely itchy rash also called gluten rash
  • Peripheral neuropathy
  • Ataxia
  • Epilepsy
  • Low levels of protein in the blood serum
  • Low levels of calcium in the blood serum
  • Subtle abnormalities in blood tests known as unexplained abnormal serum chemistries
  • Elevated liver function tests

When the disease does not respond to any of the treatments, then it is called refractory celiac disease. There are several symptoms of this disease. They are:

  • Abdominal pain
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Diarrhea
  • Abdominal bloating
  • Pale stool
  • Foul-smelling stool
  • Loose stool
  • Digestive symptoms
  • Flatulence
  • Pallor
  • Turner syndrome symptoms
  • Nausea
  • Vomiting
  • Irritability
  • Constipation
  • Behavioral symptoms
  • Depression
  • Delayed growth
  • Behaviour changes
  • Inadequate nutrition symptoms – due to poor nutrient absorption by the small intestine in celiac patients
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Gas
  • Failure to thrive in infants
  • Osteopenia
  • Missed menstrual periods
  • Anemia
  • Vitamin K deficiency
  • Delayed puberty
  • Joint pain
  • Weakness
  • Bone pain
  • Seizures
  • Mouth sores
  • Skin rash
  • Muscle cramps
  • Asymptomatic in some cases
  • Nerve damage causing tingling leg sensation
  • Numb leg sensation – due to nerve damage
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Loss of tooth enamel
  • A type of skin rash called dermatitis herpetiformis

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