In 1994 I was diagnosed with celiac disease, which led me to create Celiac.com in 1995. I created this site for a single purpose: To help as many people as possible with celiac disease get diagnosed so they can begin to live happy, healthy gluten-free lives. Celiac.com was the first site on the Internet dedicated solely to celiac disease, and since then it has become an invaluable resource to people worldwide who seek information about celiac disease and the gluten-free diet.
In 1998 I created The Gluten-Free Mall, Your Special Diet Superstore! which was also another Internet first—it was the first gluten-free food site to offer a shopping cart-style interface, and the ability for people to order gluten-free products manufactured by many different companies at a single Web site.
I am also co-author of the book Cereal Killers, and founder and publisher of Journal of Gluten Sensitivity.
Celiac.com 02/08/2007 - There are no signs or symptoms typical for all people with celiac disease. Signs and symptoms and can vary greatly from person to person.
People with celiac disease often have general gastric complaints, such as intermittent diarrhea, abdominal pain and bloating. Some people with celiac disease, however, suffer no gastrointestinal discomfort at all.
To make matters of diagnosing celiac disease even more challenging, celiac symptoms can also mimic symptoms of other conditions, such as anemia, Crohns disease, gastric ulcers, irritable bowel, parasitic infection, even various skin disorders or nervous conditions.
It is not uncommon for celiac disease to present itself with symptoms that are far more vague. Such symptoms can include: dental and bone disorders (such as osteoporosis), depression, irritability, joint pain, mouth sores, muscle cramps, skin rash, stomach discomfort, and even tingling in the legs and feet (neuropathy).
Celiac disease results in malabsorption of nutrients.
Depending on the degree of malabsorption, the signs and symptoms of celiac disease vary among individuals, ranging from no symptoms, few or mild signs and symptoms, to many or severe signs and symptoms. There are two categories of signs and symptoms:
- Abdominal cramps, gas and bloating
- Borborygmi (stomach rumbling)
- Coetaneous bleeding
- Easy bruising
- Epistaxis (nose bleeding)
- Failure to thrive
- Fatigue or general weakness
- Fluid retention
- Foul-smelling or grayish stools that are often fatty or oily
- Gastrointestinal symptoms
- Gastrointestinal hemorrhage
- Hematuria (red urine)
- Hypocalcaemia/ hypomagnesaemia
- Iron deficiency anemia
- Lymphocytic gastritis
- Muscle weakness
- Muscle wasting
- No obvious physical symptoms (just fatigue, overall not feeling well)
- Pallor (unhealthy pale appearance)
- Panic Attacks
- Peripheral neuropathy (nerve damage)
- Stunted growth in children
- Vitamin B12 deficiency
- Vitamin D deficiency
- Vitamin K deficiency
- Voracious appetite
- Weight loss
Lastly, Dermatitis herpetiformis is an itchy, blistering skin disease that also associated with gluten intolerance. Rashes usually occurs on the elbows, knees and buttocks. Dermatitis herpetiformis can also cause significant intestinal damage identical to that of celiac disease. However, people who suffer from Dermatitis herpetiformis may also be entirely free of noticeable digestive symptoms. Treatment with a gluten-free diet, in addition to medication to control the rash, usually brings about significant improvement.