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Celiac Disease Head to Toe

Celiac.com 10/19/2009 - Gluten intolerance in the form of celiac disease (a hereditary autoimmune disorder) or non-celiac gluten sensitivity, may affect virtually any part of the body. In it’s involvement in multiple health disorders, gluten intolerance is a major driver of health care delivery and associated costs.  While this may seem to be an outrageous claim to make, a discussion of the many ways in which gluten intolerance can negatively affect the body can illustrate this point. So, let’s work our way down from the top…

Normal, healthy hair is usually glossy and thick.  An autoimmune disorder known as alopecia areata results in abnormal loss of hair, either in patches, or total body hair-loss, and is one of many autoimmune disorders associated with celiac disease. Malabsorption severe enough to cause malnutrition can also result in thin, sparse, fragile hair. One of the outward signs of hypothyroidism is thinning hair and a loss of the outer third of the eyebrow; hypothyroidism is strongly associated with celiac disease.

Now let’s look at the brain.  There are, unfortunately, a large number of neurological disorders associated with gluten intolerance and celiac disease, including narcolepsy, depression, ADD/ADHD, Autism Spectrum Disorders, and schizophrenia. There are also movement and balance disorders associated with gluten intolerance, including ataxia - the inability to coordinate movements and balance (gluten ataxia, celiac ataxia, some cases of sporadic idiopathic ataxia). In some cases, when symptoms are severe, this disorder mimics other disorders such as Parkinson’s, Normal Pressure Hydrocephalus, and even Alzheimer’s disease.

Headaches are a very common symptom of wheat allergy, as well as gluten intolerance.  Migraines are common in those with celiac disease and gluten intolerance, as are sinus headaches.  These symptoms often decline dramatically after excluding gluten grains from the diet. Sinus problems are common in those with celiac disease, gluten intolerance, and sensitivity to dairy products as well, and are often reversible by making dietary changes. Some people with celiac disease seem to have an altered, highly acute sense of smell – for unknown reasons.

Night blindness associated with vitamin A deficiency is reversible when malabsorption is resolved and with the addition of a vitamin A supplement. Xeropthalmia, or chronic, often severe, dry eyes, is also related to severe vitamin A deficiency.  It is rare in developed countries, but can be found in some people with malnutrition due to celiac disease.

Apthous stomatitis is the name for the mouth ulcers associated with food allergies and intolerances, and is strongly associated with celiac disease and gluten intolerance. Even people who do not have gluten sensitivity get these once in a while but in those with gluten intolerance they are more frequent and especially long-lasting.  Dental enamel defects are strongly associated with celiac disease.  While they are usually identified in childhood, they can continue to cause problems throughout life, because they often lead to more frequent dental cavities.  Halitosis, or bad breath, is a reflection of our internal environment and gastrointestinal health, and is often present in those with untreated celiac disease, gluten sensitivity, or gut dysbiosis – an upset in the balance of our internal microorganisms caused by poor diet and other factors. And, one of the autoimmune disorders strongly associated with celiac disease, and one of the most prevalent is Sjogren’s syndrome, which impairs the normal production of body fluids like tears, saliva, and vaginal secretions

Following the path our food takes to the stomach, we can look for effects in the esophagus too.  Eosinophilic esophagitis is a rarely encountered inflammation in the tissue of the esophagus which makes swallowing painful and difficult and can result in bleeding ulcerations.  When doctors do see it, they sometimes test for celiac disease, since there is a strong correlation.  Fortunately, in cases where this condition is caused by gluten intolerance, this painful chronic disorder clears up on a gluten free diet, too.

Now we’re getting to the area most people associate with gluten intolerance – the gastro-intestinal system. In the past, celiac disease was usually described as causing gas, diarrhea, bloating, discomfort, cramping, and malabsorption.  But as you’ve already seen above, there is a whole lot more to this disorder, and we’re only halfway to the toes.

In addition to the above symptoms, the body’s reaction to gluten can cause inflammation anywhere, but a common location is in the illeo-cecal junction and the cecum. This can sometimes be confused with appendicitis, or ovarian pain or an ovarian cyst in women experiencing right-sided lower abdominal discomfort.  Irritable bowel syndrome is suspected to affect at least 10-15% of adults (estimates vary). It is differentiated from IBD, or inflammatory bowel disorders (which include Crohn’s disease and ulcerative colitis). But, taken together, there are an awful lot of people out there with uncomfortable gut issues.  One fact to consider is that many of those with celiac disease were previously, and wrongly, misdiagnosed with IBS before discovering they actually had celiac disease.

Let’s take a look at the urological system.  Even though gluten from the food we eat isn’t directly processed here, can it still be affected?  The answer is yes. Kidney problems in association with celiac disease are well documented, including oxalate kidney stones. Bladder problems are increasingly shown to be responsive to a gluten-free diet. This is kind of my specialty and I would estimate that about a quarter of those with interstitial cystitis, and many people with recurrent urinary tract infections, have a sensitivity to gluten. Even prostate inflammation in some men can be triggered by eating gluten grains.

Sitting just atop the kidneys are our adrenal glands.  They have a difficult job, helping to direct our stress response system, our immune system, and our hormone output, and controlling inflammation in the body. Every time we experience a reaction to gluten, and our adrenals respond by sending out a surge of cortisol to help control inflammation, we are depleting our adrenal reserve.  When this happens chronically, over time, our adrenal system cannot keep up and becomes fatigued.  Symptoms of adrenal fatigue have far-reaching consequences throughout the body, including, of course, feeling fatigued and run down. But, adrenal fatigue can also affect our hormones, our blood sugar regulation, our mental acuity, our temperature regulation, and our ability to cope with food allergies, environmental allergies, and infections.

Can the liver, the body’s largest internal organ, be affected by gluten intolerance too?  One example is autoimmune hepatitis, in which can be untreated celiac disease can be found in large numbers. Early screening testing for celiac disease is now strongly recommended for patients diagnosed with autoimmune hepatitis.

The pancreas, which is key in blood sugar regulation, is highly affected by gluten intolerance.  Autoimmune disease triggers the development of Type I DM, and is becoming more closely associated with celiac disease.  Testing for celiac disease is now becoming a routine part of examination when a child develops Type I DM, and now that physicians are looking for celiac disease in juvenile diabetes, they’re finding it with greater frequency. Blood sugar regulation problems are also associated with non-diabetes hypoglycemia in those affected by gluten intolerance and appear to resolve with a low-glycemic gluten free diet.

So, we’ve covered most of the body’s major internal systems. Now, let’s look at the extremities, our upper and lower limbs, where gluten-associated problems are also found. Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, a collagen disorder resulting in shoulder, elbow, and wrist joints that dislocate easily (and other characteristics) is a genetic disorder that may also be associated with celiac disease.  I had mild symptoms of this disorder as a child, but never knew it had a name until I ran across it recently.  With a child who has this disorder, a simple game of swinging a child by the arms, or swinging a child between two sets of their parent’s arms, can result in a trip to the emergency to put their joints back into proper alignment. This is not to say that a reaction to gluten causes this genetic disorder, but that if you have a personal or family history of Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome, and symptoms that may be related to celiac disease, you should consider being tested.

Rheumatoid arthritis is another of the autoimmune disorders associated with celiac disease, and often affects the fingers with crippling joint deformation. Other joints in the body can also be affected. Scleroderma is another terribly disfiguring and sometimes fatal autoimmune disorder affecting every part of the body. It is often first identified in the extremities, particularly the fingers. In scleroderma, normal tissue loses it’s flexibility as the body’s autoimmune response produces inflammation and an overproduction of collagen.  Collagen is the tough fibrous protein that helps form connective tissues including tendons, bones, and ligaments. Excess collagen is deposited in the skin and body organs, eventually causing loss of function.  Scleroderma can be associated with celiac disease.

The arms and legs are also common spots for yet another autoimmune disorder, psoriasis, to develop.  Some patients with psoriasis are responsive to a gluten-free diet, but unfortunately, not everyone. Another skin condition that often shows up on the arms is dermatitis herpetiformis (DH), although this itchy blistering skin rash can occur in other places as well.  Common sites are the backs of the elbows and the backs of the knees, or on the lower legs.

Peripheral neuropathy is a disorder that results in numbness, tingling, and sometimes severe nerve pain in the extremities.  Finger, hands, toes, feet, and lower legs may all be affected. Although usually associated with diabetes, peripheral neuropathy shows up fairly frequently in those with celiac disease, and is fortunately reversible on a gluten free diet supplemented by B-vitamins and some specific amino acids.  Peripheral neuropathy is usually associated with older people, but some of the cases I’ve observed recently have been in very young children who had severe malabsorption issues.  Fortunately they healed quickly and their neuropathy symptoms resolved completely.

There a few last symptoms related to malabsorption that tend to show up in those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance.  Easy bruising and bleeding, either due to a deficiency of Vitamin K, or to an autoimmune platelet disorder, is one. Rickets, or osteomalacia – a softening of the bones in the legs related to vitamin D deficiency – is another. As we said before, inflammation goes along with celiac disease and gluten intolerance, and a common site for inflammation is the lower extremities.  Sometimes this can be profound, and trigger doctors to think heart disease, but it’s often unresponsive to Lasix and other diuretics. This condition, too, may also clear up on a gluten-free diet.

As for me, I’ll be happy to be gluten-free, from head to toe.

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66 Responses:

 
Gloria Brown
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said this on
02 Nov 2009 6:36:31 AM PST
Great overview of common responses to Celiac Disease! The hallmark of celiac disease is often seen in the inability of disease to respond from standard treatment and, for the astute Celiac, indicative gluten is still in their food and environs.

 
Debi
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said this on
02 Nov 2009 10:02:59 AM PST
This is one of the best I've seen! It explains so much and helped me understand more. Thank you. I've forwarded this page to family and friends that I know will benefit from this information!

 
Marcus Whitt
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said this on
02 Nov 2009 11:36:36 AM PST
Very good article.

 
Denise
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said this on
02 Nov 2009 2:13:09 PM PST
I thought you wrote this about me. There are so many symptoms you touched on that no one has been able to explain to me. I know now many of these symptoms are not a coincidence, but a fact that they do exist in a person of Celiac Disease. I thank you for all the information and education for our community.

 
Cindy
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said this on
02 Nov 2009 2:16:37 PM PST
I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease 2/13/09. After researching the disease, I am wondering how long I have been misdiagnosed! I have had a good number of symptoms for the last 30 yrs. My sister found out 5 yrs ago, that she had Celiac Disease, and she told me for at least 4 of those years to go in and be tested. She knew from the research that she had done, and knowing me so well, that I had it. She just had the leaky gut syndrome, but I have had at least a dozen symptoms, for 30 yrs! I feel better, but still have a long way to go. Gluten free is the only way I can keep my terrible headaches away. but I have yet to build up my strength and am always tired yet, but I'm sure it will take some time. I also haven't had one canker sore in my mouth since quitting gluten. My bones and joints still ache and get numb and tingle yet, but time will tell.
I'm glad I know what has been wrong with me and doing whatever I can to feel better. It's taken its toll on me. My teeth are bad and are always rotting or breaking off. But thank you for all the information you can give me. Cindy

 
Arthur Wahaj
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said this on
02 Dec 2011 7:34:56 AM PST
I can relate to your conditions. I think I also had the symptoms (many such as aloepecia areata, canker sores, acidic & dry mouth, bleeding hemorrhoids, joint & bone pains, general fatigue etc) for last 25-30 years. Now I am gluten free for last 7-8 months. Most all of my symptoms have improved except for aloe pecia areata

 
Leslie
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said this on
08 Jun 2013 4:16:58 PM PST
You may be dairy intolerant also. I take calcium/ magnesium and a good vitamin and a probiotic to feel better. Eliminating dairy and gluten made me feel way better.

 
Ronni
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said this on
12 Apr 2016 8:05:03 AM PST
Make sure to check for night shades allergies. They have many of the same symptoms. I'm only advising this because you said you still feel tired. I'm am complete gluten free for 6 months now and it wasn't til I removed tomatoes, potatoes, peppers,etched that I reach my full recovery.

 
Joan White
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said this on
02 Nov 2009 6:24:44 PM PST
It is gratifying to continue learning how this disease affects our bodies. Staying informed may help identify problems early for better treatment and outcomes.

 
John Thomas,M.D.
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said this on
18 Dec 2009 8:16:27 AM PST
Very informative.

 
Iris
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said this on
06 Jan 2010 7:20:27 PM PST
Extremely informative. Thanks for sharing this information.

 
Sheila A Stewart RN
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said this on
09 Jan 2010 4:02:02 PM PST
As one nurse to another, Thank You so much! I too am glad to be gluten free! My son and one out of three granddaughters are also celiac. A very informative article.

 
Kimberly
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said this on
07 Feb 2010 9:54:41 PM PST
Thank you so much for this information. My son has been having symptoms of some kind of food intolerance since 4th grade. First we thought it was fatty food, most recently we switched him off milk. Now at 13 he still has occasional stomach cramping, gas and headaches like you listed above. I am very eager to find find the solution. Thanks again.

 
T Gore
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said this on
21 Feb 2010 10:55:50 AM PST
I have just been diagnosed with celiac and have read this article with amazement. For approximately 15 years I have suffered with some of the above and was just told I have IBS. I now have so much more of an understanding of this incredible disease which seems at the moment, to have turned my world up-side-down. Thank you.

 
JAC
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said this on
13 Apr 2010 2:59:03 PM PST
Great information. Keep up sending us updates.

 
Confused in Iowa
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said this on
22 Jul 2010 9:57:09 AM PST
I have had numerous health issues that are all signs of this illness and had finally narrowed it down to gluten. I had eliminated it from my diet for 2 weeks and had noticeable improvements in my back/side pain and my sinuses. So I asked my doctor for a blood test. It came back negative. His response was to try gluten again and see for sure and I had one piece of cake which triggered cramping, diarrhea, and the rash on my arms itched like crazy. Back pain returned. So I went to another doctor who did an endoscopy. In the recovery room he said it looked as though I had celiac (Yea finally a reason for the pain) Last week I got his results from the 10 biopsies and they all said negative.

 
Painful Chris
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said this on
30 Jul 2010 10:36:04 AM PST
I had terrible abdominal pains, very noisy digestion, wind and diarrhea. After many weeks I went to see a specialist, a thorough examination of stomach through the digestive tract to large intestine, including numerous blood tests revealed that I did not have Celiac disease. However, I kept an accurate food diary for five months. I made the decision to live the lifestyle of a Celiac, after around three weeks all unpleasant symptoms slowly disappeared. I felt superb and thought the problem would never reoccur. While on holiday I started eating bread and pasta, after two weeks all the symptoms returned. I am now suffering for my stupidity and swear that I will never eat wheat, cereal or any gluten product ever again.

 
Helene
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said this on
07 Aug 2013 1:47:49 PM PST
I too had a negative result, but as soon as I eat gluten food, I have horrible stomach pains, bloating, gas and constipation. I decided to eliminate gluten altogether and I can tell if I eat out in restaurants because I get the rash back. It seems like doctors don't want to operate on common sense, just test results not by process of elimination.

 
Amy Lou
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said this on
13 Sep 2010 12:57:05 PM PST
If you're reacting to the gluten, you're intolerant. Check out Enterolabs, they do stool testing (you'll have to go back on gluten for it) or gene testing. Stool testing is more accurate than blood tests, as the antibodies are almost always present in the digestive tract (where the initial reaction takes place) and not always in the blood (must have leaky gut for it to get into the blood). It was beneficial for me to get the gene testing, as I now know that I have 2 gluten intolerant genes (severe symptoms, many of them), and that every single one of my children will get at least one gene from me. You are probably gluten intolerant vs. celiac, and that's why the endoscopy was normal (though some w/ 2 GI genes can get celiac sprue). I wish you luck, remember average diagnosis is 7-10 years after onset of symptoms.

 
Tasia
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said this on
28 Jul 2010 11:30:22 AM PST
Great article - thank you.
Can you please comment on 'people of color' who have celiac disease. I am a women of color and I have found it very frustrating when doctors tell me that I can't have celiac disease because I am of African descent. I have now received a diagnosis through a biopsy, and I absolutely have celiac disease. But it is still a challenge explaining to doctors that I have a positive diagnosis of the disease.

For years I was misdiagnosed for celiac disease because I didn't fit the typical profile. I am not fair skinned, with light eyes and light hair, and slim.

I appreciate your response on this subject.

Many thanks,
Tasia

 
Alexis
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said this on
20 Aug 2010 2:57:55 PM PST
I am also African American and being tested for celiac
and for DH as well. Can you tell me some of your symptoms??

 
Barbara
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said this on
25 Aug 2010 7:48:30 PM PST
The symptoms are pretty classic. I would suggest you check out the symptoms and compare them to yours. Mine included both DH, migraines, joint issues, tingling and numbing sensations and all of the typical stomach and bowel issues including lactose problems. It took over two years of misdiagnoses before I was diagnosed. I have been on a gluten free diet for 1.5 years and I feel great! I don;t wish it on anyone, but Celiacs was an answer to prayer for me!

 
Barbara
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said this on
25 Aug 2010 7:42:55 PM PST
Dear Tasia, I too am diagnosed with celiac and DH. It is true that many doctors are uneducated about celiac in people of color. But, there is hope. Keep blazing the trail by informing doctors of your illness in order that they will either do the necessary research or cause you to choose other doctors who are willing to do the research. I understand and am learning through my local support group that part of my journey is to inform and challenge my caretakers to take care of me.

 
Alonna
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said this on
03 Dec 2010 6:46:25 PM PST
I am so glad you said something about this. I was diagnosed with a wheat allergy over a year ago and am still having many of the same symptoms even after eliminating wheat from my diet, but no doctor ever suggested that I get tested for celiac disease. I was proactive and educated myself and today demanded a test, so I should get the results in about a week. Unfortunately, it is fairly common for people of color to be misdiagnosed with various illnesses. As a sociology doctoral student, I hope to raise awareness about this and stop this sort of medical racism. In the mean time, all we can do is inform other women of color that this disease is real and to demand testing if their symptoms warrant it because there are no race specific diseases.

 
Shelly
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said this on
31 Dec 2014 11:16:39 AM PST
Hi Ladies,
I am also a woman of color and am in the process of being tested for celiac. Already know I have the genetic marker for celiac (blood was tested and is positive) and my igA levels are out of normal range.

Upper Endoscopy came back with mixed results (some normal areas; some areas flattened villi) and the final call by pathologist was negative for celiac. So frustrating.

Checking for DH next and Hashimoto's Thyroid.

My symptoms were: bloated stomach, flatulence, rash on backs of hands, nasal infections (constantly), lost my sense of smell, profuse bleeding (menses), etc.

 
BRUCE
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said this on
03 Aug 2010 1:08:38 PM PST
very comprehensive.

 
Asha
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said this on
12 Aug 2010 2:15:47 PM PST
Very informative, thank you.

I've been diagnosed for a few years and am on a gluten free diet. I live in the UK. In the cold months most of my body aches (my shoulders, back, legs and arms). Just wondering if you have any idea what is causing this?

 
Lori
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said this on
29 Nov 2010 10:30:02 AM PST
Hi Asha, Have you been tested for Hashimoto's? It is a form of hypothyroidism. I have both Hashimoto's (for 15 years) and I was just diagnosed with celiac. Intolerance to the cold is one of the indicators of Hashimoto's.

 
Tim
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said this on
15 Aug 2010 9:33:25 AM PST
Thank you very much for all this information especially the parts relating to Adrenal Fatigue and the blood sugar regulation (pancreas etc.). While I value and appreciate that most of this information comes from your experience I would like to see it supported with footnotes as to your sources so I can dig deeper. Thanks.

 
Tim
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said this on
15 Aug 2010 9:37:36 AM PST
Regarding the connection between celiac disease and other inflammatory diseases such as Arthritis, is it only Rheumatoid Arthitis or have you seen Osteo Arthitis in Celiacs as well?

 
Barbara
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said this on
25 Aug 2010 8:01:29 PM PST
Wow! It took more than ten years for me to get diagnosed and I too am happy to be gluten free. I had many of the symptoms you listed, At 46, I'd suffered with migraines since 13, joint problems since high school and in 1996 I developed neuro symptoms and DH, but it took ten years of seeing many, many, many doctors, including psychologists before I was diagnosed, I cried for the first six months because I thought I was crazy when every test I took came back negative. Thanks you for sharing this...you are saving someone's life! Celiacs diseae was my answer to prayer and I feel SO much better NOW...no more headaches!!!

 
Anna
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said this on
23 Sep 2010 11:09:47 AM PST
Thank you for posting about this. My daughter has been dealing with stomach issues since she was 9 and she is now 16. The best the local med. establishment could say was childhood IBS and it never felt like it fit. I will look further into it. Your head to toes descriptions help to realize how far reaching this thing is. I wish there was more info out there on gluten intolerance. I also desire to see footnotes so I could follow along and read some of the source material. But other than that keep writing, people need to hear what you have to say. Good luck and God bless.

 
Anna Rounseville
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said this on
23 Sep 2010 11:43:35 AM PST
Oops I forgot about your websites. I'll be checking into those thanks.

 
Carol
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said this on
25 Oct 2010 4:04:41 PM PST
Unless I missed it Anemia was not included..which was a huge symptom for me all my life until I went Gluten Free. Also, Vitiligo and spots on nails.

 
Maggie

said this on
18 Feb 2014 3:51:26 AM PST
Hi Carol, I am on the committee of the Coeliac Soc. in Adelaide Sth. Aust. and also a retired nurse. Yes, anemia is definitely a symptom of C.D. and vitiligo, as with any autoimmune disease can cluster with CD.
Zinc deficiency (due to malabsorption) can be the reason for the white spots on finger nails. Hope this helps.

 
Sue Lynch
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said this on
06 Nov 2010 10:13:55 PM PST
I had all those symptoms. I went gluten free January 2010. I feel so much better now. Tonight my husband and I went out to celebrate our anniversary and I had one vodka drink. Within minutes I had problems starting. I did not make it to salad before I had to leave the meal. It cost $145. The cramps started immediately around the sides of my ribs, stomach and intestine.

 
Penny
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said this on
16 Nov 2010 11:52:56 AM PST
I found out two months ago I had celiac disease. I was Diabetic during my last Pregnancy ,but this is ten times harder trying to adjust.Thinking of ever bite you eat is a pain in the butt.Out of my 3 kids my oldest was negative and the others have not been tested.I am 42 and could name you a dozen symptoms I have had that make sense now I know about Gluten allergies.

 
Ben
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said this on
05 Dec 2010 9:35:34 AM PST
Thank you for the extremely helpful information - I have been experiencing these symptoms and each year they get worse. I have decided to live gluten-free and within the last couple of weeks its amazing how quickly and positively my body has responded! I am no longer stressed about the consequences that food once caused me. Thank you - many times and again!

 
Jenn
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said this on
04 Apr 2011 7:08:46 PM PST
Reading this article was like reading my mother's entire medical history. She died just short of her 50th birthday. To see it all lined out, is not only eye opening, but creepy. EVERY. SINGLE. THING in this article was something she was affected with. If only one of her doctors had made this diagnosis. I've passed this on to my family.

 
VICKIE
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said this on
18 Aug 2011 11:17:18 AM PST
Sorry to hear about your mother. I'm 42 and am a nurse...I have been searching for answers since approximately 2005, and was getting more symptoms as time passed. I got diagnosed with celiac disease in February '08 by biopsy not blood! However, after many bouts in the hospital and getting weaker and more problems all the time, I felt like this lady was listening to my every complaint when the doctors weren't. I am 1/2 Hispanic. I haven't been able to work for 3 years now due to the severity of my symptoms that I can't get anyone to check out, since they have changed by GI diagnosis multiple times even though the first one confirmed by biopsy the celiac. My biggest concern is that I to will pass before all my symptoms are put together. I've just recently gone on a complete gluten-free lifestyle, including makeup, detergents, food, and everything I could think of. After two weeks no change but I am hopeful. My biggest thing is from a nurse's standpoint is that we trust our doctors to at least listen and research problems. However, this isn't the case at all, as a matter of fact mine just thought I was a drug seeker which made me extremely upset, it took my OB/GYN doctor friend to have a talk with his GI friend and worked hard to get me in to see Rheumatologist etc... I have been to every doctor there is, am in pain management now, which doesn't help. I can't take anti-inflammatory medications at all, due to leukocytic colitis, and I'm now seeing a neurosurgeon who has celiac disease and promises he will help me. I pray for anyone and everyone that is going thru this frustration of non believers etc... to keep fighting someone out there does care somewhere, and my hopes are that this one will be my savior since he is experiencing the same disease. I'm seeing him for cysts that have appeared on lower spine and are intertwined with it; I also had the female issues, and symptoms of Parkinson's at times and my memory is worsening all the time--I keep telling my doctors I want answers not drugs. God how easy it is to forget the oath we take in the medical field!

 
Ovi
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said this on
29 Sep 2011 3:58:40 PM PST
I have been suffering for 30 some years recently I went to a natural health doctor who specializes in nutrition and she knew what was wrong with me. I have found much relief thru her. I have to take hand fulls of vitamins and nutrients and several digestive enzymes and adrenal support. But I have answers migraines gone sinus headaches gone bloating gone I am feeling healthy and looking younger I still suffer from joint pain arthritis and degenerative disk disease but am hoping that will get better in time. I actually have energy now compared to what I did have. I have been told I was crazy and a drug seeker and that I had too many things wrong with me for it to be one thing. Drugs will only make the situation worse. Find a good nutropath doctor. There is hope. God bless you!!

 
gina
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said this on
06 Feb 2014 6:50:26 AM PST
God bless Vickie. I hope your doing better now.

 
RCR
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said this on
30 Apr 2014 5:56:24 AM PST
Have you eliminated cross reactors such as corn and coffee? Many foods have a similar structure to gluten and can cause the immune system to respond to it negatively. Try the elimination diet and slowly reintroduce foods to find your triggers. This could be things like soy, casein, eggs, yeast, peanuts etc. I have been struggling with all of this as well and just recently found that my iron pills had small but debilitating amounts of gluten and soy. Make sure all medications, vitamins, and supplements are safe. For some people, it only takes for something to be manufactured in a facility that also produces gluten etc. for it to be harmful and the FDA allows small amounts of gluten to exist in products labeled gluten free so we must be aware of those contaminants as well. Also check for candida, parasites, and leaky gut if you haven't done so already. Good luck! And now I am realizing how old your comment is so I can only hope you are now happy and healthy and that my response may help another!

 
Sheila Shaw
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said this on
23 Jun 2011 1:00:06 PM PST
Really good, really helpful. My son is 43 now and has suffered most of his life especially since early twenties. Because he has been affected mentally he fell into hands of psychiatrists who only see schizophrenia, have sectioned him and drugged him. At last, celiac disease is suspected by an enlightened doctor, and he is having tests. It is in the family

 
COLIN
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said this on
03 Jul 2011 12:54:38 AM PST
I hope your son is able to live a reasonable life now. I have severe fatigue/depression for a long time and has taken over my life. I am finally getting tested for food intolrances / celiac-gluten and hopefully I can find an answer. Psychiatrists have done the most harm to me than good over the years.

 
Eleanor
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said this on
20 Sep 2011 6:14:34 PM PST
This is the best information I have read concerning celiac disease. I was diagnosed 7 months ago after having anemia and the other symptoms for a number of years and the doctor was suspicious of celiac. Being on a gluten-free diet has solved my problems as long as I avoid anything with gluten.

 
melissa
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said this on
26 Sep 2011 11:00:30 AM PST
I really thought this article was talking about me. This is the most informative article I have come across yet. I thank you for this site and am sharing with my family.

 
stella
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said this on
05 Oct 2011 8:06:42 PM PST
Very informative. I have been sick all my life, over 50 years now, and getting progressively worse. I was starting to think maybe all those countless doctors were right and all my symptoms were in my head. I have most of these plus IC symptoms. So once more, one more doctor, maybe I'll get a proper diagnosis this time. Hopefully this one won't think I'm off my head.

 
Cathy Cleary
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said this on
22 Oct 2011 7:45:09 AM PST
I would like to thank you for writing this. I did the gluten free diet for almost 3 years and since it was so expensive and made no difference in my GI problems I stopped it. 2 days ago I found out it can have to do with bone density loss and absorption problems which I have, and am no finding a list of things that I have been diagnosed with that None of my doctors told me could have to to with gluten allergy, had I known I would have stayed on the diet, some of the things are not reversible, but maybe can keep from getting worse. I am not a happy camper right now, and I will do a lot more research on all my symptoms later. Thank you for sharing your story.

 
Inquiring Minds
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said this on
14 Dec 2011 5:06:26 PM PST
I would just like to point out that while this article seems to have much useful information, where is there any evidence of these symptoms having anything to do with gluten? I think it would be helpful for the author of this article to post the source of this information, as otherwise it is just an opinion. Not negating the fact that this could be related though. For example, Cathy clearly didn't notice anything different when doing the diet (except her pocket book shrinking) and the other diseases and symptoms that formed could be related to anything else. Just saying...

 
Erin
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said this on
30 Aug 2013 10:42:29 AM PST
Proof is a luxury that many of us cannot afford to wait for. It takes an educated mind (or an experienced body) to allow most people to resign to the fact that diseases of this nature are very complex and far reaching, and that western medicine still has a very limited understanding of evolutionary human biology.

I stood by helplessly as a multitude of doctors with your very thinking, led my father to a tragic and untimely death. Then I began to get sick and suffer many of the same symptoms I watched my Father suffer. Instead of relying on a medical community currently lacking the knowledge to deal with such diseases, or the foresight or analytical powers to piece together something on their own, I have done my own research, which includes forums like this.

Although I do not have "proof", nor do I believe the author has "proof" that could satisfy a perspective such as yours - I have results. There is also something to be said for logic. When it is clearly outlined for you in 20 years, you will had all the proof you need. For those of us interested in surviving that long, we settle for, and are extremely thankful for articles such as this one.

 
Donna Arendell
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said this on
31 Jan 2012 10:19:51 AM PST
Excellent article - unfortunately my celiac disease was only diagnosed about 6 years ago - I have had many of the autoimmune symptoms for years and never knew why. Now with a gluten-free diet, many of the symptoms have decreased, but I still have problems with malabsorption with Vitamin B and iron. Thank you food processors for all the new products available in just the last 2 years.

 
patricia
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said this on
08 Mar 2012 11:10:23 PM PST
Very encouraging and helpful. I'm just getting started with this... second day. Thank you very much. You will be hearing from me.

 
Brian F.
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said this on
01 Apr 2012 5:28:41 AM PST
Great article and comments. My son is in the process of being diagnosed and has many of these symptoms. He is 23 and has been a type 1 diabetic since he was 4 years old so the thoughts of another new issue to deal with are not welcomed! Anyway, he has been getting tingling feelings at the top of his head and we were just wondering if anyone else had also felt this fun little symptom with celiac? Thanks for any help.

 
Melanie
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said this on
28 Jun 2012 7:59:24 AM PST
Vickie, please read about Vitamin B12 deficiency. A good site is b12d dot org.

 
Paula Bonasoro
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said this on
17 Aug 2012 4:56:14 AM PST
I am 47 years old (female) and have been "sick" and in chronic pain since I have been 14 years old. Severe abdominal pain, (like someone is stabbing me with a knife from the inside out) bowel problems, joint pain with burning and stinging and the feeling like my feet are wet or there is a bug biting me when neither is the case. I have been seriously depressed, sleeping all the time and on and on and on. I am on so many medications that it is rediculous. I even had a doctor "drop" me as a patient because she said I didn't trust her.....ya right..this happened after 10 days of being hospitalized and they couldn't find anything wrong with me, even though I lost a ton of weight and wasn't eating or drinking and they took out my I've after the first day. Many years later, I had to quit my job of 15 years, went on disability, lost my home, cars, etc. and for the past almost 2 years I have not been able to put any weight back on. I am 5ft 5inches and normally weigh 138lbs and for the past 2 years have weighed from 106-110 lbs. Well we moved to Mass and now I have health insurance so my new dr ordered a colonoscopy and endoscopy. I was found to have a hiatle hernia which they say is common and doesn't bother most people but not the case with me. Well, this is very new to me (just 2 weeks) and I sit down with the dr next week but I have a question that I hope someone can answer. They did blood work and they said I am positive for the celiac gene but that doesn't mean I have it......what does that mean? I ask for not only myself but for my 4 yr old grandson who has autism since I have been told it is inherited and we want to know if he should be tested. I will keep you informed as to my hopeful changes to come.

 
Vickie
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said this on
23 Aug 2012 10:09:53 AM PST
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this information. I recently started eating gluten-free, because I think I am severely effected by it. I've had several surgeries for ovarian cyst removal. Recently I went to the ER with severe pain in my right side. I had eaten pizza the day before. They thought it was my appendix because my intestines all around my appendix were swollen and inflamed. I have self diagnosed myself, but I've had several of the symptoms you have listed above. All I can say is I will be gluten-free for life now. I feel so much better and I truly fear that I might die if I fail in my diet. To me it is life or death. My grandpa died of colorectal cancer and if I don't stay gluten-free, I fear the same fate. Thanks for your article!

 
deb
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said this on
26 Aug 2012 6:16:54 PM PST
I am so happy to hear that my symptoms and conditions can be reversed. Just recently diagnosed, I have been wondering if I can get better. I am encouraged by reading everything I can about this disease.

 
Carol Rose
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said this on
30 Oct 2012 5:33:25 AM PST
Very informative. I too have celiac disease. I was diagnosed in 2010. I was anemic my whole life. I am 68. I have many other symptoms of this disease. I have gluten ataxia symptoms when I eat gluten. Sometimes it lasts for days. I keep a journal. I have been to a ET &T doctor for my ataxia and could find no reason for this. I now know the culprit - gluten.

 
Dave M
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said this on
20 Apr 2013 2:09:46 PM PST
Thank you all for your information !!!
We have a 19 year old child and we have been struggling with an endless nightmare of problems with him and doctors saying there is nothing wrong.
Last night after drinking wheat based vodka he was in such pain and agony that he couldn't get off the floor. We were so worried that we called an ambulance and after deciding he was just drunk from the vodka, they left. 8 hours later, he was still in agony from the cramps. I spent the entire night googling for information until I found this website. Your comments opened my eyes to the problems my whole family suffers from... gluten. Today we went out and bought everything we could find that was gluten-free and are embarking on our own attempt to solve our child's issues.
Thank you again, and god bless!
My you all find the end to your suffering.

 
Brenda Llanas
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said this on
25 Nov 2013 1:55:37 PM PST
Not only do I have celiac disease, kidney disease also afflicts. With trying to get a handle on diet, beginning to be alright, and testing recipes for both, my oh my, what an undertaking!!! Although this must be admitted, the fun of cooking different foods then having the food agree with the GI and renal systems is A-OK! Almost two years ago I stopped eating meat, the difference has been GREAT. Thank you.

 
Mohammed
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said this on
04 Feb 2014 11:40:20 AM PST
I am 17 years old, and I have been diagnosed with this since I was 14. I grew from 4'10 to 5'9 and gained a lot of weight. However recently my hair has been falling out abnormally...I lose around 300 hairs a day. And I noticed that hair on my temples has receded--my hair is very thin now. HELP!

 
Tracy Gill
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said this on
18 May 2014 1:59:20 AM PST
Fantastic article. I am a Podiatrist and have a patient with enlarged big toe no pain and skin rash in arch. I wondered if her celiac disease was related to these conditions and hope to get some more research for future article. Any help appreciated.

 
libby
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said this on
02 Oct 2014 5:11:18 PM PST
Thank you! I've been experiencing weird inflammation issues for at least five years (longer really BC I was diagnosed with pernicious anemia fifteen years ago). My doctors tested me for everything under the sun except celiac, BC I have such slight gut symptoms. I finally demanded a test after a severe reaction to a steroid prescribed to boost my immune system. Celiac it was. I've been free for nearly a month and am gradually seeing a cessation in my symptoms. Thank you for this information!

 
Mel
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said this on
14 Feb 2015 7:25:59 PM PST
Great article! For commenters that have stated that they didn't see a change after removing gluten from their diet, I've read that sometimes becoming gluten-free is not enough. The damage to the intestine has to be repaired, and it won't be repaired just by becoming gluten free. I would suggest researching "leaky gut syndrome". Those articles offer various supplements that can be used, such as Quercetin, Glutamine, Licorice Root, Digestive Enzymes, and Probiotics. Hope this helps someone!

 
Karen
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said this on
23 Mar 2015 12:35:56 PM PST
Hello,
This article cleared up so many questions for my own gluten sensitivity, and the more severe allergic reaction in my elderly mother-in-law. My 92 year old mother-in-law has most of the gluten related side effects listed in your article. She tries to eat gluten free but doesn't really believe in it. My husband and I are so frustrated and exhausted. I need help managing her healthcare--anyone have any suggestions?




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