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  • Zyana Morris
    Zyana Morris

    How to Recognize the Main Symptoms of Celiac Disease

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      Journal of Gluten Sensitivity Spring 2018 Issue

    Caption: Image: PEXELS---Kat Jayne

    Celiac.com 05/17/2018 - Celiac disease is not one of the most deadly diseases out there, but it can put you through a lot of misery. Also known as coeliac, celiac disease is an inherited immune disorder. What happens is that your body’s immune system overreacts to gluten and damages the small intestine. People who suffer from the disease cannot digest gluten, a protein found in grain such as rye, barley, and wheat. 

    While it may not sound like a severe complication at first, coeliac can be unpleasant to deal with. What’s worse is it would lower your body’s capacity to absorb minerals and vitamins. Naturally, the condition would cause nutritional deficiencies. The key problem that diagnosing celiac is difficult and takes take longer than usual. Surprisingly, the condition has over 200 identified symptoms.

    More than three million people suffer from the coeliac disease in the United States alone. Even though diagnosis is complicated, there are symptoms that can help you identify the condition during the early stages to minimize the damage. 

    Here is how you can recognize the main symptoms of celiac disease:

    In various studies conducted over years, the most prominent symptom of celiac disease is chronic diarrhea.

    People suffering from the condition would experience loose watery stools that can last for up to four weeks after they stop taking gluten. Diarrhea can also be a symptom of food poisoning and other conditions, which is why it makes it difficult to diagnose coeliac. In certain cases, celiac disease can take up to four years to establish a sound diagnosis.

    Another prominent symptom is vomiting.  

    When accompanied by diarrhea, vomiting can be a painful experience that would leave you exhausted. It also results in malnutrition and the patient experiences weight loss (not in a good way though). If you experience uncontrolled vomiting, report the matter to a physician to manage the condition.

    Since coeliac disease damages the small intestine, bloating is another common system. This is due to inflammation of the digestive tract. In a study with more than a 1,000 participants, almost 73% of the people reported bloating after ingesting gluten. 

    Bloating can be managed by eliminating gluten from the diet which is why a gluten-free diet is necessary for people suffering from celiac disease.

    Constant feeling of tiredness and low energy levels is another common symptom associated with celiac disease. If you experience a lack of energy after in taking gluten, then you need to consult a physician to diagnose the condition. Now fatigue can also result from inefficient thyroid function, infections, and depression (a symptom of the coeliac disease). However, almost 51% of celiac patients suffer from fatigue in a study.

    Itchy Rash
    Now the chances of getting a rash after eating gluten are slim, but the symptom has been associated with celiac disease in the past. The condition can cause dermatitis herpetiformis, which causes a blistering skin rash that occurs around the buttocks, knees, and elbows. 

    A study found out that almost 17% of patients suffering from celiac disease might develop dermatitis herpetiformis due to lack of right treatment. Make sure you schedule an online appointment with your dermatologist or visit the nearest healthcare facility to prevent worsening of symptoms.

    Even with such common symptoms, diagnosing the condition is imperative for a quick recovery and to mitigate the long-term risks associated with celiac disease. 


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    This article seems to understate the consequences of untreated Celiac. I lost a parent to heart failure from complications of undiagnosed Celiac. It may be a slow killer but a killer nonetheless. Also I did not have most of these symptoms. Instead I had obesity, high CRP, kidney stones, malnutrition, arterial sclerosis as well as adrenal fatigue and neuromuscular manifestations. The damage caused by Celiac is multisystemic and more complex than stated. Incomplete information may lead Patients and Physicians to miss crucial diagnosis. 

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    I’m 18 years old and i was diagnosed a celiac when I was a baby, but after events of last year. I’ve been eating gluten for a year and yet no symptoms, but yet when I was younger I had gluten and I had the symptoms straight away. Why don’t I have the same symptoms as when I was younger? 

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    4 hours ago, Liam Potter said:

    I’m 18 years old and i was diagnosed a celiac when I was a baby, but after events of last year. I’ve been eating gluten for a year and yet no symptoms, but yet when I was younger I had gluten and I had the symptoms straight away. Why don’t I have the same symptoms as when I was younger? 

    This disease evolves, ever changing. If you really have celiac, your damaging your intestines, many never show the standard mentioned symptoms but develop other issues. This disease is autoimmne and multi systematic. I get gluten ataxia issues, and was for years completely oblivious to the pain, and never had the diarrhea most of my life but constipation...I assumed the vomiting was related to the constipation and never thought much of it.

    Since your eating gluten again your essentially already doing the gluten challenge for testing again. Go get tested again, you have to be eating it for 12 weeks for it show in the blood test then they will check your intestines for damage with a endoscope and biopsy....who knows maybe you were misdiagnosed? Better safe then sorry, if you develop lymphoma, colon cancer, random allergies, or get something like me with ataxia and brain and nerve damage.

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    Liam and Ennis,  I am 62 and was diagnosed as a baby. Mum changed my formula but I can’t ever recall sticking to a gluten free diet all thru my childhood.....or as an adult! 

    a couple years ago I had an endo done to confirm the diagnosis. Throughout my life the biggest symptom I ever noticed or can recall is bloating, loose and floating stool  

    The doctor said my sm intestine had significant damage, flattening in 1st and 2 nd part of the duodenum. Scalloped mucosa....etc. 

    so, while you may not follow a diet that’s gluten free and be asymptomatic, the damage is occurring  



    Edited by Minnie 62

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    When I was a child I had various skill allergies and reactions. The only food reaction I recall was shellfish, when my face and lips would swell. My mom was diagnosed at age 45 after many blood and invasive tests. I began developing symptoms around the same age myself-first, diarrhea and bloating, and then very painful skin rashes and blisters on my arms. I was told they were shingles and attributed my other symptoms to stress. At the age of 49, my mom suggested I try a gluten-free diet and I strictly adhered to it. Within a few weeks all my symptoms went away. I lost weight and had more energy. We have changed our eating habits at home and now enjoy more rice and corn products, veggies and fruits. My daughter is 19 and has already decided to change her eating habits early, before any formal diagnosis. We are cognizant of our eating habits and read more about the impact of Celiac and Gluten Intolerance. I also mention this to my healthcare providers as I have been prescribed medications with gluten and have had reactions.

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  • About Me

    Zyana Morris is a passionate blogger who loves to write about prevailing health, fitness and lifestyle trends. She is a featured author at various blogs and currently associated with Centra Care Florida, a Tampa urgent care provider. Follow @ZyanaMorris for more updates.

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