Celiac.com Sponsor (A1):

Celiac.com Sponsor (A1-m):

  • You've found your Celiac Tribe! Join our like-minded, private community and share your story, get encouragement and connect with others.


    • Sign In
    • Sign Up
  • Scott Adams

    What are Celiac Disease Symptoms?

    Scott Adams
    1 1
    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      Celiac disease symptoms can vary by individual, by age, and other factors. Classic symptoms include diarrhea, gastrointestinal symptoms, and nutrient malabsorption.

    French bakery sign. Image: CC BY 2.0--Ken30684
    Caption: French bakery sign. Image: CC BY 2.0--Ken30684

    Celiac.com 06/02/2020 - The symptoms of celiac disease can vary depending on how the type of celiac disease a person has. Celiac disease can be broken down into three types: The first type, classical, in which patients present with gastrointestinal symptoms, malabsorption syndrome and/or diarrhea. The second type, non-classical, in which patients experience extra-intestinal and/or gastrointestinal symptoms other than diarrhea. The third type, subclinical, with no visible symptoms. 

    There are Over 200 Signs and Symptoms of Celiac Disease
    Some patients have several of these signs and symptoms of celiac disease, some just a few. Many report non-gastrointestinal symptoms

    Celiac.com Sponsor (A12):

    Celiac.com Sponsor (A12-m):

    In one study, up to 80% of patients showed some symptoms. However, one study showed that nearly two-thirds of symptomatic patients, also had atypical symptoms.

    Classical Celiac Symptoms
    Classic symptoms of celiac disease include diarrhea, vomiting, upset stomach, bloating, gas, weight loss, and malnutrition.

    Non-Classical 'Atypical' Celiac Symptoms
    People with celiac disease can often have non-classical, or atypical symptoms, such as fatigue, vitamin and nutrient deficiencies, and anemia, among others. Often, these symptoms can be overlooked because they are not gastrointestinal in nature. You got that right, it is not uncommon for people with celiac disease to have few or no gastrointestinal symptoms. Basically, there is no typical celiac. That makes spotting and connecting these seemingly unrelated and unclear celiac symptoms so important.

    Celiac Symptoms Can Include:

    • No symptoms
    • Diarrhea
    • Constipation
    • Steatorrhea (fatty stools that float rather than sink)
    • Abdominal pain
    • Excessive gas
    • Any problem associated with vitamin deficiencies
    • Nutrient deficiencies
    • Dental enamel defects
    • Iron deficiency (anemia)
    • Chronic fatigue
    • Weakness
    • Weight loss
    • Bone pain
    • Easily fractured bones
    • Abnormal or impaired skin sensation (paresthesia),
    • Including burning, prickling, itching or tingling
    • Edema
    • Headaches
    • Peripheral Neuropathy (sometimes painful tingling in fingers and toes)

    Symptoms Can Vary Between Children and Adults
    The signs and symptoms of celiac disease can vary greatly and are different in children and adults. The most common signs for adults are diarrhea, fatigue and weight loss. Adults may also experience bloating and gas, abdominal pain, nausea, constipation, and vomiting.

    Celiac Symptoms in Children Can Include

    • Failure to thrive
    • Paleness
    • Under weight
    • Querulousness, irritability
    • Inability to concentrate
    • Wasted buttocks
    • Pot belly with or without painful bloating
    • Pale, malodorous, bulky stools
    • Frequent, foamy diarrhea 

    Less Common Celiac Disease Symptoms

    • White flecks on the fingernails
    • No half-moons on fingernails
    • Fuzzy-mindedness after gluten ingestion
    • Burning sensations in the throat

    In addition to all of these, dermatitis herpetiformis, an itchy, skin disease in which severe rashes develop, usually on the head, elbows, knees and buttocks, is related to celiac disease. 

    The amazing thing about celiac disease is that few celiacs seem to have exactly the same set of symptoms or reactions to gluten. A person might have several of the symptoms listed above, a few of them, one, or none. There are even cases in which obesity turned out to be a symptom of celiac disease.

    Non-classical Symptoms Common for Vast Majority with Celiac Disease
    The vast majority of people show non-classical or atypical celiac disease symptoms.

    Many Celiacs Show Non-classical 'Atypical' Symptoms
    In another study, just under 35% of celiacs reported at least one gastrointestinal symptom, most commonly diarrhea, or dyspepsia and constipation. Meanwhile, more than 37.3% reported non-gastrointestinal symptoms, most commonly anemia, and osteopenia. The rest had no obvious symptoms.

    Atypical symptoms can make celiac disease hard to diagnose.

    Headaches are Common in Celiac Disease
    Celiac patients have high rates of unexplained headaches. Therefore, patients with headache of unknown origin should be screened for celiac disease.

    Subclinical Celiac Disease - No Symptoms
    More and more people diagnosed with celiac disease show no symptoms at the time of their celiac diagnosis. Since quick, accurate diagnosis is needed to prevent celiac disease from going untreated and causing long-term, irreversible, and sometimes life-threatening conditions, subclinical celiac disease can be even more dangerous than non-classical or classical celiac disease.

    How to Spot the Most Common Celiac Disease Symptoms
    Learn how to spot the most common celiac disease symptoms.

    Edited by Scott Adams

    1 1

    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    Thanks so much for this info.This will really help people. Now Ii know I need to get tested. I have been dealing with these symptoms for a while now. Mainly the bloating, gas and constipation and abdominal pain and my bones hurt and I'm always so tired, no matter how much sleep I get. If you have these symptoms or some of them ,then you should get tested. Thanks again.

    Share this comment

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I was surprised that 2 of the symptoms that I had, and have subsequently read about elsewhere, weren't included in this article.  I often suffered with canker / mouth sores, and I experienced what I've seen termed "brain fog".  Both of these have been alleviated since converting to a gluten-free diet.   

    Share this comment

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Julie and tammie,

    Nutritional deficiencies frequently go unrecognized by medical professionals.  Correction of nutritional deficiencies are part of follow up care for Celiacs.

    Here are a couple of articles about Thiamine (Vitamin B1) and canker sores, aka Aphthous Stomatitis.  


    Thiamine, Riboflavin, and Pyridoxine  (all B vitamins) that work together are found to improve these sores.

    https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/8974135/#:~:text=Recurrent aphthous stomatitis is a,members of a control group.

    Correction of Thiamine deficiency improves canker sores and reduces frequency.

    Thiamine deficiency is also related to fatigue, headaches and brain fog.


    General thiamine deficiency symptoms are described in this article.


    Hope this helps!

    Share this comment

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Join the conversation

    You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
    Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

    Add a comment...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

      Only 75 emoji are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

  • About Me

    Scott Adams was diagnosed with celiac disease in 1994, and, due to the nearly total lack of information available at that time, was forced to become an expert on the disease in order to recover. In 1995 he launched the site that later became Celiac.com to help as many people as possible with celiac disease get diagnosed so they can begin to live happy, healthy gluten-free lives.  He is co-author of the book Cereal Killers, and founder and publisher of the (formerly paper) newsletter Journal of Gluten Sensitivity. In 1998 he founded The Gluten-Free Mall which he sold in 2014. Celiac.com does not sell any products, and is 100% advertiser supported.

  • Celiac.com Sponsor (A17):
    Celiac.com Sponsor (A17):

    Celiac.com Sponsors (A17-m):

  • Related Articles

    Scott Adams
    Celiac.com 02/27/2019 - Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition with numerous symptoms, and associated conditions. People with celiac disease often have gastrointestinal symptoms, including upset stomach, abdominal pain, gas, bloating, indigestion, and diarrhea. Some suffer from many of these on a regular basis. What are the most common symptoms? What are common associated conditions?
    However, many people show few or no symptoms. No single set of signs or symptoms is typical for everyone with celiac disease. Signs and symptoms almost always vary from person to person.
    So, while many people show classic symptoms, significant numbers of ...

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 02/18/2008 - A greater awareness of celiac disease, coupled with better and more accurate tests for celiac disease have helped to bring about a situation where most people currently diagnosed with celiac disease show no symptoms at the time of their diagnosis. Currently, most people diagnosed with celiac disease do not show symptoms, but are diagnosed on the basis of referral for elevated risk factors. This finding has caused doctors to call for an adjustment to screening procedures for high-risk populations.
    A team of researchers led by Dr. Grzegorz Telega recently surveyed medical records of people diagnosed with celiac disease at Children...

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 04/02/2009 - A recent study finds rates of celiac disease in Polish children are four times higher than estimated, and are only slightly lower than those of other northern European populations—at about 1 in 124 persons. Moreover, they found that symptoms in those diagnosed were typically absent, minimal or vague.
    To date, the only epidemiological studies of celiac disease undertaken in Poland had been carried out within limited areas and involved mainly symptomatic patients or high-risk groups. Until now, celiac was thought to affect about 1 in 400 children in the country. A team of researchers based in Poland recently set out to determine a...

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 03/18/2010 - An international research team recently conducted an assessment of the nutritional status of children with newly diagnosed celiac disease, and compared the results to a group of matched control subjects.
    The team included B. Aurangzeb, S.T. Leach, D. A. Lemberg, and A. S. Day. They are associated variously with the Children's Hospital, Pakistan Institute of Medical Sciences in Islamabad, Pakistan, the Department of Paediatrics at the University of Otago in Christchurch, New Zealand, the School of Women's and Children's Health at the University of New South Wales, and the Department of Gastroenterology at Sydney Children's Hospital...