Jump to content
  • Sign Up
  • Join Our Community!

    Get help in our celiac / gluten-free forum.

  • Scott Adams
    Scott Adams

    What are the effects of celiac disease?

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Untreated celiac disease can be life-threatening.

    Celiacs are more likely to be afflicted with problems relating to malabsorption, including osteoporosis, tooth enamel defects, central and peripheral nervous system disease, pancreatic disease, internal hemorrhaging, organ disorders (gall bladder, liver, and spleen), and gynecological disorders (like amenorrhea and spontaneous abortions). Fertility may also be affected. Some researchers are convinced that gluten intolerance, whether or not it results in full-blown celiac disease, can impact mental functioning in some individuals and cause or aggravate autism, Aspergers syndrome, attention deficit disorder (ADD), and schizophrenia. Some of the damage may be healed or partially repaired after time on a gluten-free diet (for example, problems with infertility may be reversed).

    Celiacs who do not maintain a gluten-free diet also stand a much greater chance of getting certain types of cancer, especially intestinal lymphoma.

    Untreated celiac disease can cause temporary lactose intolerance. Lactose is a sugar found in dairy products. To be digested it must be broken down by an enzyme called lactase. Lactase is produced on the tips of the villi in the small intestine. Since gluten damages the villi, it is common for untreated celiacs to have problems with milk and milk products. (Yogurt and cheese are less problematic since the cultures in them break down the lactose). A gluten-free diet will usually eliminate lactose intolerance. However, a number of adults (both celiacs and non-celiacs) are lactose intolerant even with a healthy small intestine; in that case a gluten-free diet will not eliminate lactose intolerance.

    Celiacs often suffer from other food sensitivities. These may respond to a gluten-free diet--or they may not. Soy and MSG are examples of food products that many celiacs have trouble with. However, it should be noted that these other sensitivities, while troublesome, do not damage the villi. As far as we know, only gluten causes this damage.


    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments



    I discovered that I had an allergy to gluten back in 2004. I have experienced side effects such as weight gain, PCOS, asthma, Iron deficiency, diverticulitis, constipation, adult acne, rashes on my body, hair loss, and various hormonal imbalances due to my immune system reaction to the gluten.

     

    Whenever I stay away from gluten for several weeks, I see and feel the difference. One year off of gluten caused PCOS to subside and I lost 20 pounds without dieting. It's hard to resist pastas, pizza and cake. Usually I have no immediate side effects from a little bit, but if I eat a little bit of gluten for about a week, the symptoms come back. It causes a horrible chain reaction of problems that took years of research and journal writing to discover that gluten really is POISON for my body.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Thanks for the valuable information. I am 75 years old, and just discovered I was celiac when the doctor did testing to find out why I am losing iron. Found this out when I tried to donate blood and was told my iron was too low. When I tried the second time a few months later - after taking iron tablets - the iron was even lower. That's when I was sent for testing, removal of upper GI polyps, and biopsies. Fortunately, the polyps were not malignant. Now I am in the process of trying to learn to convert to gluten-free eating. It's not easy. I am already sick of no bread, no pancakes, no cake and pastries, no pizza. When I inquire of places why they can't provide at least one gluten-free meal, they say it requires an entirely separate kitchen. Therefore, a pizza place would have to double their kitchen set-up, etc. I believe more and more people are becoming celiac, and there has to be a reason. Meanwhile, I'm hitting the gluten-free button of my life HARD!

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    I'm almost 20 years old, and been celiac for 19 years. I was diagnosed when I was ten months old. If anyone has any questions or concerns, feel free to message me.

    I get delirious from my celiac condition. Is being delirious from celiac disease the norm? Please email me, I need help with information.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    Thanks for the valuable information. I am 75 years old, and just discovered I was celiac when the doctor did testing to find out why I am losing iron. Found this out when I tried to donate blood and was told my iron was too low. When I tried the second time a few months later - after taking iron tablets - the iron was even lower. That's when I was sent for testing, removal of upper GI polyps, and biopsies. Fortunately, the polyps were not malignant. Now I am in the process of trying to learn to convert to gluten-free eating. It's not easy. I am already sick of no bread, no pancakes, no cake and pastries, no pizza. When I inquire of places why they can't provide at least one gluten-free meal, they say it requires an entirely separate kitchen. Therefore, a pizza place would have to double their kitchen set-up, etc. I believe more and more people are becoming celiac, and there has to be a reason. Meanwhile, I'm hitting the gluten-free button of my life HARD!

    It is my personal belief that viruses cause changes to occur in the body. I did not have celiac disease until I was 26 years old and I clearly remember the first attack. Of course, I thought it was food poison that first time. The doctors had no idea what was my problem over the years that I sought help. It was my wife, a nurse practitioner, that finally found a book that explain the disease. As I read the first chapter I felt that the doctor/author was talking about me as the case history. I had two bouts of Barr-Epstein disease, a Herpes virus, with the first time occurring when I was 24 years old. The second bout of Barr-Epstein caused the Celiac Disease to really effect me. The first thing that happened after I stopped eating wheat products was the migraine headaches stopped and the bloating stopped. Since I went over 25 years undetected, I dealing today with several minor problems like temporary itchiness and temporary muscle pains all over my body. These muscle pains move about my body and the itchiness to different areas like the legs, back, and scalp. Since my new doctor, Dr. Levine, who did my interior testing proved that I had Celiac Disease, all the other medical people are now treating me with respect; and not like I am crazy. However, some of my so-called friends and business associates till think that gluten-free is fake. A way for me to get attention.

    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.

    Guest
    Add a comment...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

      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

    Celiac.com's Founder and CEO, Scott 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. Scott launched the site that later became Celiac.com in 1995 "To help as many people as possible with celiac disease get diagnosed so they can begin to live happy, healthy gluten-free lives."  In 1998 he founded The Gluten-Free Mall which he sold in 2014. He is co-author of the book Cereal Killers, and founder and publisher of Journal of Gluten Sensitivity.

×
×
  • Create New...