Celiac Disease Symptoms

Celiac Disease*: Symptoms


Top Symptoms

1. Stunted growth and malnutrition

This is a symptom which is diagnosed in the early stages. Children with celiac disease show signs of malnutrition which effects their growth. Early symptoms of celiac disease in children include vomiting, diarrhea, pain, bloating etc. Children may also show failure to thrive; teeth may be discolored, pitted or poorly formed. Celiac disease in children may cause a slow rate of growth which may result in failure to gain weight and a short stature. This is the reason why children with a parent or sibling suffering from celiac disease must be screened for celiac disease in infancy.

2. Fatigue and general tiredness

Malabsorption of nutrients leads to a nutrition deficiency in the body which in turn causes fatigue. People with celiac disease often feel really tired and are sometimes unable to carry on with day to day physical activities. Extra physical exertion often leads to fatigue.

3. Memory and concentration

Celiac disease is a chronic disorder which affects the memory of the patient. People with celiac disease may find it difficult to concentrate on the task at hand. It may also result in a poor memory, especially if chronic pain is associated with the disease.

4. Anemia

Anemia is the shortage of red blood cells in the blood stream. The normal life span of a red blood cell is around 120 days and any process that disrupts it causes anemia. People with celiac disease may develop an iron deficiency anemia. Iron is the major component of hemoglobin and celiac disorder may result in iron deficiency, causing anemia. This is a not an early symptom of celiac disease and is developed with time and can be diagnosed only in adulthood.

5. Depression and irritability

The strain of having a chronic disease reflects in the normal behavior of people. Celiac disease often causes patients to become irritable and sometimes depressed. Mood swings are common in patients with such a chronic disease. This is more certain if they experience frequent abdominal cramping and other painful symptoms associated with the disease.

6. Skin rash

Not in all cases, but some people suffering from celiac disease develop skin rashes. The characteristic of this disease is a blistering rash known as dermatitis herpetiformis. This may trigger a burning sensation on elbows, knees, back, buttocks and scalp followed by red clusters. It is more common in men than in women and it occurs mostly in the teenage years. Medicinal treatment is required to get rid of these rashes. A gluten-free diet also helps to clear these rashes over time.

7. Weight loss

People suffering from celiac malabsorption sometimes may not show signs of any digestive disorder, but the lack of nutrient absorption may result in long term symptoms such as weight loss. Children may not be able to gain weight due to an underlying celiac disease.

8. Diarrhea

Diarrhea in this case is chronic and can be accompanied by abdominal cramping, sharp pain, and also mouth ulcers. A person suffering from celiac disease may experience an intermittent diarrhea. Celiac disease can damage the bowels critically and it may also lead to the development of a degree of lactose indigestion. Sometimes, people do not have any gastrointestinal symptoms even with an underlying celiac disease.

9. Abdominal bloating

Abdominal bloating can be defined as a sensation of abdominal fullness. Abdominal bloating is mostly characterized as a symptom of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) but it can also be a symptom of celiac disease. Some people suffering from IBS may also have an underlying celiac disorder which is why people with IBS are also tested for celiac disease. People with celiac disease may experience abdominal bloating accompanied by pain in the abdomen.

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