Signs & Symptoms of Celiac Disease
Are you wondering if you or a loved one has celiac disease? You are on the right page! Celiac disease may not be spoken about much, but statistics show that 1 in 141 people in the United States suffers from this disease.
This complex disorder is even more alarming, given the fact that some people with celiac disease do not know they have it. Worse, celiac disease is commonly misdiagnosed or under-diagnosed due to the variations or absence of symptoms. Consequently, there is a large group of people with the disease who show no symptoms whatsoever and others who are confused whether or not they have it.
Given the fact that celiac disease has serious long term consequences experts strongly recommend you know where you stand. But before you stop eating foods that contain gluten, be sure to get tested. If you quit eating gluten and then get tested for celiac disease, you will get a false negative.
This article gives an overview of celiac disease, its symptoms, complications, and possible treatment to help you decide your next steps.
What is Celiac Disease?
People with celiac disease [also known as celiac sprue] have an abnormal response to gluten during digestion. A small exposure to gluten triggers a cascade of autoimmune reactions that eventually results in inflammation and damage to the small intestine.
Prolonged exposure to gluten causes severe damage to the small intestine, preventing absorption of essential nutrients from foods and medications. The end-result opens a Pandora box of long-term complications.
Signs and Symptoms of Celiac Disease
Researchers have revealed many symptoms associated with celiac sprue. Nonetheless, the variations are so high that you may test positive for the disease and show no symptoms at all.
Symptoms often vary between kids and adults. This section covers the most common symptoms of celiac disease in adults and children.
- Abdominal pain
- Chronic diarrhea
- Nerve damage
- Weight loss
- Pale and smelly poop
- Bone or joint pain
- Tingling sensation in the legs
- Pale smelly poop
- Weight loss
- Delayed puberty
- Damage tooth enamel
- Stunted growth
- Failure to thrive in infants
Other Complications of Celiac Disease
Celiac disease is a multi-system disorder. By definition, this means that celiac disease may affect more than one organ.
People with this complex disorder are susceptible to other complications such as:
- Mouth ulcers
- Small intestine ulcers
- Thyroid disease
- Lactose intolerance
- Hair loss
- Pancreatic disease
- Dermatitis herpetiformis
- Some types of cancer
- Rheumatoid arthritis
Possible Treatment for Celiac Disease
People who show any of the aforementioned symptoms are advised to see a doctor right away.
Your doctor will perform several tests and diagnosis to completely ascertain whether you suffer from celiac disease or not. Remember to continue to consume gluten until after you have been tested by your doctor.
To manage celiac disease, your best option is to avoid eating gluten. Celiac disease is a severe autoimmune disorder. Continuous exposure to gluten may result in one or more of the long-term complications outlined above.
In my next article, I will show you what a gluten-free diet is and how you can follow through with this diet change.