The symptoms and signs of Celiac Disease can vary greatly from person to person, and even within families.
In the past, a typical celiac patient was a frail looking child under two years old with a distended belly.
Today celiac patient’s are getting diagnosed much later in life and display many celiac symptoms caused by autoimmune responses instead of gastrointestinal problems.
There is no right way to experience Celiac Disease!
It is an autoimmune disorder which means it can effect different systems in your body and this can result in a wide range of symptoms.
Many people associate celiac disease with the “classic” digestive symptoms like diarrhea, weight loss, cramps, bloating, acid reflux, dyspepsia, and nausea.
While these are common for some people there are many other symptoms that can accompany celiac disease.
Some people with silent celiac disease have no symptoms.
What are the signs of celiac?
There are between 200 – 300 known signs and symptoms of celiac disease. (Depending on the source.)
Here are some of the most common signs of celiac disease listed below.
Common Signs of Celiac Disease
• Fatigue – You may feel like your walking through mud or like gravity is pulling you down.
This is one of the common celiac disease symptoms in adults and the one that most interfered with my life.
• Cognitive Impairment/ Brain Fog – It’s not just in your head!
Have you been having trouble focusing on things? Decreased concentration and short term memory issues are common signs of celiac disease that we call brain fog.
It also took me longer to think of answers to questions and I had trouble coming up with words.
• Migraines – With celiac disease can come all kinds of migraines…
Migraines with auras, without auras, basilar, ocular etc. can all have different causes.
The severity of migraines can vary significantly from person to person, but if you get them you know how disruptive they can be to your life.
• Joint Pain
• Mouth Ulcers
• Dermatitis Herpetiformis
• Infertility/ Miscarriages
• Nausea/ Vomiting
• Tingling/ Numbness in hands or feet
• Abdominal Distention
• Iron-deficiency Anemia
• Flatulence (Gas)
• Acid Reflux/Heartburn
Celiac Disease Symptoms in Children
Celiac disease can be diagnosed in both children an adults, but celiac disease symptoms in children may be slightly different than symptoms in adults.
Contact your pediatrician if you suspect your child may have celiac disease.
It’s important to get tested prior to starting a gluten free diet in order to get accurate blood test results.
One of the more common celiac disease symptoms in children is irritability which can contribute to behavioral issues and acting out.
→ Failure to Thrive
→ Delayed Puberty
→ Developmental Delay
→ Chronic Diarrhea
→ Lack of Appetite
→ Weight Loss
→ Distended Abdomen
→ Dental Enamel Defects
→ Flatulence (Gas)
→ Abdominal Pain
→ Short Stature
• Many children don’t have gastrointestinal signs of celiac disease.
Celiac Disease Symptoms in Adults
Celiac disease symptoms in adults can vary widely from person to person. However, adults are less likely to experience digestive issues than children.
Many people are being diagnosed later in life and experience signs of malabsorption like fatigue.
Below are some signs of celiac disease that adults will often experience.
• Chronic Fatigue
• Canker Sores
• Bone Loss
• Early Menopause
• Peripheral Neuropathy
• Dermatitis Herpetiformis
• Brain Fog
• Dental Enamel Damage
Signs of celiac can begin gradually or quickly and dramatically.
Silent Celiac Disease
Some people don’t even know when they get “glutened.” They get very mild celiac symptoms or no symptoms at all when exposed to gluten.
If you have silent celiac disease it can be especially difficult to find the motivation to eat gluten free.
After all, why go through all the hassle of maintaining a gluten free diet if you don’t feel sick? Even though you aren’t seeing signs of celiac, if you have silent celiac disease and continue to eat gluten:
- Villous atrophy damage is still occurring in small intestine.
- The risk of developing other autoimmune diseases increases.
Signs of Celiac Disease List
Below is a more extensive list of the signs and symptoms of celiac disease.
This includes both the classic digestive celiac symptoms and the symptoms that result from malabsorption and inflammatory responses.
People with celiac disease are more prone to developing other autoimmune disorders, which can make these an indicator of celiac disease.
- Thinning Hair
- Brittle Nails
- Hair Loss
- Allergic Rhinitis
- Joint Pain
- Muscle Aches
- Muscle Weakness
- Bone Fractures
- Slow Thinking
- Trouble with Concentration
- Poor Memory
- Poor Attention Span
- Dermatitis Herpetiformis
- Itchy Skin
- Canker Sores
- Acid Reflux
- Abdominal Pain
- Abdominal Distention
- Food Allergies
- Weight Loss
- Weight Gain
- Poor Apetite
- Lactose Intolerance
- Fecal Occult Blood
- Failure to Thrive
- Developmental Delay
- Delayed Puberty
- Abnormal Menstrual Periods
- Yeast Infections
- Early Menopause
- Blurred Vision
- Poor Night Vision
- Bitot’s Spot
- Bloodshot Eyes
- Peripheral Neuropathy
- Gluten Ataxia
- Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
- Iron Deficit Anemia
It’s common to be overweight at the time of celiac diagnosis.