Do I Have Celiac Disease?

Celiac Disease is a serious, chronic condition that cannot be self-diagnosed. A proper diagnosis must be provided by a medical doctor and requires medical testing to confirm. There are warning signs, however, that may indicate you or your child may benefit from getting tested for this immune response to eating gluten.

Every person’s individual body reacts differently to medical conditions, and Celiac Disease is no exception. There are symptoms that are common, but some patients may experience uncommon symptoms – this article is focusing on common symptoms. Celiac Disease symptoms may be different from one patient to another, even in the case of immediate family members. Symptoms are particularly notorious for differing by age group. Children with Celiac Disease may experience any combination of the following common symptoms:

  • Delayed growth

  • Decreased appetite and/or failure to gain weight at an expected rate

  • Chronic diarrhea, which may or may not be bloody

  • Chronic constipation

  • Vomiting

  • Bloating and/or pain in the abdomen

  • Fatigue

  • Irritability

Celiac disease is not always present from a young age. In some cases, it does present itself until the teenage years, when stressful events are more common. Symptoms that tend to occur more for teenagers may include:

  • Delayed start of puberty

  • Delayed growth

  • Diarrhea

  • Abdominal bloating and/or pain

  • Unintentional weight loss

  • Fatigue

  • Irritability

  • Clinical Depression

  • Dermatitis Herpetiformis (an itchy skin rash that may look like eczema or mild poison ivy)

  • Mouth sores

Adults with celiac disease have a greater tendency to have symptoms indicative or malabsorption of nutrients, commonly including iron and/or calcium. Gastrointestinal symptoms are less common in adults than in younger patients. Only approximately ⅓ of adult celiac patients suffer diarrhea. Symptoms or complications adults are more likely to experience include:

  • Anemia, or iron deficiency

  • Pain in joints or bones, including arthritis or osteoporosis

  • Depressive or anxiety disorders

  • Tingling and/or numbness in extremities

  • Seizures

  • Irregular menstruation

  • Dermatitis Herpetiformis

  • Mouth Sores

If a number of these conditions seem familiar to you, schedule an appointment with your doctor.


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