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Symptoms of Celiac Disease

In many cases, symptoms of celiac disease include such things as gas, chronic diarrhea, swollen abdomen, and weight loss; however, the condition can cause a wide variety of symptoms. Irritability is one of the most common symptoms experienced by children with celiac disease. Some people with the disease have no symptoms at all.

Signs and Symptoms of Celiac Disease: An Overview

Celiac disease affects different people differently so the symptoms that a person with the condition experiences can vary. Also, symptoms can occur in various parts of the body, not just the digestive system. Therefore, one person might have diarrhea and abdominal pain (or stomach pain), while another person may be irritable or depressed. In fact, irritability is one of the most common symptoms of celiac disease in children. Therefore, when it comes to celiac disease symptoms, many people with the disease will not fit the profile of a "typical celiac patient."

Common Celiac Disease Symptoms

There are a number of symptoms that occur more commonly in people with celiac disease. These symptoms may be seen in about 10 percent of people. Common celiac disease symptoms may include one or more of the following:
  • Recurring abdominal bloating and pain
  • Swollen abdomen
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Pale, foul-smelling, or fatty stool (known medically as steatorrhea)
  • Weight loss.

Other Symptoms

There are a number of other symptoms people with celiac disease can experience. Because of the number and variety of these symptoms, a celiac disease diagnosis can sometimes be hard to make; people with the condition may be misdiagnosed. Other celiac disease symptoms may include:
  • Gas
  • Weight gain
  • Fatigue
  • Unexplained anemia (a low count of red blood cells causing fatigue)
  • Bone pain or bone tenderness
  • Joint pain
  • Behavioral changes, such as depression or anxiety
  • Tingling numbness in the legs (from nerve damage)
  • Muscle cramps
  • Seizures
  • Missed menstrual periods (often because of excessive weight loss)
  • Infertility
  • Failure to thrive in infants
  • Pale sores inside the mouth (called aphthous ulcers)
  • Tooth discoloration or loss of enamel
  • Itchy skin rash (known as dermatitis herpetiformis).

Information on Celiac Disease

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