Celiac Disease Symptoms and Signs
Celiac disease is an uncommon disease in which your immune system attacks the cells lining the small intestine.
Signs and symptoms of celiac disease may include:
- gas (flatulence, farting),
- swollen ankles (edema),
- vitamin K deficiency, and
- excessive bruising and bleeding.
Quick GuideA Visual Guide to Celiac Disease
Celiac disease facts
- In people with celiac disease, inflammation occurs in the small intestinal
mucosa when it is exposed to gluten in the diet.
- Celiac disease is thought to be
an autoimmune disorder and may have a familial or genetic component.
symptoms usually involve the digestive system and cause:
- However, there is a wide spectrum of
symptoms that may occur.
- Because the intestine becomes inflamed, it may also
lose its ability to absorb nutrients from the diet, leading to other associated
- Treatment of celiac disease is following a strict gluten free diet.
- Celiac disease is also known by other names including celiac sprue,
non-tropical sprue, and gluten enteropathy.
What causes celiac disease?
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. In some people who are
exposed to gluten in their diet, an enzyme called tissue transglutaminase
changes the gluten into a chemical that causes an immune response, leading to
inflammation of the lining of the small intestine. The normal villi that make up
the lining of the intestine are blunted and destroyed, preventing the normal
absorption of nutrients from the diet.
This malabsorption of vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients may lead to
damage to other organs in the body, such as the liver, bone, and brain' that depend
on those nutrients to function normally. In children, the lack of effective
nutrition because of malnutrition can lead to abnormal growth and development.
There seems to be a genetic predisposition to developing celiac disease,
however not all people with a family history of celiac disease develop the
condition. There is another reason, yet unknown, why the autoimmune response
In addition to family history, celiac disease seems to be more common in
type 1 diabetes, microscopic colitis,
Sjögren's syndrome and
autoimmune thyroid disease.
Medically Reviewed by a Doctor on 2/10/2015