Celiac Disease - Symptoms

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What are the signs and symptoms of celiac disease?

Diarrhea and weight loss because of malabsorption are the classic symptoms of celiac disease, but they occur in less than one-half of people with the disease. The symptoms vary widely in presentation and intensity. Often the symptoms are not related to the bowel function, but instead are due to the consequences of chronic malabsorption of vitamins and minerals (for example, people who complain of weakness, fatigue, and are anemic because they cannot absorb iron in the diet).

Other symptoms may include the following:

  • Headache
  • Fatigue and weakness
  • Joint pain
  • Numbness and tingling (paresthesia) of the hands and feet
  • Osteoporosis due to decreased absorption of calcium and vitamin D
  • Skin rash
  • Abdominal pain
  • GERD and heartburn

Infants and children may have even less specific symptoms including diarrhea, constipation, weight loss, failure to thrive, and developmental delays.

Return to Celiac Disease

See what others are saying

Comment from: 45-54 Female (Patient) Published: December 11

I have Non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in my salivary gland, and as a routine staging procedure because of occasional acid reflux, I had an endoscopy to check for signs of lymphoma in my stomach. The doctor found signs of celiac disease in my small intestine and did a biopsy. My only symptoms are fatigue and weight loss. I am 41 years old and have been on a gluten-free diet for five days.

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Comment from: Foresthome, 55-64 Female (Patient) Published: October 15

I am 58 and recently had an esophogastroduodenoscopy, or EGD, and was diagnosed with celiac sprue. I am a nurse and began reading about the disease and now I am wondering if I have had it since birth. I was diagnosed with rickets, a form of malnutrition, as a toddler and began to suffer from migraine headaches as young as 6. When my permanent teeth came in the enamel had not formed correctly on many of them, resulting in having most of my teeth crowned. I also have chronic constipation, gas, bloating, fatigue, joint pain, and my stools have been difficult to flush, because they float, for as long as I remember.

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