Symptoms of Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity

So many possible symptoms exist for celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. And to make matters more complicated, each person tends to have their own unique symptoms.

Should you be tested for celiac disease? If you or your child have symptoms like chronic diarrhea, constipation, gas, iron deficiency anemia, or other unexplained stomach problems, or if you know someone in your family tree has celiac disease, then it is worth having the tests done.

Before I go into the symptoms, I want to recommend that you consider how important it is for you to have an official diagnosis. As soon as you switch to eating gluten free, it becomes difficult to impossible for doctors to use tests to make a diagnosis.

The tests rely on detecting how your body reacts to gluten both in your blood work and how the villi in  your small intestine look.  The moment you start eating gluten free, your body, if it is sensitive to gluten, will begin healing which makes diagnosis difficult to impossible.

Symptoms differ between adults and young adults and children. Here are some things to look for.

SYMPTOMS FOR CHILDREN

  • Diarrhea
  • Stunted growth or “failure to thrive” as some physicians call it
  • Large, distended belly
  • Child looks like they are starving or malnourished
  • Vomiting after meals
  • Decreased appetite
  • Unable to gain weight or losing weight
  • Irritable
  • Fatigue
  • Constipation

This is not a complete list, but these are the more common symptoms to look for. Infants and children tend to have digestive symptoms and if they aren’t getting the nutrition they need, it becomes obvious very quickly.

I still get emotional listing these symptoms and thinking about our daughter and the time when we were struggling to figure out what was wrong.  It is still hard to get doctors to order the related tests for celiac disease. If you see these symptoms in your child, be persistent and get the tests. Get the endoscopy.

SYMPTOMS FOR YOUNG ADULTS

  • Diarrhea
  • Stunted growth
  • Abdominal pain
  • Bloated with gas
  • Weight loss
  • Underweight and brittle looking
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Persistent skin rash
  • Anemia
  • Brain fog
  • Iron deficiency
  • Osteoporosis
  • Persistent skin rash
  • Depression
  • Joint pain
  • Arthritis
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Gall bladder issues

SYMPTOMS FOR ADULTS

These aren’t exhaustive lists but they are the common symptoms. It is common for people to have multiple symptoms at one time.

If these symptoms describe you or your child or a relative, it is important to pursue it with a doctor to find out if the problem is celiac disease.

Take another look at those adult symptoms. Those explain the daily life of adults with celiac disease who don’t know they have it and who continue to eat gluten for a long time. It looks miserable!

Thankfully, celiac is 100% treatable by eating a gluten free diet. And isn’t it nice to know that simply changing your diet is the cure?  The sooner you start eating gluten free, the sooner life and your health return to normal.