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Posted by Veronica Joiner – Here is some information on the Symptoms of Celiac Disease
If you suffer from any of these symptoms or believe you may be at risk for Celiac disease, please contact your doctor for testing.
1. No Symptoms
Unfortunately, many people who suffer from Celiac disease have no symptoms. This is particularly dangerous as intestinal damage can occur even when no symptoms are present. With new screening techniques, people are being diagnosed without ever suspecting they have the disease. It is important for people with no symptoms but a positive diagnosis to eat properly, as they are still at risk for serious complications of Celiac disease, such as cancer.
Many people who have Celiac disease suffer from painful bloating. For days after consuming gluten, the stomach may be distended and filled with gas. This can be quite painful. Many people complain of intestinal pain and the feeling of being “6 months pregnant”. They may also suffer from excessive gas and flatulence. Bloating can be symptoms of other dietary conditions, so look for it in conjunction with the consumption of gluten.
Chronic diarrhea is a common symptom of those afflicted with Celiac disease. The episodes may be smelly, explosive, and painful. The color of the stool may be pale or white, and typically floats on the surface of the water. Even solid stools may present these conditions. Related symptoms to chronic diarrhea include hemorrhoids. These can occur when there is not enough substance in the stools.
While diarrhea is common in Celiac sufferers, some people may be afflicted with constipation. This if from the body sluggishly moving the contents of the bowels. The body may be trying to pull all the nutrients possible from the food as the damaged villi will not work as efficiently. The constipation may be marked by periods of heavy diarrhea as the person consumes gluten. The constipation may cause pain and bloating.
5. Weight Loss or Gain
Many people who suffer from Celiac disease lose weight as their body reacts to the missing nutrients. The diarrhea caused by gluten may stall the absorption of calories from the food, purging the body from its fuel. Conversely, a sufferer may in fact gain weight instead of lose it. Their bodies may be screaming for nutrients, so they eat in excess to achieve proper nutrition. They may have a hard time losing weight until they restrict gluten from their diet.
Fatigue is a common complaint of those affected by Celiac disease. Undiagnosed Celiac suffers may have their bodies suffer from malnutrition caused by absorption issues. Their body will respond with extreme fatigue and malaise in response. They may crave sugary foods and drink excessive caffeine just to stay energized. After diagnosis and the removal of gluten from the diet, fatigue may be the first symptom to be eliminated.
7. Trouble Concentrating
People who suffer from Celiac disease may experience something called a “brain fog” in relation to the consumption of gluten. This symptom exhibits immediately after eating gluten and can persist for days. The feeling that it gives is confusion, trouble concentrating, and short term memory loss. A sufferer may forget to pick your children up from school, or even forget what they are writing mid sentence. Thankfully, this symptom does not persist as a person removes gluten from their diet. It may even make them feel finally awake after years of fogginess.
8. Problems Falling and Staying Asleep
Recent studies have found that patients with Celiac disease commonly suffer from disordered sleeping, regardless of if the rest of their diet is healthy or not. Sleep disorders are more common to those suffering from Celiac disease vs. the rest of the general population. The disordered sleeping can be shown through an inability to fall asleep, and being unable to stay asleep. The study found that the causes of the inability to sleep well include depression, fatigue, and anxiety.
9. Numbness and Tingling
Many Celiac sufferers exhibit neuropathic symptoms. Problems with the neuropathic system can affect gross and fine motor control and sensory nerves. An undiagnosed Celiac disease sufferer my find their extremities exhibit nerve problems. This can include a tingling sensation in the hands and feet, ranging from mild to “fallen asleep”. Conversely, they may not feel anything in their hands and feet, as numbness is a common complaint. Other parts of the body may be affected, such as the facial muscles and body nerves.
Unfortunately, depression and suicide rates are higher in people with Celiac disease. Studies have found that even eating a gluten free diet, the rates of depression are much higher than the general population. One study found a connection between disordered eating and depression in women who suffer from celiac disease. As they closely monitor their foods for gluten, disordered and restrictive eating can develop. For suicide risk, it seems that once diagnosed and with dietary changes, the suicide risk is greatly reduced.