Celiac Symptoms

by Allergy Guy

Celiac symptoms can appear as early as 6 months of age, with slow growth and under-weight of your baby.

In some cases, symptoms may be less severe, going unnoticed for years, even well into adulthood.

In other cases, the symptoms are so severe, that there is clearly a problem in childhood.

One the one hand, severe celiac cases are distressing, especially to parents who have no idea what is wrong with their child. Of course they are propelled into action, looking for the cause.

Although gaining awareness among doctors, there are still stories of doctors who mis-diagnose the disease.

Less severe cases are less distressing, but the bad news is that the disease can carry on for years, causing a great deal of damage over time.

Celiac Disease Symptoms

Celiac disease can be mistaken for irritable bowel syndrome. These are very different diseases. See the celiac article for details.

  • Malnutrition due to reduced absorption of food nutrients
  • Anaemia
  • Abnormal stools
  • Bloating
  • Muscle wasting
  • Poor muscle tone
  • Low appetite
  • Irritability
  • weight loss
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Foul smelling stools
  • Abdominal cramps
  • Foul gas
  • Acid reflux
  • Ataxia (lack of coordination)
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Folate deficiency (lack of Vitamin M, forms of Vitamin B-9)
  • Calcium metabolism disturbance
  • Dermatitis: clusters of itchy blisters, usually on the knees, elbows and buttocks.

Celiac Complications

If you continue to consume gluten, you risk severe harm to any and all internal organs. This can lead to an extremely deteriorated health condition, and can be fatal.

Treatment

Avoid any and all gluten in your diet at all times, for the rest of your life.


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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Lynne November 19, 2011 at 16:10

In 2007 I was diagnosed with non-hodkins lymphoma I had a large tumor in my bowels and had part of my colen removed as a result. I have completed chemo therapy and have been free of cancer since 2007. I have however noticed a number of other issues that have arisen since then. I have constant skin rashes psoriasis on my thighs backs of my knees and the palms of my hands. Needless to say I am constantly itchy with red sore palms etc. I also have a B12 deficiency which I take injections for. I have been tossing around the idea that perhaps I also have a gluten and/or dairy allergy. Quite frankly I am not sure what is residual affect from the disease or have I developed other problems as a result of my crappy immune system? I feel tired and run-down all the time, the brain fog is a constant companion, I have either cronic diarrehia or constapation never seems to be a happy medium. Usually diarrehia, I seem to have difficulty digesting food and sometimes suffer from malabsorbtion. I am tired of feeling so crappy all the time…and I do mean that literaly. If you have any insight into my specific problems I would love to hear them. Before I was diagnosed with cancer I was diagnosed tentatively with IB, I had constant heart burn and took medication for acid reflux (this dosent seem to be so bad now just occassionally) however a lot of what I am reading is resonating with me and I would love some input.

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2 Allergy Guy November 19, 2011 at 23:26

Lynne, you sound like you are describing celiac disease, including the cancer.

I’m not saying that’s what you have, but it seems very likely. So I have two pieces of advice for you, and I suggest you follow both, but try to do them in order.

1 Get tested for celiac disease. There are several different tests. If you test negative for one, it is worth trying another.

2 Cut out all gluten from your diet.

If you cut gluten from your diet before getting tested, the tests are more likely to show a negative result, even if you are celiac. If you test negative, still cut out gluten and see if that solves the problems you’ve listed. If it does, stay religiously and fanatically gluten-free for life.

Hope that helps, and if not, I hope you find the answer. I’d love to hear how you’re doing so do please drop by with an update when you have more news.

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3 Mae December 10, 2011 at 12:33

I would also tell you to get tested for the candida overgrowth (blood and fecal tes), as I told Raquel in my reply above. It’s an alarmingly common problem and it causes all of the same symptoms.

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4 Raquel October 23, 2011 at 18:18

GOING GLUTEN FREE…

I have been feeling unwell for so long that it sorts of become routine… Then one day I started to realize that at 38 I have been feeling unwell for over half my life and not getting any better!

I still suffer from acne and atopic ezcema (both appeared at 15 and have been with me since). I was diagnosed with asthma about 6 years ago although it’s sort of seasonal. A couple of years before that after many complaints to my GP about my digestive problems she diagnosed me with IBS (always very bloated after meals, stomach cramps, constipation). I have allergies to cats and dust, when I was little I seem to have always a cold, I was always sneezing, it’s got a bit better… Tiredness has always been an issue, I used to tell my husband that I felt as if a cloud was in my head, I never heard the term “foggy brain” until I started researching gluten allergies a month ago on the internet, it makes so much sense! Oh, and back pain is a daily thing now.

(Not sure if this is relevant but my brother has Chron’s disease)

I did get tested for celiac disease 4 years ago but it was negative. I found a GP who was interested in my problems and told me to come back for a follow up but I didn’t, got pregnant, moved house… I wish I had now.

I have decided to give the gluten free diet a go (I did go on a wheat free diet for a while and on a dairy free diet, not together, but I don’t think I lasted very long in either). It’s been 3 weeks and I have already have noticed an improvement on the “foggy” brain but I still get bloated. I have noticed a reaction to dairy and I’m cutting down on dairy.
My question is: should I just stick with the gluten free diet for 2 months and then cut dairy or should I cut both completely first and then reintroduce them?

Sorry for the long post…

Raquel

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5 Allergy Guy October 23, 2011 at 21:39

Hi Raquel,

I would cut out both gluten and dairy at the same time. Here’s why.

You have already noticed an improvement after cutting out gluten. Stick with it and you’re likely to see even more improvement over time.

Dairy is a very common problem for many people, especially celiacs. It usually isn’t an allergy, although that is possible. More often it is an inability to digest lactose, a type of complex sugar found in milk.

Cut out both and see how you feel. Cutting out dairy is likely to prove fast results if that is the problem, unless you have an allergy to it, so cut it out for a month or two even if you don’t see an immediate improvement.

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6 Mae December 10, 2011 at 12:27

This is only from my experience but in addition to the gluten allergy I found out I had after at not feeling well from age twelve to twenty three, I also had a severe overgrowth of candida (yeast) that had spread through out my body from all of the antibiotics I’d been prescribed over the years. The symptoms for gluten allergy and yeast overgrowth are similar, but in addition if you’ve had bad cramps, severe pms, frequent uti’s (although that symptom goes away eventually), asthma, thrush (white/gray coating on tongue), bad breath, hair loss/thinning/excessive shedding, and many other symptoms that vary by individual. Basically the test for it that seems to be most effective at detecting it at advance stages is the blood test, though for intestinal overgrowth the fecal test is better. But for treatment they recommend most people detox heavy metals first, yeast bind to them. Then it is combination of diet avoiding all sugar containing products and alcohol, coffee, and some other foods, processed stuff especially, and taking probiotics and replenishing nutrients from deficiencies. I would look into it especially if you’ve taking alot of antibiotics or steroids over the course of your life. Having a damaged digestive track from years of allergy damage makes it easy for the yeast to break the blood barrier and to spread and cause the more severe systemic infection.

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7 Raquel December 19, 2011 at 15:45

Hi Mae

Thank you very much for your reply. I always thought candida was a vaginal/oral infection but after your reply I looked into it and I was quite surprised at the symptoms.
I have done the saliva test and it was positive (I haven’t done the blood of fecal test). I also completed a candida score test on a website and my result was “severe candida condition”.
I’m not sure what to do next but maybe I should do a Candida treatment in the New Year? (hard to stay off sugar during Xmas! I have a very sweet tooth.. 🙂

Thanks for all your support.

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8 carolyn cambridge April 23, 2010 at 15:03

[comment moved to Meat Allergy article -ed]

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9 Ninfa February 28, 2010 at 17:22

IBS

I have suffered with stomach problems as long as I can remember. I am 55 years old now and I finally went to a gastoroligists because I was having acid reflux and belly hurt. He did an endoscopy. Found polyps in my small intestines and my lining of the stomach was irritable and inflammed. Took biopsy of that and they came back negative for cancer, ulcers or H pylori. Now I’m back to square one. I am currently taking an acid reflux medication from doctor. I am avoiding spicy foods, acid drinks and eating small meals. I have to go back to him to see about another test. Now someone has told me about asking him to check me for gluten allergies. I have no knowledge on that study. Can you suggest anything else?

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10 admin February 28, 2010 at 19:21

Gluten allergy and celiac tests

Hi Ninfa,

Your question is a good one.

I need to do more research before explaining the various types of test available.

Here is a very short summary:

For celiac, there are several tests, including a small intestine biopsy, blood test, and stool test. I’m told that the stool test is the most accurate.

For gluten allergy, there are skin tests and blood tests, but none are all that accurate. Best to follow an $elimination-diet$ for that.

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