Celiac Disease Symptoms/ Celiac Sprue Symptoms

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Celiac disease affects people differently. There are hundreads of signs and symptoms of celiac disease, yet many people with celiac disease have no symptoms at all. In those cases, the undamaged part of their small intestine is able to absorb enough nutrients to prevent symptoms. However, people without symptoms are still at risk for some of the complications of celiac disease.

Symptoms may or may not occur in the digestive system. For example, one person might have diarrhea and abdominal pain, while another person has infertility or anemia. Some people develop celiac disease as children, others as adults. Symptoms of celiac disease may include one or more of the following:

Recurring abdominal bloating and pain Chronic diarrhea/constipation Vomiting Liver and biliary tract disorders ("Transaminitis," fatty liver, primary sclerosing cholangitis etc.) Weight loss Pale, foul-smelling stool Iron-deficiency anemia that does not respond to iron therapy Fatigue Failure to thrive or short stature Delayed puberty Pain in the joints Tingling numbness in the legs Pale sores inside the mouth A skin rash called dermatitis herpetiformis (DH) Tooth discoloration or loss of enamel Unexplained infertility, recurrent miscarriage Osteopenia (mild) or osteoporosis (more serious bone density problem) Peripheral Neuropathy Psychiatric disorders such as anxiety, depression

How do these symptoms tend to appear in children and adults?

Children tend to have the more classic signs of celiac disease, including growth problems (failure to thrive, chronic diarrhea/constipation, recurring abdominal bloating and pain, fatigue and irritability.

Adults tend to have symptoms that are not entirely gastrointestinal in nature. Recent research has demonstrated that only a third of adult patients diagnosed with celiac disease experience diarrhea. Weight loss is also not a common sign. The most common sign of celiac disease in adults is iron-deficiency anemia that does not ress\pond to iron therapy.

Celiac Disease Symptom Checklist

Neurological Symptoms

Celiac Disease is essentially a state of extreme gluten sensitivity. This is an autoimmune disease that doesn’t have any other established cause or origin. People who are suffering from Celiac Disease cannot digest foods that contain gluten. This substance is found among most of the carbohydrate-rich foods. This means that Celiac Disease patients need to be very particular about their choice of foods. The smallest of mistakes in eating a food with the most minimal amount of gluten can induce digestive problems, including instant diarrhea or even vomiting and nausea. Celiac Disease is mainly a problem of the small intestines. Among the sufferers of this food allergy condition, the small, finger-like projections called villi that are needed for maintaining the motility of food and absorption of various nutrients tend to be shrunk in size and allergic to gluten—the most basic protein found among common carbohydrate foods like grains, maize and wheat.

The symptoms of Celiac Disease are also called ‘autoimmune reaction’ since there is no other explanation for this disease. However, now it has been established that among some people, Celiac Disease can surface as a neurological problem. This means that Celiac Disease is more likely to be prevalent among people who are already suffering from neurological problems like depression or anxiety. Please understand that this aspect of Celiac Disease is not a mere theory. It is based on some very credible facts. It has already been established that IBS or irritable bowel syndrome that is essentially a state of hypersensitivity of the intestines often occurs due to unresolved neurological conditions. This is why people who are prone to panicking, anxiety, mood swings, depression or those who are suffering from neurological problems that impairs their sleeping patterns are more likely to develop IBS. This is a logical conclusion that is accepted across the globe by psychologists and leading gastroenterologists.

The relation between Celiac Disease and the hypersensitivity or underdevelopment of the intestinal villi is related in the same way. This doesn’t mean that every patient suffering from Celiac Disease has a neurological history but instead, most patients with a history of neurological problems are more vulnerable to developing Celiac Disease. This is a rather serious medical condition wherein the individual becomes malnourished over a period; regardless of how nutritious is the food since the entire digestive system is impaired. This means mal-absorption of food. If not treated properly, Celiac Disease can cause chronic and even critical healthcare problems like osteoporosis, cancer and anemia.

There is another logical theory that relates Celiac Disease to neurological conditions. It has been seen that people who often suffer from seizures, such as epileptic patients, are prone to developing a chronic case of Celiac Disease. Yes, Celiac Disease has a genetic pre-disposition, i.e. some people are congenitally vulnerable to being afflicted with this disease. However, the disease is actually triggered-off in such people when they undergo a stressful event or develop neurological problems like sleeping problems. This is underlined by the fact that nearly 10 percent of celiac disease patients also have a neurological condition. The most common of neurological conditions among such folks includes peripheral neuropathy, such as Ataxia—a neurological condition where the patients suffers from uncoordinated bodily movements and has an unusual gait. In fact, a history of food allergy can even cause a mental illness or a neurological disease. Many patients who have chronically being suffering from Celiac Disease are even more prone to developing neurological diseases.

How to Ease the Symptoms of Celiac Disease

Step 1

Begin a completely gluten-free diet once you have been diagnosed with celiac disease. According to the Mayo Clinic, it is important to avoid any amount of gluten, no matter how small, to avoid damage to the intestines. But don't start a gluten-free diet before you know you have the disease. Medline Plus reports that this can make diagnosis more difficult.

Step 2

Work with a nutritionist to learn how to maintain a healthy diet while avoiding all sources of gluten, including hidden ones. Many specialists have experience in teaching people how to eat properly while managing celiac disease. Sticking to this plan is the most important element of management, according to Medline Plus.

Step 3

Use vitamin and mineral supplements if recommended by your doctor to deal with nutritional deficiencies associated with the condition.

Step 4

Your doctor may prescribe corticosteroids to treat temporary inflammation associated with celiac disease.