Celiac disease is a common condition, but it can be difficult to diagnose as it affects people in many different ways. According to The Celiac Foundation, the symptoms are so varied that there are more than 200 symptoms that tend to occur in the digestive system or in other parts of the body. There are many people who do not have any celiac disease symptoms, but others experience quite a few of them.

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The symptoms of gluten intolerance are quite similar to celiac disease. Both conditions can cause a negative physical response to gluten. However, the longevity of the symptoms is not the same for both the conditions. As someone with celiac consumes gluten, it causes an immune system response that attacks the body tissue, which can take months to heal. When a person is gluten intolerant, it can cause belly pain and short-term bloating. Gluten intolerance does not cause any long-term harm to the body tissue.

Here are Some of the Most Common Symptoms of Celiac Disease:

Diarrhea

Diarrhea is one of the first symptoms of celiac disease which people experience. According to a report, 79% of people experienced diarrhea before their treatment. However, it was seen that diarrhea reduced in the first few days of treatment. The average amount of time it took to see results from treatment, a strict gluten-free diet, was four weeks. Diarrhea can be a result of many things, so it is best to make an appointment with your doctor to be sure you are properly diagnosed.

Bloating

Bloating is another common symptom experienced by people with celiac disease and gluten intolerance. Celiac disease causes inflammation in the digestive tract. This causes different types of digestive issues along with bloating. Bloating tends to decrease when gluten is eliminated from the diet. If gluten stays part of your diet, bloating symptoms will remain, and can get worse over time. 

Gas

Gas is also a common digestive problem faced by patients who have celiac disease as well as those with gluten intolerance. Those who are facing increased gas or bloating, should consult their doctor and request a test for celiac disease. 

Fatigue

Several celiac patients reported a decrease in energy levels and continuous fatigue. Severe fatigue and fatigue-related problems are very common among those with celiac disease. Fatigue can lead to sleep disorders which tend to lead to further problems in sleep patterns. Because celiac disease, when not treated properly, will cause damage to the small intestine it can lead to mineral and vitamin deficiencies and this can result in more fatigue. 

Weight Gain or Loss

If you are experiencing rapid weight gain or loss or you are finding it difficult to keep your weight on, it can be an early sign of celiac disease. This happens as the body is not able to absorb the necessary nutrients. This leads to further weight loss or gain and malnutrition. Extreme changes in weight such as losing 10 lbs or gaining 10 lbs in less than a month, should be taken seriously, and we encourage you to visit with your doctor. 

Anemia or Iron Deficiency 

Celiac disease causes problems in nutrient absorption. When the stomach lining is damaged, nutrients can not be absorbed properly. Among the key nutrients, our body needs iron. Iron is used by our body’s red blood cells. A lack of iron leads to anemia. This usually happens due to a lack of sufficient red blood cells in the body. There are many associated symptoms of iron deficiency such as weakness, fatigue, chest pain, dizziness, and headache. 

Constipation

Though celiac disease causes diarrhea in many people, several others face problems in the form of constipation. Celiac disease can cause immense damage to our bodies. It tends to damage the intestinal villi which are small finger-like projections that are present in the small intestine. When these are damaged the body is unable to absorb needed moisture and this can result in constipation.

Depression

There are several physical symptoms of celiac disease and there are some psychological and emotional symptoms as well. According to a recent study, it was found that depression is far more common and often severe in adults. People tend to feel sad, lonely, and withdraw themselves from others. There is a desire to stay alone and either sleep a lot or have problems related to insomnia. 

As per research with 48 participants, it was seen that those with celiac disease had depressive symptoms more than others in a group without celiac disease. When our bodies don’t have essential nutrients, it definitely will influence our mental health. So if you are experiencing other symptoms of celiac disease along with depression, we encourage you to have a conversation with your doctor. 

Itchy Rash or Skin Problems

People with celiac disease often have skin-related problems. These include skin problems, dermatitis, and skin rashes that tend to occur on the buttocks, knees, and elbows.

Though skin rashes can develop due to many other reasons, celiac disease is one of the most common reasons. If it has been a long time since you have had a rash, and you are suffering from skin rashes and you do not have any other specific reason for this, you should see your doctor for testing.

While these are the most common symptoms, know that there are many more. Symptoms of celiac disease or gluten intolerance tend to differ from one person to another. You might experience all the symptoms or you might experience a few of these symptoms.

As you go through the process of discovery if you have celiac or gluten intolerance, we hope you know you are not alone. There are many of us who have learned to adjust and accept a new perspective on life, food, and health. We are here cheering you on as you begin a new journey! 

If you have already been diagnosed with celiac disease or would like to learn more about living a gluten-free life, you can find resources, recipes, products, and more from our gluten-free family to yours.