Celiac Disease Symptoms
Vary From Person To Person

Classic celiac disease symptoms include diarrhea and weight loss, but researchers and doctors have discovered there are a whole range of possible symptoms, both physical and emotional, that I’ve listed below.

Some people have no symptoms at all, or they may occur along with other conditions that hide them. A child’s symptoms may include failure to thrive, personality changes, or inability to concentrate.

Possible Adult
Celiac Symptoms

Possible Child
Celiac Symptoms

Variations in Celiac Disease Symptoms Are Due to Physiological Differences

To understand the reason for the many possible symptoms of celiac disease, it helps to understand the cause of the symptoms. Celiac Disease damages the walls of the small intestine and prevents the absorption of nutrients into the bloodstream.

The nutrients that are not absorbed vary from person to person depending on differences in physiology and the environment in the intestines. For example one person may not be getting enough Potassium will have hypokalemia, and another may not get enough Iron and will be anemic. See What is Celiac Disease? for more information.

Why does having Celiac Symptoms not confirm you have Celiac Disease?

The problem is that a whole lot of other diseases have the same possible symptoms, making Celiac Disease hard to diagnose. Why? Because other diseases also prevent absorption of nutrients into the bloodstream, or otherwise prevent their use. So they have the same malabsorption symptoms as in Celiac Disease.

How do you find out if you’re really experiencing symptoms of Celiac Disease? A doctor will do a biopsy, taking a sample of your small intestine lining to check it for damage. However, if you have already started a gluten free diet the damage may have already healed itself, and the biopsy may be negative. It’s recommended if you want to be tested that you don’t quit eating gluten until after you are tested.

Celiac Disease Symptoms

Symptoms may include, or lead to:

  • General: energy loss, fatigue, weakness, muscle cramping, malnutrition, including vitamin or mineral deficiency, swelling, weight loss (however some people have actually been overweight or of normal weight when they were diagnosed.)
  • Gastrointestinal problems: indigestion, abdominal pain, cramping, bloating, flatulence, constipation, unusual stools, and/or diarrhea, lactose intolerance, nausea, vomiting
  • Headaches: I met a man who’s only symptoms were headaches.

    Share Your Celiac Disease Symptoms With Us!

    Have you been diagnosed with Celiac Disease? Tell us your celiac symptoms so we can help increase awareness of this serious disease!
  • Skin problems: dry, itchy, blotchy, or even blistery skin, bruising easily, dermatitis herpetiformis
  • Sores around the mouth, defects or discoloration of tooth enamel
  • Frequent respiratory infections, breathlessness from anemia, nosebleed
  • Emotional: Depression, irritability, memory problems, dementia, inability to concentrate, moodiness, behavioral changes, lack of desire in normal activities

Some people believe that Celiac Disease may lead to, or be associated with the following: Osteoporosis, bone or joint pain, anemia, autism, infertility, miscarriage, thyroid problems, hair loss, hypoglycemia, cancer, diabetes, other autoimmune disorders such as lupus and arthritis.

Another point of view is that these conditions are due to gluten intolerance, but not necessarily the autoimmune response that is known as Celiac Disease.

back to top

Children’s Celiac Symptoms

Children’s symptoms may include:
  • Weight loss or failure to gain weight or grow
  • Diarrhea, abdominal bloating or distention, vomiting
  • Failure to thrive
  • Delayed onset of Puberty
  • Emotional: irritability, poor memory and difficulty concentrating, moodiness, changes in personality

Autism is believed by many to be related to gluten intolerance, but not necessarily to Celiac Disease.

back to top

New! Comments

Have something to say? Leave a comment in the box below.

New! Comments

Have something to say? Leave a comment in the box below.

Return from Celiac Disease Symptoms to What Is Celiac Disease?

Return from Celiac Disease Symptoms to Gluten Free Around The World Home

Subscribe to my monthly e-zine and
receive FREE Gluten Free Recipes!

E-mail Address 

Your First Name


Your e-mail address is totally secure.
I promise to use it only to send you
The Gluten Free Nomad.

      For a head’s up when I post
recipes and gluten free discoveries:

       Pat’s Gluten Free Blog subscribe in a reader

       Pat’s Gluten Free Blog by email subscribe by email


        Gluten Free Around The World on Facebook become a facebook fan

Protected by Copyscape Web Copyright Protection Software