Here is Your Guide To Spot Celiac Disease


A person holding a glass

Celiac disease is an autoimmune, digestive disease where gluten ingestion leads to damage in the small intestine. It is also known as sprue or gluten-sensitive enteropathy. Even though this disease affects 1 out of 100 people, most cases go undiagnosed and are at risk for long-term health complications. People can develop celiac disease at any age after eating foods or medicines that contain gluten. The most common foods and beverages that contain gluten include bread, cereals, pancakes, cake, pasta, noodles, sauces, and beer.

Classifications of Celiac Diseases

 The disease can be classified as classical, non-classical, and silent celiac disease based on celiac disease signs. Early diagnosis helps in lowering the chances of developing another condition. The complications of untreated celiac disease can be autoimmune disorders like Type I diabetes and multiple sclerosis and others like dermatitis herpetiformis, osteoporosis, infertility, short stature, epilepsy, and migraines. 

Cause for Celiac Disease: 

A close up of a boy

The primary cause of developing celiac disease signs is genetic or familial. Gluten is a common protein found in wheat, rye, semolina, farina, barley, and triticale. The immune response to gluten in the body after its ingestion creates toxins that lead to inflammation of villi in the intestine responsible for the absorption of nutrients. This results in malnutrition and other serious health complications. Celiac disease is often confused with gluten intolerance or gluten insensitivity. Although there might be similar symptoms, the latter does not show an immune response causing damage to the small intestine. 

The signs and symptoms of celiac disease tend to vary to a great extent in children and adults. Here are some of the most common symptoms seen in celiac disease that are helpful in the identification of the condition: 

Celiac Disease Signs in Children:

A young boy brushing his teeth

 In children suffering from celiac disease, gastrointestinal problems like abdominal bloating, chronic diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, weight loss, and foul-smelling stool can be observed. Further, the ill effects of the disease due to malabsorption may extend to their growth and development leading to irritability, fatigue, delayed growth, short stature, dental enamel defects, and even attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Infants might show the first signs of the disease shortly after the start of solid food intake. Along with intestinal symptoms, rashes around elbows, buttocks, and knees may be seen. 

Celiac disease signs in adults: 

Some of the most common symptoms of ingestion of gluten in the form of food or medicines in people with Celiac disease may include unexplained iron-deficiency anemia, heartburn, joint pain, arthritis, osteoporosis, fatty liver, depression or anxiety, peripheral neuropathy, seizures, migraines, infertility, canker sores inside the mouth, and weight loss. 

Final Recommendations 

The disease symptoms may vary depending on a person’s immunity, the amount of gluten intake, and the severity of intestinal damage. People at risk should always check the food or medicinal products for the gluten-free label. Fruits, vegetables, fish, and other seafood, dairy, rice, quinoa, meat, nuts, and beans are always gluten-free and help heal damaged small intestine. First-degree relatives, irrespective of the presence or absence of symptoms, should be screened, as there is a risk of developing the disease. Above mentioned are a few celiac disease signs that are the markers for identifying the condition and seeking medical help. 

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