Signs & Symptoms

Celiac disease has over 200 known symptoms, ranging from no symptoms, to very severe neurological symptoms.

Signs and symptoms vary from person to person. Because of this, the disease can be very hard to diagnose. One person may have vomiting and diarrhea, while another person may have irritability or extreme fatigue. Some people with celiac disease have no symptoms at all.

These differences can make celiac disease really hard to diagnose, resulting in 85% of people undiagnosed or misdiagnosed with other conditions.

When celiac disease is left untreated, people can develop further complications such as osteoporosis, thyroid disease, cancers and other autoimmune conditions.

Take our Symptom Checklist

Think you may have celiac disease? Take our Symptom Checklist, share the results with your doctor and ask about getting tested.

Signs and Symptoms of Celiac Disease may include:

  • extreme fatigue
  • canker sores
  • diarrhea
  • constipation
  • anxiety
  • gas/flatulence
  • easy bruising of skin
  • migraines or headaches
  • stomach pain
  • vitamin deficiencies
  • low iron
  • miscarriages
  • infertility
  • depression
  • brain fog
  • frequent bone breaks, osteoporosis or osteopina
  • dental enamel defects
  • liver enzyme abnormalities
  • muscle cramps
  • numbness/tingling
  • bone/joint pain
  • lactose intolerance
  • dizziness
  • B12 deficiency
  • balance issues
  • skin rashes
  • bloating
  • itchy skin
  • weight loss

Signs and Symptoms of Celiac Disease in children may include:

  • constipation
  • chronic diarrhea
  • swollen belly
  • gas
  • pale, foul smelling stools
  • nausea and vomiting
  • irritability
  • short stature
  • failure to thrive (infants)
  • low iron
  • delayed puberty
  • damage to tooth enamel
  • headaches
  • learning disabilities
  • lack of muscle coordination
  • seizures

Asymptomatic or Silent Celiac Disease

When someone has no visible symptoms of celiac disease it is called “asymptomatic” or “silent celiac disease”. It is unclear why some people have symptoms while others do not. People with celiac disease who don’t experience symptoms will still have intestinal damage if they ingest gluten, even if they do not feel sick. 

Risk Factors for Celiac Disease

Celiac disease commonly occurs in patients with other autoimmune disorders, like thyroid disease, Type 1 diabetes, etc. It can also run in the family, both in first and second degree relatives. Upon diagnosis, relatives should be screened for celiac disease.

Signs & Symptoms of Dermatitis Herpetiformis or "Celiac Disease of the Skin"

The patients present with severely itchy blistering rash. The diagnosis can be confirmed with a skin biopsy. Treatment consists of strict gluten-free diet and, in some cases, medications.

Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity

Some people experience signs and symptoms of celiac disease, but upon investigation, don’t test positive for the disease. In this case, they are considered to have “non-celiac gluten sensitivity”. 

Additional Resources:

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