15 Symptoms And Common Signs Of Celiac Disease

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Celiac disease, which was once known as celiac sprue, is an autoimmune disease that is causes gluten sensitivity or gluten-sensitive enteropathy. Because it’s an autoimmune disorder, this means that the immune system is defective and attacks its own tissues and organs. With celiac disease, a person has chronic gastrointestinal issues due to gluten, or more specifically, sensitivity to a portion of the protein called gliadin that happens to be found in wheat, barley and rye, as well as products made with gluten.
According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, celiac disease, ‘is estimated to affect 1 in 100 people worldwide. Two and one-half million Americans are undiagnosed and are at risk for long-term health complications.’ With gluten sensitivity, a patient’s immune system attacks the small intestines, damaging the villi, which are the ‘small fingerlike projections’ found there, leading to malabsorption. When left untreated, patients do not absorb nutrients properly and end up suffering from a number of dangerous side effects like lactose intolerance, pancreatic insufficiency, gall bladder malfunction, stomach cancer, and many others.
Celiac disease is hereditary, which means that you are more likely to get it if someone in your family has it. In fact, ‘people with a first-degree relative with celiac disease (parent, child, sibling) have a 1 in 10 risk of developing celiac disease’ at one point in their lives. It can happen at any time too, even from a very young age, but most patients tend to get diagnosed after the age of 20 already. More often than not, most celiac disease sufferers are only diagnosed 6 to 10 years after their symptoms first begin.
In order to better understand this difficult disorder, below are symptoms and common signs of celiac disease.

1. Bloating

The first telltale signs of celiac disease is bloating. In fact, one study showed that at least ‘73% of people reported feeling bloated prior to being diagnosed with the condition.’ Because it is a gastrointestinal issue that affects the small intestines, when they become inflamed, it results in bloating. Because the disease causes malabsorption issues, it creates unfavorable conditions within the gut that lead to intense and normally very painful bloating at that. While bloating can be due to a number of other gastrointestinal problems, getting checked by a doctor to get a proper diagnosis would be the best way to find out whether it is due to celiac disease or another medical issue altogether.