Celiac disease is characterized by damage to the lining of the small intestines. The celiac disease symptoms that are most common are malabsorption of fat, protein, and carbohydrates. Celiac disease is caused by a reaction to gluten. Gluten is found in a variety of foods such as wheat, triticale, rye, and barley. There currently is no cure for celiac disease other than avoiding foods with gluten in it.
The body may have trouble absorbing important dietary nutrients such as protein, carbohydrates, and fat. Those with celiac disease generally have the most difficulties absorbing fat. Fat malabsorption usually causes diarrhea, increased smelly flatulence, and bloating in the abdominal region. Fat is not absorbed into the body; therefore it passes through the digestive tract and ends up in the stool, resulting in fatty stools.
Celiac Disease Symptoms Exposed
The fatty stools are usually foul smelling, greasy, and either a light grey or tan colour. Undigested fat may be seen as oil droplets floating in the toilet water.
Some individuals may be unable to absorb carbohydrates. Malabsorption of carbohydrates usually occurs when one ingests dairy products. The lactose in the dairy is unable to be broken down into its most basic form of glucose and galactose. Without being broken down, the body is unable to absorb or use these nutrients. Celiac disease symptoms associated with lactose include diarrhea, increased flatulence, abdominal bloating and pain.
Those with celiac disease may be suffering from malnutrition. The absence of absorbing vitamins and minerals properly can lead to weight loss and fluid retention. Weight loss may not always occur because the individual may be eating more. Also, fluid is retained in the body due to the low levels of protein in the blood. This causes fluid to leak into tissues, especially one’s feet and ankles.
Osteoporosis can occur when the body lacks vitamin D and calcium. This makes the body more susceptible to bone fractures. Also, iron and vitamin B12 can cause anemia.
Nerve damage can also occur when one’s body cannot absorb vitamin B12 and thiamine. Nerve damage can cause symptoms such as muscle weakness, tingling, numbness, and poor balance. Muscle weakness is also associated with malabsorption of magnesium and potassium. Some people may feel chronically tired and others may develop a rash from gluten intolerance. This rash is known as dermatitis herpetiformis.
Women with celiac disease may have a higher chance of infertility and may have spontaneous abortions, and abnormal menstrual periods.
It is important that your doctor diagnoses your celiac disease symptoms because lots of the symptoms resemble other gastrointestinal diseases.
Celiac Disease Symptoms