Celiac Disease: The Symptoms in Adults and Kids

Doctor playing with baby

Celiac disease, also known as gluten intolerance, is a digestive disease that harms the small intestine. It causes damage to this particular organ; thus, restricting nutrient absorption from food. People who have celiac disease need help because they are unable to stomach gluten that is a protein mainly found in barley, rye, and wheat. Gluten is also in everyday products, including lip balms, medicines, and vitamins.

If they consume gluten, their immune system reacts by attacking the small intestine’s linings and impairing the villi, which let food nutrients absorb through the intestine’s walls and into the bloodstream. Its symptoms depend on the age of the patient because many people have more than one indicator. The most common is chronic diarrhea, and 85 percent of patients experience it.

Symptoms in young children and infants:

  • Weight loss
  • Abdominal pain and bloating
  • Highly odorous, fatty or pale stool
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Chronic diarrhea

Symptoms in adults:

  • An itchy skin rash
  • Unexplained iron-deficiency anemia
  • Anxiety, fatigue or depression
  • Canker sores inside the mouth
  • Joint or bone pain, arthritis
  • Recurrent miscarriage or infertility
  • Osteoporosis or bone loss
  • Burning numbness in the feet and hands
  • Missed menstrual periods
  • Seizures

Although others do not even show symptoms at all, they can still get complications from the disorder as time passes. A patient can also be sensitive to gluten without the immune system damaging the small intestine. Signs of gluten sensitivity are commonly gentler than observed in celiac disorder. Still, indications of gluten insensitivity develop with a gluten-restricted or gluten-free diet.

Celiac disease is a severe disease, and if ignored, it can cause many complications. These include liver disease, cancer, diabetes, pancreatic disorders, rheumatoid arthritis, anemia, lactose intolerance, and other disorders. Problems from celiac disorder usually arise years after the diagnosis.

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