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Celiac Disease - Symptoms

Symptoms of celiac disease vary widely and may come and go. They may be very mild and go completely unnoticed, or they may be severe and impact daily life.

Symptoms include:

  • Gas, abdominal swelling, and bloating. These symptoms result from a failure of the small intestine camera.gif to absorb nutrients from food. You may also have mild stomach pain, but it usually isn't severe.
  • Abnormal stools. Diarrhea or bulky, loose (or watery), pale, frothy, and foul-smelling stools often occur. The stools may contain a large amount of fat and may stick to the sides of the toilet bowl, making them hard to flush. Children and adults often have the same types of symptoms. But intestinal problems, such as constipation, are more likely to occur in children.
  • Weight loss. Adults and children may have unexplained weight loss despite having a normal appetite. Younger children may fail to gain weight and grow as expected. This is called failure to thrive.
  • Fatigue and weakness. Celiac disease can cause a general lack of energy and strength. Sometimes poor nutrient absorption causes fatigue and weakness.
  • Vomiting. Some people may get sick after eating gluten. Children are more likely than adults to have this reaction.

If not treated, celiac disease can lead to other problems. You may have problems with memory and concentration. Children may be more irritable. Adults may show signs of depression.

Symptoms of celiac disease also occur with some other conditions.

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WebMD Medical Reference from Healthwise

Last Updated: May 29, 2012
This information is not intended to replace the advice of a doctor. Healthwise disclaims any liability for the decisions you make based on this information.

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