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Colleton Medical Center
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Symptoms of Celiac Disease

Symptoms of celiac disease can vary in type and/or severity. Symptoms can start as soon as gluten is introduced into the diet, or they may not develop until adulthood. Children often have different symptoms than adults. Symptoms may not develop (or may be mild) if a large section of the intestine is undamaged. Malnutrition may produce the first signs of the condition, which are often the most serious. Some people with celiac disease have no symptoms of it. Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Weight loss
  • Abdominal cramps, bloating, and gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Foul-smelling, light-colored, oily stool
  • Change in appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Anemia
  • Bone problems, such as:
  • Reproductive system problems, such as missed menstrual periods and infertility
  • Dermatological problems, such as:
    • Cracked sores in the corners of the mouth—angular cheilitis
    • Skin rash, especially dermatitis herpetiformis (a gluten-sensitive skin rash)
    • Shallow sores in the mucous membranes of the mouth—aphthous ulcers
  • Neuro-psychological problems, such as:
  • Muscle cramps and joint pain
  • Dental problems, related to malabsorption of calcium and vitamin D
  • Failure to thrive (in infants)

Revision Information

  • Reviewer: Daus Mahnke, MD
  • Review Date: 12/2015 -
  • Update Date: 12/20/2014 -
  • Celiac disease. EBSCO DynaMed website. Available at: http://www.ebscohost.com/dynamed. Updated December 11, 2015. Accessed December 31, 2015.

  • Celiac disease (gluten enteropathy). Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gastrointestinal-disorders/malabsorption-syndromes/celiac-disease. Updated May 2014. Accessed December 31, 2015.

  • Celiac disease: Symptoms. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at: http://familydoctor.org/familydoctor/en/diseases-conditions/celiac-disease/symptoms.html. Updated April 2014. Accessed December 31, 2015.

  • What I need to know about celiac disease. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: http://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/health-topics/digestive-diseases/celiac-disease/Pages/ez.aspx. Updated September 2013. Accessed December 31, 2015.