Coeliac disease: signs and symptoms

People often think that a having a wheat intolerance is the same as having coeliac (or celiac) disease. Not so.

In fact, coeliac disease is actually an autoimmune disease where your body’s immune system attacks its own tissues. Not nice. And if you’re someone who’s suffering from coeliac disease this reaction is triggered by gluten – the wheat protein found in wheat, barley and rye. (Sufferers may also be sensitive to oats.)

So how do you know if you have coeliac disease? Signs and symptoms vary from person to person and can range from mildly irritating and uncomfortable to downright debilitating. And of course, some of the signs and symptoms of coeliac disease are also really similar to irritable bowel syndrome; wheat intolerance; stress; anaemia; chronic fatigue syndrome; and too many nights on the town!

One coeliac disease sufferer may have bloating and diarrhoea. Whilst another may have irritability and nausea. And of course it’s entirely possible to have no signs or symptoms of coeliac disease at all. But if not treated a sufferer will ultimately suffer malnutrition as the disease stops nutrients being absorbed.

So what are the some of the signs and symptoms of coeliac disease?

  • Bloating
  • Nausea
  • Abdominal pain
  • Diarrhoea
  • Wind
  • Indigestion
  • Constipation
  • Tiredness
  • Mouth ulcers
  • Depression
  • Infertility
  • Joint ache and bone pain
  • Weight loss or weight gain
  • Osteoporosis
  • Muscle cramps
  • Tooth discoloration
  • Itchy skin

If you think you have coeliac disease or have any of the signs or symptoms above we recommend you seek medical advice from your doctor as soon as possible.

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