Symptoms of Celiac disease, Causes, Treatment and Diet

Introduction - Celiac Meaning: Celiac disease or “CD” is a common genetic disorder that affects millions of people in the INDIA. Yet this condition often goes diagnosed, leading to chronic health problems. Lack of awareness is the top challenge preventing patients from understanding this disease and taking action to improve their wellbeing.

Symptoms of Celiac disease, Causes, Treatment and Diet

This autoimmune disease is caused by an abnormal response to gluten, a protein found in grains such as wheat, rye, and barley. The body’s immune reaction causes irritation in the small intestine, reducing the absorption of nutrition from food. Chronic disease is the result of tissue inflammation and nutrient malabsorption.

CD only occurs in people who are genetically predisposed, and it tends to run in families. However, not everyone with the specific genes linked to the disease will develop symptoms. Although some people become symptomatic as children, others develop the disease much later in life.

People with celiac disease cannot eat gluten. The disease can cause long-term digestive problems and keep you from getting the nutrients you need.

Celiac disease can be very serious and cause digestive problems that are long-lasting and keep your body from getting all the nutrients human body needs. Celiac disease also affects the body outside the intestine.

What is Gluten?

Gluten is a protein. Gluten found naturally in wheat, barley, and rye. It is common in foods such as bread, pasta, cookies, and cakes.

Many pre-packaged foods, lip balms and lipsticks, hair and skin products, toothpaste, vitamin and nutrient supplements, and, rarely, medicines, contain gluten.


Celiac disease has numerous symptoms. Different people will experience the disease in different ways because the symptoms vary greatly from one person to another.

Symptoms for Children

Children with celiac disease tend to have digestive problems. Common celiac symptoms in children include:
  • Growth problems.
  • Decreased appetite and failure to gain weight.
  • Chronic diarrhea, which can be bloody.
  • Abdominal bloating and pain.
  • Fatigue.
  • Vomiting
  • Irritability

Symptoms for Teenagers

For teens with celiac disease, symptoms may not occur until they're triggered by something stressful, such as:
  • Leaving home for college.
  • Suffering an injury or illness.
  • Pregnancy.

Common symptoms for teenagers include:
  • Delayed puberty
  • Growth problems
  • Abdominal pain and bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Weight loss
  • Fatigue
  • Irritability
  • Depression
  • Dermatitis herpetiformis (itchy skin that looks like eczema or poison ivy)
  • Mouth sores

celiac disease symptoms

Symptoms for Adults

Common celiac symptoms fo adults include:
  • Iron deficiency.
  • Bone or joint pain.
  • Depression or anxiety.
  • Bone loss or osteoporosis.
  • Tingling numbness in hands and feet.
  • Arthritis
  • Seizures
  • Erratic menstrual periods
  • Dermatitis herpetiformis


Celiac disease occurs from an interaction between genes, eating foods with gluten and other environmental factors, but the precise cause is not known.

Risk Factors

Celiac disease can affect anyone. However, it tends to be more common in people who have:
  • A family member with celiac disease or dermatitis herpetiformis.
  • Type 1 diabetes.
  • Down syndrome or Turner syndrome.
  • Addison disease.
  • Rheumatoid arthritis.

How to diagnose

Celiac disease is a condition that involves your body's reaction to the protein gluten, which is found in the common grains wheat, barley, and rye.

If you are not eating gluten-containing foods or not eating enough of them it is possible for the testing to come up negative, even if you actually do have celiac disease.

Therefore, you should continue eating a normal diet, with gluten-containing foods several times a day, until all your testing is completed.

First Step in diagnosis: Blood Tests

The celiac disease blood tests look for antibodies that show your immune system's response to the gluten in your diet-–that is why we need to be eating gluten when we are tested for celiac disease.

Next Step: Endoscopy and Intestinal Biopsy

If your celiac disease blood tests come back positive or if they are negative, but you and your physician agree on the need for further testing anyway your next step is a procedure known as an endoscopy.

This usually is performed by a gastroenterologist, one of the many types of doctors who treat celiac disease.

Process in Endoscopy

In an endoscopy, an instrument with a tiny camera attached is threaded down your throat so your physician can look directly at the lining of your small intestine to see if villous atrophy is present.

Process in Intestinal Biopsy

However, to confirm the diagnosis, the surgeon also will use the instrument to take tiny samples of your intestine.

Because damage from celiac disease can be patchy, the surgeon should take at least four to six samples.

celiac disease symptoms diet
Celiac Disease Diagnosis Means Gluten-Free Diet

Positive test results for celiac disease on your endoscopy and biopsy means you definitely have the condition and must follow the gluten-free diet for life.

Negative testing, meanwhile, does not mean you definitely do not have a problem with gluten.

You can test negative on celiac blood tests and biopsy and still suffer from problems related to gluten ingestion.

Foods for the Celiac Diet

Celiac disease is a sort of serious food allergy. A celiac disease diet, meaning one that is strictly gluten-free and high in bioavailable nutrients, helps manage symptoms, rebuild the GI Cooking more at home is the best way to control your exposure to gluten.

Keep in mind that when cooking or prepping ingredients, it is important to avoid cross-contact with foods that have gluten. tract and lower risk for long-term complications.

The best way to manage celiac disease symptoms and prevent future health problems is to follow a strict gluten-free diet, along with improving overall immune function through preventing nutrient deficiencies, reducing stress and getting enough sleep.

Fruits and vegetables are the cornerstone of any healthy diet and are naturally gluten-free.

Healthy fats: Sources include ghee or butter, avocado, virgin coconut, grape seed, virgin olive, flaxseed, avocado, hemp, and pumpkin oils.

Nuts and seeds: Good sources of healthy fats, fiber, omega-3 fats and minerals, almonds, walnuts, flaxseeds, hemp, chia seeds, pumpkin, sesame, and sunflower are all good options.

Dairy (organic and raw is best) • Legumes, beans, and gluten-free whole grains Bone Broth • Gluten-free alcohol: Sources include most (but not all) wines or hard liquors.

Celiac-Foods to avoid

The single most important thing to do on a celiac disease diet is to avoid all products containing wheat, barley or rye. Gluten makes up about 80 percent of the protein found in these three grains.

All products containing wheat, barley, rye: Avoid all products that contain wheat, couscous, semolina, rye, barley, and even oats.

Processed carbohydrate foods: These are often made with refined wheat flour, but even those that are not predominately wheat-based can have gluten because some gluten-free grains can experience cross-contamination during manufacturing.

Examples of processed carbs to avoid include bread, pasta, cookies, cakes, snack bars, cereals, rolls, buns, pie crusts, phyllo dough, baking flours and so on.

Beer and malt alcohol: These are made with barley or wheat.

Bottled condiments and sauces: It is important to read food labels very carefully and avoid products made with additive ingredients that contain even small traces of gluten.

Processed fats: These include hydrogenated and partially hydrogenated oils, trans fats and refine vegetable oils that raise inflammation, including corn oil, soybean oil, and canola oil.

Added sugars: High in calories, they can worsen inflammation and deplete the body of nutrients.

Most baking flours • In some cases, even gluten-free grains

Common Gluten Containing products

If experiencing gluten intolerance symptoms, given products should be avoided.

The following grains and starches contain gluten:
  • Wheat
  • Wheat germ
  • Rye
  • Barley
  • Bulgur
  • Couscous
  • Farina
The following foods often contain gluten:
  • Soups
  • Commercial bullion and broths
  • Cold cuts
  • Ketchup
  • Ice cream
  • Hot dogs
  • Beer
  • Oats
The following are miscellaneous sources of gluten:
  • Shampoos
  • Cosmetics lipsticks, lip balm
  • Medications
  • Non-self-adhesive stamps and envelopes
  • Vitamins and supplements (check label)

Benefit of Exercise

Keep your weight under control: It’s not uncommon for patients with celiac disease to suffer from weight variations, either losing weight because of malabsorption or gaining weight because of a diet rich in processed foods.

In either case, regular exercise will help you achieve and maintain a healthy weight.

Reduce the risk of depression: Engaging in exercise helps improve self-esteem and reduces the risk of depression. This is a consequence of endorphins released by the brain, which trigger positive feelings and reduce pain.

For celiac disease patients, at a higher risk of developing depression and other mood disorders, regular exercise can help reduce stress and decrease anxiety.

Sleep better: Most people who exercise are familiar with the advantages it provides to sleep patterns.

Less stress and tension means that you can more easily fall asleep and stay asleep longer so that you will feel refreshed and feel better.

Ways to Gain Weight with this Disease

Eat More Calories: Increase the number of other grains in your diet. Try quinoa, brown rice, amaranth, buckwheat and millet for side dishes.

Flavor them with chopped onion, garlic, herbs or cook them in chicken broth to offer more flavor. Have an extra serving or 2 at dinner to increase caloric intake.

Eat every few hours: There’s no magic to this, but if you are trying to get in extra calories it’s often easier to split them up over the day, rather than stuffing yourself at ones.

Carbohydrate Sources: One of the most difficult macronutrients to supplement your diet with when suffering from Celiac is carbohydrates.

Consuming carbohydrates but, is important if your goal is weight gain.

Purchase bread, pasta, waffles and cereals made from gluten-free grains.

Fat Sources: The fat-soluble vitamins, A, D, E, and K are commonly low in sufferers of celiac disease. Supplementing your diet with age or gender-specific vitamin and mineral supplement should be useful to your overall health.

Drink More Milk if Not Lactose Intolerant: You can definitely put on weight by drinking whole fat milk in volumes. It is full of high protein and calories required for building muscle. It is a very simple method to put on weight easily.

Exercise: Exercise is essential. “Exercise goes hand-in-hand with a healthy, balanced diet in order to maintain a healthy weight.

How to Avoid Weight Gain (Celiac)

Eat a varied diet: Anyone who consumes an excessive amount of any high-calorie item, like pasta, will gain weight, whether it’s gluten-free or regular.

Snack wisely: Eat popcorn instead of gluten-free fried chips. Make a homemade trail mix with gluten-free granola, dried fruits, nuts, and seeds instead of munching on gluten-free pretzels.

Choose low-fat: Use Gluten-free products when possible.

Increase fiber intake: Fiber helps people feel fuller longer, and since many gluten-free products are low in fiber they may not be fully satisfying. Eating more fruits and vegetables can help keep hunger at bay.

Watch serving sizes: It means a serving size of traditional packaged cookies might be two, whereas with a gluten-free product it would be one.

Be a detective: Watch out for added calories in recipes. When possible, use yogurt or low-fat sour cream instead of margarine or butter.

celiac disease symptoms


Can this condition be treated?

There are currently no medical treatments that can normalize the body’s response to gluten. Medications and supplements can sometimes help reduce acute symptoms over the short term.

At this time, the only effective celiac disease treatment is a change in diet to eliminate foods that contain gluten. Patients who succeed in removing all gluten from their diet are often able to control or eliminate their symptoms.

However, restoring good health can be a lengthy process. While children often recover quickly, adults may need longer to adjust after decades of gluten exposure. The intestine may take months or years to heal from the damage of the celiac disease.

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