Celiac Awareness Month – What are the first signs and symptoms of celiac disease?

May, as you may know, is Celiac Awareness Month.   To show our support to Celiac Awareness Month (http://www.celiaccentral.org/awarenessmonth/) we are running a discussion blog on the early signs and symptoms of celiac disease.

If you are concerned about any of these symptoms it is vital that you visit a physician as soon as


possible.  It is a serious condition which can lead to extreme weight loss and failure to thrive in children.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition which impacts the small intestine.  It is caused by an adverse reaction to gluten and similar proteins.

The early signs and symptoms of celiac disease are;

  • Diarrhoea is the most important symptom.  The diarrhoea is pale in colour, there is lots of it and it smells disgusting.
  • This may also be accompanied by abdominal pain and “stomach cramps”.
  • The belly area may become extended  because of the increase in the production of bowel gas.
  • Because of the damage to the bowel the patient may become lactose intolerant or react badly to the dairy products.
  • Fatigue is also possible as the body can no longer absorb vital nutrients.
  • Celiac is associated with an increased chance of developing certain cancers.  They include small intestine cancer and lymphoma of the small bowel.

Obviously there are a number of other signs and symptoms of celiac disease but it should be noted that some suffers show no symptoms.

Are you a Celiac?  If so it would be great if you could share your story with our readers.  In particular we are interested in the following question?

  1. How long have you been diagnosed with celiac disease?  How long did it take for you to get a diagnosis?
  2. What were you main symptoms of celiac disease?
  3. How did you treat your celiac disease?
  4. How successful has the treatment been?
  5. What advice would you give to somebody who has just been diagnosed with celiac disease?

Please treat these questions as just a guide and do include anything you think may be of interest to our readers.  Especially links to useful sites such as recipes or blogs.

One interesting point is that British and the Americans use different spelling for the condition.  In the UK we normally spell it as Coeliac.  But of course both are correct!

Thanks in advance for your help!