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WHAT IS CELIAC DISEASE?                                                                           Page 1


Our main purpose is to get the word about Celiac disease out there. 1 in every 133 people have it, and most don’t even know it yet.

Celiac disease is an inherited, autoimmune disease in which the lining of the small intestine is damaged from eating gluten and other proteins found in wheat, barley, rye, and possibly oats.

The symptoms of celiac disease can vary significantly from person to person. This is part of the reason the diagnosis is frequently delayed. For example, one person may have constipation, a second may have diarrhea, and a third may have no irregularity in stools at all. Many people think that it’s just a food allergy, but in fact it is a neurological disease.

Some gastrointestinal symptoms may include:
• Abdominal pain
• Abdominal distention, bloating, gas, indigestion
• Constipation
• Decreased appetite (may also be increased or unchanged)
• Diarrhea, chronic or occasional
• Lactose intolerance (common upon diagnosis, usually goes away following treatment)
• Nausea and vomiting
• Stools that float, are foul smelling, bloody, or “fatty”
• Unexplained weight loss (although people can be overweight or of normal weight upon diagnosis)

Some of the non-intestinal symptoms are:
• Anemia(low blood count)
• Bone and joint pain
• Bone disease (osteoporosis, kyphoscoliosis, fracture)
• Breathlessness (due to anemia)
• Bruising easily
• Dental enamel defects and discoloration
• Depression
• Fatigue
• Growth delay in children
• Hair loss
• Hypoglycemia (low blood sugar)
• Irritability and behavioral changes
• Malnutrition
• Mouth ulcers
• Muscle cramps
• Nosebleed
• Seizures
• Short stature, unexplained
• Skin disorders (dermatitis herpetiformis)
• Swelling, general or abdominal
• Vitamin or mineral deficiency, single or multiple nutrient (for example, iron, folate, vitamin K)


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