Celiac Disease Health Center

The symptoms of celiac disease vary from person to person - a reason why it is not always diagnosed right away. Often times the symptoms occur in the digestive system - especially in young children and infants.

Digestive symptoms include:

  • abdominal pain and bloating
  • weight loss
  • change in appetite
  • vomiting
  • chronic diarrhea
  • stools that are pale or fatty
  • constipation

During childhood, malabsorption of nutrients may cause other symptoms such as:

  • irritability
  • delayed growth
  • short stature
  • dental enamel defects
  • delayed puberty

Adults usually experience different symptoms and are less likely to have digestive issues. These include:

  • iron-deficiency anemia
  • pain in the bones or joints
  • depression or anxiety
  • seizures
  • numb and tingling feeling in hands and feet
  • irregular menstrual cycle
  • arthritis
  • bone loss
  • osteoporosis
  • fatigue
  • canker sores inside the mouth
  • an itching skin rash referred to as dermatitis herpetiformis

It is also possible for people with celiac disease to not have any symptoms. However, symptoms may develop over time. 

The long term complications of celiac disease are malnutrition, liver diseases, and intestinal cancers.

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Review Date: 
June 13, 2012
Last Updated:
June 30, 2013