Celiac disease is difficult to diagnose. Many people spend years suffering with their symptoms before getting any confirmation that gluten is actually the culprit. This is because there are hundreds of signs and symptoms of the disease and many of them are so broad that they can be mistaken as indicators for other medical conditions.
Some people decide to take matters into their own hands and listen to what their body is telling them. If they experience the signs and symptoms of celiac disease, they stop eating gluten and assess if they start feeling better. Others will wait until they can get a proper celiac screening and make adjustments from there. It’s important to note that for accurate results, you should not stop eating gluten before a screening.
So what are some of the most common symptoms of celiac disease to watch out for?
1) Digestive Upset
If you’re experiencing bloating, gas, cramps, and inconsistent bowel movements, you’re suffering from some form of digestive issue. Whether or not gluten is to blame is hard to pinpoint without a screening and careful monitoring. Make note of how you feel after eating gluten-heavy meals and reach out to a medical professional for advice.
2) Nutritional Deficiencies
Having celiac disease means your small intestine is not absorbing nutrients properly. Over time, this can lead to nutritional deficiencies. If your blood work indicates iron-deficiency anemia or lower than average levels of vitamin K, or if you’ve been diagnosed with an autoimmune disease, it’s worth going in for a celiac screening or working with a professional on an elimination diet.
3) Skin Irritations
This is one of the symptoms you can actually see. Many people with celiac disease will experience itchy skin rashes as a result of consuming gluten. It’s important to note, though, that not everyone who has celiac will experience this and some people with celiac may be completely symptom-free. If you’re unsure, a screening is the only way to be certain.
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There are hundreds of signs and symptoms of celiac disease. Not everyone who has celiac disease will experience one or any of the symptoms though. On the other side, some people will experience many of the signs and symptoms of celiac disease, but their screening may be clear, meaning they suffer from gluten-intolerance instead. In both cases, a gluten-free diet can help people live their best lives.