Carl R. Darnall Army Medical Center - Health Library

Symptoms of Celiac Disease

Symptoms of celiac disease can vary in type and/or severity. Symptoms can start as soon as gluten is introduced into the diet, or they may not develop until adulthood. Children often have different symptoms than adults. Symptoms may not develop (or may be mild) if a large section of the intestine is undamaged. Malnutrition may produce the first signs of the condition, which are often the most serious. Some people with celiac disease have no symptoms of it. Signs and symptoms may include:

  • Weight loss
  • Abdominal cramps, bloating, and gas
  • Diarrhea
  • Foul-smelling, light-colored, oily stool
  • Change in appetite
  • Fatigue
  • Anemia
  • Bone problems such as:
  • Reproductive system problems, such as missed menstrual periods and infertility
  • Skin problems such as:
    • Cracked sores in the corners of the mouth—angular cheilitis
    • Skin rash, especially dermatitis herpetiformis (a gluten-sensitive skin rash)
    • Shallow sores in the mucous membranes of the mouth—aphthous ulcers
  • Neuro-psychological problems such as:
  • Muscle cramps and joint pain
  • Dental problems, related to malabsorption of calcium and vitamin D
  • Failure to thrive (in infants)
REFERENCES:

Celiac disease. American Academy of Family Physicians Family Doctor website. Available at: https://familydoctor.org/condition/celiac-disease. Updated August 2017. Accessed January 10, 2018.

Celiac disease. EBSCO DynaMed Plus website. Available at:http://www.dynamed.com/topics/dmp~AN~T114570/Celiac-disease. Updated February 7, 2017. Accessed January 10, 2018.

Celiac disease. Merck Manual Professional Version website. Available at: http://www.merckmanuals.com/professional/gastrointestinal-disorders/malabsorption-syndromes/celiac-disease. Updated May 2016. Accessed January 10, 2018.

Celiac disease. National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases website. Available at: https://www.niddk.nih.gov/health-information/digestive-diseases/celiac-disease. Accessed January 10, 2018.

Last reviewed December 2017 by EBSCO Medical Review Board Daus Mahnke, MD  Last Updated: 12/20/2014