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Did you know that 3 million Americans are living with celiac disease today? Yes, 3 million people or 1 in 133 people according to Dr. Alessio Fasano in his book, Gluten Freedom. The problem is most people who have celiac disease don’t know they have the it. In fact, 83 percent of people with celiac disease are undiagnosed according to the Celiac Disease Foundation.
Celiac disease is a real disease with serious health consequences if not treated. The only known treatment option is adherence to a strict gluten-free diet.
While many diseases require you to take a pill for life or endure risky surgeries or procedures, the only way to make your celiac symptoms dissipate or disappear is by changing what you eat (or don’t eat, I should say). Once people with celiac disease stop eating the trigger food (gluten), they stop destroying the lining of their small intestine.
Did you know that celiac disease is the only autoimmune disease in which the trigger (gluten) is known? Wouldn’t it be amazing if we knew the trigger for each diseases so people could do something about it as they with celiac disease? Then people could avoid the trigger vs. spend their lifetimes throwing money at drugs to treat what ails them!
I digress. The real reason you’re here is to learn the 30 most common celiac symptoms. These symptoms might indicate that you have celiac disease.
I am not a doctor nor should information in this post be used to diagnose any disorder. Please read my disclosures and disclaimers. If you suffer from one or more of these symptoms, please use this post as an opportunity to talk with your doctor, nutritionist, dietician and/or certified health coach.
30 Celiac Symptoms
1. Abdominal pain
2. Acid reflux and heartburn
5. Bloating and swollen belly
7. Canker sores and mouth ulcers (geographic tongue)
8. Dermatitis Herpetiformis (persistent itchy skin rash)
10. Hair loss (Alopecia Areata)
11. Tooth discoloration or enamel loss
12. ADD and ADHD
14. Brain fog
16. Headaches / Migraines
18. Joint pain
19. Fibromyalgia or muscle pain
20. Numbness in hands or feet
21. Osteoporosis or loss of bone density
22. Delayed puberty (for children)
24. Irregular menstruation
26. Anemia, often resulting in iron and vitamin deficiencies from malabsorption of food
28. Failure to thrive
29. Vitamin deficiencies
30. Weight loss
Do you think you have celiac disease? Learn how you can test yourself for celiac disease with a really cool at-home celiac disease blood screening test.
Should You Be Gluten-Free Without Celiac Disease?
Many conditions that are not diagnosed as celiac disease have be known to be helped by a gluten-free diet, and there is a strong link between gluten and autoimmune diseases. While many autoimmune diseases are rare, they affect approximately 8 percent of the US population or 24 million people according to Dr. O’Bryan in The Autoimmune Fix. He says autoimmune disease affects more people than cancer (9 million) or heart disease (22 million).
Dr. Tom O’Bryan discusses the relationship between gluten to the rise in autoimmune diseases in his book, The Autoimmune Fix, which I HIGHLY recommend.
Just because you don’t have celiac disease doesn’t mean you don’t have to be gluten-free. In fact, some researchers have shown that gluten is toxic to all human beings. In fact, gluten sensitivity is a real disorder with real life-long health consequences!! (Read 10 Gluten Sensitivity Symptoms [With or Without Celiac Disease] for more information on this topic.)
Many leading doctors in the gluten movement recommend getting tested for gluten sensitivity if you have a suspicion that gluten makes you sick or if you have a first degree relative with ANY autoimmune disease or gluten sensitivity.
All autoimmune related diseases (there are more than 100 of them according to the American Autoimmune Diseases Association) can be helped with a gluten-free diet, according to Dr. O’Bryan in The Autoimmune Fix, including but not limited to:
- Alopecia (hair loss)
- Alzheimer’s disease
- ALS (Lou Gehrig’s disease)
- Grave’s disease
- Inflammatory Bowel Disease (Crohn’s and colitis)
- Hashimoto’s Thyroiditis
- Multiple Sclerosis
- Nephropathies (kidney diseases)
- Neuropathies (brain and nervous system disease)
- Parkinson’s disease
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Sjogren’s Disease
- Thyroid disease
Additionally, research has shown that these other common conditions can be helped with a gluten-free diet:
- Acid reflux
Remember, talk to your doctor if you have any celiac symptoms. You can then work with a nutritionist, dietician or health coach that specializes in celiac disease and gluten sensitivity to get started on your gluten-free diet.