People that have to endure Celiac disease may suffer from one or more of the following unpleasant symptoms:
* wind and flatulence
* persistent diarrhoea
* recurring abdominal pains and bloating
* fatty, foul-smelling or pale stool
* weight gain/weight loss
* unexplained anaemia(a lack of red blood cells in the body, which causes fatigue)
* bone or joint pain
* osteoporosis, osteopenia
* behavioural changes
* tingling numbness in the legs(this is caused by nerve damage)
* muscle cramps
* missed menstrual periods (often related to the excessive weight loss listed above)
* infertility, recurrent miscarriage
* delayed growth
* failure to thrive in infants
* pale sores inside the mouth, called aphthous ulcers
* tooth discolouration or loss of enamel
* itchy rash called dermatitis herpetiformis
Some Celiac disease sufferers may have none of these symptoms but in some ways this is worse as they often go undiagnosed and untreated while this illness damages their small intestine. Most, if not all, of the symptoms can be alleviated with the correct treatment.
Celiac disease is known for damaging the small intestine, thus, being a digestive disease. It can alter the amounts of nutrients the body absorbs from food which can leave sufferers malnourished and lacking the essential vitamins they need to be able to function properly. Sufferers of Celiac Disease experience an intolerance to a type of protein, the name of which being gluten.
Gluten is found in small quantities in nearly every food but especially in wheat, rye and barley. Not only can they be discovered in foods but in everyday products as well, for example, envelope and stamp adhesive, medicines and vitamins.
Celiac disease is genetic (it runs in families) and can be triggered by having surgery, being pregnant, childbirth, viral infection or severe emotional stress. Celiac disease is also known as celiac sprue, nontropical sprue and gluten - sensitive enteropathy. It is considered an autoimmune disorder as it is the body's own immune system which causes the damage to the small intestine.