Celiac disease is a type of autoimmune disease that is inherited, and causes damage to the small intestine when gluten and other forms of proteins that is found in wheat, rye, barley, and in some cases, oats, is eaten.
Since symptoms of celiac disease can vary a great deal from patient to patient, a delay in a proper diagnosis is quite common. While many cases of celiac disease go undiagnosed, it is estimated that nearly one in one hundred thirty three people suffer with the condition. In some people, constipation may be the main symptom, while in others diarrhea is, and yet in many others, there is no stool irregularity.
Other common symptoms of celiac disease include: abdominal pain, gas, bloating, indigestion, a distended stomach, nausea, vomiting, a decrease in appetite, an intolerance to lactose, weight loss that cannot be explained, and stools that float, have blood in them, appear fatty, or are quite foul smelling.
Other non digestive related symptoms include: bruising easily, pain in the joints or bones, depression, children with growth delays, hair loss, fatigue, malnutrition, changes in behavior, anemia, irritability, skin problems, seizures, ulcers in the mouth, decrease in bone density, muscle cramps, swelling, hypoglycemia, nose bleeds, difficulty breathing or catching the breath, defects in tooth enamel or discolorations, and deficiencies in vitamins or minerals such as folate, vitamin K, or iron.