Do I Have Celiac Disease? What are the Symptoms?

Last updated: May 21, 2021

Contributed by:
Richard Honaker M.D.
Primary Care Physician
View Full Profile

Celiac disease affects one in 133 Americans. That’s about one percent of the U.S. population. This autoimmune disorder normally causes digestive health issues, but symptoms can also be found outside of digestive health.

Celiac Disease is Genetic

Did you know that celiac disease could be genetically inherited? Eating gluten, such as rye, wheat, barley, often causes celiac disease. In fact, if you have a family member who has celiac disease, you have a 1 in 22 chance of having it too.

How do you know you have celiac disease? It is definitely hard to diagnose. Let’s take a closer look at the signs and symptoms you can be on the lookout for.

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Celiac Disease Symptoms

There are actually over 200 symptoms. For adults, these symptoms will not always be digestive issues. From malabsorption to neurological, symptoms of this disease can be tricky to pinpoint.

Intestinal Symptoms:

  • Stomach pain
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Intestinal blockage
  • Intestine and stomach ulcers

Malabsorption Symptoms:

  • Fatigue
  • Anemia (iron deficiency)
  • Weight loss
  • Joint pain
  • Arthritis and osteoporosis
  • Hair loss
  • Loss of appetite

Neurological Symptoms:

  • Tingling or pain in hands and feet
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • Migraines and headaches
  • Seizures

Reproductive Symptoms:

  • Period problems (missed periods)
  • Impotence
  • Early onset menopause
  • Infertility
  • Miscarriages

Celiac Symptoms Vary By Person

One of the most frustrations doctors share is that celiac disease symptoms vary by person. There are, however, factors that can explain some of the irregular symptoms people experience.

Factors include:

  • Length of breastfeeding (longer breastfeeding leads to late onset symptoms)
  • Age when you began eating gluten foods
  • The amount of gluten you consume
  • Damage done by the disease
  • Your age

Are You Experiencing Symptoms?

If you are experiencing any of the above symptoms, it may be time to talk to a doctor. You may not have celiac disease, but you may have a health issue that shares the disease’s symptoms.

If you have questions, our doctors have answers. Our FREE Dr. Chat makes talking to a general physician doctor easy. You can do it from your home, office, during your commute, and more. Simply click below and begin chatting with a doctor in minutes.


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Submitted by Dr. Richard Honaker:

Disclaimer: This article provides general information and is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure any disease or medical condition. If you require specific advice, please consult one of our medical professionals through the app. However, in case of an emergency, please call 911.

About Richard Honaker M.D.

Dr. Richard Honaker has over 40 years of experience as a primary care physician specializing in several different areas of medicine. He is able to provide expert case review and analysis for insurance and workers compensation cases as well as providing online medical consultations as the Chief Medical Advisor for Your Doctors Online.

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