Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance

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Many people experience digestive and health problems caused by eating gluten or wheat.

Symptoms of celiac disease

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder in which your immune system responds abnormally to gluten. Gluten is present in wheat, barley, and rye. If you have celiac disease, eating gluten will cause your immune system to destroy your villi. These are the fingerlike parts of your small intestine that are responsible for absorbing nutrients. This can lead to malnutrition.

Adults and children often experience different symptoms due to celiac disease. Children will most commonly have digestive symptoms. These can include:

  • abdominal bloating and gas
  • chronic diarrhea
  • constipation
  • pale, foul-smelling stool
  • stomach pain
  • nausea and vomiting

The failure to absorb nutrients during critical years of growth and development can lead to other health problems. These can include:

  • failure to thrive in infants
  • delayed puberty in adolescents
  • short stature
  • irritability in mood
  • weight loss
  • dental enamel defects


    Adults are more likely to experience symptoms such as:

    • fatigue
    • anemia
    • depression and anxiety
    • osteoporosis
    • joint pain
    • headaches
    • canker sores inside the mouth
    • infertility or frequent miscarriages
    • missed menstrual periods
    • tingling in the hands and feet


    Recognizing celiac disease in adults can be difficult because its symptoms are often broad. They overlap with many other chronic conditions. It’s especially important to see a doctor in order to rule out celiac disease. Celiac disease can lead to severe health complications, especially in children.

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