Celiac Disease Symptoms In Adults, Children

celiac disease symptoms

You are probably thinking celiac disease is an adult disorder only right? Well no, celiac can affect adults and children alike. Symptoms of celiac disease include various gastrointestinal issues such as abdominal pain, flatulence (gas), bloating, diarrhea, and constipation. However celiac can involve other body systems such as the skeletal system with bone pain and muscle aches.

Celiac can also affect the nervous system, cause a “foggy” feeling, celiac can affect the heart and liver. Since celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder, celiac also affects the immune system.

Some celiac disease symptoms may be subtle and therefore go undiagnosed for some time until celiac disease testing is done. In children, celiac disease symptoms usually include poor growth (failure to thrive), abdominal distention or bloating from gas often after meals, chronic diarrhea with failure to gain weight as expected for age and height, celiac can present with one or more of these signs. Additional celiac disease symptoms in children include delayed puberty or failure to start menstruation (periods).

Celiac Disease Symptoms In Adults

Celiac Disease

In adults, celiac disease symptoms may be different from celiac in children. Some celiac disease symptoms in adults include weight loss and a bloated feeling after meals. Anemia is a common celiac disease symptom as well as bone or joint pain, tingling, or numbness in the hands and feet.

In men, celiac disease symptoms can include infertility or impotence. In celiac women, celiac can cause difficulty conceiving a baby, miscarriages, and premature births.

Celiac Disease Symptoms In Children

Celiac Disease

Celiac disease symptoms in children include celiac diarrhea, celiac can also present with abdominal pain and distention (a large, bloated belly). Mood swings and unusual behavior changes can be celiac-associated too.

Tiredness and irritability may be celiac disease symptoms in children. Weakness or dizziness are possible celiac disease symptoms as well as a celiac rash (dermatitis herpetiformis) which is a celiac-associated skin condition, celiac can affect the bowel and or bone.

Celiac Disease Testing Information

If celiac disease symptoms are present celiac disease testing is performed celiac antibodies are found and celiac disease testing is positive for celiac disease. Blood celiac tests such as celiac blood tests and celiac antibody blood tests can be performed to screen for celiac disease.

If celiac disease symptoms are present and celiac disease testing is negative or celiac blood tests show no evidence of celiac then a biopsy and intestinal damage and villous atrophy in the small intestine will most likely need to be performed. The intestinal damage along with small bowel inflammation in most celiac patients with histological changes due to the immune attack against the lining of the small intestine with crypt hyperplasia, crypt distortion, papillary elongation, increased lamina propria chronic inflammatory cells (lymphocytes).

The celiac biopsy is a procedure to remove celiac tissue from the small intestine and a celiac disease diagnosis will confirm celiac disease. A celiac disease diet should then be started immediately and celiac patients must follow this for life as celiac cannot be cured, only treated.


Celiac disease symptoms can differ between adults and children, but some common celiac disease symptoms include gastrointestinal issues, poor growth, anemia, celiac rash, and mood swings. Celiac disease testing is done through blood tests to screen for celiac antibodies. If celiac disease is found, a celiac diet should be started immediately.

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