Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that is triggered by the intake of gluten — a protein inherent in wheat, barley, and rye. The body responds by attacking the small intestine, which damages the nutrient-absorbing villi that line it. As a result, many people with celiac disease report bloating, diarrhea, gas, weight loss, or fatigue after consuming gluten.
But symptoms of celiac disease tend to differ by age. Only a third of adults are aware of their gastrointestinal issues, and many others instead report unexplained fatigue, joint pain, or depression. Digestive symptoms such as constipation, abdominal bloating, and vomiting are more likely to be present in children and adolescents.
The diverse range of symptoms associated with celiac disease makes it difficult to properly identify. As a result, it’s estimated that 80 percent of the celiac disease population is undiagnosed. That’s why it’s important to be able to recognize the less commonly publicized symptoms. If celiac disease goes untreated it can become dangerous or even life-threatening with long-term complications including cancer, osteoporosis, and iron deficiency.
Here are 6 unexpected signs you actually have celiac disease.