GIG of North Texas

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Celiac Disease Symptoms

Celiac disease was once thought of a disease with only GI symptoms.  It is now recognized that the disease is a multi-symptom, multi-system (organ) disease.  Celiac disease also does not routinely present with the ‘textbook’ symptoms that physicians learn.  More often it presents with symptoms that can mimic other problems.

Most physicians recognize the classic symptoms of celiac disease: diarrhea, bloating, weight loss, anemia, chronic fatigue, weakness, bone pain and muscle cramps.  Physicians may not be aware that celiac disease frequently presents with other symptoms, some that do not involve the small intestine.  More often, symptoms can include constipation, constipation alternating with diarrhea or premature osteoporosis.  Overweight persons may also have undiagnosed celiac disease.

Children may exhibit behavioral, learning or concentration problems, irritability, diarrhea, bloated abdomen, growth failure, dental enamel defects or projectile vomiting.  Others will have symptoms such as rheumatoid conditions, chronic anemia, chronic fatigue, weakness, migraine headaches, nerve problems such as tingling of hands or difficulty walking or other conditions that are unexplained and/or do not respond to usual treatment.  People may have one or more of the above symptoms.

Patients are frequently misdiagnosed as having ‘irritable bowel syndrome’, ‘spastic colon/bowel’ or ‘Crohn’s disease’.

Dermatitis Herpetiformis Symptoms

The IgA deposits under the skin result in eruptions of red raised patches of skin, similar to the beginning of a pimple, that can develop into small watery blisters.  The itching and burning of the eruptions are severe and the urge to scratch them is intense.  Scratching will further irritate the eruptions.  Eruptions commonly occur on pressure points, such as around elbows, the front of the knees, the buttocks, back face and scalp but can appear anywhere on the body.

Eruptions are usually bilateral – occurring on both sides of the body.  60% of those diagnosed are men and the most common age at diagnosis is 15 to 40 years old.  Although it is uncommon to diagnose young children with DH, we are seeing more cases of early childhood DH.