The Anonymous Widower

Coeliac Symptoms

Before detailing how I was diagnosed, I will go through a list of symptoms that coeliacs can suffer from.

Coeliac disease has been called the Many Headed Hydra by doctors because it produces so many different symptoms.  I think that this is because gluten strips your gut and then you don’t take up the vitamins and nutrients that you need.   This is especially true with Vitamin B12, which is essential for good cell health.

Consequently, you will get a problem in any organ that needs that nutrient.

It’s a bit like expecting your car engine to run with low engine oil.  You can’t be sure where the problem will manifest itself.

I have taken this quote from the précis of a paper by M Hadjivassiliou, R A Grünewald and G A B Davies-Jones called Gluten Sensitivity: A Many Headed Hydra, that appeared in the British Medical Journal in June 1999.

Marsh’s “modern” definition of gluten sensitivity is to be recommended: “a state of heightened immunological responsiveness to ingested gluten in genetically susceptible individuals.” Such responsiveness may find expression in organs other than the gut. Gastroenterologists, dermatologists, neurologists, and other physicians need to be aware of these developments if the diagnosis and treatment of the diverse manifestations of gluten sensitivity are to be advanced. The aetiology of such diverse manifestations presents the next challenge.

I would endorse that as my experience of moderating the UK-Coeliac Yahoo Group gives me the impression, that a lot of coeliacs are misdiagnosed in a first instance, because of their symptoms.  The real cause is sometimes not found until many years later.

So what symptoms can you get?

  • Abdominal Distension in Children – *
  • Amenorrhea – Absence of menstrual periods in a woman
  • Bone and Joint Pain, and Arthritis – *
  • Constipation – *
  • Dandruff – *
  • Depression – Generally mild, but not always – *
  • Dermatitis Herpetiformis – A serious skin disorder
  • Dry Skin – *
  • Failure to Thrive in Children – *
  • Feelings of Inadequacy – *
  • Gait Ataxia/Apraxia
  • Gallstones – *
  • Gum Disease – *
  • Gut Problems – Abdominal pain, bloat, diarrhoea and wind – *
  • Heartburn
  • Inability to Lose and Gain Weight – *
  • Infertility and Recurrent Miscarriage
  • Itchy Scalp – *
  • Lactose Intolerance – *
  • Lightheadness and Fainting – *
  • Liver Problems
  • Low B12 and Folate Levels – Leading to anaemia – *
  • Migraine or Persistent Headaches – *
  • Mood Swings – *
  • Mouth Ulcers
  • Muscle Weakness
  • Osteoporosis
  • Sinus Problems – *
  • Sleep Disturbance
  • Small Stature – *
  • Thyroid Problems
  • Tinnitus

You can almost play that well-known game called Name That Symptom!

The ones marked with an asterisk (*) are ones that I experienced at some time or another.

A classic one is gallstones.  I was diagnosed at about the same time as I was diagnosed as a coeliac.  I was told to have an operation.  Since then though they have been quiet and I hope they stay that way!

But whatever you say it’s a lot of possible things you can suffer from.

July 22, 2009 - Posted by | Health | ,

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