The symptoms of coeliac disease might be quite different from one person to the next, with the levels of severity experienced quite different too. This means that it can be quite frustrating for those suffering with it because it can be hard to accurately diagnose in some cases. Some people who are suffering with coeliac disease might actually be suffering with a different condition – for instance, there can be crossover with symptoms linked to a wheat intolerance or irritable bowel syndrome. Always keep an open mind about your symptoms and seek medical advice.
Coeliac disease is classed as an autoimmune condition that attacks different areas of the body, with symptoms differing vastly in terms of severity as well as the type from one person to the next. On top of this, symptoms of coeliac disease might last just a few hours at a time or last for days at a time. This could be diarrhoea or stomach pains, tiredness or mouth ulcers. The reaction to gluten is not the same as an allergic reaction but it can be severe and cause long-term discomfort and distress.
Symptoms of coeliac disease
Listed below are just some of the symptoms of coeliac disease to look out for. As we have mentioned though, if you are suffering with coeliac disease, you might only suffer with one or a few of these symptoms, with varying degrees of severity. Symptoms include:
- Nausea and vomiting
- Diarrhoea, excessive wind, constipation (of various severity)
- Stomach pain, bloating, cramping
- Deficiency of folic acid, vitamin B12, or iron
- Mouth ulcers
- Skin rash
- Sudden weight loss
- Neurological problems such as peripheral neuropathy and ataxia
What should I do if I am suffering these coeliac symptoms?
If you are suffering from any of the above symptoms it is important to seek professional medical advice as your first step. Speak to your GP about your concerns and make them aware of the symptoms you are suffering with. They will provide you with a diagnosis and offer suggestions, including providing access to gluten free prescriptions and a dietitian to discuss what you should do next. Do not remove gluten from your diet before diagnosis, as you will need to continue eating gluten in order to receive a formal diagnosis.
Speaking to a healthcare professional is also important as it might be the case that there is a crossover with other disorders and conditions that have similar symptoms. If you are not coeliac, but instead suffering with something else, there will be a different course for you to take, including medication and different dietary requirements.
Once you have learned about the symptoms of coeliac disease and understand what to look out for, the next step is to seek a medical diagnosis if you are suffering from any of those symptoms. Learning to live as a coeliac is important, as you will need to start following a gluten free diet to manage your symptoms.
Oneway to transition into your new diet is to browse the ‘Free From’ aisle in your local supermarket. Look for gluten free products such as gluten free flour and gluten free white bread. There are ways to make this a simple process, and if you have a formal diagnosis of coeliac disease, depending on where you live you may be entitled to gluten free prescription products.