Not every person who suffers from celiac disease has gastrointestinal symptoms to deal with, but the majority of people do. One particular study found gastrointestinal issues in approximately ¾ of newly diagnosed cases.
Chronic diarrhea is one of the most commonly associated symptoms and statistically, it affects at least half of newly diagnosed individuals. Typically, this kind of diarrhea floats instead of sinks, has a very smelly and watery disposition and is quite voluminous.
When diarrhea is not occurring, bowel movements are often foul smelling, large in size and pale in color.
Constipation, Gas and Abdominal Bloating
There are a number of people who suffer from constipation with celiac instead of diarrhea. Some individuals alternate between the 2 extremes. Excessive gas or flatulence is also commonplace. Abdominal pain is also frequently associated with this condition. Abdominal bloating can be extremely severe as well, to the point where many individuals claim to look 6 months pregnant when gluten is digested.
Heartburn, Acid Reflux Disease, Nausea and Vomiting
Acid reflux and heartburn are often reported by those diagnosed with celiac disease. Gastroesophageal reflux disease is potentially a second diagnosis and is strongly linked to celiac disease, as well as sharing many symptoms.
Becoming lactose intolerant, or dealing with frequent vomiting, and nausea are other gastrointestinal symptoms that can occur as a result of celiac disease. Gallbladder disease and pancreatitis can develop in undiagnosed celiacs.
Many undiagnosed people lose weight due to their bodies not being able to absorb adequate nutrition. Conversely, those who suffer from constipation as their primary gastrointestinal symptom may find that they gain weight and are unable to successfully shed excess weight regardless of how much they exercise or diet.
Depending on the age of the sufferer, additional bowel symptoms may also present themselves. Common warning signs include unusual bowel movements, excessive gas and a distended stomach.
Accurate Diagnosis Essential
It is estimated that approximately 95 million people are plagued by digestive issues every day. In fact, digestive complaints are one of the main reasons people visit their physician. Since the causes of digestive diseases can be very complex and elusive, it is recommended to seek medical attention for them as soon as any symptoms arise.
Often, their causes are overlooked as the symptoms may appear subtle. Some digestive disorders may be hereditary. Reaching and identifying a diagnosis with an accurate and thorough physical background and medical history taken is important.
Celiac disease is often misdiagnosed or confused with Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Patients of both can experience painful stomach cramping and diarrhea. The treatment for these conditions is not the same however, and therefore, it is important to have a correct diagnosis in the first place in order to be able to make the appropriate lifestyle changes that will provide relief.
Importance of Functional Digestion
Our digestive system is responsible for absorbing the nutrients, vitamins, minerals, proteins and carbohydrates that keep us thinking, feeling and growing healthy. In addition, our digestive system is also responsible for eliminating wastes and toxins from our system.
A digestive disease such as celiac disease is impossible to ignore. If you do not educate yourself and learn how to adjust to a diet free from gluten, you may experience much unnecessary pain and suffering. Unresolved digestive disorders can wreak havoc on your life.