What Are the Symptoms of Celiac Disease in Adults?
The symptoms of celiac disease, also known as gluten-sensitive enteropathy, can vary considerably from person to person. In adults, some of the most common celiac disease symptoms include:
- Abdominal pain
- Weight loss
- Gas and bloating
- Nausea and vomiting
- Joint pain
- Mouth ulcers
- Missed menstrual periods
More complex symptoms may also develop as a result of celiac disease, such as:
- Anxiety or depression
- Osteomalacia (bone softening) or osteoporosis (loss of bone density)
- A skin rash that itches or blisters (dermatitis herpetiformis)
- Iron-deficiency anemia
- Reduced spleen function (hyposplenism)
- Neurologic problems, including numbness and tingling sensations, cognitive impairment and balance difficulties
- Liver or biliary tract disorders
Celiac disease sometimes doesn’t cause any noticeable symptoms and is only discovered during testing for unrelated conditions. Even so, everyone with celiac disease is vulnerable to possible long-term complications, including the problems listed above.
When To Seek Medical Care
It’s important to consult with a physician if you experience digestive symptoms that persist for more than two weeks. Even if you don’t have noticeable celiac disease symptoms, you may want to get tested if someone in your family has this condition. It’s also imperative to speak with a medical professional before trying out a gluten-free diet.
What Exactly is Celiac Disease?
Much has been said lately about celiac disease and gluten sensitivities. While gluten-free diets have become somewhat trendy, celiac disease is a very real disorder that has the potential to significantly impact quality of life if it is not properly managed.
Celiac disease is a hereditary autoimmune condition that can develop in genetically predisposed individuals during childhood or adulthood. People with celiac disease experience small intestine damage as a result of eating gluten, which is a specific type of protein that is found in wheat, barley and rye. When gluten is ingested, it triggers an immune response that attacks the villi, which are small, threadlike projections that line the surface of the small intestine and facilitate nutrient absorption. Having damaged villi means the body cannot properly process and benefit from important nutrients.
Our Approach to Celiac Disease Treatment
Tufts Medical Center Community Care provides specialized diagnostics and well-rounded treatment to patients with celiac disease at our centers throughout north suburban Boston. Our growing team of more than 120 practitioners includes gastroenterologists who have ample experience caring for individuals with celiac disease. Working hand-in-hand with primary care doctors, nutritionists and other experts in our expansive health system, our gastroenterologists help patients effectively manage celiac disease and achieve their best possible health.
If you are experiencing potential symptoms of celiac disease, contact Tufts Medical Center Community Care today. One of our professionals can schedule you an appointment, or you may reserve one online at your convenience. We will be happy to answer any questions you may have and direct you to the best specialist for your needs. Most health insurance plans are accepted at our practice.