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11 Celiac Disease Symptoms You Need to Pay Attention To

Reader's Digest.CA Logo By Karyn Repinski of Reader's Digest.CA | Slide 1 of 12: Approximately one in every 100 Americans has celiac disease, a condition in which the gluten in food triggers an immune response that damages the small intestine, which affects its ability to absorb nutrients. While the disease is common, it’s shockingly underdiagnosed—with 85 percent of people with celiac unaware they even have it. That’s not surprising considering that celiac disease affects each person differently. 'Celiac disease symptoms may come on gradually or they may appear suddenly and dramatically,' explains Peter H.R. Green, MD, director of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University, in his book Celiac Disease: A Hidden Epidemic. 'They may also wax and wane over a long period of time.' Compounding the diagnostic challenge is the fact that there are six 'silent' or asymptomatic cases of celiac for each symptomatic one. Still, since celiac disease puts you at risk for a host of long-term complications, it’s important to get diagnosed and treated—especially because delay of treatment increases your chances of developing another autoimmune disorder (scarily, most patients have symptoms for nine years before they’re diagnosed). There are more than 200 signs of celiac disease, but it’s most common to have one or more of the following symptoms.

What is celiac disease?

Approximately one in every 100 Americans has celiac disease, a condition in which the gluten in food triggers an immune response that damages the small intestine, which affects its ability to absorb nutrients. While the disease is common, it’s shockingly underdiagnosed—with 85 percent of people with celiac unaware they even have it. That’s not surprising considering that celiac disease affects each person differently. 'Celiac disease symptoms may come on gradually or they may appear suddenly and dramatically,' explains Peter H.R. Green, MD, director of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University, in his book Celiac Disease: A Hidden Epidemic. 'They may also wax and wane over a long period of time.' Compounding the diagnostic challenge is the fact that there are six 'silent' or asymptomatic cases of celiac for each symptomatic one. Still, since celiac disease puts you at risk for a host of long-term complications, it’s important to get diagnosed and treated—especially because delay of treatment increases your chances of developing another autoimmune disorder (scarily, most patients have symptoms for nine years before they’re diagnosed). There are more than 200 signs of celiac disease, but it’s most common to have one or more of the following symptoms.

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