But symptoms of celiac disease tend to differ by age. Only a third of adults are aware of their gastrointestinal issues, and many others instead report unexplained fatigue, joint pain, or depression. Digestive symptoms such as constipation, abdominal bloating, and vomiting are more likely to be present in children and adolescents.
The diverse range of symptoms associated with celiac disease makes it difficult to properly identify. As a result, it’s estimated that 80 percent of the celiac disease population is undiagnosed. That’s why it’s important to be able to recognize the less commonly publicized symptoms. If celiac disease goes untreated it can become dangerous or even life-threatening with long-term complications including cancer, osteoporosis, and iron deficiency.
Here are 6 unexpected signs you actually have celiac disease.
The lining of the small intestine responsible for absorbing iron can be damaged by celiac disease. The autoimmune response triggered by gluten can completely erode the nutrient-absorbing microvilli. Low amounts of iron in the body can be a sign that the small intestine isn’t properly absorbing nutrients.
White, yellow, or brown blotches on adult teeth are symptoms of celiac disease. Tooth discoloration cannot be reversed with the adoption of a gluten-free diet. Erosion of teeth enamel and calcium deficiency are serious problems for celiac patients that can lead to frequent trips to the dentist’s office.
A study, found that first-degree relatives of a patient with celiac were five times more likely than the national average to be diagnosed, and suggested that first-degree relatives be screened for the disease.
Celiac disease damages the small intestine and erodes the microvilli lining responsible for producing lactase, the enzyme needed to break down the lactose found in milk.
Celiac disease can lead to a reduction in calcium absorption. Individuals diagnosed as celiac have a 30 percent higher chance of fracturing a bone and as much as a 69 percent higher chance of suffering a hip fracture.