Symptoms of coeliac disease can range from mild to severe,and often come and go.
Mild cases may not cause any noticeable symptoms, and the condition is often only detected during testing for another condition.
Treatment is recommended even when symptoms are mild or non-existent, becausecomplications can still occur.
Traveller's diarrhoea is the most common symptom of coeliac disease. It's caused by the body not being able tofully absorb nutrients (malabsorption, see below).
Malabsorption can also lead to stools containing abnormally high levels of fat (steatorrhoea). Thiscan make them foul smelling, greasy and frothy. Theymay also be difficult to flush down the toilet.
Other common gut-related symptoms include:
And more general symptoms may include:
If coeliac disease isn't treated, not being able to digest food in the normal way could cause you to become malnourished, leading to tiredness and a lack of energy.
Malnutrition in children can result in failure to grow at the expected rate, both in terms of height andweight. Children may also have delayed puberty .
Although not a symptom of coeliac disease, if you have an autoimmune response to gluten, you may develop a type of skin rash called dermatitis herpetiformis.
The rash is itchy and has blisters that burst when scratched.It usually occurs on your elbows, knees and buttocks, although it can appear anywhere on your body.
It's estimated that around one in five people with coeliac disease also develop dermatitis herpetiformis.
The exact cause of dermatitis herpetiformis isn't known, but, as with coeliac disease, it's associated with gluten. Like coeliac disease, it should clear up after switching to a gluten-free diet.
Find out about coeliac disease, which is a common digestive condition where a person has an adverse reaction to gluten.
Read about the symptoms of coeliac disease. Diarrhoea is the most common symptom, caused by the body not being able to absorb nutrients.
Find out what causes coeliac disease. The exact causes is unknown, but family history, environmental factors and certain health conditions are thought to play a part.
Read about how coeliac disease is screened for and diagnosed. The two main methods of screening are blood tests and biopsy.
Find out how coeliac disease is treated. It's often simply a case of excluding foods that contain gluten from your diet.
Find out about the possible complications of coeliac disease, which can include malabsorption, malnutrition and lactose intolerance.