John Libonati

Over 300 Symptoms Linked to Gluten and Celiac Disease. How Is This Possible?

by John Libonati on June 24th, 2010


 

 In 2007, Gluten Free Works published “Recognizing Celiac Disease,” the first work to present over 300 signs, symptoms, associated disorders and complications gathered from documented medical research from around the world.  The book proved that researchers were finding hundreds of health problems associated with celiac disease and gluten.  This list is now being used by celiac disease centers, national celiac organizations and health organizations to help identify at risk patients and determine whether patient symptoms are consistent with celiac disease.

But how can one disorder cause so many problems?  Here’s a look at one way…nutritional deficiencies.

When our body does not get the nutrients it calls for in hunger, something won’t work right (malfunctions). Symptoms of malfunction result from nutritional deficiencies (malnutrition) caused by  failure of our small intestine to absorb needed nutrients into our bloodstream (malabsorption).  After eliminating gluten in the diet (gluten-free diet), deficiencies in celiac disease may be due to:

  1. slow or incomplete healing of the small intestine, so malabsorption continues. 
  2. not eating foods rich in needed nutrients, so nutrients are not available to absorb.
  3. eating too much fiber with meals, which can bind nutrients, so nutrients cannot get absorbed.  

As a caution, there are other causes of nutrient deficiencies such as small bowel bacterial overgrowth or microbial infections that may be present.  

How important is it to correct a nutrient deficiency?  Very.  Take zinc deficiency for example.  Zinc deficiency is marked by low energy, fatigue, slow wound healing, frequent infections, nervousness, depression, anorexia, impaired taste and smell, skin rashes an disorders including eczema, acne, psoriasis, photophobia, male infertility and white spots on fingernails. In children and youths, anemia, hypogonadism and short stature develop.  Zine deficiency in pregnancy includes increased maternal morbidity, abnormal taste sensations, abnormally short or prolonged gestations, inefficient labor, atonic bleeding, and increased risks to fetus such as malformations, growth retardation, prematurity, and perinatal death. Severe deficiency results in immunologic disorders including thymic atrophy, deficient thymic hormone, lymphopenia and worsening of diarrhea.(1)

So we see that literally dozens of health problems can result from just one deficient nutrient.  The severity of symptoms depends on the level of  deficiency.  Should multiple deficiencies exist, problems build up.  The longer the body is lacking, the greater is the likelihood of complications.

Since all the problems stemming from nutritional deficiencies are easily avoidable if celiac disease is discovered early, it is important to suspect celiac disease first whenever an ailment shows a nutritional deficiency.

Click here to view the entire list of over 300 signs, symptoms associated disorders and complications.  Symptom Guide.

(1) “Recognizing Celiac Disease,” page 74.

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Author Information: John Libonati, Philadelphia, PA
Publisher, Glutenfreeworks.com.
Editor & Publisher, Recognizing Celiac Disease.
John can be reached by e-mail here.


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5 Responses to “Over 300 Symptoms Linked to Gluten and Celiac Disease. How Is This Possible?”

  1. Mark says:

    Going gluten free means I no longer have to medicate the painful GERD (gastric reflux) that plagued me for years with Nexium. My digestion system feels so much better, and I have so much more energy now. If you are reading this and you suffer from frequent coughing or pain from gastric reflux, trying going gluten free for 30 days and see the results.

    There are small sacrifices to make, for example, replacing bread with rice – but its worth it! It’s the best thing I have ever done.

  2. Joanne says:

    When I was finally diagnosed with Celiac, I was in shock. I had never heard of it before. I was eating everything that was bad for me because I tried to eat healthy. Whole wheat bread, pasta, ect. As soon as I started eating gluten free, I felt so good. I could not believe it! My mother passed away with colon cancer and I would be willing to bet that she was Celiac too. She always ate healthy. But, it was not gluten free healthy. And it is inherited. I was always low on iron and had to have iron infusions. I feel 100% better now!

  3. Theresa says:

    My depression lifted pretty quickly. And I have had a myriad of other seemingly unrelated symptoms lift over time. One of my favorite side effects from going GF and absorbing my nutrients, is strong nails which I grow and polish for the first time. Seems superficial, but I love it.
    best to all.

  4. A friend of mine got immediate relief or within a couple of days in her stomach. I would imagine that it would depend on how stressed and severe each person suffers with the sensitivity depending on multiple symptoms effected. I will be excited to see if I can absorb more vitamins myself, therefore receiving much improvement over the next six months.

  5. chaya says:

    when one goes on the gluten free diet, will the symptoms they are having go away?

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