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All about malabsorption syndrome causes of malabsorption symptoms of malabsorption diagnosis of malabsorption treatment for malabsorption celiac disease gluten causes of celiac disease symptoms of celiac disease celiac disease diagnosis treatments for celiac disease celiac disease and gluten-free diet lactose intolerance causes of lactose intolerance symptoms of lactose intolerance diagnosis of lactose intolerance treatment of lactose intolerance lactose-free diet Whipple's disease causes of Whipple's disease symptoms of Whipple's disease diagnosis of Whipple's disease treatment for Whipple's disease

What are the symptoms of celiac disease?

The symptoms of celiac disease (CD) vary so widely among patients that there is no such thing as a "typical celiac." The amount of intestinal damage that has occurred and the length of time nutrient absorption has been abnormal seem to be the factors that determine the type and severity of symptoms experienced.

Celiac disease affects people differently. Some people develop symptoms as children, others as adults. One factor thought to play a role in when and how celiac appears is whether and how long a person was breastfed--the longer one was breastfed, the later symptoms of celiac disease appear, and the more atypical the symptoms. Other factors include the age at which one began eating foods containing gluten and how much gluten is eaten. Symptoms may or may not occur in the digestive system. For example, one person might have diarrhea and abdominal pain, while another person has irritability or depression. In fact, irritability is one of the most common symptoms in children.

Adults with the more classic or typical form of the disease experience diarrhea, malnutrition, and weight loss. However, some people have no digestive symptoms at all. About 10% of people with celiac disease develop a painful, itchy skin rash with small blisters—a disease called dermatitis herpetiformis (see Blistering Diseases: Dermatitis Herpetiformis). In children, symptoms do not appear until foods containing gluten are introduced. Some children experience only mild upset stomach, whereas others develop painful abdominal bloating and have light-colored, unusually foul-smelling, bulky stools (steatorrhea).

Selective dietary deficiencies such as dietary iron deficiency, Vitamin B12 deficiency, osteoporosis (due to Vitamin D malabsorption), or other secondary dietary deficiencies may be the sole symptom or found in addition to diarrhea. The nutritional deficiencies resulting from malabsorption in celiac disease can cause additional symptoms, which tend to be more prominent in children. Some children develop growth abnormalities, such as short stature. Anemia, causing fatigue and weakness, develops as a result of iron deficiency. Low protein levels in the blood can lead to fluid retention and tissue swelling (edema). Malabsorption of vitamin B12 can lead to nerve damage, causing a pins-and-needles sensation in the arms and legs. Poor calcium absorption results in abnormal bone growth, a higher risk of broken bones, and painful bones and joints. Lack of calcium can also cause tooth discoloration and greater susceptibility to painful tooth decay. Girls with celiac disease may not have menstrual periods because of a low production of hormones, such as estrogen.

More information on malabsorption (celiac disease, lactose intolerance, Whipple's disease)

What is malabsorption? - Malabsorption is the inability to absorb nutrients through the gut lining into the bloodstream. Malabsorption is the failure of the GI tract to absorb one or more substances from the diet.
What causes malabsorption? - The causes of malabsorption include cystic fibrosis, lactose intolerance, celiac disease, Whipple disease, acrodermatitis enteropathica, biliary atresia, pernicious anemia.
What are the symptoms of malabsorption? - The signs and symptoms of malabsorption may include failure to thrive, diarrhea, cramping, frequent bulky stools, bloating, flatulence, and abdominal distention.
How is malabsorption diagnosed? - The diagnosis of malabsorption syndrome and identification of the underlying cause can require extensive diagnostic testing.
What's the treatment for malabsorption? - Treatment of malabsorption is the treatment of the causing disease. Fluid and nutrient monitoring and replacement is essential for individual with malabsorption syndrome.
What is celiac disease? - Celiac disease is a sensitivity to gluten, a wheat protein. Individuals with this disease must avoid gluten-containing grains, which include all forms of wheat, oats, barley, and rye.
What is gluten? - Gluten is a protein in grains such as wheat, oats, rye, and barley. Gluten is responsible for the elasticity of kneaded dough which allows it to be leavened.
What causes celiac disease? - The exact cause of celiac disease is not known. The principal cause of the disorder is an immunologic reaction to components of certain dietary glutens.
What are the symptoms of celiac disease? - The symptoms of celiac disease (CD) vary so widely among patients that there is no such thing as a typical celiac. Symptoms may or may not occur in the digestive system.
How is celiac disease diagnosed? - Celiac disease may be diagnosed by observing the symptoms after an infant begins eating cereals. The diagnosis is suspected when a person has the above-mentioned symptoms.
What are the treatments for celiac disease? - Many of the effects of celiac disease can be treated and minimized with a special diet. People with celiac disease learn to avoid the proteins in cereal.
Celiac disease and gluten-free diet - A gluten-free diet is a diet completely free of ingredients derived from gluten containing cereals, wheat, oats, barley and rye.
What is lactose intolerance? - Lactose intolerance is a set of symptoms resulting from the body's inability to digest the milk sugar called lactose. Lactose is sugar occuring naturally in milk and is also called milk sugar.
What causes lactose intolerance? - Primary lactase deficiency is a genetically inherited. Secondary lactase deficiency is a transient state of lactase deficiency due to damage to the lining of the intestine.
What are the symptoms of lactose intolerance? - People with lactose intolerance usually cannot tolerate milk and other dairy products. The symptoms of lactose intolerance are dose-dependent.
How is lactose intolerance diagnosed? - Lactose intolerance is widely regarded as a medical condition. The most common test for lactose intolerance is the hydrogen breath test.
What's the treatment for lactose intolerance? - Lactose intolerance can be controlled and treated through diet by avoiding foods containing lactose, primarily dairy products.
Manage lactose intolerance with lactose-free diet - People who are very sensitive to lactose should be aware that lactose is widely used as an ingredient in many ready-made meals and other food products.
What is Whipple's disease? - Whipple's disease is a malabsorption disease. It interferes with the body's ability to absorb certain nutrients.
What causes Whipple's disease? - Whipple's disease is caused by the organism Tropheryma whippelii. The disease causes lesions on the wall of the small intestine and thickening of the tissue.
What are the symptoms of Whipple's disease? - Whipple's disease causes weight loss, irregular breakdown of carbohydrates and fats, resistance to insulin, and malfunctions of the immune system.
How is Whipple's disease diagnosed? - Whipple's disease is diagnosed through a tissue sample (biopsy) of the small intestine, or of an enlarged lymph node.
What is the treatment for Whipple's disease? - Whipple's disease is treated with antibiotics to destroy the bacteria that cause the disease, treatment may also include fluid and electrolyte replacement. 
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