What Is Celiac Disease? Symptoms

Dr. Rodgers notes that more than 2 million Americans have celiac disease and talks about some of the symptoms.

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More than 2 million Americans have celiac disease, and most don't know it.

Hi, I'm Dr. Griffin Rodgers, director of the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases at NIH.

Celiac disease - a digestive disease that damages the small intestine - is triggered by eating gluten, a protein in wheat, barley, and rye. Celiac disease runs in families, and can affect both adults and children. For people with celiac disease, eating foods with gluten can lead to stomach pain, gas, or diarrhea.

In addition to digestive problems, some other symptoms, especially in adults, may include:

  • feeling very tired
  • tingling in the hands or feet
  • an itchy rash with blisters, or
  • infertility or multiple miscarriages

If you have any symptoms or a family history of celiac disease, talk to your doctor. To learn more, including how celiac disease is diagnosed, follow us on Twitter @HealthyMoments. This is Dr. Griffin Rodgers with the NIH.

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