The Symptoms?

As a Coeliac the symptoms you could encounter can be many or few and extremely varied. There are some Coeliacs, – you may consider them lucky or unlucky depending on your view – that are asymptomatic. Those who have no visible symptoms. It may sound like a great boat to be in but unfortunately it isn’t as lucky as it sounds. If you have no symptoms then you can remain blissfully unaware of the damage that is being caused to your villi.

If you aren’t asymptomatic and do suffer from outward symptoms then I feel for you. For I am one of you and unfortunately I have the luck of getting stuck with at one point in my life almost every side affect that a Coeliac can go through.

For a quick glance guide, Gluten Dude in America has created a wonderful infographic based on his own research. You can find it here.

I want to start with the non visible symptoms, these can be:

  • Anaemia (Iron Deficiency)
  • Low Calcium
  • Low Vitamin B12
  • Low Vitamin D
  • Low Blood Sugar
  • Hypothyroidism
  • High Blood Pressure

Then we have the behavioural and mental side affects. Generally if I’ve been glutened one of these will be my first sign, that and headaches and sniffles.

The behavioural side affects you may experience include:

  • A.D.D
  • Anxiety
  • Brain Fog
  • Loss of interest in activities
  • Memory Loss
  • Depression
  • Irritability and Unfounded Anger
  • Mood Swings
  • Feelings of Loneliness
  • Panic attacks
  • Sleeping Problems; including, insomnia
  • Chronic Fatigue

The other symptoms are all body related; We can separate them into specific areas.


  • Headaches / Migraines
  • Dizziness / Vertigo
  • Sinus Issues
  • Coughing
  • Dandruff


  • Bad Breath
  • Gum Disease
  • Mouth Ulcers / Sores
  • Tooth Enamel Erosion

General Body Issues:

  • Eczema / Dermatitis Herpetiformis
  • Asthma
  • Fainting Spells
  • Fluctuating Weight; generally underweight or overweight
  • Seizures
  • Chills and Fevers
  • Easy to bruise
  • Brittle Hair and Nails

Joint and Muscle:

  • Muscle Spasms
  • Joint Pain
  • Leg Cramps

Intestinal and Digestive:

  • Food Cravings
  • Loss of Appetite
  • Nausea
  • Stomach cramps
  • Gas
  • Bloating
  • Constipation
  • Diarrhoea


Unfortunately as a woman there are female specific issues that we have to deal with, these can include:

  • Breast Tenderness
  • Infertility
  • Hormonal Mood Swings
  • Heavy Periods
  • Early Menopause
  • Miscarriages


If you any of these relate to you and you feel as if you may possibly have Coeliac Disease please see a health professional for a diagnosis. There is not reason to adopt a gluten free diet unless you are gluten intolerant or a Coeliac. Don’t deny yourself wonderful food because of a hunch.


  1. ~J~

    How can you identify when one of these is gluten related and one isn’t? I’d almost rather have a severe and immediate reaction as I occasionally get migraines, quite often have dandruff, have had the occasional week of leg cramping, am easy to bruise, and have had Stomach cramps, Gas, Bloating and Constipation at some point in my life. Yet, during these times, I have had an endoscopy and been given the all clear!

    • Hi Jessica;
      It is pretty hard to tell if it is food poisoning, a virus or gluten. As symptoms vary from person to person it is really all personal experience. So I won’t be able to help there. After years of being diagnosed I can just tell now how it starts, however every now and then my body likes to change it up. I’m not sure if you haven’t been diagnosed yet and you are saying your biopsy is all clear so you can’t be diagnosed but if this is the case, there is non coeliac gluten sensitivity that is currently being researched. Similar to coeliac disease, however as it isn’t an auto immune disorder so the internal damage isn’t done.
      If you have been diagnosed it could be that the part of your intestine that has been biopsied wasn’t damaged. This is the reasoning behind needing to gluten load for your diagnosis. Small glutenings will damage your insides but it won’t damage every single part of your bowel. So unless they have biopsied that damaged area, they won’t notice it.
      I hope this information helps

  2. Yvonne scott

    Hello my name is Yvonne. I was born at the end of the end of ww2 when coeliac disease was not yet know, I was a very sick baby unable to eat with out screaming in pain. at first It was diagnosed as colic, but when it didn’t stop, she took me to a pediatrician, who as I was very small despite being 9lbs 8ozs at birth, was still in size 1 dresses when I was three. He called it failure to thrive, and put me on growth hormones. they didn’t stop me from constantly having pains nausea, vomiting, diarrhea, and I never grew much although I have reasonably long legs for 5ft 31/2in. I have been sick all my life, didn’t dare eat when i went out, stared periods at 10 years of age, have a thyroid problems, need b12 injections, vit D,, iron supplements, as I can’t store any of those mentioned, miscarried 8 times, and spent 6 months in bed to carry the 3 I had, have sogrijjens syndrome, {can never remember how to spell it,but was diagnosed by a specialist. It causes its dry eyes, mouth, and crumbling teeth, lactose intolerant, and have both of the genes that coeliacs have, as well, IBS and Diviculi disease, as well as nausea. I became so weak, My husband called an ambulance and was taken into hospital, and told I was suffering from malnutrition, and if they didn’t find out what was wrong, I’d die. I spent 3 weeks on a drip, and was sent home with a letter to return for more tests. I couldn’t eat without getting ill so I lived on the only things I could eat rice cakes and water with a dash of lemon cordial. I have a a biopsy years earlier when I eliminated my diarrhea, nausea, etc to milk, after was told I hadn’t any lactase enzyme at all. But this time I had another colonoscopy for coeliac disease, but I was not told to eat gluten, and I hand’t touched it for over three months, I have the same test before, but once again, as I had been so ill, I can been living on rice cakes, and nothing else, and since, my blood pressure and heart rate had fits of being erratic, and tended to bleed easily, they said they would only take on small sample for biopsy. The results were clear, although when I returned from the last biopsy, and as usual, when I have been living on rice cake for almost three months, I was feeling much better, then I had a glass of milo with lactose free milk, and very quickly I was doubled up, with gut pain, and nausea. I read the label and it contained barley, I had know for years that bread, and cake made he feel ill, but never though of coeliacs desease. The gastrologist ignored the fact I wasn’t eating anything but rice cakes, and dimissed all possiblity of coeliac desease, so a doctor I knew well had the gene test done, and said with the levesl of both the genes that was was on the gene test, and the fact on a coeliac diet I had improved and was feeling well for the first time in my life, all though I still needed the vit B12, vit D and Iron, and the sogrejjens continued to deteorate, as did the bowel problems, and that when I was in hospital, I got really sick from cross contamination, and my daughter was diagnosed as a coeliac while still on the diet, he couldn’t see that I wouldn’t be a coeliac. What do you think? I don’t think I could face going back to feeling so sick again, as after five years of feeling well, and truly it is wonderful, but at the same time, if I have to see the gastrologist, he’ll tell me I’m mad, and tell the hopital, to make sure I have a normal diet. I would really like your opinion.

    • Hi Yvonne;
      I am not a doctor so all of my advice comes from the Coeliac Society. More than half the population carries the gene for Coeliac Disease but it may never activate. The only way to diagnose Coeliac Disease is the gluten challenge and biopsy. This is because the damage done to your villi is the only difference between Coeliac Disease and Gluten Intolerance which is more like an allergy. Being properly diagnosed is important as it helps you get on top of the associated conditions and will make you eligible for the cure that they are working on. However, if you choose to not be diagnosed officially it is important that you live as if you had a diagnosis of Coeliac Disease. Completely strict when it comes to food, no shared fryers, no risks, as you will not know for sure if that is doing damage internally. If you are also treating yourself as a Coeliac then all family will need to be properly tested before going off gluten. I’d strongly suggest that this be important for the younger members who can get on top of it before diet changes.
      If you do decide to return to the diagnostic process, I’d highly recommend printing the fact sheets from Coeliac Australia out and taking them it. This explains that you need to be eating gluten in order to be diagnosed and will show that the gene test is diagnostic. This way no one will think you are mad.
      As you have mentioned that symptoms have not stopped entirely when gluten free it is very possible another issue is causing your health problems.
      I hope this has helped.

  3. Laura

    Not just nausea but rather violent vomiting. Nearly every time I’ve been accidently glutened the vomiting has been so severe and long lasting that I’ve required IV fluids.

  4. Sarah

    Thanks for this useful information. After reading this i am sure my kids both suffer as i do. I might be able to help them before they need 2 hip replacements like myself and my brother after being undiagnosed for 30 years.

  5. Shane

    My brother recommended I might like this website. He was totally right. This information was exactly what i was looking for. Thanks!

  6. Ally

    Hi there!,
    This is really informative and I love that you aren’t afraid to link to outside sources. That infographic that Glutendude created was a fantastic quick view point. I suffered for so long before my diagnosis; this website should help people know the signs.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *