Coeliac disease is a common digestive condition where the small intestine becomes inflamed and unable to absorb nutrients.
It can cause a range of symptoms including diarrhoea, abdominal pain and bloating. Coeliac disease is caused by an adverse reaction to gluten, a dietary protein found in three types of cereal:
Symptoms of coeliac disease
Eating foods containing gluten can trigger a range of gut-related symptoms, such as:
- diarrhoea, which may smell particularly unpleasant
- abdominal pain
- bloating and flatulence (passing wind)
Coeliac disease can also cause a number of more general symptoms, including:
- fatigue as a result of malnutrition (not getting enough nutrients from food)
- unexpected weight loss
- an itchy rash (dermatitis herpetiformis)
- problems getting pregnant
- nerve damage (peripheral neuropathy)
- disorders that affect co-ordination, balance and speech (ataxia)
Children with coeliac disease may not grow at the expected rate and may have delayed puberty.
You can find out more about coeliac disease, and how it can be treated, at the following links: