Sunday, October 17, 2010

Only Sometimes Clever's Post on Why Celiac Disease Is So Confusing

Yesterday, Karen Joy at Only Sometimes Clever posted on "Why celiac disease is so confusing." It is a great overview of the many secondary problems that affect people with celiac disease. On average, it takes 11 years to be diagnosed with this disease and often it is missed by many specialists because the presentation can be so varied. In the 11 years that the disease progresses many different systems in the body can be affected. Unless you specialize in celiac disease, most doctors are unaware of the connection of celiac disease with other symptoms. Here is a quote for Only Sometimes Clever's post:
"Since the villi in the small intestine are destroyed, many nutrients that should get in the body are not absorbed. This leads to a host of increasing health problems/symptoms that are actually secondary to celiac disease, as they are started from malnourishment of one (or usually more than one) nutrient... Lack of calcium can also lead to heart problems — weird palpitations and electrical problems in the heart, because the body need calcium in order for its nervous/electrical system to work properly."

Wow, I had never heard that before. Heart palpitations can also be caused by low levels of magnesium (celiac and alcohol can both decrease levels of magnesium.) The list of causes of heart palpitations is even longer than the list of symptoms of celiac disease--so it is a super complicated problem that is related to a super complicated disease. I was most surprised by the connection between CD and heart palpitations because a relative recently has been dealing with this problem and I had never heard of the connection between celiac and heart palpitations so it was surprising to stumble upon the information right in the midst of our family dealing with it.

I am wondering if there are any symptoms that aren't connected to this crazy disease that is so often overlooked by doctors.

Other symptoms of celiac disease include: low levels of vitamin D, osteoporosis, diarrhea, bloating, constipation, fatigue, anemia, depression, mouth sores, but some people have no digestive problems just the secondary complications from nutrient deficiencies. There is a full list of celiac disease symptoms on

The best test for celiac disease is through the Prometheus Lab. A GI doctor or a doctor who specializes in celiac disease can do this test. If you have these problems and they are doing bloodwork, it is worth being proactive and requesting a test for celiac.


Karen Joy said...

Thanks for the link!! And, I'm very happy to have alerted you to something that might have a significant impact on your whole family!

By the way... It's not just 11 years' damage. Eleven years marks how long after a person recognizes that something is wrong, before they get a diagnosis. The damage (provided that the celiac was symptomatic, and even, possibly, if they weren't!) is from a LIFETIME of damage.

Also, there are a variety of kinds of heart palpitations, and it's a certain kind that is common with celiacs. I'm pretty certain that they're called PVCs.

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