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Thursday, May 9, 2013

Atypical Celiac

Atypical Celiac may show its self in a very non classical celiac way, meaning that you may not have issues with the intestines.  The signs and symptoms are often misdiagnosed as another disorder.  However, the symptoms will persist or worsen until the patent is placed on a gluten free diet.  Please note that almost all of these symptoms are chronic or severe and should not be confused with regular issues.  

Examples of some of these symptom types are

Joint pain: This may range from moderate to severe joint pain and/or swelling.  In many cases this diagnosis is missed and the sufferer may be diagnosed with early onset arthritis or other forms of joint disorders.  In many cases doctors who know about atypical celiac will suggest six weeks of a gluten free diet to see if celiac is the issue.  

Neurological disorders: The first of these disorders is chronic fatigue.  The suffer will be tired all the time.  This can be made worse by an inability to sleep at night.  It can be very troubling to spend all day tired and then not be able to fall asleep at night.  

Another version of this is the inability to think clearly, also known as brain fog.  A person might have trouble remembering what they were doing (please note that this is to the extreme.) or very often times lose objects and or words.  Do not be surprised that when a gluten free diet has been started if they start stuttering.  The reason for that is they have learned to work with the fog.  Now that the fog no longer exists their mind is working too fast for them to keep up.  While they can think clearer, remember better, and keep up with concepts they may not be able to clearly state that at first.  

Migraines: Migraines can be triggered by Gluten in some celiac sufferers.  Once a gluten free diet has been undertaken these will lessen, although they may not go away.  

Anxiety, irritability or depression may occur as a neurological side effect of celiac.  This can be caused for many reasons including but not limited to the inability to get the correct nutrients.  

Peripheral Neuropathy:  This is where you experience loss of feeling, pins and needles or a weakening of your extremities.  It feels like you have put your extremity to sleep even when you haven't.  

Gluten Ataxia is another type of peripheral neuropathy this is loss of balance and/or coordination when the suffer has come into contact with gluten.  

Restless leg syndrome:  A feeling that you have to move when you are trying to relax or go to sleep.  

ADHD:  This can be worsened by the presence of gluten in the diet.  However, only if the suffer has a sensitivity.  

Fertility and puberty issues:  Fertility issues including but not limited to having trouble becoming pregnant have been tied with atypical celiac.  Also late puberty (starting after the age of 14) has been shown to be a symptom, as well as pregnancy loss or miscarriage.  

Skin Issues:  Dermatitis herpetiformis, is an extremely itchy, bullous skin rash that affects the extensor surfaces of the limbs, trunk and scalp.  Scaly dermatitis or acrodermatitis, hyperpigmented dermatitis, other skin issues such as dermatitis and skin tags have been reported.

Blood issues: This can show as Anemia, folic acid deficiency, low white blood cell count (leucopenia), coagulation disorders, and thrombocytopenia (platelet deficiency).


  1. Very informative, Kat. I will be seeing my Dr soon and I have some of those issues and no one has ever suggested atypical celiac.

  2. I think it is very interesting to see where symptoms cross over from different diseases. Many of these are similar/same to the symptoms that are associated with Charcot Marie Tooth disease like I have. I knew of many diseases with similar ones but I had not known about atypical celiac before. Everyone I have known with it has had a very typical intestinal presentation with Celiac.