Types of Celiac Disease

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  • People with asymptomatic celiac disease or silent celiac disease do not show signs of celiac disease or complain about having conditions like diarrhea, constipation, fatigue or weight loss
  • No matter what type of celiac disease you or someone you know might be diagnosed with, consult a physician immediately if potential symptoms are showing up

Celiac disease can be further classified into three conditions, depending on the symptoms (or lack thereof) that a patient experiences. According to the World Gastroenterology Organization, the most common types of this illness are classic, non-classic or atypical and asymptomatic (silent) celiac disease.1,2

Classic Celiac Disease

Classic celiac disease often begins during early childhood, but adults can have this condition too. The typical symptoms, which usually develop because of small intestine damage, among adults and children include:3,4,5

Adults Children
Malabsorption Poor appetite and weight loss
Diarrhea Failure to thrive and grow
Steatorrhea (pale, foul-smelling and fatty stools) Diarrhea
Abdominal bloating and discomfort Lethargy
Muscle mass and weight loss Rickets (softening and weakening of bones in children,6 although this is rare)

Non-Classic Celiac Disease or Atypical Celiac Disease

Patients with non-classic celiac disease or atypical celiac disease don’t experience malabsorption or common small intestine symptoms, but face conditions that are unrelated to the illness, such as:7,8

Iron deficiency anemia

Mild indigestion

Heartburn

Constipation

Chronic fatigue or migraine

Peripheral neuropathy (tingling, numbness or pain in hands or feet)

Unexplained chronic hypertransaminasemia (elevated liver enzymes)

Bone fractures

Reduced bone mass

Vitamin deficiency for folic acid and vitamin B12

Unexplained infertility

Late menarche or early menopause

Depression and anxiety

Dental enamel defects

Dermatitis herpetiformis (itchy skin rash)


This disease is most commonly diagnosed in adults, although cases are already being seen among older children. More so, instances of non-classic celiac disease are more common compared to classic celiac disease.9

Asymptomatic Celiac Disease or Silent Celiac Disease

People with asymptomatic celiac disease or silent celiac disease do not show signs of celiac disease10 or complain about having conditions like diarrhea, constipation, fatigue or weight loss.11 Instead, they experience:12

Loss of bone density

Joint pain

Headaches and migraines

Edema (swelling due to excess fluid trapped in the body’s tissues13)

Subtle, early gluten ataxia (an autoimmune neurological condition that can severely damage the cerebellum in your brain14)

Furthermore, villi (small intestine lining15) damage, blood test abnormalities and small intestine biopsy findings of celiac disease16 are present among asymptomatic celiac disease patients. Children with type 1 diabetes mellitus whose parents or siblings already have celiac disease experience asymptomatic celiac disease more frequently,17 although adults can be affected with this disease too.18

No matter what type of celiac disease you or someone you know might be diagnosed with, consult a physician immediately if potential symptoms are showing up. This could mean the difference between a swift recovery from this disease and a painful and lifelong struggle.

MORE ABOUT CELIAC DISEASE

Celiac Disease: Introduction

What Is Celiac Disease?

Celiac Disease In Children

Celiac Disease Causes

Celiac Disease Types

Celiac Disease Symptoms

Celiac Disease Diagnosis

Celiac Disease Treatment

Celiac Disease Prevention

Celiac Disease Diet

Celiac Disease FAQ

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