What conditions may be a result of celiac disease damage? There are a long list of conditions, but some of them stand out as being life-threatening.
Perhaps the most threatening of these complications is cancer. Note that this is more of a possibility in untreated celiac disease than in someone who is actively working to limit their symptoms with a gluten-free diet. You’re prone to small intestine cancer because this is the part of the body directly affected by the disease.
Bone-related diseases are another by-product of this disease. Adults might experience osteoporosis or bone loss as a result of not treating their condition. Even if you do not experience an all-out loss of bone, you might realize your bones do not feel as comfortable as they used to. You might have pain when moving joints or notice that they’re becoming brittle.
Iron-deficiency anemia is another result of celiac disease damage that affects many people. Why is this? Well, as it turns out, much of the iron your body absorbs is absorbed through the villi in your small intestines. Since this disease damages this part of your body, it simultaneously disables the body’s ability to absorb this important element. Thus, iron deficiency results, which leads to thinning blood, blood loss, blood polyps and heavy periods (in women, obviously).
You can get chronic inflammation anemia as well, not just the iron-deficiency variety. Your doctor can test for anemia using a complete blood count test, which will gauge how many red blood cells versus white blood cells are present in your body.
Celiac disease can also affect the way your whole body moves. This condition is called peripheral neuropathy, a disease that significantly reduces your quality of life. Symptoms of this condition typically result in a loss of coordination and difficulty maintaining an even gait.