Dr. Bob on January 20th, 2009

Your nickname is “Olde Fart”

    Because the small intestine of a person with celiac disease is damaged, undigested food enters the large intestines where bacteria convert it into gases (methane, carbon dioxide and hydrogen). These gases cause the bloating, abdominal pain and passing of gas that is often associated with celiac disease.

You have a bulging belly and no butt

    Bloating caused by a gas-filled colon causes the distended belly and poor absorption of fats and other nutrients causes body wasting.  Children (and adults) with celiac disease often have the body shape of a starving waif in Africa.

Your friends are a lot smarter than you

    Some people with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity suffer cognitive impairment.  Forgetfulness (amnesia) and confusion can increase.  If so, stay away from multitasking!

You have fallen down and you can’t get up

    Some people with celiac disease experience cerebellum atrophy (cerebellar degeneration). The cerebellum is the part of the brain that controls muscle tone. Weakness can be the result.

You can’t dance or you dance like a white person

    Celiac disease is associated with gluten ataxia which causess a loss of balance and coordination.  Learning new dance steps can help regain your balance, so don’t give up.

You can’t use chopsticks either

    Gluten ataxia can cause your hands to tremble.  Use heavy utensils instead.

Your headaches are on one side of your head

    Some people with celiac disease experience migraine headaches.  For some, strict adherence to a gluten free diet reduces the incidence of migraines.

Your bowel movements don’t have a little point on each end

    When undigested fat enters the colon, the colon releases water into the waste stream. For this reason, celiac disease often results in loose stools and diarhea. Get the point?

You tend to drop your drink into your lap on airplane trips

    There is that gluten ataxia again.

Your most frequent sentence is “Oops!”

    What can I say?

To learn more about celiac disease, check out these websites: