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Jane Anderson

Celiac Disease Symptoms Vary from Country to Country, Study Shows

By February 11, 2013

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When it comes to your celiac disease symptoms, your nationality appears to matter. Researchers in Iran compared the symptoms of people in Iran, Romania and Italy, and found some significant differences between the three countries.

The study, published this month in the Archives of Iranian Medicine, surveyed 323 women and 127 men with a mean age at diagnosis of around 34 years old.

The researchers found that upper abdominal disorders such as abdominal pain and reflux were the most common primary complaints among European celiacs. Iranians, meanwhile, listed diarrhea and bloating as their most common celiac symptoms.

Perhaps surprisingly for those who still think diarrhea is the main celiac symptom, only about 35% overall reported any gastrointestinal symptoms, and just 14% had diarrhea at diagnosis while 4% had constipation. About one-fifth had anemia -- it was the most frequent complaint for both Iranian and Italian patients, but was more common in Iranians than in Italians. About 6% overall suffered from osteopenia.

We know there are more than one hundred potential celiac symptoms and related conditions -- this study highlights some real regional differences, which may be due to genetics or to different diets.

Keep up with the latest in the celiac disease/gluten sensitivity world -- sign up for my newsletter, connect with me on Facebook or follow me on Twitter - @AboutCeliac.

Photo Getty Images/Jeanene Scott

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