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What are some neurological symptoms of celiac disease?

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Quick Answer

Some neurological symptoms of celiac disease include tingling or numbness in the legs, according to WebMD. Other neurological symptoms include tingling in the feet and hands, seizures and migraine headaches, notes Celiac Disease Foundation.

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Full Answer

The symptoms are due to the inability of the villi to absorb nutrients, explains WebMD. Villi are tiny projections in the small intestine. In celiac disease, the patient's own immune system attacks and damages the villi and the lining of the small intestine. The neurological problems seen with the disease are the result of low calcium levels. This and other kinds of malnourishment due to celiac disease damage the nerves.

Most cases of celiac disease heal if the patient adopts a gluten-free diet, states WebMD. Gluten is a protein present in wheat, barley, rye and oats. If a patient with celiac disease eliminates these grains from her diet, her symptoms clear up fairly quickly, and even the damaged villi in the small intestine heal in as little as six months. The patient must stay on this diet for the rest of her life. Some people have small intestines that are so damaged that even giving up gluten doesn't ease their symptoms. These people often need IV supplementation.

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