Eating disorders and celiac disease: a case report

Int J Eat Disord. 2006 Sep;39(6):530-2. doi: 10.1002/eat.20294.


Objective: Although chronic physical illness may be associated coincidentally with an eating disorder, some clinicians may overlook the possibility that another medical illness may coexist and contribute concurrently to symptoms such as peculiar eating behaviors, restrictive eating, and/or vomiting accompanied by body dissatisfaction. We present a 31-year-old single woman initially diagnosed with an atypical eating disorder.

Method: After a gastroenterology consultation prompted by the atypical characteristics of her eating disturbance, the diagnosis of celiac disease was established.

Results: Cause-and-effect relationships between anorexia nervosa and celiac disease are unclear, and celiac disease may lead to confusion in the differential diagnosis of anorexia nervosa.

Conclusion: Particularly in atypical cases, and in cases where nausea and bloating are prominent complaints, workup for celiac sprue may reveal the presence of this condition. In such instances, patients may achieve additional relief through the implementation of gluten-free diets.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anemia, Iron-Deficiency
  • Biopsy
  • Celiac Disease / complications
  • Celiac Disease / diagnosis*
  • Chronic Disease
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Duodenum / pathology
  • Endoscopy, Gastrointestinal
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / diagnosis*
  • Feeding and Eating Disorders / etiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Psychological Tests
  • Stomach / pathology