Medically reviewed on Sept 30, 2023 by Jordan Stachel, M.S., RDN, CPT. To give you technically accurate, evidence-based information, content published on the Everlywell blog is reviewed by credentialed professionals with expertise in medical and bioscience fields.
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Celiac disease is an immune disorder triggered by gluten consumption that damages the digestive system, the small intestine specifically. Two million Americans are estimated to have it, but research suggests celiac is underreported as few people are familiar with the symptoms of untreated celiac disease (and symptoms themselves can be unevenly distributed between cases). 
Interestingly, there’s also a type of celiac disease known as “silent” celiac disease.  This is a generic term for celiac disease that does not present with any observable symptoms. Typically, people with silent celiac disease don’t discover they have the condition until they’re clinically tested.
Healthcare providers may also refer to silent celiac disease as subclinical or asymptomatic celiac disease.  Below, we’ll touch on why certain people may not know they have celiac disease, as well as options for asymptomatic celiac disease diagnosis and treatment.
When a person with symptomatic celiac disease eats gluten, they typically notice digestive symptoms like :
Undiagnosed and untreated celiac disease can impact other areas of the body if a person continues to consume gluten, triggering weight loss, persistent headaches, brain fog, skin rashes, and even more severe symptoms like nerve damage. 
Despite the severity of celiac disease, some people who have it experience no symptoms at all.1 Or, their symptoms are so heterogeneous that their healthcare provider may not recognize them as markers of celiac disease.
Several theories have been posed as to why some people experience hidden symptoms of celiac disease including:
See related: Refractory Celiac Disease
People living with asymptomatic celiac disease neither exhibit nor self-report symptoms typical of the condition. However, when tested for certain clinical markers, they often exhibit indicators like :
Though other markers of celiac disease may be absent, people with silent celiac disease also frequently show subtle signs of intestinal damage during an endoscopy.2 Often, they report no pain or digestive disturbances even if they have sustained damage to their small intestine. 
For this reason, testing for the disease may be a critical way to protect yourself.
Diagnosing subclinical celiac disease often depends on two key understandings of the disease:
If someone in your family has celiac disease, it may be worth speaking to your healthcare provider to find out how you can screen for it. Genetic testing can help determine whether your DNA has human leukocyte antigens.  These immune markers may make a person more likely to develop celiac disease and other autoimmune disorders. 
Other commonly used methods for diagnosing celiac disease include :
And, if you’re not ready to undergo rigorous clinical testing, other options are available.
For instance, you can try a celiac diet plan, essentially eliminating gluten from your diet under the supervision of a healthcare provider. If you experience an improvement in your physical functioning or quality of life with a gluten-free diet it could indicate that you’re gluten-intolerant or be at an increased likelihood for developing celiac disease.
Given the estimated prevalence of celiac disease, it could be important to test for the condition, especially if a family member has it. Silent celiac disease can still compromise your health in the long-term, even if you don’t experience trademark symptoms of the disease.
With Everlywell, you can take a closer look at your immune health with the Celiac Disease Screening Test. All Everlywell tests are reviewed by CLIA-certified labs so that you receive results you can trust. If your results indicate you need further treatment, our patient care team will reach out to you to help you navigate the path to recovery.
To get started, visit Everlywell today.