Symptoms in Children That May Indicate Celiac Disease

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Children with celiac disease are known as patients with inflammatory bowel diseases, as the disease affects the small intestines. Children with celiac disease will experience different symptoms than adults with the same condition, but the most common ones are: abdominal pain, extreme diarrhea, malnutrition (fiber breakdown), irritability, hair loss, chronic diarrhea, constipation, chronic tiredness, hair thinning, and skin rash (usually tar). If left untreated celiac disease in children can lead to serious complications, which can be fatal.

An Overview

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Diagnosis of this condition in children is difficult because it is associated with a number of other conditions. In adults, it may be diagnosed with biopsy or through blood tests, which will look for antibodies against the gluten protein. People with inflammatory bowel diseases might have a positive response to blood tests that measure HbA1c, but this test cannot confirm the diagnosis of celiac disease. A diagnosis of CD is usually made through a careful physical examination, and diagnostic tests that do not include HbA1c are also possible.

Children are commonly diagnosed with anemia because their absorption of nutrients is significantly lower than what it is in adults. Children with anemia might also be allergic to some foods, such as cow’s milk, eggs, fish, wheat, corn, soy, wheat berries, and fruits. Anemia is a common problem among people with inflammatory bowel diseases, so it can be expected that these people would also have anemia. Since symptoms of anemia are often overlooked, many children go undiagnosed. If symptoms are present, the physician will perform blood tests in order to determine whether these symptoms point to anemia.

Celiac Disease Symptoms In Children

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Infants and young children cannot absorb nutrients effectively when they are growing. If a child’s intestine does not develop correctly, he may fail to properly absorb nutrients and experience nutritional deficiencies. Children who have an inadequate intestine may appear to be fine physically, but they could be in serious trouble internally. Adults can experience nutritional deficiencies as well through insufficient intake of certain foods, but children have a much easier time of obtaining enough nutrients due to their shorter digestive tracts. The smaller nature of a child’s tract makes him more likely to absorb nutrients properly.

Children who have CD may display typical symptoms of this disorder similar to other children who are diagnosed with CD. They may be slow to eat, suck their thumb, produce little to no saliva, appear to gain weight, and produce few to no feces. Children with CD may also have diarrhea, vomiting, anemia, pale skin, rough hair, and slow healing. When intestinal damage is the cause of these typical symptoms, it is important to identify this disease at an earlier age, when appropriate treatment can be implemented.

Children who are diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten intolerance might benefit from a strict gluten-free diet. This diet is similar to the dietary restrictions that are placed on people with gluten intolerance. In addition to reducing the amount of wheat products and other foods that contain gluten, this diet requires that a person consuming this type of diet to avoid foods that contain: sugar, salt, yeast products, cheese, soy products, corn, mustard, alcohol, peanuts, and chocolate.

If a child shows these symptoms, a gluten free diet is an effective treatment option. If there are other conditions that may indicate the possibility of a gluten or wheat allergy, it is important to make an appointment with the doctor to determine if this is in fact the case. If a person is diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten intolerance, a wheat allergy test may indicate the presence of one or both of these conditions. The allergy test will provide results that will determine if the person is sensitive to gluten. In many cases, the symptoms of these two conditions are similar and the identification of one can help to narrow down the diagnosis to one factor. For example, a positive skin reaction may indicate that a person is sensitive to gluten.

In The End

If a parent has questions about the symptoms in their child or about the diagnosis of their child, they should consult a professional at a Gluten-Free Living clinic, including a doctor specializing in celiac disease. A professional will be able to gather the information needed to make an informed diagnosis and to develop an individualized treatment plan for the symptoms that their child displays. Many adults suffer from gluten intolerance and some of them do not even know it. However, once they learn about this condition, they can take steps to find out if they have it or are just genetically susceptible to it. Since gluten intolerance has been linked to conditions such as arthritis, fibromyalgia, depression, diabetes, eczema, obesity, osteoporosis, high cholesterol and cancer, this condition must be addressed as soon as possible.

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