“I am having trouble with my child’s diet and she struggles to gain weight. What are some of the celiac disease or gluten intolerance symptoms in children?” – Christine P. San Diego, California
With each passing year, celiac disease and gluten intolerance is becoming a common problem in every household. Each year, more and more children are diagnosed with either condition. More recent research reveals that, gluten intolerance and celiac disease occurs at a frequency of 3 to 13 per 100 children. Parents are usually not aware of the signs and symptoms and they often go unnoticed or are treated as ‘normal’ digestive disturbances Sometimes parent’s feel it is best to keep their children on ‘home remedies’.
Sometimes, these home remedies work, but only for certain period of time. Once the remedies are stopped and the child resumes normal diet the symptoms pounce back. Parents do not realize the grave conditions they are leading their children into. They must understand and open their eyes to celiac disease or gluten intolerance and immediately get their child treated by a medical practitioner. Not all gastric trouble symptoms or fatigue are cause of gluten intolerance, but if this is the case then it will definitely take a serious turn for the worse in the course of time. Untreated celiac disease or gluten intolerance in children, usually begins to show more serious effects during their adolescent years or later on in adulthood and pose great difficulties during their growing stages.
The symptoms of gluten intolerance in your children cannot be ignored”
The symptoms of celiac disease or gluten intolerance in your children cannot be ignored and one must seek medical advice as soon as you spot the symptoms. Our small intestine is responsible for absorption of nutrients from the food that we eat. Gluten intolerance and celiac disease is a condition that affects the small intestine, causing inflammation of the villi. Villi are small hair like structures that line the small intestine and it is the site from where nutrition from the food is absorbed. Some people are sensitive to gluten and as a result their bodies produce certain auto antibodies that do not allow digestion of gluten containing food, thereby causing damage to the villi.
This condition then over a period of time causes the villi to slough off from the small intestine leaving a flat surface. This is termed as villous atrophy. The gut is now flattened and has a small surface area making it difficult for the nutrients to get absorbed. Researchers believe that celiac disease and gluten intolerance in children is closely related to the increased incidence of autism.
Symptoms of celiac disease and gluten intolerance in children include a wide range of digestive disorders. The children usually undergo undue weight loss and abdominal distention and failure to thrive. On reaching adolescence, they become more irritable and often fall prey to mood swings and may also fall into depression. Vomiting becomes almost a regular occurance with children suffering from the disease. Some children may also exhibit symptoms of diarrhea and constipation.
Other symptoms of gluten intolerance include heart burn, irritable bowel syndrome, flatulence, mild rectal bleeding and stool acidity. Children may also develop skin rashes near the elbow region, which becomes excessively itchy with passage of time. Such itchy skin rashes are termed as Dermatitis Herpetiformis. Children with untreated celiac disease also face difficulties in their growing stages. Puberty also sets in pretty late in such children.
Because there is poor absorption of nutrients, children also develop anemia and have weakened bones due to low absorption of calcium. They also frequently complain of unnecessary fatigue and gradually loose interest in their surroundings. Gluten intolerance and celiac disease can also be the reason of poor concentration in children.
This disease should not be ignored in children and parents need to keep a close eye on the symptoms their child is suffering from. This is necessary because, if it is not treated in time, it can lead to life threatening conditions. Children also face several problems during their growing stages which also make then unable to be at par with their peer group.