Celiac Disease affects 1 in 133 people. One of my family members is being tested for it, and one of my college friends lives with it. But, 97% of those with the disease are undiagnosed and suffering from one or more of the symptoms. Could Celiac Disease be the cause of your child's digestive or behavioral troubles? According to the Celiac Disease Foundation, symptoms vary from person to person. If your child exhibits one or more of these symptoms, she should be tested.
- Diarrhea, Constipation or Both
- Fatty Stools
- Bloating in the Abdomen and/or Stomach
- Abdominal Cramping and Gas
- Weight Loss Despite a Large Appetite
- Poor Appetite
- Aversion to food
- Short Stature
- Dental Enamel Defects of Permanent Teeth
- Fatigue and Irritability
- Dermatitis Herpetiformis: an Itchy, Blistering Skin Rash
- Behavioral Changes
- Delayed Puberty
- Bone or Joint Pain
If your child is presenting any of these symptoms, talk to her pediatrician. This is especially true if your family has a history of Celiac Disease, Type 1 Diabetes, Autoimmune Thyroid disease, Down syndrome, Turner's syndrome, William's Syndrome, or Rheumatoid Arthritis. Undiagnosed CD can lead to the development of other conditions including anemia, osteoporosis, central and peripheral nervous system disorders, gall bladder malfunction, and GI cancers. Therefore, it is important to either rule out Celiac Disease or diagnosis it in your child. The only treatment is a gluten-free diet and this will help ease her discomfort and ensure her good health.