It does not glue you’ve been eating — it’s gluten! If you ate a piece of bread, a slice of pizza, or a bowl of cereal, chances are you’ve had gluten! In this article on kidsrush.com, we will tell you about celiac disease in children. Let’s start!
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A person with celiac disease has a problem with gluten, which is a protein in wheat, rye, and barley — grains that are commonly eaten. Although most of us can eat gluten without trouble, some people have allergic reactions to foods with gluten.
The food you eat enters your stomach, which is a part of the digestive system. An important part of the digestive system is the small intestine, which has a lining known as villi.
It may seem strange, huh? Finger-like projections in your intestines! But remember, they are microscopic, meaning they are too small for you to see without a special microscope. It is believed that villi are essential to the absorption of nutrients by the body.
A person who has celiac disease gets sick when gluten, such as is in bread, causes an immune system reaction. A person with celiac disease’s immune system normally keeps them healthy. However, the body damages the villi.
Nutrition is essential to a kid’s health, but without it, the body may not be absorbing enough vitamins and nutrients. No matter how much food they eat, they might still lose weight and develop anemia from not absorbing enough iron.
How is it possible for children to get Celiac Disease?
People who have celiac disease tend to be from the northern European countries and the United States, according to a survey conducted by the American Celiac Society. Only about 1 in 10 people in the United States have celiac disease.
The diagnosis of celiac disease is uncertain for many people. Among the estimated 3 million celiac disease cases at the moment, Type 1 diabetes still outnumbers celiac disease. Fortunately, awareness about celiac disease is growing, and better tests for it are available.
Signs and Symptoms Of Celiac Disease In Children
Most children who are diagnosed with celiac disease are between the ages of 6 months and 2 years old when they begin eating gluten in foods for the first time. Prolonged gluten consumption can cause sickle cell anemia, dermatitis, and weight loss.
It takes some time to develop the symptoms in some people, which is why some people may not be diagnosed until they’re older. This is because celiac disease is chronic, so people with it will always have it, and symptoms may come and go.
Gluten intolerance is sometimes caused by other digestive problems called inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) or lactose intolerance. In some cases, a child may seem healthy only to suddenly suffer digestive issues when they are under stress, such as after an injury.
How Do People Know They Have It?
The symptoms of celiac disease include excessive stomach pain, diarrhea, weight loss, and others. A doctor can provide more information on this and may order a screening blood test.
An individual with symptoms of celiac disease usually gets tested by an endocrinologist, a doctor specializing in digestive troubles. A biopsy may be performed to look inside the small intestine under a microscope. This procedure is called a biopsy.
How Is It Treated?
Celiac disease is treated by eating no gluten. Because gluten is present in many foods, a dietitian can help individuals adjust their diet to cut out gluten. Please, do not reduce the number of proteins in your diet unless informed of your diagnosis with celiac disease.
The intestine heals when a gluten-free diet is followed, but that does not mean the person can reintroduce gluten. Gluten always irritates someone who has celiac disease, and if this happens, symptoms such as diarrhea and belly pain will return.
Knowing which foods contain gluten can be difficult for someone with celiac disease. You may not know them all, but you can keep a list with you and ask about menu items before digging in. Your knowledge will soon advance, and you’ll know which foods are safe and which are not.
What foods contain gluten? Here is a quick quiz.
- fried chicken
The easiest answer is Pizza but did you know that breaded foods such as fried chicken and even some French fries contain gluten? Also, almost all kinds of pasta made today contain gluten. Luckily, gluten-free pizza crust, fried chicken, and pasta are available.
Cross-contamination is another risk; it means a portion of food does not contain gluten as an ingredient but came into contact with gluten-containing foods. This happens most likely in your own kitchen – for example, wheat breadcrumbs in the toaster, the butter, or jar of peanut butter.
Your moms and dads can help you find gluten-free foods, such as gluten-free oats. You must have separate spreads and condiments, as some foods are contaminated during processing.
If you aren’t sure if something is gluten-free, you should read the labels on foods as best you can, but these foods you should steer clear of until you know for sure:
- packaged rice mixes
- instant cocoa
- canned soups
There’s also a law that requires the labeling of wheat-free products. However, a wheat-free product doesn’t necessarily mean it’s gluten-free since wheat-free food may contain barley and rye (gluten-containing grains).
Gluten is not hard to eat just because you have celiac disease. You can adapt foods to be free of gluten although many gluten-free products and baking mixes are available. Support groups are great resources for finding the best products and recipes.
For instance, distilled vinegar used to be recommended to be entirely avoided on a gluten-free diet a few years ago, so joining a support group may help you keep current.
It turns out now that distilled vinegar does not contain gluten molecules. Huh? That means that distilled vinegar can now be used as an acceptable ingredient. That changed a great deal of what foods people who are gluten intolerant can eat.
You may hear things like this right away if you belong to a support group. Support groups are also a healthy way to get to know other kids with celiac disease and to learn you’re not alone.