Gables Montessori Blog

COULD MY KID HAVE CELIAC DISEASE?

Celiac disease shows up in so many different ways. Although experts say there are not “typical” symptoms, if you detect signs as diarrhea, constipation, vomiting, stomach aches, rash, irritability, fatigue, inadequate growth, anemia, migraines and hyperactivity in your kid, maybe it is time to take him to the doctor for an accurate test. This disease is an autoimmune condition in which the lining of the small intestine gets damaged by consuming gluten (found in wheat, rye and barley) and in consequence, nutrients from foods can´t be properly absorbed. The problem is that it’s not just about the bread, foods like pastas, cereals, crackers, seasonings, spice mixes and others regularly contain ingredients with gluten.

A person can grow up with problems related to this illness before finally getting diagnosed, so the discomfort becomes a way of life. The best thing to do is to investigate the family history of the condition first because celiac disease is genetically based (If a parent has celiac, his or her kids have a 10 percent chance of inheriting the condition), the next step is talking to your kid’s doctor to order a simple blood test. But before that, parents should not remove gluten from the diet, it is better to wait for the expert opinion.

What should parents do when their children have celiac disease? Maybe the first training is to become expert ingredient-label readers, looking out for wheat, barley, rye and oats in foods; on the other hand the entire family could also benefit from a healthier diet. But there are two important things to keep in mind that will be the main tasks in raising celiac kids: dealing with the emotions and social effects that arise and giving lots of support to children in what will be their new way of life. Going for counselling can be a good option, there are sources of education and support for the gluten free diet that can help to better understand which foods are safe and which are not, how to read food labels to know if a food or medication is safe, how to plan a well-balanced gluten-free diet, help determine if vitamin and mineral supplements are necessary and where to find gluten-free substitutes for the child’s favorite foods.

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