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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to FREE Celiac.com email alerts What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic) Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

My Toddler Is Being Tested Soon And My Baby Is Sensitive
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My toddler is being tested for celiac's soon with the blood complete antibody profile and the gene test. Do her symptoms sound like she might have celiacs? 

 

We have always thought my daugher (22 months) had a bit of a bloated belly. She is on track in weight and height though, actually really tall for her age, so no concern there. When she was younger, she never had "normal" stool. It went straight from merconium to green/mucusy/bloody. Eliminating dairy from my diet (breastfeeding) seemed to help somewhat, but never completely. Fast forward several months and she woke up one day from a nap with bloody stool. I took her to a naturopath who said to eliminate gluten and dairy and see if that helped. A week later her stool was tested in a lab for the presence of blood and came up negative. We continued on the dairy/gluten free diet for a few weeks. Then I introduced dairy, and there was no bloody stool. I introduced gluten a few days later, and there was bloody stool again. Took her (and me, she is still breastfeeding) off of gluten and made another appointment with her naturopath. She said to put my daughter back on gluten and is ordering a blood test for her in the next few weeks. As soon as she ate gluten again, 1 day later the bloody stool is back, again. Now her only symptom is bloody stools, I don't notice any diarrhea or pain. She does have thin toenails though and I wonder if that could be related.

 

Now for my baby, he is 5 months old and breastfed as well. About 2 months ago he came down with an awful case of eczema on one cheek. It was weeping and he would scratch his face and head so bad that he would often bleed onto his onesie. In the process of eliminating dairy and gluten from my diet to see if my daughter's symptoms would improve, my son's eczema cleared up in a few days. When I introduced dairy and gluten back into my diet, it came back worse than ever. Now since I have eliminated gluten and dairy from my diet again (my daughter eats dairy, but I don't because I think my son is sensitive), his eczema disappeared again within a few days. I'm not quite sure if it's from the dairy or gluten or both though, but I'm fine with not knowing, I just want him not to be in pain and itchy all the time.

 

Does it sound like my kids might have celiacs? Or sensitivity? I am lost about what to do. My toddler's GI doc thinks that she doesn't have the symptoms of celiac's because she is on track for her growth and development. He thinks she has a birth defect in her intestine and wants to do a colonoscopy to see. But, why would it improve without gluten? What do you think? Any advice? I'm so lost on it all.

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Sounds like it could be celiac to me.  :(

 

Not all celiacs have their growth affected. I have had undiagnosed celiac since infancy (tummy aches, "growing" pains in my joints, headaches, constipation since as far back as I can remember) but I was really tall. Off the growth charts. I stopped growing at age 12 when I was 5'8".

 

My kids, who tested negative for celiac disease but have a definite gluten intolerance are very different. My youngest is very tall (90th percentile) but my oldest is short (25th percentile)... everyone is different in how it affects them. Your kids' GI is pretty narrow minded when it comes to celiac symptoms.  :(

 

When the blood tests for celiac disease are done, try to ensure as many tests are done as possible. This is the full panel:

tTG IgA and tTG IgG

DGP IgA and DGP IgG (best tests for kids and detecting early celiac disease)

EMA IgA (detects more advanced cases)

total serum IgA (a control test)

AGA IgA and AGA IgG (older and less reliable tests that are thought by some to show celiac disease or non-celiac gluten intolerance (NCGI))

 

Make sure they eat gluten in the weeks prior to testing.

 

If it is negative, you could push for an endoscopy (colonoscopies won't show celiac disease). Some celiacs have negative blood but still have plenty of villi damage.

 

If all ends up negative, the kids could have NCGI. There are no great tests for NCGI at the moment, even though about 10% of the population has it, but a positive reaction to the gluten-free diet is diagnostic. Just give it a few months before you judge if it helps... sounds like you've got a good idea that they are NCGI at the very least.

 

Good luck with the testing.

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If my daughter ate gluten all the time but was gluten free from 11/1-11/30 and then ate gluten from 12/1-12/3 and then gluten free from 12/4-12/12, do you think it is too soon to have her blood tested on 12/31?

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My daughter (7yrs) was diagnosed a year ago and is in the 95% in height. She is the tallest in her grade. Only when she was 10 months old and vomiting very often did her weight drop percentiles. Since that age she has been on track with her growth. Everyone seems to have unique sets of circumstances.

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My daughter was diagnosed with celiac just after she turned four, after many neurological and digestive symptoms plus awful diaper rashes and vomiting that began is very early infancy. We knew from early on that it was a food-related problem because she improved immediately when I suddenly stopped breastfeeding and an allergist put her on Neocate formula when she was 6 months old (we did this out of desperation - I was very committed to breastfeeding and was heartbroken to stop, but my daughter's problems kept worsening even after I'd eliminate all of the top eight allergens from my diet for several weeks and we were out of options). Anyhow, after thriving briefly on Neocate, everything went downhill again when she started solids. It was several more years before we finally figured out that it was celiac, and now she's doing great.

One of the main reasons her her diagnosis was delayed for so long is that doctors kept telling us she couldn't really have a serious problem because she was tall for her age. She was in the 90-95th percentile for both height and weight, at almost every check-up since birth. She looked very healthy, but wasn't. Many doctors still seem to have the misconception that a child can't have celiac unless they're short and underweight. Keep pushing and don't let anyone use that as a reason to dismiss your concerns!

Good luck, and I hope your little ones feel better soon.

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