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Celiac Disease And Growth Hormone Deficiency
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I'm sure many of you might know my story, but thought I would post it again just in case. About a year ago my 8.5 year old son was referred to a pediactric endocrinologist because of short stature. Since about age 4 he has not not followed his growth curve and eventually fell off of the charts. His only symptom was short stature, but the endocrinologist ran numerous blood tests to determine if he had an underlying cause and after blood work and a biopsy he was dx with celiac by a gastroenterologist in August. He has been on a gluten free diet since but because his only symptom is short stature we cannot be sure how well he is responding to the diet as we don't have a follow-up with the gastroenterologit until February. In the mean time he has been followed by his endocrinologist. He had a visit last month in which he only grew 1/2" over a three month time period so the endocrinologist recommended that we conduct a stimulation test to determine if he is making growth hormone. My husband and I were on the fence about it, not sure if we were being impatient about his growth since he had only been gluten-free for three months at the time, but we decided to rule it out! The test was performed about three weeks ago and lo' and behold, he is not making enough growth hormone. The endocrinologist classified his deficiency as moderate and told us that without growth hormone shots he would never reach his potential height and could suffer other health implications despite being on a gluten-free diet. He still has to undergo testing for other hormone levels to determine if we have to add anything more as well as an MRI to rule out a pituitary tumor, but once that is done (and hopefully all negative) the endo wants him to start the growth hormone shots. Have any of you had experience with this? Did you child respond to the shots, were there side effects? Did they reach their potential height? Does anyone know if there is a link between celiac and growth hormone deficiency? I asked the endo and he said no, but I'm finding it hard to believe one kid could have so many issues without a unified link (he also has asthma, allergies, and ADD)! I am beside myself because now we have another condition to address, but also thankful that we have identified these issues!

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Our daughter, age 9, has been on growth hormone treatment for a year and a half. She had the stimulation test too and her levels (peak) were at 3.8 when normal was 10. She was too underweight to start growth hormone treatment which set us on the GI roller coaster. Our daughter's celiac tests (incomplete blood panel several years ago and biopsy) were negative but we put her on a gluten-free diet in March of this year. She has grown 4-5 inches on the treatment and with the gluten-free diet.

There is a link between growth hormone defeincy and celiac disease. I will try to find the link for you.

We have adjusted to the shots and it is part of the night time routine. We got our daughter a buzzy bee (uses vibration and cold pack) on the injection site and she says they don't really hurt that bad. Given her fear of needles, I was really worried about starting the shots but she is my hero!

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Here is the link for the buzzy. She always had such a fear of needles that the thought of daily injections just about did us both in. She says this really helps her.

http://www.buzzy4shots.com/

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Our daughter, age 9, has been on growth hormone treatment for a year and a half. She had the stimulation test too and her levels (peak) were at 3.8 when normal was 10. She was too underweight to start growth hormone treatment which set us on the GI roller coaster. Our daughter's celiac tests (incomplete blood panel several years ago and biopsy) were negative but we put her on a gluten-free diet in March of this year. She has grown 4-5 inches on the treatment and with the gluten-free diet.

There is a link between growth hormone defeincy and celiac disease. I will try to find the link for you.

We have adjusted to the shots and it is part of the night time routine. We got our daughter a buzzy bee (uses vibration and cold pack) on the injection site and she says they don't really hurt that bad. Given her fear of needles, I was really worried about starting the shots but she is my hero!

Thank you so much for the information. My husband and I are feeling overwhelmed by all of this. We had just gotten used to the idea of celiac, so now we have to adjust to the new diagnosis. I am thankful that we know what is going on, but a little stressed by all of it as well. I will definitely be ordering the buzzy because he absolutely hates shots and works himself into a tizzy just thinking about it! Thanks again!

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I completely understand. When the nurse showed up at our house for the training, my daughter just lost it and fell to the floor crying. I felt so bad for her. I would not have believed a year and a half ago that the daily shot would not be a big deal but it really isn't. She's my hero :)

Good luck!!!

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Thank you for this thread. Since taking our son gluten-free in October, he hasn't grown (well, he's still under the 5th percentile for height and weight, growing at the bare minimum to maintain that). His older sibling at least has never shown these issues. Our son is starting to get upset about this. He feels better gluten-free, and I don't think will stray, but it's starting to get to him to be the smallest (not just the smallest in 2nd, but smaller than most of the 1st graders as well). I will read over that link re: the celiac connection. Again, thanks!

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    • Hi Lisa, I completely understand why you didn't do a biopsy on your daughter.  I went through the appendix thing myself...not fun!  I was diagnosed with just bloodwork and no biopsy, but did have the full panel.  I would go back to your PCP and ask for a full panel to include TTG, EMA and DGP tests.  Since she was already willing to test you, I'm sure she would be willing to order these.  Good luck!
    • What a gross title–it bothers me and I wrote it! It wasn't my idea originally. The research paper the data came from was entitled, "Experimental hookworm infection and gluten microchallenge promote tolerance in celiac disease" published recently in the Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology. View the full article
    • katesyl.........this is an older topic so the OP most likely won't answer.  I can, however, offer a piece of advice for you. Just going gluten free will probably not drive your inflammation markers down into normal.  It does depend on how high they were to begin with but with all autoimmune diseases, there will be inflammation going on forever.  Get used to wonky blood work because most of us will have that issue. I have 4 autoimmune diseases in total and, although I have driven certain inflammatory markers way down, my recent sed rate number was elevated.  The normal is supposed to be 30 and under in a woman my age but mine is 50.  With 4 AI diseases, I doubt it will ever be normal and I don't let it bother me. I am not willing to take major meds at all and use more natural anti-inflammatory supplements.  You can do whatever you feel comfortable with in regards to treatment but don't expect normal numbers with Celiac Disease. Inflammation will improve but normal?  Most people never get there completely.
    • My daughter's PCP did not go against anything, she offered to do the biopsy - I was the one opposed to it. My DD, who was 10 at the time had just spent 3 weeks in the hospital, very sick with a ruptured appendix, then had 2 surgeries a few months after. I didn't see the need to put her through anything else with her numbers so high and all the classic symptoms. Apparently, in some other countries, if your numbers are all high, they forego biopsy. Anyway, I was really asking about myself and whether I should push for add'l testing. I am still new this this and trying to get up-to-date and wasn't sure if my PCP should conduct other blood tests before I go completely gluten-free. I have been somewhat gluten-free, but not entirely. I have no problem going gluten-free, but want to make sure that I am doing it for the right reasons. I wasn't sure if the Gliadin Abs IgA was sufficient to point to Celiac and possibly doing a biopsy for me. Or if additional blood test would make more sense.   Thanks!!
    • I would like to know if you have found out the source of your inflammation yet. I'm gluten free three years but my inflammation test was high.
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