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Should I Have My Children Tested?
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I found out about a month ago that I was celiac. Should I have my children tested for it?

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It is a genetic condition that is prevalent in first degree relatives so yes. I would recommend getting the Gene tests depending on their age. Although the Gene test would not diagnose Celiac it would be a good indicator of whether or not periodic blood tests are warranted.

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I found out about a month ago that I was celiac. Should I have my children tested for it?

Depends on their age, and whether they have immune problems presenting. I would also famiarise with all related symptoms of G sensitivity so you can be aware of them occurring in your kids down the track.

Testing also depends on what test and whether of an invasive nature when there are no symptoms.

There are genetic markers for this condition and the likelihoood is strong that they may be gluten sensitive if not actually celiac prone. I found that it was far better and easier to adopt a general gluten free diet for entire family. (I.e. same cake/ cookies /gravy /noodles etc for everyone.) Also if you have already noticed immune problems then I would not hesitate to adopt this diet.

Also I advise to drop any ideas they may develop of being a 'victim of fate' or getting 'special treatment' as really it is no different to white skinned people having to take more care in the sun! You can say for e.g. "We-our family-always wears a hat in the sun or we get burnt, we- our family- dont eat G foods or we ...insert your words".

If problems have not already surfaced, I would let them "breakout" of gluten-free for social occasions where difficulty arises - birthday parties , school events etc, as it is frequency of consumption over time that leads to the chronic illnesses. Unless of course they have serious symptoms already in which case your doctor should have suggested..

They can test out (if they want) when they are old enough to make choices.

At 11 my oldest son ( still not tested and neither i for that matter) insisted on having a meat pie as school lunch treat once a month, "like the other kids" and always had a red rash around his mouth by the next day, which then took over a week or 2 to heal. He continued this pattern for most of that year. When he got to high school, the next year, he easily rationaiised that it was better to be rash free than eat G pastry!

The important thing is to understand that no-one "grows out" gluten sensitivity- so having gluten grains or avoiding them will not change the sensitivity anymore than we can change the color of your skin. It is the signs & symptoms that may change during the lifetime, and they will worsen if the cause is ignored. Which is why being generally gluten-free is the best you can do for your children now. Please read "Dangerous Grains" for more.

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I don't see a reason to test them unless they show symptoms. A gene test just shows a low probability/association. <wouldn't waste my time and money at this time. :)

I don't know how old your children are, but keep a keen watch. No need to be alarmed until there is an issue. :)

AND WELCOME!

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Lets get some actual medical advice:

These are from the University of Chicago Celiac Center:

http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/archives/faq/who-should-be-tested-for-celiac-disease

http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/living-with-celiac/guide/screening

http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/archives/faq/at-what-age-should-children-get-tested-for-celiac-disease

Mayo:

http://www.mayoclinic.org/celiac-disease/children.html

My boys were teens when I was diagnosed. I had them blood tested and they were negative. If they start having any problems- GI, migraines, etc they will be re- tested. They know to look out for it. No did not do a gene test. 30% approximately of the US has the genes that are routinely tested and most don't have Celiac. I didn't want anything that could be used against them in the future like a pre- existing condition or if they wanted to join the military.

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Thank so much for your replies. My kids do not show definate symptoms. However, they all seem to get sick very easy. They pick up anything that's going around and often have it longer than normal. Not sure if that could be a symptom. My kids are 10, 8, 5, and 2. Right now my family still eats gluten for lunch and dinner or when we are out. However for dinner, everyone eats gluten-free with me. I don't cook separate meals. I also read in the articles above that they may not show symptoms. My 10 year old is rather short for her age. But I'm only 5'4" and my husband is 5'8". I have a sister that is only 5', so initially, her short height has never alarmed me. Now that I've read celiac can affect growth in children it makes me wonder. I also wonder how long it has been affecting me. The stomache issues started a year ago. However, looking back, I think it's been causing migraines and my tiring easily for a lot longer. Without the stomach issues I would not have gotten a diagnosis. If they have celiac, I want to find out before they get as "sick" as I was. Thanks again for the advice and thank you for letting me ramble. It's nice to talk to people that understand.

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i would get my children tested if i were you. i'm very sensitive to gluten, and antibodies were found in my husband's and my saliva, so i got the gene and full celiac panel done on my children. i would never wait for symptoms first, as gluten can be wrecking havoc inside, and you would never know it. i have a friend who was completely fine, and was diagnosed with osteoporosis at only 35yo, and that's when they found out that she has an intolerance to gluten. afterward, she found out that her uncle had celiac disease, and her grandmother died of a "wasting" disease years ago. sure your children's tests can come out negative, but at least you tried! (imo...) (and even if they come out negative, it could be false or it could be true, and they could develop it down the road, so you still need to keep an eye out.) i got mixed results on blood and saliva for my children, so we are doing stool testing next (which i hear is vey good!)

good luck!

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I would get them tested too, and I would go one step further and make them gluten-free too. I had my boys tested and they came back negative but 2 of 3 of them showed some possible symptoms of gluten intolerance (emotions near the surface, short stature, tired, always hungry, stomach aches, and too frequent bowel habits). I slowly made them gluten-free and their symptoms are disappearing! My oldest is much calmer, concentrates better on his work and doesn't complain as much and my youngest doesn't need the toilet 5-8 times a day anymore.

If they do continue to eat gluten, you might consider getting them tested every couple of years so if it develops in childhood, you can catch it early.

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Mgyoung77... Should you decide to have your children tested, this is the panel that should be ordered by your doctor:

The following are the celiac specific blood tests:

Anti-Gliadin (AGA) IgA

Anti-Gliadin (AGA) IgG

Anti-Endomysial (EMA) IgA

Anti-Tissue Transglutaminase (tTG) IgA

Deamidated Gliadin Peptide (DGP) IgA and IgG

Total Serum IgA

This blood panel is the only recognised, non-evasive method to diagnose for Celiac Disease, at this time. An endoscopy exam can also be diagnostic. A positive dietary response and a gene study, will/can all be supportive.

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Since a huge number of people have celiac but have zero symptoms, it does not make sense to wait for symptoms. Especially for a simple blood test. Our son's doctor said all first degree relatives should be tested (regardless of symptoms) every two years . . . or sooner if symptoms develop. Second degree relatives should be tested if they have any symptoms or if they have been diagnosed with another autoimmune disorder.

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Since a huge number of people have celiac but have zero symptoms, it does not make sense to wait for symptoms. Especially for a simple blood test. Our son's doctor said all first degree relatives should be tested (regardless of symptoms) every two years . . . or sooner if symptoms develop. Second degree relatives should be tested if they have any symptoms or if they have been diagnosed with another autoimmune disorder.

^^^^This. Why wait for symptoms? By that time the damage has been done. Not to mention that kids sometimes have different manifestations of Celiac (cognitive issues, neurological, etc.) It's just a blood test. Get the genetic test first, because if they are negative, then you don't have to worry about it. If they have the genes, get them tested for Celiac.

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    • I figured I would update those who were wondering.  I have gotten the appt. so far moved up to August 30. I am waiting to have gene testing done via swab for all 3 of my kiddos tomorrow. My daughters celiac antibodies came up negative but her IgA is low which the ped said could cause false negative antibodies for celiac so she will need to see a GI dr. also. The pediatrician is going to call the GI to try to get them in sooner. I am keeping them all on a gluten diet until the GI dr. decides what to do. I am on the cancellation list already for my son, however I am not going to be persistent with my phone calls to them until I have the results of the gene test. I really want that result in my hand before going to the GI dr if I can. Maybe if he is positive, along with his bloodwork and my history they can forgo the endoscopy. But he will eat gluten till then.  My husband and I have been very honest and upfront with him as to what is going on and the possibility of the endoscopy and what that entails and although scared in general he seems ok after assuring him that since I have it he has me to help him every step of the way.  Going through his current diet with him I realized that he is truly on such a low gluten diet that I am actually surprised his bloodwork shows antibodies at all!  So I told him to make a list of allllll the gluten he could possibly think of eating and he needs to pound it until the GI visit or endoscopy. Funny thing is everything he keeps thinking of to want to eat...is already gluten free!  The other night we were at a friends and he asked if he could be done with his hotdog. I made him finish just the bread 😂 Thanks for your help and advise and I will keep y'all posted on both kids!  My oldest is a ok as far as all his antibodies. Just actually had a follow up for other immune issues and all his levels are now normal!
    • I like your plan Cara, I may have to include it in my sons.    Poor little guy is still very very sick. I think he is resisting and cheating, despite having the support of two other siblings and a 100% gluten-free home. 
    • Despite it being a nightmare, I did wait for my kids to get biopsies. At one point I had one severely ill child gluten-free and two more waiting having to eat it. It was worth the wait though and I think long term a biopsy may be worthwhile, especially for school. I have already had issues with schools and camps so having a firm diagnosis has been helpful. 
    • Knowing that the reaction to gluten in celiacs is an uncalled for immune system reaction, I was thinking of how a cure would be possible. Maybe a medicine that somehow turns off the immune system. The only thing that i've heard do that... HIV.  obviously that's way worse than celiac. Just some food for thought.
    • Well, you can probably get an apple or something.  You might be able to get someone to boil you some eggs.  But be careful of things like nuts that should be naturally gluten free.  They have almost always been soaked in a flavor solution that usually containes caramel coloring, "soy" (wheat) sauce and other aditives.  If I am really hungry and must eat in a Chinese restaurant, I order plain white rice and steamed vegetables.  But even so, you must monitor it carefully.  The rice sometimes has other substances added to give it a better texture, and very often the vegetables have in fact had "just a little bit" of soy sauce added.  To be fair, celiac disease is hardly ever found in East Asians, so understandably people are not tuned it to it.  Also, culturally, with the exception of fruits, it is generally thought that the flavor of foods needs to be enhanced, so it is had to find anything natural even in the "western" gorceries. Even in the western restaurants, be careful.  Fish and meat and often vegetables are usually pre-marinated. I will not even attempt to address the issue of cross-comtamination, since that is a whole higher order of things. I do know what I am talking about; I have celiac and have worked here for nearly 7 years.  
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