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    Scott Adams

    Down Syndrome: Celiac Disease Prevalent in Children With Down Syndrome

    Scott Adams
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    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Am J Med Gen 2001;98:70-74.



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    Celiac.com 02/15/2001 - Dr. Susan L. Neuhausen and associates at the University of Utah School of Medicine in Salt Lake City studied 97 Caucasian children with Down Syndrome, ages 2 to 18 years. Their results, which were published in the January issue of the American Journal of Medical Genetics, show that 10 of the children tested positive for celiac disease (IgA anti-endomysial antibody). This is a rate that is about 25 times the general population.

    According to the results of genetic testing on these children, their genetic predisposition is the same as in the general population, which leads the researchers to believe that a gene on chromosome 21 may be involved in the pathogenesis of celiac disease.. The only symptom exhibited by the children was bloating. Six of the children who were found to have celiac disease are now on a gluten-free diet and have experienced significant improvement of their symptoms.

    Conclusion: Children with Down Syndrome should be screened for celiac disease because there is a 10% incidence of the autoimmune disorder in this population. Screening for and treating celiac disease can improve the quality of life for children with Down Syndrome.

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    Guest Chris Wellington

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    My 3 y/o Daughter has Downs Syndrome and has digestion problems. We were recently informed of the possibility of celiac disease and she has been tested for it. It would explain a lot of the symptoms she is having and her trouble 'thriving'. I am glad I came across this article. It really helps knowing that there are easier solutions to some of the obstacles we face

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  • About Me

    Scott Adams was diagnosed with celiac disease in 1994, and, due to the nearly total lack of information available at that time, was forced to become an expert on the disease in order to recover. In 1995 he launched the site that later became Celiac.com to help as many people as possible with celiac disease get diagnosed so they can begin to live happy, healthy gluten-free lives.  He is co-author of the book Cereal Killers, and founder and publisher of the (formerly paper) newsletter Journal of Gluten Sensitivity. In 1998 he founded The Gluten-Free Mall which he sold in 2014. Celiac.com does not sell any products, and is 100% advertiser supported.


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