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    Do you have questions about celiac disease or the gluten-free diet?

Rikki Tikki

Nursing

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I just wanted some feedback on this and to see what other people's thoughts are. I had 3 children and nursed one. She is the only one that has ended up with celiac. I have read that nursing appears to protect babies from celiac. What is everyone's thoughts on this?

At the time I didn't know I had celiac and of course there is no way to know if the other 2 will end up with celiac at some point in their future.

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I think that nirsing is good for any child and that it will not "prevent" Celiacs. The studies I have read just don't show me enough evidence to make me believe otherwise.

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I just wanted some feedback on this and to see what other people's thoughts are. I had 3 children and nursed one. She is the only one that has ended up with celiac. I have read that nursing appears to protect babies from celiac. What is everyone's thoughts on this?

At the time I didn't know I had celiac and of course there is no way to know if the other 2 will end up with celiac at some point in their future.

Hi, I know how you feel.how old are your childern?

I nursed my son,I don t have celiac or other autoimmune condition ,but he developed celiac,eczema,..

I really don t know if there is any conection,I am trying to figure it out as well.

did her diet much diffrent from the other two?

my son loved milk,cheese and pizza,and I think may be that is the reason,his diet,how old was your daughter when diagnosed celiac disease?

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We're going back a long way here, but my mom had 3 children--I'm the only one she nursed and I'm the only one with Celiac. (my sisters have never been tested)

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Recent research has shown that nursing does decrease the odds of getting celiac. It does NOT prevent celiac. Nursing decreases the odds of many many diseases, yet people still get them, even those who've been breastfed. Also, the research points more specifically towards *extended breastfeeding* as being more helpful - ie at least 6 mos exclusively nursing and one year plus for mixed nursing.

Perhaps a better way to think of your child with celiac is to think *how lucky she was that you nursed HER* because it might have been much worse if you hadn't.

Merika

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Guest Lucy

I did NOT nurse my son, he is the only one I did NOT nurse, and the only of the 3 to have celiac. So I'm the opposite.

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I agree, I think nursing is great. Maybe I nursed too long, she was 20 months old when she stopped. Her diet other than that didn't differ from the other 2. If I remember correctly, I didn't introduce any other food to her until she was 6 months old, that was the school of thought at the time. She was diagnosed with celiac at 15. I have it, but the other kids don't. I was worried about even putting that post on, because I wouldn't want to discourage anyone from nursing, it was the best. I had 3 kids in 3 years so if I hadn't I probably wouldn't of spend that much time with her.

Their dad died when they were quite little so I have no way of knowing if he carried the gene. That's another thing I heard, that both parents have to carry the gene for the child to have it. Anybody know if that is true?

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The studies are broad averages. They don't say that nursing will prevent anyone from getting celiac disease, they say that a handful fewer people will get celiac disease. According to the media articles I've read, it means that, rather than 100 babies who could get celiac developing it, only 50 or so (plus or minus the error of the study, which may be large) if they were breastfed all the way through the introdution of wheat into their diets. BUT, we don't know if these children go on to develop celiac disease later, what the celiac status of the child's mother is, when the wheat was introduced, how long the breastfeeding continued, and what the diet of the mother was during breastfeeding - all very important questions in the puzzle.

Don't forget there are other environmental triggers - infections are particularly suspect at the moment - that are necessary (but not sufficient) for the development of celiac disease.

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I agree, I think nursing is great. Maybe I nursed too long, she was 20 months old when she stopped. If I remember correctly, I didn't introduce any other food to her until she was 6 months old, that was the school of thought at the time. That's another thing I heard, that both parents have to carry the gene for the child to have it. Anybody know if that is true?

(snipped post)

Hi Sally,

There is no such thing as "too long" :) You did her immune system a great service when you nursed to 20 months. :) The "school of thought" these days is still as it was then - introduce solids at 6 months or later.

I too have heard both parents must carry the gene. I've only heard that here on this board though. Can someone point me to another source? I'd love to see the research done on it. I'd like to get my father tested for celiac (chance in he**) but as my mom has celiac, he's convinced he can't be the source of my celiac. Nevermind that he's still immediate family and therefore still has a 1 in 10 chance of having it.

Merika

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Thanks Merika, you can't imagine the guilt that I have been carrying around about me giving it to her, I din't know I had it at the time, anyway it meant a lot to read what you wrote. I actually got tears in my eyes! thanks again. (:)

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I do not have celiac disease, but my ex-husband's family does. We suspect he does too, but he won't get tested. My daughter Kailyn has celiac disease and her dr told me he has "heard" that some think that those who are genetically predisposed to celiac disease, if breastfed, will likely develop celiac disease. Dr's, he said, don't understand why, because supposedly breastmilk is gluten-free!

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her dr told me he has "heard" that some think that those who are genetically predisposed to celiac disease, if breastfed, will likely develop celiac disease. Dr's, he said, don't understand why, because supposedly breastmilk is gluten-free!

Hi Kailyn,

I will wager a bite of bread with you that this is not true :) The research shows the opposite, and it makes sense. There are sooo many myths about breastfeeding that are such garbage and it really makes me sad when doctors or those supposedly "in the know" spout off things like this. Medical students, except for a few very recently, are given ZERO hours of training in breastfeeding.

Also, breastmilk is NOT gluten free if the mother is consuming gluten. It is only gluten free if the mother's diet is gluten free. There is some debate over this in the scientific community, largely because solid research has not been performed yet. It does seem to vary person by person how many protein molecules of ANY protein (gluten or not) make it through breastmilk, but personal experience, and those of many many other moms out there, will verify that baby can get proteins and allergens via breastmilk.

Merika

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Their dad died when they were quite little so I have no way of knowing if he carried the gene. That's another thing I heard, that both parents have to carry the gene for the child to have it. Anybody know if that is true?

No, one parent can have the gene and the other parent cannot have the gene. I have the gene (but not celiac), my husband does not have the genes, my daughter without celiac has the gene, and my celiac daughter, of course, has the gene. I'm pregnant now with our third, so we will do DNA testing in the hopes that the new baby won't have the genes and thus won't need to keep doing the blood work every few years.

As far as the breastfeeding issue, I breastfeed both girls. 7 months for the celiac and 10 months for the non celiac. The new baby I will breastfeed for a year (if they have the DNA) and hope it is helps. We will also hold off on introducing gluten until 1 or 2. Tania

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I don't think BF has much of an impact on celiac whereas formula is a known trigger for celiac. I was formula fed from birth and had active celiac from birth. My dd was given formula at birth by some idiot nurses and had a severe reaction and only had breast milk once we left the hospital, she still showed signs of celiac within days of birth with those NASTY diapers. So nasty they wondered if she had cystic fibrosis but it was just due to my eating gluten which she was getting through my milk.

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My son nursed and is still nursing (lightly) and he is two and a half. Check out the post on this at the babies/children forum. Nursing helped my son SO MUCH! He couldn't keep anything down except breastmilk!

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Mostly what I have read, breastfeeding may help delay the onset of Celiac disease, but will not prevent it if a person is genetically pre-disposed. My mother did not BF me or my sister, we were both Dx last year at the ages of 35 and 37 respectively. I BF both my girls (long before my Dx, so I was totally eating normally) for about a year, exclusively BF for about the first 4 months and then slowly introducing formulas and solids to supplement. They have both tested negative for celiac disease. They are old enough now that they would most likely be showing antibodies by now if they had it. However, I will watch them closely for symptoms for the rest of their lives! Don't beat yourself up, you didn't make your child sick. I understand the guilt, I was so stressed out while I awaited my kids test results, I was just sick. I felt so horrible, thinking I had put this on them. But, realistically, now that I know I have celiac disease, it would not stop me from having more kids, it's a risk but there are worse things that can happen. ((hugs))

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I nurse Maddie but so far she can't tolerate any fomula so I am glad that I nursed her from the beginning. I am praying she doesn't get celiac but she is such fighter right now I don't think it would phase her too much. She is such a strong willed little baby :D

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I just wanted some feedback on this and to see what other people's thoughts are. I had 3 children and nursed one. She is the only one that has ended up with celiac. I have read that nursing appears to protect babies from celiac. What is everyone's thoughts on this?

At the time I didn't know I had celiac and of course there is no way to know if the other 2 will end up with celiac at some point in their future.

Sally,

I nursed all three of my sons and none of them have celiac. I knew I had celiac, but nursing is good and my problem when a baby was I was not nursed and my formula had gluten in it and I was a "fail to thrive" infant who was 8 lbs and birth, 12 lbs at a year. Celiac is gene related and the one you nursed just happened to be the one with the genes for celiac. ...it is not because you nursed that child :)

I was very careful not to feed my sons anything with gluten in it until about 18 months and then watched them closely when I started adding foods containing it.

Harriet

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Be glad that you nursed your daughter. My daughter had heart surgery at 9 days old, after which the doctor INSISTED Formula be added to her diet for extra calories. I explained that my son did not tolerate formulas at all and asked for other alternatives. I was told, incorrectly, there were none. After months of suffering, I took her off all supplements and went on a gluten-free diet and she had a complete turnaround. Since then my son has been diagnosed with Celiac and with my daughter they say it is the most likely culprit of her problems. If I had not nursed them, I don't know that they, especially my daughter, would have made it. My son nursed to 20 mos. Meg won't nurse, so I pump (that's how I get to spend so much time on the message board). ;) I'll do it until she can handle foods adequately. That's still a ways down the road, though. Be proud that you probably put off her symptoms.

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