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aorona

Should I Give My Baby Gluten?

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My baby is now 6 1/2 months old. I was diagnosed with celiac a couple of years ago after living my entire life sickly. My other 2 kids were also diagnosed at the same time as I was. I have read all the research out there and I know that my baby has a great chance of getting the disease. Since there are so many symptoms and my baby, of course, can't tell me what is wrong with him, I am not sure if I want to feed him gluten. It is so easy not to, since our entire family (minus my husband when he eats outside the home) is gluten free. I have watched my other 2 kids become sick and I'm not sure if I want to do this again. Why should I make my baby sick just so he can be diagnosed? My now 6 year old was not diagnosed until he was 4 and I now know he had celiac since birth. He is very small for his age and I just hope that his growth was not stunted permanently. Anyways, I am not sure I want to take this risk. I need some advice. By the way, my kid's doctor is one of those that believes my children will grow out of this, although he was actually the one (after going to over a dozen other Dr's who thought it was in my head!) who diagnosed them and me!!!

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I am sure you are going to get many different opinions on both sides of the issue.

See this link: http://www.swedish.org/111415.cfm

The AAP published a study in the May 18, 2005 issue of the Journal of the American Medical Association. In it, it was reported that children that are prone to celiac disease have a greater risk of developing celiac disease if gluten in introduced prior to 4 months or after 7 months. These children were followed for an average of 4.8 years.

Here are the findings:

The Findings

Fifty-one children (3.3%) developed evidence of celiac disease. Twenty five of these children had biopsy confirmed cases. Major findings included:

Children exposed to wheat, barley, or rye in the first three months of life had a five-fold increased risk of celiac disease autoimmunity compared to those exposed at 4-6 months. Children not exposed until their seventh month or later were also at increased risk, but only slightly.

Among the 41 children who were at the greatest risk according to their genetic markers, those exposed to wheat, barley, or rye in the first three months of life had nearly an eight-fold increased risk of celiac disease autoimmunity compared to those exposed at four to six months.

No protective effect of breastfeeding was observed.

These findings were consistent even when the researchers limited their analysis to only the 25 cases of biopsy-confirmed celiac disease.

FWIW, we introduced gluten to both of our older kids at 6 months. One developed celiac and one did not. I have also read studies that breastfeeding CAN have a protective effect.

Good luck with whatever you decide to do.

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Going thru this with my own child(never heard of Celiac until just recently) I wouldn't . I wouldn't give gluten until they were past 2 or 3. And if you and 2 kids are dx, then I would just make the whole house gluten-free and never worry about giving the baby any. If he gets any, it would be outside the house. If you feel you must get a dx, do it much much later when he's not in such a huge stage of growth and development. But as a baby, nope. If I had known all that before we started with my daughter, I would have done things differently.

Stacie

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My baby is now 6 1/2 months old. I was diagnosed with celiac a couple of years ago after living my entire life sickly. My other 2 kids were also diagnosed at the same time as I was. I have read all the research out there and I know that my baby has a great chance of getting the disease. Since there are so many symptoms and my baby, of course, can't tell me what is wrong with him, I am not sure if I want to feed him gluten. It is so easy not to, since our entire family (minus my husband when he eats outside the home) is gluten free. I have watched my other 2 kids become sick and I'm not sure if I want to do this again. Why should I make my baby sick just so he can be diagnosed? My now 6 year old was not diagnosed until he was 4 and I now know he had celiac since birth. He is very small for his age and I just hope that his growth was not stunted permanently. Anyways, I am not sure I want to take this risk. I need some advice. By the way, my kid's doctor is one of those that believes my children will grow out of this, although he was actually the one (after going to over a dozen other Dr's who thought it was in my head!) who diagnosed them and me!!!

I'm in a similar position to you, except that I'm not celiac - my sister, mother and nephew are - and my baby is one year old now. I had all sorts of problems breastfeeding her (she had screaming after feeds, vomiting, trapped gas) which cleared up when I did an elimination diet and cut out gluten, dairy, eggs and bananas - and this immediately got me thinking about celiac disease. Since she's been on solids I haven't given her gluten, but I've confirmed that the other foods still upset her tummy.

From what I can tell, the research suggests that leaving gluten introduction until later with at-risk individuals gives the gut a chance to mature, and decreases the chances of developing celiac disease. How late, I don't know (this is what I'm trying to find out now) - some reading I've found suggests 18 months to 2 years would allow the gut the best chance of maturing, so I think I'm going to wait until then before I give her gluten.

There was a Swedish study done where they found that celiac disease incidence went way up during the years that they advocated weaning on a babyfood containing wheat proteins - in at-risk individuals the gut was not yet ready and gluten triggered the celiac disease. Some doctors don't think this study is important (even though in my opinion it's good science), but as a mom you can wait a bit longer to give your baby gluten with no ill effect - why not take things slowly?

I'm told that the thing to remember when you do decide to give your baby gluten is to give it consistently so you can see a definite reaction in them after the 6-week inflammatory build-up time, if they do indeed have celiac disease.

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Guest Rosany

I totally agree with all the ladies. If you are already gluten free and celiac disease runs in the family, I would wait till the baby is older to give them gluten. I would say go with your gut. If it tells you to wait then wait. Hugs to you and I hope everything works out. Have a great night.

Hugs,

Rosa

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I was told by different drs different things - to start at 4 months, 7 m,onths and after 1. Personally, i wouldn't start till after 2 years old - i want my childs brain to develop without gluten, and afterwards, when he/she is able to verbalise and tell me what is bothering, to try gluten. If your house is already gluten free it shouldn't be too hard.

Just as a side question, i find breakfast the hardest for my almost 3 year old, and my FUSSY 15 month old - what do you give?!?!

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Why on earth would you go out of your way to feed the baby gluten when you don't even keep it in the house anymore? If nothing else, why risk cross-contamination for the rest of you (or direct contamination if the baby nurses with traces of gluten in his mouth)?

It seems to me that there's a high chance that your baby won't tolerate gluten well- so why risk his health when he's too young to understand what's going on? You can always do a gluten challenge when he's older and his development has slowed down (ie, not growing for 6 months is a huge deal at age 7mo and much less of a deal when he's 5 years.)

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