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Is A Low-Gluten Diet Useful For An At-Risk Child?

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Here's something I'm wondering about. They have not been diagnosed with celiac disease although no tests have been done. My wife recently had an upper GI, colonoscopy, and bloodwork done investigating an apparent case of IBS. Result: yes IBS, no to everything else. But my kids are still at higher risk for celiac due to my diagnosis and DQ8 gene.

Since celiac disease is considered to have a trigger along with the leaky gut and genetic disposition, is it possible that having the kids on a low gluten diet would be beneficial? I'm thinking eating gluten-free in the home, but not worrying if they eat a slice of pizza at school. If they ended up being diagnosed with celiac we would of course do the gluten-free diet 100%, but I think it would be hard to try to floow that without a diagnosis as motivation.

In other words, for a kid who's a candidate for celiac disease, does following a low gluten diet decrease their risk of contracting it?

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I would suggest testing them at this point, while you they are still eating gluten. Otherwise, the one problem you will run into is that if they are eating gluten lite, they may not have enough of a reaction to test positive for celiac disease, even if it does develop.

My two kids were tested, although they had no gut symptoms. It was just due to my diagnosis. My daughter tested positive (bit of a shock). My son tested negative, but when we went gluten free, he had symptoms resolve that we hadn't even known WERE symptoms.

From what I read, celiac disease with few to no noticeable symptoms is now more common than celiac disease with gut symptoms. :(

Re: will a gluten lite diet be useful. Last I heard, no one really knows. There was some speculation for a while that gluten in the diet might trigger the disease, but I don't believe that has held up. Stress has triggered the disease, they think, hormones have, diet has - there's lots and lots of theories (and they might even all be right), but I haven't seen anything that's definitive.

Although it wouldn't hurt to get them used to the diet. The way things are going, it sounds like the odds of them getting through adulthood without developing it are getting slimmer all the time. :(

Oh, re: your wife. Is she going to try a gluten-free diet anyway? Just had the same thing happen to a friend - negative for celiac disease with both blood and endo, but her doc wanted her to try going gluten-free anyway, because it's on the rise so much. That was her issue, it turns out. Can't hurt, and at least she's got a leg up with your diagnosis, yeah?


T.H.

Gluten free since August 10, 2009.
21 years with undiagnosed Celiac Disease

23 years with undiagnosed sulfite sensitivity

25 years with undiagnosed mast cell activation disorder (MCAD) 

 

Daughter: celiac and MCAD positive

Son: gluten intolerant
Father, brother: celiac positive

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This is definitely a personal decision but here's something to think about. I don't know how old your kids are but my oldest two have celiac disease and their 2 year old sister does not (we do test her, she's a-symptomatic, but is genetically predisposed - we had her tested). At the boys' last GI check-up, we briefly talked over the benefits of having a totally gluten-free home or not. We're actually ok with having gluten in our home as the boys have responded well to the diet and cross-contamination does not seem to be an issue. His one caution of going gluten-free without needing to is that you could run into nutritional deficiency issues which can be more problematic for girls, especially as they near puberty. So just a thought. If it were me, I would have an open dialogue running with kids' pediatrician and have them tested regularly for those things just as you would if they had celiac disease (so like iron, calcium, vitamin d, etc.).

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This is my family's story. My son (11) was just diagnosed with Celiac in February this year. our whole home is a gluten free haven. We all eat gluten free all meals. The rest of us tested negative. My younger son (6) used to have constipation and get emotional at times. He is now regular and much calmer. My husband has ulcerative colitis and since going gluten free he is doing much much better and slowly finally tapering off meds. I've had IBS all my life and had mysterious nausea for a long time. Since going gluten free I the nausea is gone and my tummy is doing so much better.

I also read this book Eat Right for you Type by Dr. Peter D'Adamo. It's about eating right for your blood type. My hubby told me he was feeling bad after chicken and it

confirmed it in the book that his blood type has trouble digesting chicken. So he doesn't eat gluten, tomatoes or chicken now and that has tremendously helped. The book has also helped me to eliminate other trigger foods. Just a thought.

We eat a vey well balanced diet with lots of salads, fruits and vegetables. I even juice veggies we drink sometimes.

And bought Pamela's baking mix to even make gluten-free biscuits

in the morning.

It is a personal choice and our family probably has never eaten as healthy as we do now.

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I'd think about testing the kids before removing gluten, but then I'd completely get rid of it.

Like Hildegard, going completely gluten-free improved all sorts of things for everyone in our family, despite only one of us being suspected of having celiac disease. For us it's much easier to deal with a gluten-free home with everyone eating the same meals. We did notice that after a time gluten-free we got more sensitive to it. No way would I have a piece of pizza or a slice of bread out somewhere, even though I'm not celiac.

I've seen things discrediting the blood type diet so I don't know about that, but our family is doing the GAPS diet and it made a lot of sense to us. Very slowly introducing new foods as part of this diet has been great. Through this process I discovered that there are other foods that trigger symptoms for me. I do not think I would have realized it otherwise.


Our family is transitioning off the GAPS Intro Diet and into the Full GAPS Diet.

Gluten-Free since November 2010

GAPS Diet since January/February 2011

me - not tested for celiac - currently doing a gluten challenge since 11/26/2011

partner - not tested for celiac

ds - age 11, hospitalized 9/2010, celiac dx by gluten reaction & genetics. No biopsy or blood as we were already gluten-free by the time it was an option.

dd - age 12.5, not celiac, has Tourette's syndome

both kids have now-resolved attention issues.

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