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rami

More Questions From A Newbie........

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Does anyone know the average time it takes for an 8-year old's intestines to heal after starting a gluten free diet and would it be too soon to notice changes in my son after 2.5 weeks gluten free? We have noticed that his appetite has increased exponentially so I'm not sure if this is a good or bad sign. We usually have to battle with him to finish any of his meals but he has been polishing off breakfast, lunch, and dinner in record time. He also has several snacks after school and before bed. Could he be feeling better after only 2.5 weeks? His only symptom is short stature, which is frustrating for us because we don't know how well we are doing with cross contamination and avoiding gluten so we are clinging to anything for positive reinforcement!

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I don't think there's an "average anything" with celiac as everyone responds differently. Children probably start healing more rapidly than adults. The fact that he is eating more is definitely an encouraging sign. I'd say you're on the right track, Mom! Just give it time...

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This happened to me at age 43 at about a month gluten-free. My appetite slowed with time, but I was not a growing 8 year old. I'd guess his body is just very happy to be given food that doesn't hurt. Your son's digestive system was likely hurting all along, but it was his "normal" so he didn't know what it was like to eat food and not have it bother him. At least that is what is was like for me. Until I removed gluten I had no idea how bad my digestive system had been my entire life - I had nothing to compare it too.

Started healing yes - healed no. Children do heal more quickly than adults, so this just proves you have started off well...keep up the great work.

I wouldn't restrict his food for now, his body may just be clamoring to catch up. Try to keep the food healthful besides gluten-free.

Keep healing and growing strong :)

Edited to add: Your son may indeed start to react to CC and minor gluten exposure as his time gluten-free increases. Just pay attention to signs -- if he seems overly tired, unusually irritable or his tummy bloats after a meal. There are more signs, but his appetite indicates you are doing a good job keeping the gluten out. My teens had little or no digestive complaints when they went gluten-free for other symptoms, but a small bloat is obvious now almost any time they dine out.

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I have always heard that children heal very fast- no, his intestines have not healed, but his numbers will likely drop significantly by follow up, giving you a good indication. My 8 year old had been on a restricted diet at home only, since I have celiac and we had made the house gluten-free- she had a blood test 2 weeks later and her tTG number had fallen to half what it was. Now that she has been totally gluten-free for about 5 weeks, I expect her numbers to be normal at her follow up, she seems to be responding beautifully, and like your child, very hungry and happy to eat!

She did not have stomach symptoms prior to diagnosis though, only found out because of me being diagnosed (she is considered a latent celiac).

Good luck, keep up the good work!

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