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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to FREE Celiac.com email alerts What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic) Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

If You Have Celiac Disease, Would You Keep Your Children Gluten Free For Life? (I.e. From Birth To Death)
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   43 members have voted

  1. 1. If you have celiac disease, would you make your children follow a gluten-free diet?

    • I'd keep them off gluten and make sure they always ate gluten free for life (or at least until they were out of home...)
      21
    • I'd introduce gluten into their diet when I feel it's best and test them annually with Cyrex/EnteroLab/Other Lab for gluten problems.
      10
    • I'd allow them to consume gluten and introduce foods at the time I feel it's best and only take action when they start showing symptoms.
      12

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47 posts in this topic

If you have celiac disease, would you keep your children gluten free for life? (i.e. from birth to death)

I think I would. Especially since gluten sensitivity seems to correlate with autism, schizophrenia, IDDM, heart disease, cancer, autoimmune thyroid disease, arthritis and more...

Eventually I think I'd let them choose once they were out of home but I would not be the one to choose for them.

What are your thoughts? :unsure:

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This is an interesting question. I assume you are talking about children who do not have celiac disease.

If I had a non-celiac child, I would not want to penalize or handicap them with my diet. That said, I have often thought that if I had known in time I would not have had kids at all. There are lots of reasons.

One is that I would not want any of my kids to go through what we all experience daily, including inconsiderate family/friends, brain-dead doctors, etc.

At the same time, allowing gluten into the house would create an unsafe environment for me. It is the same reasoning that dissuades me from ever wanting to date any non-celiacs.

My daughter just had a child and I reminded her that the baby should be tested since I have celiac disease. She surprised me by responding that she knew already because she had recently discovered that she has it. I did not know that.

Celiac disease simply is not something I would want to knowingly pass on.

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This is a hard one to answer. We are dealing with it now with my 2 year old grandbaby. I am self diagnosed celiac/gluten intolerant. My daughter has been tested, came out negative, but accepts that whether or not the test is accurate, she must be gluten free. She decided to start her baby out gluten free. When they are so little, they can't tell you why they are fussy or why they won't eat. If she were eating gluten, we would always wonder. My daughter has not yet decided if she should introduce gluten when her child is better able to communicate how she feels.

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I wouldn't be so reluctant to introduce gluten into their diets if it were just celiac, except I've heard from various studies that mice fed wheat-based diets had the highest rates of other autoimmune diseases, notably IDDM and others. I used to think that animal proteins were the cause of autoimmune disease, but all the new stuff out there seems to be pointing more and more to wheat. :huh:

My fear is that if I introduced gluten and my child developed MS, IDDM, Autism, Arthritis, Schizophrenia, Autoimmune Thyroid Disease, and a host of other things at any time in life; I may always be wondering if just a simple difference in diet would have made all the difference. :unsure:

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NO!! Let them eat gluten. I would not warp my kids' childhood that way unless I knew it were necessary.

As for developing other conditions, think back on all of the studies over the decades that have pointed to something dietary causing something, only to have it reversed in the next study. Look at how many times they've gone back and forth over coffee, for instance.

richard

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If I was to have another baby now that I'm diagnosed, I would keep it gluten free until it was a little older because of the cross contamination issue. My youngest son and I have celiac and my oldest is non celiac gluten intolerent. However, I'm not having more children.

When I was diagnosed both of my kids were on a full gluten diet. I had them both tested and were negative, so they continued an normal diet. Two years later and because of new symptoms my youngest son developed we had him retested. He was positive so he has been gluten free since. As for my oldest, he was having his own issues so I had him scoped. All his blood work every year has been very negative. His scope was negative also, but I decided to trial him gluten free for three months. It made a big difference in him. He did do a brief challenge and then laid all the cards on the table. I gave him reasons to stay gluten free and reasons not to stay gluten free. I gave him the choice on what to do. He decided to stay gluten free for now because he said he felt so much better. Pretty big decison for an 11 year old.

Bottom line you have to decide on what is best for you.

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My fear is that if I introduced gluten and my child developed MS, IDDM, Autism, Arthritis, Schizophrenia, Autoimmune Thyroid Disease, and a host of other things at any time in life; I may always be wondering if just a simple difference in diet would have made all the difference. :unsure:

Nowadays, this is a fear that all parents should have

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I have a 17 year old daughter who was the most awful baby ever. She cried nonstop for months. We tried all sorts of formulas thinking this that or some other thing was causing her problems but nothing helped. She had bowel issues her whole life. After talking about my diagnosis she went gluten free and for the first time in her life is beginning to feel healthy. While it is doubtful that my husband and I will ever have a child of our own, I have decided that if we are blessed with one our child will be gluten free. I see no reason to make a child suffer and be sick for no reason at all. Even though it's been only 2 months I rarely feel deprived and there is no reason a child would either, especially with my planned monthly trips to a gluten free bakery for what are the world's best cupcakes.

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I would have kept mine gluten-free during early childhood if I had been diagnosed. If only for my own safety. While I would keep a gluten free home I wouldn't stop them from eating gluten outside the home when they reached school age unless they had symptoms. There is no way to keep them gluten free from birth till death though as when children become young adults they will do as they want as far as food and life choices go.

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I think I saw a study about not giving children under 2 years old gluten. Seems like it said that more reactions were likely to occur in kids if they ate wheat before the age of two. Anybody remember that study? Anyhow, if my memory is right, which it sometimes is, (occasionally) that could be a good reason to not give them gluten until they are 2 years old. of course the link I found kind of says the opposite, it figures. So IMHO on my paragraph above. There is also some question if it is possible to get good antibodie test results from young children. So that is another catch 22. If you can't reliably test them for reactions with a doctor's visit, then you have to figure it out for yourself based on what ever you can. And if the aren't able to verbalize the problem, or have non-GI tract symptoms, it could be kind of difficult to do that.

Wheat Allergies and your Baby - When Can Your Baby Have Wheat?

Ok slowly having a brain reaction. Something bubbled up to the top finally. I think it was soy that they said should not be introduced early, as it can cause additional allergic reactions to develop. Well, I can't find a link for that either. But it was a study about children with casein allergy who were switched to soy formula, and they then developed additional food allergies. Not a good change for them. IHMO there is a study out there in the webisphere saying pretty much that.

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I don't think that living gluten free is tragic, and I would help my family be gluten free. I do think it is odd that so many people are obsessed with eating gluten, often with a chunk of dairy. It seems that many people focus their diets on processed gluten foods with dairy, and I think *that* is tragic.

What my kids did away from home would be primarily up to them (assuming they are capable of cleaning themselves sufficiently when returning home), and if they started having symptoms/issues, we would work through that together. My kids seem quite pleased to have a nice selection of gluten free foods to eat when away from home, and we have had many gluten eating people comment that they envy the foods we eat.

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Oh...if only one doctor of the many, many I saw in the 42 years before I was dx'd had discovered a gluten problem in my children's Mom! Not only would I have avoided over twenty years of increasingly poor health -- my children would have avoided many health problems....any parent will tell you that one day of your child being sick is far worse than being sick yourself.

As I can't re-write my family's history - I can only guess that if one is fortunate enough to discover you need to be gluten free prior to having a family it would be quite simple to keep your small children gluten free for the first several years of life -- once they hit the Kindergarten or First Grade lunch table it would not be possible to keep them from trying gluten should they want to try it. With my children had I known Celiac could be causing the different and miscellaneous health problems they experienced before going gluten-free as teens and young adults...again can't re-write history.

I agree with another poster...our family doesn't consider gluten free a punishment now that we have made the complete transition == we have replicated all but a few items and each of my children and grandchildren have much improved health so we all feel grateful to have control of health on our dinner plates :)

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my kids are already grown - if i had known that i had celiac when they were little, i would have (o gosh, easy to say now! but when they were growing up i could barely afford to feed them cheap wheat food! there are 4 of them...)

son (now 26) has discovered an article in his body building magazine (not listening to his MOTHER telling him he may be gluten intolerant at the very least) that says gluten is ruining his physique - not to mention he has always *always* had digestive issues, even as an infant. so last week he went gluten free completely. he felt so good, he had to go ahead and eat a fast food burger. haha - if he wasn't convinced, he is now! he was also diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at the age of 19 - i now wonder if he was fed gluten-free when his body was developing that maybe he wouldn't have had the diabetes onset??

i don't know. two of my daughters have (not me) a different biological mother, so would it be fair to them to make them eat gluten-free ie, no mcdonalds, pizza, etc? feed them gluten and the other two gluten-free? gosh... i can hear it now: HOW COME THEY GET TO HAVE ______ AND I HAFTA EAT ________? sigh. maybe God had mercy on me that i didn't have to decide.

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I think the whole world be better off gluten free. A long time ago we had hogs being produced on our farm. If we wanted a better price, we added wheat to their diet to fatten them out. I am sure the meat wasn't improved but it put more dollars in my pocket at sale time. We are an obese nation, I think gluten being in everything processed is the culprit, plus I think a lot of the auto-immune diseases are because of gluten. I personally like my gluten free diet.

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I would keep my children gluten free as long as they lived in my home.

I well remember as a child feeling spacey, shaky, weak, anxious, nervous and having a stomach ache all the time.

It was normal to me and I thought everyone felt that way, they just handled it better than I did.

When I did complain of feeling ill, sick to my stomach or stayed home from school, the teachers and my mom thought it was just anxiety or being shy around peers or avoiding school.

It took me until 47 to figure out that all of these things are the the feeling of being glutened.

How on earth can a child communicate all the symptoms of being glutened?

I don't feed any children gluten and I never will. My sisters kids and my friends kids know they get gluten free treats at my house.

Gluten costs too many people too many years of their lives.

It should be a controlled substance in my opinion.

If it is true that 1/133 have Celiac and don't know it, then at least there should be a Celiac warning on every loaf of bread and package of cookies just the way cigarettes are labelled.

May be hazardous to your health.

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Some people say gluten is quite unnatural and may well be worse than tobacco and alcohol in terms of the illnesses it causes. Rodney Ford once told me this.

Would you agree with this? :unsure:

Seems a bit disturbing that it's so widely used then, doesn't it?? What about the wheat that was around 100-200 years ago? Was it any different?

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First of all, autism is a genetic condition, it is not caused by eating gluten. It is a neurological difference in the way one thinks and experiences the world. Gluten will make it worse if you already have a form of autism, but that's about it. (Just thought I should clear that up)

I wouldn't have children. If I did (hypothetically speaking), I would keep them off gluten, soy, dairy, grains, legumes and off all processed food as long as they are at home. Basically they eat what I eat or they can go hungry. I would refuse to feed them crap, they can have a lifetime of eating crap after they leave the house if they want to. It also sets them up with good food habits, knowing how to grow their own food from the garden and good cooking skills for later in life. I want my kids to know where food comes from as well as how and why it's important to them and their health.

Wheat was different 200 or 400 years ago. Much of it now has been genetically engineered to some extent or selectively bred to have certain qualities. The gluten content in a lot of modern day wheat is about 20% higher than it's original counterparts, that is just one example.

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We've always been careful about what we bring into the home. I don't think avoiding gluten is any worse than avoiding sugars, etc.

We don't use convenience foods, we don't use soda pop, we eat very little fast food.

My kids are young adults now and don't show signs of feeling deprived. They were allowed occasional departures into "junk".

We did not live this lifestyle in a legalistic fashion, we made the children feel as if they were part of a team learning to make the best possible personal choices, and we educated them as to why we thought something was not good for us.

We explored safer alternatives together and made it an adventure to be "different". LOL, they thought their life was better than their friends' lives!

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Wait, Kjas, you wouldn't have children? Simply because of celiac? Or am I misreading this?

I had two WONDERFUL children with nary a sign of celiac. Best decision of my life.

richard

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Wait, Kjas, you wouldn't have children? Simply because of celiac? Or am I misreading this?

If I had known in time, I would not have had kids. I would not have wanted to take the chance that I pass on this problem. I also would not have wanted my kids to experience what I have.

As it is, one of my two daughters does have celiac disease. I can't help but feel guilty for what I did to her.

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My two children have a problem with gluten and if I had known what I do now about Celiac I would still have had them. And if it was possible to my husband and I would have welcomed more children especially after finding out about Celiac since we would know not to start them on gluten til they were older. Actually with my youngest I probably would have kept any other children gluten free in the house.

And besides, who knows if your child could be the next Albert Einstein or Bill Gates or find a cure for a disease. My oldest, who had very mild symptoms(mostly skin), wants to be a pediatrician so that she can help kids who are as sick as her sister was.

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Wait, Kjas, you wouldn't have children? Simply because of celiac? Or am I misreading this?

I had two WONDERFUL children with nary a sign of celiac. Best decision of my life.

richard

Not entirely because of celiac. I have celiac disease and some pretty nice complications, Aspergers Syndrome (ASD) and some weird genetic crap going on which the medical field can't even classify.

I don't think it's fair to have children just because I have a selfish desire to have them, knowing what their lives would be like (at least in the industrial world) because of those 3 things put together. If it was only 1 of those things, or if I wasn't aware of those conditions, then it might be different. But I can't bring myself to do that to another human being intentionally and knowingly.

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I have celiac disease and some pretty nice complications, Aspergers Syndrome (ASD) and some weird genetic crap going on which the medical field can't even classify.

Would you mind a couple of questions about the ASD?

Is it a self-DX or were you DX'd by a medical professional? If the latter, what type of professional made the DX? Also, were you a child or an adult?

The reason I ask is that I worked in data processing and several years before I retired, ASD was the big thing in the data processing trade press. The articles claimed that lots of data processing folks were attracted to the profession because of ASD. I've always been interested in getting more info about the condition. If you have anything you can share, it would be appreciated.

Thanks!

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I replied by PM, check your inbox.

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If I had known in time, I would not have had kids. I would not have wanted to take the chance that I pass on this problem. I also would not have wanted my kids to experience what I have.

As it is, one of my two daughters does have celiac disease. I can't help but feel guilty for what I did to her.

But hon, you didn't know about the celiac when you had your children----so you should not feel guilty! You did not "do anything to her" on purpose. You had her out of love, so do not put that on yourself.

I feel guilty that I did not know about the celiac when I was trying to have children and had 4 miscarriages. I never could carry to term, despite fertility treatments and various painful procedures.

I also feel guilty knowing my Dad surely died from this thing (they could not figure out his pernicious anemia, plunging hematocrits, need for blood transfusions, h. pylori, kidney disease, GI issues etc.) and wish I had known back then what I know now. I might have saved him.

I feel guilty I did not figure it out sooner for myself and spare my husband watching me slowly die for 3 years.

This is what I think sometimes, BUT that is unrealistic--because the point is WE DID NOT KNOW.

Wouldn't you tell me that it was not my fault because I did not know back then? Of course you would.

Please--Don't feel any guilt. There is no way you could have known.

Kind regards, IH

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