UI Children’s Hospital – Celiac Disease

Celiac disease is a sensitivity to gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, and many common processed foods such as pasta, breading, broth, and soy sauce. Gluten damages or destroys the intestinal lining of people with celiac disease, preventing their bodies from absorbing the nutrients they need to stay healthy.

Diagnosing celiac disease can be difficult because the symptoms often look like other digestive diseases. A blood test and tissue sample from the small intestine are needed to confirm a diagnosis of celiac disease.

Common symptoms include chronic abdominal pain, diarrhea, gassiness, bloating, and growth problems. Some children have no symptoms at all, or a mixture of symptoms. If you think your child may have a problem, it’s important to see a pediatric specialist with expertise in diagnosing children’s digestive diseases.

The only treatment for celiac disease is to follow a gluten–free diet. It can be challenging to manage the diet of a child with celiac disease, so it’s important to work closely with a pediatric gastroenterologist and a dietician.

Gluten Free Handbook