What are my chances of passing Celiac Disease down to my children?
Question by Mable: What are my chances of passing Celiac Disease down to my children?
My Mother has it and so do I. My brother does not.
What are the chances of me passing it down to my children?
Answer by Shauna
About 1/3 of ALL people have genes that can make it possible for them to develop Celiac Disease. So the chances of your children getting these genes is even higher, with you as a parent. The chances that your brother has these genes is also pretty good, actually. Doctors don’t know why the disease triggers, so that makes it difficult to determine how likely it is that your children may develop the disease. But, here’s the risks as they are known.
1. Celiac Disease is triggering more frequently in the population and is on the rise. A recent study done with modern tests, but on thousands of frozen, 50 year old blood samples, has shown that in the last 50 years, the number of people with the disease active has quadrupled. So, that increases the odds that your children may have this disease trigger. We just don’t know WHY the increase is happening. Perhaps by the time you have little ones, they will have figured it out and can combat the issue.
2. Of people who are 1 degree separated from a diagnosed celiac (parent, sibling, or child), 1 in 22 develop Celiac Disease at some point in their life.
So…good odds on passing it down and having it trigger, I’m afraid.
What is usually recommended by experts is to be tested for CD every few years – and that includes your brother, not just your children. The test only looks at damage caused by the active disease, and as it can trigger at any time, without symptoms but causing damage, anyone who has a close relative with the disease should be tested every 5 years, at least. Every 2 years, if they are young or going through puberty, as it can seriously impact growth. And before getting pregnant, if they are female (it can cause miscarriage when the baby gets big enough to suffer from not getting enough nutrients, so really important).
And sadly, even specialists who diagnose celiac disease are not usually experts in it. They don’t often recommend the family testing like they should.
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