Help & Hope for Kids with Digestive Disorders

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  • NASPGHAN North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
  • NASPGHAN Foundation North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition Foundation
  • APGNN The Association of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition Nurses
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Pediatric Celiac Disease

If your child has celiac disease, consuming gluten will cause damage to finger-like projections, called villi, in the lining of your child's small intestines.

Celiac disease is a life-long condition, but it is manageable through permanent modifications to the diet. Simply put, anyone with celiac disease must adhere to a gluten free diet. While this may seem daunting at first--especially for kids--you'll find that many nutritious, tasty foods fit into this diet (including fruits and vegetables, eggs, meat, poultry--and even soft drinks and ice cream!) For more information and ideas, see CDHNF's Gluten-Free Diet Guide.

Quick Facts on Celiac Disease:

  • Approximately 40,000 Americans have been diagnosed with celiac disease.
  • Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease, meaning it causes a person's immune system to attack the body.
  • Symptoms of celiac disease can appear at any age after gluten is introduced into the diet.
  • Patients with celiac disease must follow a lifelong gluten free diet

Children are at higher risk for celiac disease if they have:

  • Type 1 diabetes
  • Autoimmune thyroid disease
  • Dermatitis herpetiformis
  • Down syndrome
  • Turner syndrome
  • Williams syndrome
  • A relative with celiac disease