If you have recently gone gluten free and are having difficulty with helping your children go gluten free, this video series by Glutenology and Dr. Osborne is a much watch. The series discusses symptoms and diseases in infants and children that are linked to gluten intolerance and celiac disease. Gluten Free Society and Dr. Osborne present this two part series on gluten sensitivity/intolerance and children.
What Is Gluten?
Gluten is defined as proteins found in various grains, such as wheat, barley, and rye. Gluten is composed of two primary proteins, gliadin and glutenin, which form a network-like structure when mixed with water. This network provides the necessary strength and flexibility to produce a wide range of baked goods including bread, pasta, and pastries. While gluten is a staple in many traditional diets, it can be problematic for individuals with celiac disease or gluten sensitivities. People with gluten sensitivity or wheat allergies may also experience complex reactions when exposed to gluten-containing foods. As a result, gluten-free diets have gained popularity as a therapeutic approach for managing these conditions and promoting overall well-being.
How Common is Gluten Intolerance in Kids?
Approximately 1% of the global population is estimated to be affected by celiac disease. This arises from an abnormal immune system response to gluten, primarily in individuals with a genetic predisposition. Therefore, those with relatives diagnosed with celiac disease and individuals with certain medical conditions have a higher susceptibility to gluten intolerance or celiac disease. It is important to have accurate genetic testing to determine if your kids possess the gene for celiac disease so that you can prevent potential damage that gluten can cause. Identifying familial connections and other risk factors can aid in early diagnosis and the adoption of a gluten-free diet, which is the cornerstone of managing celiac disease or gluten intolerance in kids.
Common Symptoms In Children With Gluten Sensitivity
Symptoms of gluten intolerance can vary from person to person, however here are some of the most common signs of gluten intolerance in kids:
- Growing pains
- Stomach pain
- Chronic ear infections
- Hyperfollicular keratosis (skin bumps on the back of the arms)
- Failure to thrive (FTT)
- Growth stunting
- Short stature
- ADD/ADHD symptoms
- Spontaneous nose bleeding
- Severe allergies (hyper allergic syndrome)
There are more listed in the video. If your child has any of the above conditions consider gluten as the potential threat to their health. Learn more about gluten intolerance symptoms.
Testing Your Child For Gluten Sensitivity
If you take you child to the pediatrician to test for gluten intolerance, make sure they perform the appropriate lab testing. Blood testing and intestinal biopsy are flawed tests that often times come back falsely negative. Ask the doctor to perform genetic testing as it yields the most accurate results. We also recommend taking the sensitivity test as it will provide you with immediate insights. You can learn more about gene testing for gluten issues here.