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How to recognize gluten intolerance in a child?

How to recognize gluten intolerance in a child?

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Increasingly, there are people who cannot eat standard bread or flour dishes. All is guilty of gluten, which can cause great harm to the body, so when starting to expand the diet of infants, it is recommended to gradually give it and observe the child's reaction.

What exactly is gluten?

Gluten is vegetable protein found in cereal grains such as: wheat, rye, barley and oats. Gluten intolerance can contribute to a serious disease of the body - celiac disease (celiac disease, the most common type of food intolerance). A person who suffers from gluten intolerance, when consuming it, can expect damage to intestinal villi and also to destroy the body. Despite this risk, it is very important to include gluten in your child's diet to rule out intolerance.

1% of the population currently suffer from celiac disease. Many sources report that the incidence of celiac disease is still increasing (which may be associated with greater disease detection).

Not just celiac disease?

Gluten intolerance can have different forms and intensity. Most often talk about:

  • celiac disease,
  • allergies,
  • gluten sensitivity.

How do you introduce gluten into your child's diet?

Gluten should be introduced into the child's diet gradually, in breastfed babies in the fifth month, and in breastfed babies in the sixth month. Usually, 2-3 g of gluten (e.g. semolina) are administered per 100 ml of liquid (e.g. soup, milk, water) once a day. After two months, you can increase your gluten dose if you have not observed any disturbing symptoms.

More about introducing gluten into a child's diet.

What are the symptoms of gluten intolerance in children?

The most common symptoms of gluten intolerance in children are:

  • diarrhea (watery, fat, sometimes with blood) and constipation,
  • stomach aches, flatulence and colic are also common,
  • weight loss
  • rash
  • developmental disorders (the child grows slowly)
  • anemia (pale skin).

As soon as we observed disturbing symptoms in our child, you should take them to the pediatrician. Your doctor will decide whether to refer your child to a gastroenterologist.

If the gastroenterologist is suspected of having a child's gluten intolerance, will recommend blood tests.

Important in the diagnosis of celiac disease is following the doctor's instructions. You should not eliminate gluten from your diet by yourself or perform provocative attempts on your own. During the tests, the child should take gluten so that the tests are as reliable as possible.

generally the concentration of available EmA, tTG, DGP or GAF antibodies is determined and on the basis of their value, the probability of gluten intolerance is stated. However, not always lack of antibodies means no disease. It may happen that the child does not produce any antibodies at all, or the presence of antibodies in the serum does not mean changes in the small intestine, which may not be enough to diagnose the disease. To be sure if your child suffers from celiac disease is needed small intestine biopsy, carried out during standard gastroscopy. In children, the procedure is performed under general anesthesia, then sections of the intestine are taken and the villic atrophy is assessed according to the so-called Marsh scale.

The basis for treating a child with gluten intolerance is primarily its complete elimination from the diet. This is to regenerate intestinal villi and prevent further destruction of the body.


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