Detecting an allergy in your child can be difficult at times when symptoms may not show up right away or may not even show any physical symptoms that you might notice. This is also common in children with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. Thankfully, celiac disease and gluten intolerance are becoming more widely known and the symptoms to look out for are more available than they were 10+ years ago. How are you to know if your child is showing symptoms of celiac disease (CD) or gluten intolerance (GI)?
Signs and Symptoms of CD or GI
These are the common symptoms of celiac disease and/or gluten intolerance in children. These symptoms may include but are not limited to… (link to site)
- Growing pains
- Stomach pain
- Chronic ear infections
- Hyper Follicular 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)
What is the difference in CD, GI, and a Wheat Allergy?
It is very easy to confuse these three diseases/allergies and some are just that, an allergy.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that affects the lining of the small intestine. When someone with CD ingests gluten, it will destroy the villi (which absorbs nutrients) lining the small intestine. This is why it can be painful for those who ingest gluten and will eventually cause malnutrition from the lack of villi in the small intestine.
Gluten intolerance is similar to CD in symptoms, but it is not an autoimmune disease and does not cause malnutrition. Scientists are still researching into GI and why it acts the same as CD but does not destroy the villi in the small intestine. The studies are still inconclusive and we all are patiently waiting for an answer.
Wheat allergy is just like any other food allergy, it can cause symptoms such as hives, swelling or itching of the lips, rash, itching, wheezing, diarrhea, nausea, and vomiting. The severity of the symptoms can vary from one person to the next. Some can’t ingest it, some can’t touch it and in the worse case scenario, some can’t even smell it without showing symptoms.
Why is CD difficult to diagnose?
Often times, symptoms of one disease may show up as another and some diseases may have the same symptoms of another. This is why it can be difficult to diagnose with 100% accuracy without a doctor testing for it. There are two main types of genetic codes for celiac disease, one is HLA-DQ2 and the other is HLA-DQ8. The most common genetic code found in people with celiac disease (90%) will have DQ2. With this being the most common code for those suffering from CD, doctors can overlook the lesser common genetic code DQ8. If you’re wanting to cover all your bases, make sure you ask your doctor to look for both genetic codes if/when they test you/your child.