What are the symptoms of celiac disease or gluten sensitivity?
Typically, children and adolescents will be tested for celiac disease if they have persistent diarrhea and failure to thrive. Other symptoms include abdominal pain, abdominal distention, bloating, constipation, unexplained anemia, vomiting, anorexia, loss of subcutaneous fat, symptoms consistent with irritable bowel syndrome and delayed puberty.
Children with certain medical conditions, including dermatitis herpetiformis, Down Syndrome, immunoglobin A (IgA) deficiency, Type I diabetes, Turner syndrome, hypothyroidism, dental enamel defects and Williams syndrome, may also have a greater prevalence of celiac disease.
I’m concerned about handling such a dramatic change in my family’s eating habits — where do I even start?
Yes, changing to a gluten-free diet takes some work, but experts at Stony Brook’s Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity Center will support you during this transition. We can help you with everything from recipes and reading labels to restaurant strategies.
I’m also concerned about my child being singled out or feeling left out at social occasions because of dietary restrictions.
That is a legitimate concern, but also something the team can help you with. Remember, children are remarkably adaptable, and once they understand what they can and cannot eat, they tend to follow through because they feel so much better and no longer get sick all the time. However, birthday parties and other social occasions can sometimes be challenging. The key is planning ahead. We help you find ways to talk to other parents in advance about your child’s dietary needs , find substitutions for traditional celebratory foods and give you other tips for navigating these kind of situations.