Celiac Awareness Month: Know The Types And Symptoms Of Celiac Disease In Kids
The month of May is celebrated as Celiac Disease awareness month throughout the world. People with celiac disease are sensitive to gluten which is a protein found in grains such as barley, wheat and rye.
Celiac Awareness Month is aimed at raising awareness about gluten sensitivity
- The month of May is observed as celiac awareness month
- There are three different types of celiac disease
- Anemia, bloating and constipation are some signs of celiac disease
Celiac disease is a genetic autoimmune disease which damages the small intestine. When the small intestine is damaged, nutrient absorption from food is reduced leading to growth retardation in children. Genetic, environmental, and immunological factors play a role in pathogenesis, damage of small intestinal mucosa and development of enteropathy. The prevalence of celiac disease in children aged 2.5 to 15 years is 3 to 13 per 1000. Celiac disease presents with variable clinical picture. Celiac disease can affect e in many ways and symptoms vary in severity.
There are 3 recognised types of celiac disease
1. Silent celiac disease
Asymptomatic children with increased risk of the disease. The diseases and conditions predisposing someone to celiac disease are: Type 1 diabetes mellitus (6%), first-degree relatives (10%). Down syndrome (5.5%), Turner syndrome (6%), Williams syndrome (9.5%), autoimmune diseases of the liver (13.5%) and of the thyroid gland (3%), juvenile arthritis (1.5%), and selective IgA deficiency (3%).
2. Minor celiac disease
Atypical presentation or only a single symptom is observed, such as lack of body mass increase and growth retardation, anemia, dental enamel hypoplasia, osteoporosis, or pubertal delay.
3. Classical celiac disease
After the introduction of gluten into the child's diet, a set of clinical symptoms of malabsorption appears, such as chronic diarrhoea, failure to thrive, abdominal distension and pain, growth delay and iron deficiency anemia.
Common celiac disease symptoms in kids include:
Decreased appetite - Children and toddlers are usually picky eaters, but this problem can be made worse in children with celiac disease. In addition, kids with celiac disease experience abdominal discomfort due to their inability to eat gluten.
Failure to thrive/delayed growth or puberty - Children are usually much shorter or smaller than other kids of their age. 10% of children with no cause for delayed growth may have celiac disease. Teenagers with failure to thrive might experience delayed puberty.
Other symptoms: Anemia, bloating, constipation, damaged or dicoloured tooth enamel, fatigue, itchy rash, vomiting, obesity etc.
Early diagnosis and early treatment is the key to prevent further damage to all the organ system and ensure optimal growth of a child.
(Dr Sufla Saxena is a Consultant - Paediatric Gastroenterologist And Hepatologist at Manipal Hospitals)
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