What to do if you suspect your child has celiac disease

There’s no denying gluten-free living is on the rise. With the increase in popularity comes an increase in awareness. But what if this newfound awareness triggers concern that your child may be suffering from celiac disease?

Symptoms in children are similar to those in adults but also include a decrease in appetite, failure to thrive, delayed growth and delayed puberty, according to Beyond Celiac.

The first, and potentially most important, step is to seek medical advice before beginning any change in diet. Dr. Maricruz Crespo, a gastroenterologist at Rainbow Babies and Children’s Hospital at University Hospitals, stresses this in the above video in a related interview for the series.

A celiac disease diagnosis starts with a blood test. If it comes back positive, an intestinal biopsy is done to assess damage. If that comes back positive, an official diagnosis is made.

This is why it is imperative to eat gluten through this process. If a gluten-free diet begins before all testing is complete, the intestines may mend themselves, making a diagnosis an impossible feat.

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