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  • NASPGHAN North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition
  • APGNN The Association of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition Nurses

Pediatric Celiac Disease

If your child has celiac disease, consuming gluten will cause damage to finger-like projections, called villi, in the lining of your child’s small intestines.

Celiac disease is a life-long condition, but it is manageable through permanent modifications to the diet. Simply put, anyone with celiac disease must adhere to a gluten free diet. While this may seem daunting at first—especially for kids—you’ll find that many nutritious, tasty foods fit into this diet (including fruits and vegetables, eggs, meat, poultry—and even soft drinks and ice cream!) For more information and ideas, see CDHNF’s Gluten-Free Diet Guide.

Quick Facts on Celiac Disease:

  • Approximately 40,000 Americans have been diagnosed with celiac disease.
  • Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease, meaning it causes a person’s immune system to attack the body.
  • Symptoms of celiac disease can appear at any age after gluten is introduced into the diet.
  • Patients with celiac disease must follow a lifelong gluten free diet
  • Children are at higher risk for celiac disease if they have:

    • Type 1 diabetes
    • Autoimmune thyroid disease
    • Dermatitis herpetiformis
    • Down syndrome
    • Turner syndrome
    • Williams syndrome
    • A relative with celiac disease

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