What is celiac diseae?
Celiac disease is a chronic lifelong condition whereby the body cells attack the lining of the small intestine when gluten is eaten. This reaction causes damage to the gut which means that the body is unable to absorb nutrients properly. It affects about 1% of the population. It is important to note that celiac disease is not a food allergy or intolerance.
What are the symptoms of celiac disease?
Common presenting symptoms are:
- Poor growth in children
- Abdominal pain
- Feeling constantly bloated
- Skin rash
- Loss of weight
- Passing gas frequently
Some patients with celiac disease may have no symptoms.
How is celiac disease diagnosed?
If you suspect your child has celiac disease, he or she should see a paediatric gastroenterologist. Diagnosis is made by blood tests for specific antibodies of celiac disease and genetic testing. Depending on the results of the blood tests, an upper gastrointestinal endoscopy may be performed to confirm the diagnosis.
What is the treatment of celiac disease?
Once the diagnosis of celiac disease has been established, your child will need to see a dietician. The dietician will advise on a gluten-free diet including shopping guides and meal plans.
What are the follow-up plans for celiac disease?
As celiac disease may lead to complications such as thyroid disease and diabetes, patients will need to be followed up regularly. The doctor will monitor growth and overall health of the child. Blood tests are performed to check for if the celiac disease is well controlled and to assess for any disease complications.
At our clinic, our doctor offers a comprehensive review and diagnostic workup for celiac disease including blood tests, genetic testing and/or upper gastrointestinal endoscopy. We will also follow-up children with celiac disease to monitor their control as well as check for any disease complications.