Usually, celiac disease symptoms are related to other illnesses, making its detection a bit more complicated. (Find more information about celiac disease diagnosis here).
The symptoms of gluten intolerance or celiac disease are very varied, and they may affect the digestive system (more common in kids) or not (more common in adults):
Childhood is the period of development of the physiological and cognitive systems. Along these years, a lot of changes happen to the body: growth in weight and height; formation of the organs and functional maturing starts, followed by the start of adolescence period… during this period, the relation between nutrition and health is basic. Beyond of that, childhood is the life stage of consolidation of eating habits by playing and exploring different food types, so the earlier they are diagnosed, the better for their future.
Among other factors, nutrition has a direct relation with the correct development of all these processes. This is why the diagnosis of gluten intolerance at an early age is very important.
Celiac disease symptoms during childhood period can be:
- Bloated belly.
- Under weigh and growth average percentile.
- Sadness, apathy.
- Lack of energy.
- Iron deficiency anemia.
At this stage of life, nutritional requirements are really high in order to cover all the changes that will happen on our body along these years. Therefore, the importance of following a strict gluten free diet is essential for a good development of the organism. Besides of being celiac or not, it is important to keep promoting good eating habits.
At this age, it is common to omit meals (especially breakfast), to eat between meals, to be influenced by others’ opinion, to be concerned about body appearance – in consequence, to adopt stupid habits and behaviors to maintain or reduce weight, breaking or skipping the gluten free diet. Besides, due to social matters or because of studies, youngsters eat more often out of home, making it easier for them not to follow the diet properly. This does not mean they should eat at home and they hang out with friends… not at all! If possible, should be totally the opposite, and Parents should encourage them to eat out, but without eating gluten.
Celiac disease symptoms during adolescence can be:
- Short height.
- Abdominal pain.
- Bloated belly.
- Delayed entry into puberty and the first period.
Though at this age our body is already formed, we rely on what we eat in order to keep our body in a good shape! At this time, the fact of eating gluten without knowing you are celiac can cause:
- Constipation or chronic diarrhea.
- Irritable bowel syndrome.
- Abdominal pain.
- Muscles weakness.
- Weight loss.
- Early menopause.
- Dermatitis herpetiformis.
- Repeated cold-sores and canker-sores.
If, by any reason, you think you could be celiac, before starting a gluten free diet, go to the Doctor and ask for a blood test. Based on the results of the blood test, the Doctor will tell have information to decide what the next step is: whether doing an endoscopy to explore the intestine and check your intestine’s mucosa or discard gluten intolerance option.
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