Celiac Mama's Blog

Raising a toddler with Celiac Disease

Questions about toddlers or babies with celiac disease? August 23, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — celiacmama @ 10:54 pm

I now have about 18 months of experience living with a baby and then toddler with celiac disease. So, are there any questions or posts you would like to see?  I have developed a few tricks over the past year and a half!  Just let me know!



2 Responses to “Questions about toddlers or babies with celiac disease?”

  1. Marcelina Says:

    How did you know to test your kids? Did they exhibit symptoms? My husband is Celiac (diagnosed just 2 yrs ago). We have a 2.5 year old and 4 month old.

    • celiacmama Says:

      My daughter was showing severe symptoms. She was failing to thrive (no weight gain for 6 months) and was very delayed in gross motor and her speech. I never dreamed that she would be a Celiac! She was fine until she was about 6-7 months old and then we introduced solid foods (before that, she only had breast milk). I don’t remember exactly what we were feeding her, but she wasn’t getting much gluten. However, we have since learned that she is very sensitive to gluten. I took her in for her 9 month check-up and she was the exact same weight as she was at 6 months and then was again the same weight at almost 12 months.

      Other key things that were indicators for her (besides the gross motor and speech delays and the lack of weight gain) were she slept all the time – like 20+ hours per day, she was very constipated, and she wheezed. Blood tests revealed that she was anemic, had elevated alkaline phosphatase levels, and eventually that she has celiac disease. And, a chest x-ray showed that she had “asthmatic” lungs (pretty much inflammation due to gluten causing the wheezing). She also had things that I don’t know if they were because of gluten or not. Like, she didn’t really grow much hair and she only had two teeth for a long time. Once she quit eating gluten, she popped out a ton of teeth and grew way more hair, so it makes me wonder. She has also fractured her legs twice. This can be related to being a celiac too. (I posted an article about this in an earlier entry.)

      Now that she has been gluten-free for 18 months, she is doing great! She still has some speech and gross motor delays, but now she is just slightly delayed compared to significantly delayed. (She works weekly with a speech therapist and a physical therapist.) She no longer wheezes, she is a chubby toddler, and she doesn’t get constipated. And, all her blood work has come back perfect for the past year.

      My older two daughters have never shown any symptoms. We haven’t gotten them tested, but will if they ever start to exhibit any sort of symptoms. We generally eat gluten-free in our house, so they aren’t getting much gluten. But, when they are at school or we are out, they do eat gluten. I know that it can show up later in life for some people, so we will be prepared! I have heard some discussion about the silent effects of celiac disease, but up to this point our pediatrician says not to worry about it. (And, I trust this pediatrician! We had to switch after a disaster to figure out what was initially wrong with my daughter. This ped, however, has experience with children with celiacs.)

      Well, that was long! I hope that helps and let me know if you have any questions!

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