Celiac Disease affects people of all ages, even toddlers. This disease attacks the small intestine and will not allow it to absorb certain nutrients. Gluten is the culprit and it is found in pizza crust, bread, cookies and other foods that contain wheat, rye, or barley.
As my son started eating solid foods, we noticed that he started to get really thin. Our pediatrician was concerned because his growth had flattened out. He had really bad eczema flare ups all over his body and on his face. His hair was coming in very slow as were his teeth.
After seeing a growth specialist, Celiac Disease was mentioned as a possible reason as to why my son’s growth was stunted. His blood test did not show Celiac but because he had no appetite, he was only drinking milk for the days leading up to the doctor’s visit. Gluten needs to be consumed for it to show up, and even then it may not be the most accurate test. What the test did show was that his nutrition levels were all very low which is an indicator of Celiac Disease.
After changing his diet, our follow up visit with the doctor convinced him that Celiac Disease was the reason for the growth and other health issues. He could not believe how much better my son looked in 3 months.
Celiac Disease in toddlers can be tough to deal with if you don’t know where to start. Educating yourself about which foods contain gluten, and how to keep your kitchen gluten free are essential. Pediatricians don’t always know much about this disease and may think that your child just has a food allergy.
If your child has some or all of these symptoms then changing his or her diet is a good place to start. If you don’t see results then at least you can rule Celiac out. But if you do get results, then you know that simply changing your child’s eating habits are what is needed and not something more serious.