YCoeliac disease can be quite serious if not treated properly, that’s why finding it when your child is young is extremely important. Unfortunately, in the 21st century, coeliac disease is fairly common for children in Europe – with stats showcasing an increase in coeliac cases in 2020.
Coeliac disease is a condition in which your immune system attacks its own tissues after ingesting gluten products. Whilst many only experience mild symptoms (diarrhoea, abdominal pain, and bloating), that isn’t the case for all individuals.
Some go on to develop much more concerning issues that include; improper growth rate, delayed puberty, and even the weakening of bones.
Today, we’ll be looking at how common Coeliac disease is in children and what you should do if you think your child might have the disease.
Coeliac Disease – The Stats
Coeliac disease is still considered a fairly mundane disease and one that just requires simple dietary tweaks to resolve. Whilst that might be the case for many, it should be taken much more seriously when considered in children.
Below are some of the standout statistics that have been collected by various health organizations:
- In the UK, Coeliac disease affects one in 100 children
- Most children go undiagnosed until much later in life
- Coeliac disease is not a food allergy, in fact, it’s an autoimmune disease caused by a reaction to gluten
- Main symptoms of coeliac disease include; diarrhoea, constipation, faltering growth, irritability, and bloatedness
- Gluten free diets should only be introduced if your child has been formally diagnosed by a health professional
- From the one in 100 people believed to have coeliac disease in the UK and Europe, only 30% have actually been diagnosed by a health official
Should You Get Your Child Diagnosed?
Most health professionals recommend that you get your child tested for the Coeliac disease if you have suspicions they may have the condition. Some children can now get tested via a blood test. Meaning they won’t have to go through a biopsy – a much more invasive procedure.
If you do believe your child has coeliac disease, by all means speak with your GP. Your GP if they think it’s necessary, they will then refer you to a paediatrician or paediatric gastroenterologist.
If diagnosed with coeliac disease, your child will receive ongoing monitoring by an experienced paediatric dietitian. Who will recommend foods they should (and shouldn’t) consume. Further to this, children should be followed up six to 12 months after their diagnosis, receiving a yearly antibody blood test there after.
So, the short answer to the question is yes. Coeliac disease is fairly common amongst children in the UK and Europe. Some studies show that cases are rising across the globe, and treating it should be one of your priorities as a parent.
Thankfully, health bodies across the globe understand the importance of treating this disease. Offering plenty of help where it’s needed most. If you think your child has coeliac disease, do not hesitate to visit your GP. They will give you the relevant, up to date advice.
For further online information in regards to dealing with coeliac disease if your child is newly diagnosed, head to Glutafin for a wide range of information on recipes and living a gluten free lifestyle.