“Celiac disease affects about 1 of every 100 people of all ages in the United States. That’s about 3 million American children and adults. Celiac disease is the most common inherited autoimmune disorder and is far more common than many diseases you may be more familiar with, including Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, type 1 diabetes, and cystic fibrosis” (University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center). Another interesting fact is that children with Celiac disease will visit 8 different doctors until finally getting an accurate diagnosis. And 97% of people with Celiac do not know that they have it! With Celiac disease on the rise in America and the risk of it being undiagnosed, it’s important for parents to know about this disease and its symptoms to prevent children from suffering unnecessarily. Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease in which a person’s body reacts to ingested gluten by attacking itself and causing damage to the small intestine resulting in over 300 known symptoms affecting every system in the body. The only treatment for Celiac Disease is to completely remove gluten from the diet & lifestyle. Gluten is found in wheat, barley, and rye. Here is a list of common symptoms of Celiac in children provided by the Center for Celiac Research & Treatment:
- Child develops slowly.
- Child is not gaining weight and may even be losing weight
For children under 3:
- Growth failure
- Projectile vomiting
- Abdominal bloating/distention
For older children:
- Difficulty concentrating
- Personality changes
- Poor memory
If you suspect that your child may have Celiac disease, then it’s crucial to work with a Functional Medicine practitioner, like myself, who completely understands how to accurately test for Celiac and other underlying health issues or deficiencies that could be adversely affecting your child and his/her development. It’s also important to note that some people, even children, may test negative for Celiac, but still have Gluten Sensitivity. Awareness of Gluten Sensitivity is growing, but most conventional doctors still don’t really understand it or worse, don’t acknowledge it in patients. I am an expert in not only diagnosing Celiac disease and Gluten Sensitivity, but also have worked with countless patients in creating customized treatment plans and support for their new gluten free lifestyle and diet. I welcome the opportunity to help you and your child know if testing for Celiac or Gluten Sensitivity is warranted. And if testing is necessary to confirm or rule out diagnosis, your child and his/her health will be in good hands. As a mother of six children, I understand how important it is for our children to be healthy. I am committed to making sure that your child reaches his or her optimal health and greatest potential. I look forward to working with you and your family.
Elite Care by Dr. Liesa Harte, M.D.
1524 South IH 35, Suite 140
Austin, TX 78704