Should Your Children Avoid Gluten?
Parents often have questions about whether their child should avoid gluten, as many people have chosen this diet in the belief it has health benefits. For people with celiac disease, eating gluten free is not just a “fad” diet. Strict avoidance of products that contain gluten is mandatory for children diagnosed with celiac disease and a gluten free diet must be followed for life in these cases.
Nationwide Children’s Hospital’s Celiac Disease Center is dedicated to providing the best and most comprehensive care to children with celiac disease and their families. Our goal is to provide our patients with an accurate and timely diagnosis, education on the dietary changes necessary for treatment, and ongoing care to promote optimal health and well-being. We engage in quality improvement activities to promote best possible care, and research to advance our understanding and treatment of the condition.
Pediatric gastroenterologist Ivor Hill, MD, MB, ChB, DCH, FCP(SA), FAAP, is medical director of the Celiac Disease Center. One of the leading clinicians and researchers in childhood celiac disease, Dr. Hill has been instrumental in raising awareness of the disease in the United States. Notably, he was the chair of the North American Society for Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology and Nutrition (NASPGHAN) committee that developed the first evidence-based guidelines on diagnosis and treatment of celiac disease in children.
We use a multidisciplinary approach involving a diverse team of people with specialized expertise in celiac disease that includes pediatric gastroenterologists, endocrinologists, pathologists, pharmacists, expert registered dietitians, nurse practitioners, nurses and social workers.
Celiac disease is a chronic condition that occurs in about 1 in 100 people and results in damage to the lining of the small intestines. It affects those individuals who have the genetic potential for the condition and the disease is triggered by the ingestion of products that contain wheat, barley or rye, collectively known as gluten.
Celiac disease can be completely cured in most cases by simply altering the diet to remove all gluten products. When gluten is removed from the diet the intestinal damage recovers and the symptoms resolve. Because gluten products are found in many processed foods, people with celiac disease need to be educated on how to carefully read food labels for potential hidden sources of gluten and avoid contamination of anything they eat with gluten products. Expert nutritionists at Nationwide Children’s will work with patients and their families to educate them in this regard. Celiac disease is a lifelong condition so once a diagnosis is confirmed the gluten free diet will need to be followed for life. Failure to do so can have potentially serious health consequences over time. Learn more about celiac disease.
2013 Gluten-Free Eating: The Basics
There's a lot to learn about the gluten-free lifestyle. This primer is intended for the newly diagnosed or those who want a refresher on the basics of the gluten-free diet. Visit the Education site and search "Celiac" for more information!
The Gluten-Free Gang, is a support group in Central Ohio for those with celiac disease or gluten intolerance and their families and friends. Learn more