In this episode of ‘Gluten Free RN,’ Nadine discusses common signs and symptoms of gluten intolerance in children as well as the importance of identifying celiac disease early to allow for the growth and development of body and brain.

Nadine employs anecdotes about her own clients at the Gluten Free RN office to illustrate the myriad of ways that gluten can affect the health and development of undiagnosed kids.

This episode explains the GI problems, developmental delays, autoimmune disorders and neurological issues that children with gluten intolerance face as long as they remain undiagnosed. Click and listen to recognize the warning signs!

What’s Discussed: 

The common dismissal of celiac symptoms in children

The profound impact of gluten intolerance on fetal development and maternal health

  • It typically takes 9-15 years for a person to be diagnosed correctly

Signs and symptoms of celiac disease and gluten intolerance in children

Failure to thrive

  • Low birthweight
  • Short stature, stunted growth and delayed development
  • Lactose intolerance
  • Abdominal pain and vomiting
  • Focus and retention issues (ADD, ADHD, ODD)
  • Autism
  • Psychiatric issues
  • Delayed puberty
  • Listen for the full list

Katie’s story

  • After suffering from chronic constipation, her colon was removed – but her health did not improve until she learned about celiac disease and changed her diet
  • Because her growth was stunted as a result of malnourishment, Katie only grew to 5’3” despite having a size 10 foot

Why vitamins, minerals and supplements don’t help children with celiac disease or gluten intolerance

Why undiagnosed celiac disease patients suffer from focus issues and psychiatric disorders

  • Inflammation of the brain causes hypoxia
  • Low oxygen flow results in ‘brain fog’

Sam’s story

  • At 17, she was overweight and suffering from abdominal pain
  • She was still wetting the bed and had yet to get her period
  • After receiving a celiac diagnosis and adopting a gluten-free diet, Sam lost 100 pounds and has gone on to have two healthy children

The importance of testing the entire family for celiac disease once one member has received a diagnosis

The high percentage of celiac patients who are asymptomatic

  • Roughly 50% of people diagnosed with celiac disease would say they have no symptoms

The increased chances of developing autoimmune disorders when children with celiac disease go undiagnosed

The enormous genetic overlap between celiac disease and Type 1 diabetes

Why parents should be tested for celiac disease prior to a pregnancy

  • Undiagnosed expectant mothers are at an increased risk of miscarriage, complications and delivering babies with low birthweight and neural defects

How to navigate birthday parties, camps, school events, etc.

  • Proper planning and communication make it easy

Resources Mentioned: 

How Doctors Think by Jerone Groopman

 University of Chicago Medicine Celiac Disease Center Website

 EnteroLab Celiac Testing Resources

 Connect with Nadine: 

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Books by Nadine:

Dough Nation: A Nurse’s Memoir of Celiac Disease from Missed Diagnosis to Food and Health Activism

Posted by Nadine Grzeskowiak, RN

Nadine is a 'food is medicine’ activist and is very proud of her work to educate all people about the power of food in health and wellness. Nadine is an expert consultant, professional speaker with over 1500 lectures to date, author of DOUGH NATION: A Nurse's Memoir of Celiac Disease From Missed Diagnosis to Food and Health Activism, podcaster, mom and former emergency/trauma/critical care nurse. Nadine is co-authoring her next book on the science of celiac disease.

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