Celiac disease in children: types, symptoms, diagnosis and treatment
Food intolerance arises in children due to a lack of individual enzymes in the body, without which it is impossible to digest the substances contained in food. In this case, the use of certain products is extremely dangerous. One of the most common pathologies is gluten intolerance (celiac disease). The development of the disease can lead to serious consequences. Avoid them only by severely restricting the diet. It is important to diagnose pathology as soon as possible in order to prevent deviations in the development of children.
- What is celiac disease
- Causes of the disease in children
- Forms of celiac disease in children
- Possible complications
- Symptoms of celiac disease
- Diagnosis of pathology
What is celiac disease
This is the name of the hereditary disease that occurs in children due to intolerance to gluten contained in some cereals (such as wheat, rye, oats, barley). The body does not absorb this protein from many products (bakery products, cereals, sausages, sweets). Irritation of the intestinal mucosa leads to the appearance of diarrhea, symptoms of intoxication and exhaustion of the body. As a result, the development of children is disrupted, they suffer physically, there are deviations in the work of the nervous system.
The peculiarity is that most often the disease manifests itself not immediately after birth, but later, when children are given additional nutrition in addition to breast milk. In cereals, milk mixtures contains gluten, in addition, it can be present in the form of additives in other baby food products. When the first signs of pathology appear, even doctors do not immediately put the right diagnosis, since with dyspepsia, similar manifestations also arise. However, with celiac disease, conventional medicines do not help digestion.
Unlike other intestinal diseases, celiac disease is incurable. There are periods of exacerbation and remission (temporary easing of symptoms). You can save the child from suffering only by completely eliminating from the diet of his food products containing harmful protein. At the same time, the effect of toxins formed during the splitting of gluten ceases, the state of the intestine and the whole organism is completely restored.
Video: What is celiac disease, how is it manifested. Diagnostic Methods
Causes of the disease in children
Pathology is of a genetic nature. If a similar affliction affects one of the close relatives of the child, then with a probability of 1:10 the disease also occurs in him.
In addition, gluten intolerance is often found in the presence of pathologies such as Down's syndrome, as well as diabetes mellitus and other autoimmune disorders of the thyroid or pancreas. Additional factors provoking the appearance of symptoms of celiac disease in a child are inflammatory and viral diseases of the intestine ( bowel disease with adenovirus infection ), chronic hepatitis.
Symptoms of gluten intolerance in children often appear after surgical operations on the intestine (for example, as a complication after removal of the appendix ). Even psycho-emotional stress can provoke the development of the disease.
Forms of celiac disease in children
Disease in children can occur in the following forms:
- Typical, when the symptoms of disturbance of the digestive system are manifest, intolerance of dairy products is observed.
- Atypical. With this form of the disease in children, intestinal disorders and vomiting are less frequent. However, due to the disruption of the functioning of various body systems, atypical manifestations such as neurological disorders, an unreasonable increase in body temperature occur. Often there are caries of milk teeth, stomatitis, anemia, hair loss, joint diseases, dermatitis, lag in growth and development.
- Latent (hidden). In this form, the disease can occur after treatment of a typical or atypical celiac disease. The mucous membrane of the intestine is partially restored, so nutrients continue to enter the body. However, their deficiency and the harmful effect of gluten on other organs are gradually manifested. At the same time, there are no obvious symptoms in children, but the consequences of gluten poisoning gradually appear.
The refractory form of the disease is the most difficult. Gluten-free diet does not help to improve a child's condition, leads to disability, and sometimes to death.
Failure to comply with the diet and the progression of the disease lead to the occurrence of severe complications in children. For example, the development of the disease in a refractory form is possible.
Ulceration of the intestine leads to the occurrence of intestinal bleeding. Aviataminosis and anemia develop, which causes a delay in the child's physical and mental development.
In adolescents, the disease can cause a disruption in the development of reproductive organs and delay puberty, which subsequently leads to infertility. The lack of calcium and phosphorus affects the condition of the bones. They become brittle, fractures often occur, their curvature occurs. Increased likelihood of oncological diseases.
The rapid development of celiac disease in young children can lead to death from exhaustion.
Video: Symptoms of Gluten Intolerance in Children
Symptoms of celiac disease
The appearance of signs of celiac disease in children is possible at any age.
In children under 1 year old
To recognize celiac disease in such babies is the most difficult, because at this age in their diet only begin to appear products containing gluten, and their intake into the body is insignificant.
Frequent occurrence of such symptoms as diarrhea, bloating, fluid heterogeneous stools, as well as tearfulness, nervousness, bad sleep, fever, parents are usually seen as manifestations of a cold, overeating or infection with a viral infection.
The child badly adds weight, weakens, can not sit, does not stand on legs. To suspect development of a celiac disease it is possible, if similar pathology has already been diagnosed at someone from the nearest relatives.
Up to 2 years
The child can not practically tell why he cries, where he hurts. The onset of the disease is provoked by stress, for example, due to the fact that he was given to a kindergarten . In addition, the regime and nature of nutrition changes. The baby develops symptoms such as persistent diarrhea (the stool can be mushy, with impurities of undigested food, foam, has an unpleasant smell).
The child often vomits, he has vomiting. There is an increase in the abdomen. The kid develops poorly, shows no interest in toys and games, and is capricious. A lack of calcium causes rickets. Later, teeth begin to erupt, and they appear already with signs of caries.
Children older than 2-3 years
The presence of the disease is indicated by the following symptoms:
- pallor and swelling of the face, the appearance of circles under the eyes;
- fast fatiguability;
- allergic skin rashes ;
- increased hair loss;
- lactose intolerance.
Diarrhea alternates with constipation. The amount of feces increases. Consistency of them is a mushy, unpleasant smell intensifies, meteorism is observed.
There are signs of a delay in physical development (small growth, muscle weakness, leanness). The delay in puberty in girls is indicated by insufficient development of the mammary glands, later the onset of the first menstruation (after 15 years). These children have more pronounced age-specific behavior, there are bouts of irritability and aggression, which are followed by apathy. Often there are atypical symptoms, such as increased thirst, frequent urination, skin lesions, repetitive stomatitis, rheumatoid arthritis.
If it is confirmed that the source of the ailments is celiac disease, then the consumption of products based on cereals containing gluten ceases, the symptoms of celiac disease in children may completely disappear. With a lifelong observance of the gluten-free diet, the child develops normally and leads a full-fledged lifestyle (attending an ordinary school, doing sports).
Diagnosis of pathology
If suspected of having celiac disease, the doctor first ascertains whether such manifestations of the affliction were of relatives, what is the nature of the child's diet and lifestyle. According to the parents, the doctor will find out how long the ailments have appeared, how the baby developed, what was hurting earlier.
Measures the weight and height of the child, palpation of the abdomen is performed. Assign genetic tests for the predisposition to various diseases.
Analysis of ELISA allows to determine the presence in the blood of specific antibodies to substances formed in the intestine with celiac disease. Without this analysis, a gluten-free diet can not be prescribed.
A laboratory blood test is performed for the presence of inflammatory diseases and infection. The analysis of feces under the microscope and the sowing of stools allows to determine their bacteriological composition. According to the results of the coprogram (as this method of examination is called), it turns out which groups of substances are not digested and not absorbed in the intestine. The nature of the impurities is clarified, the presence of fat particles is detected.
A colonoscopy is performed ( examination of the internal walls of the intestine with the help of a special chamber). This takes a sample from the surface of the mucosa to determine its cellular composition (a biopsy is done).
The presence of damage to the intestinal wall is detected by means of an X-ray. Ultrasound of the abdominal cavity is also used (for detection of defects in the intestine and violation of its patency), densitometry (bone density research). For consultations, an allergist, a gastroenterologist and an immunologist are involved.
Video: The role of diet in the treatment of celiac disease
Treatment of this disease consists, first of all, in the complete exclusion from the diet of gluten-containing products. The diet is lifelong. Changing the state of the child for the better is not an excuse for canceling it. If the gluten supply resumes, the symptoms appear again.
Therapeutic diet. Permitted and prohibited products (table)
Foods that are approved for consumption
Products to be excluded
Soups on vegetable and diluted meat broth with the addition of buckwheat, rice, potatoes
Bread, pasta, any products from wheat and rye flour (including sweet baked products)
Oatmeal, buckwheat, millet, corn, rice porridge, gluten-free bread and biscuits
Products containing yeast (they contain barley), oatmeal and semolina porridge
Sour-milk products without adding flavorings, preservatives
Kvas and beer
Hard-boiled eggs or omelette
Sausage, sausages, canned meat, sauces and other products containing food additives
Low-fat boiled meat and fish
Crab sticks, canned fish
Fresh or baked fruits and vegetables, as well as berries, jam without gluten, jelly
Preserved berries and fruits
Honey, butter and vegetable oil
Warning: To prevent an exacerbation of the disease, it is necessary to carefully study the composition when buying food in the store, paying attention to the presence of gluten. There are specialized departments for the sale of gluten-free products.
In addition, drug therapy with iron-containing drugs is used to eliminate the symptoms of anemia. To strengthen bones, the administration of calcium and vitamin D. is prescribed. Other vitamins are prescribed for strengthening immunity, protecting against colds and inflammatory diseases.
With exacerbations of celiac disease, children are prescribed drugs containing enzymes. They are necessary to maintain the liver and pancreas. In treatment, probiotics are also used to restore useful intestinal microflora.
The effectiveness of treatment and the speed with which results appear depend on how quickly the diagnosis is established. When a child develops symptoms of frequent intestinal disorders, it is important to bring him to the specialists.