Gluten Allergy: An Overview of the Impact on Dietary Health

For many children, the development of gluten allergies are quite common. Medically known as Coeliac Disease, the allergies commonly present in children between ages of six to 24 months. As a protein found in common in complex carbohydrates, gluten is specifically in wheat bread and oatmeal, but not commonly found in products such as rice. With a rubber texture, it is gluten which provides the spongy look and feel of these complex carbs. As parents, understanding the implication of childhood gluten allergies, will provide for a more educated basis on which to seek medical treatment and provide home therapy for your child.

Symptoms

When allergic to gluten, a child has generally developed a condition known as Coeliac Disease. In these children, a vareity of symptoms will be exhibited and will vary from other conditions and ailments. Symptoms common to childhood gluten allergy may include intestinal pain, abnormal stools, poor appetite and irritability with some issues with diarrhea. When untreated, these symptoms may contribute to secondary disorders such as anemia, severe weight loss, constipation leading to impaired growth and decreased muscle tone.

Considered an immunologic disorder, childhood gluten allergies are most often diagnosed in children through a series of blood tests. When testing positive through initial blood screening results, the child will then undergo a biopsy of the intestines to confirm the diagnosis. Once confirmed, the parents are faced with a dietary challenge of lifetime as controlling the quality of food the child consumes will be crucially important to maintaining appropriate health.

Treatments

While there is no current treatment or cure, many pediatricians will refer the child to a dietician who will establish a nutritional program for the child. With age, the dietician may modify the dietary program in hopes of improving the allergic reaction response by slowing re-introducing gluten associated products back into the diet. Unfortunately, gluten free products are hard to find and, when found in may high end grocery stores, they may be costly. As a result, many parents are discouraged and find great frustration in the modification of diet so desperately needed by the child.

When caring for a child suffering from any childhood disease or disorder, parents often become confused or frightened. Parents of children suffering from these allergies are no exception. With the cost associated with food purchases, feeding a child with the allergies can require meal modifications for the entire family thus leading to an even greater level of frustration. When faced with the diagnosis of childhood Coeliac Disease, consult a dietician who specializes in the nutrition of children to ensure all possible options are explored including the financial implication of gluten free food products. If you want some tips to prevent food allergies, try visiting AllergyHacks.