What Is Celiac Disease?
Celiac disease is the hypersensitivity of the small intestine to gluten, a combination of proteins that makes the dough elastic. The condition can lead to digestive problems, irritability, anemia, and other health hazards. So you need to seek medical assistance and take the right measures to relieve your teen’s health troubles (1).
Causes Of Celiac Disease In Teens:
The exact cause of the celiac disease in teenagers is still not clear. However, researchers believe that the condition is a genetic disorder. If a family member suffers from celiac disease, then there is a 5% to 10% chance that his immediate generation may suffer from the ailment too. Even if the disease doesn’t show any symptoms when your child is a baby, it can surface when you teen becomes sensitive to gluten.
The disease is an autoimmune disorder since the teen’s body generates the response. Also, celiac disease is popular as malabsorption disorder since your teen’s body fails to absorb nutrients (2).
Symptoms Of Celiac Disease In Teens:
Symptoms of celiac disease may vary from teen to teen. Some of the common symptoms of the ailment include:
- Abdominal pain
- Constipation or diarrhea both
- The presence of fat in stool, such as steatorrhea
- Unpleasant-smelling and pale colored stools
- Abdominal bloating
- Weight gain or weight loss
- Excessive fatigue
- Anemia i.e. deficiency of iron
- Pain in bones or joints
- Osteoporosis due to calcium deficiency
- Delayed growth
- Short stature of teens
- Missed menstrual cycles in females
- The development of rash on teen’s skin, popular as dermatitis herpetiformis
- Infertility (3)
If your teen suffers from any of the above symptoms, it is wise to visit your doctor for appropriate treatment.
Treating Celiac Disease In Teens:
There is no specific treatment for the celiac disease. The only way to regulate the symptoms of celiac disease in teenagers is to follow a gluten-free diet.
1. Have Gluten-Free Diet:
Eating gluten-free foods help heal the small intestine substantially, and your teen will get relief from the digestive troubles. Consult a dietician or physician to learn which foods you need to avoid eating to recover from the symptoms of celiac disease. Here is a list of foods that teens should avoid eating.
Wheat preparations since wheat prominently contain gluten.
- Fried chicken
- Soup mixes and canned soups
- Yogurts containing wheat starch
- Beer and grain-based alcohol products
- Preparations containing rye, durum, farina, malt, semolina, triticale, bulgur, and graham flour as they contain gluten (4)
2. Nutritional Supplements:
While following a gluten-free diet, teens may suffer from certain nutritional deficiencies. So the doctors may prescribe supplements of following essential nutrients.
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin B12
- Vitamin K (5)
3. Medications To Reduce Intestinal Inflammation:
If teen’s small intestine suffers a great damage due to the ailment, then your physician may recommend steroids to reduce the intestinal inflammation. Steroids can also ease the symptoms of the disease and heal the intestine (6).
4. Medication For Itchy Skin:
If the teen suffers from itchy skin and rash due to celiac disease, then the doctor may prescribe a skin medication popular as dapsone to have along with the gluten-free diet. The medication treats dermatitis herpetiformis resulting due the ailment effectively (7).
Did your teen suffer from any symptoms of celiac disease? How did you treat it? Share your experiences with fellow moms. Leave a comment below.