Gastroenterology clinic

Is it childhood coeliac disease? Separating the wheat from the chaff

Emma McIntyre
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Coeliac disease is relatively common in children and screening is recommended for those with possible symptoms or conditions that increase risk. The diagnosis should be confirmed before a gluten-free diet is begun.

Article Extract

  • Coeliac disease is an immune-mediated systemic disorder that occurs in response to gluten protein, causing villous atrophy of the small bowel and consequently affecting nutrient absorption. It is estimated to affect approximately 1% of the Australian population and may be increasing in prevalence.1
  • Coeliac disease should be suspected in children with symptoms such as chronic diarrhoea, reduced appetite, abdominal pain and bloating, poor growth, weight loss or delayed menarche.

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