2 Your Health: Celiac disease becoming more common in children

2 Your Health

Most parents are concerned with keeping their children healthy, but what if you’re giving them the right food and they still get sick?

Doctors say it could be the result of celiac disease.

It’s not what you would expect a typical 17-year old to eat; “Steak or chicken or I get salad.”

But Aiden Savett has no choice.  He can’t eat most fast or processed food.

Aiden is among the three million Americans with celiac disease. A condition that can make people sick when they eat food with wheat, barley or rye.

Basically, anything with gluten.  And doctors are seeing more cases of celiac disease.

“The prevalence rates of celiac disease have increased,” said gastroenterologist Dr. Arunjot Singh. “And we still don’t quite understand what the reason for that is.”

But doctors do understand how to diagnose celiac disease. It involves a blood test and a biopsy.

Luckily for Aiden, he’s known about his celiac disease since he was three, when his parents noticed that he was struggling and took him to a doctor.

“He was having stomach distention, stomach distress. He was having discoloration on his the enamel on his teeth,” explained Michael Savett, Aiden’s father.

Those are common symptoms of celiac disease in children.

Doctor Arunjot Singh is an attending gastroenterologist at the Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia.

The hospital has a celiac center where children with the condition get medical care.

“We’ll see, common complaints are abdominal pain, bloating, you might see some things like headaches, not growing well. So all that conditions like failure to thrive,” said Dr. Singh.

But experts admit some of the symptoms are so common, they can be easily overlooked in children.

“Even if a child is not growing well or they have in their blood test something comes back positive that they are anemic, those are reasons that you have to be considering celiac disease on the differential,” said. Dr. Singh.

People with celiac disease are advised to stick to a gluten-free diet and here’s the good news: that’s getting easier at supermarkets and restaurants.

There is now an app to help you find restaurants that are offering gluten-free options.

Copyright 2019 Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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