Celiac disease is difficult to diagnose. Some people may have a mild sensitivity to gluten. In others, gluten kicks off an autoimmune response. Our celiac disease experts meet with you and your child to determine the cause of his or her symptoms and to make a diagnosis.
Your doctor will talk with you about your child’s medical history. A family history of celiac disease increases the chance your child will have it. Children with an autoimmune or genetic disorder, such as diabetes or a thyroid condition, are at risk for celiac disease.
Your doctor will perform a physical exam to check your child’s health, including weight and developmental stage. The chronic fatigue, diarrhea, and malnutrition of celiac disease can slow a child’s growth. The doctor may also check your child’s skin for signs of an itchy rash on his or her bottom, elbows, or knees.
A simple blood test checks for certain antibodies that can signal celiac disease. This test should be done when your child is eating a normal diet.
A small flexible tube with a camera at the end allows your child’s doctor to view the inside of their small intestine. This test lets the doctor look for damage and take small tissue samples to check under a microscope for signs of celiac disease.