Duke pediatric gastroenterologists and dietitians diagnose and treat your child’s celiac disease. We partner with you to create a gluten-free diet for your child and provide long-term follow-up care so your child maintains a healthy and active life. Follow-up care helps prevent long-term complications and is especially important when children do not get better despite adopting a gluten-free diet.
About Celiac Disease
- Increased Risk of Bone Fracture: Celiac disease prevents the absorption of calcium and Vitamin D. This can lead to an increased risk of fracture and delayed growth. A gluten-free diet can improve the nutritional deficiencies that can impair bone health.
- Increased Risk of Anemia: Celiac disease can result in lowered levels of iron; folate; vitamins B2 (riboflavin), B6, and B12; and copper. This can lead to nutritional deficiencies and anemia. A gluten-free diet can improve anemia and reverse nutritional deficiencies.
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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.
Duke Children's Hospital & Health Center is proud to be nationally ranked in nine pediatric specialties.
Why Choose Duke
Access to Clinical Trials
New medicines for celiac disease are being tested and studied. If appropriate, your child may be able to try an investigational medicine as part of a clinical trial. Talk with your doctor about this possibility.
A Team Approach
If your child has another autoimmune or genetic disorder, our pediatric celiac disease experts collaborate with other specialists to ensure your child receives the best care possible.
Families who come to Duke for pediatric celiac disease care may have opportunities to share experiences and learn about the latest advances in celiac disease treatments.