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Celiac Disease And Breast Feeding- Everything You Need To Know

4 min read

Once you give birth to your little angel, you discover that life is not a bed of roses. There are umpteen health issues that crop up leaving you extremely apprehensive and tense for your little baby. One such common issue, that a lot of babies face is Celiac Disease. This normally starts as an allergic reaction to gluten products that can trigger all kinds of complications for the little baby. You need not panic as there is definitely a cure for this disease. Read ahead to find out more about this disease and what should be done to treat it.
celaic and breastfeeding

What Is Celiac Disease?

It is an autoimmune condition that is inherited and where the baby’s immunity system responds to gluten. Gluten is actually a kind of protein that is normally found in barley, rye, and wheat. If your little one is a victim of celiac disease, the immune attack affects the intestinal walls of the baby. This triggers all kinds of issues like nutritional deficiency, improper growth, weakened bones, and anemia.

What Causes Celiac Disease?

  • This disease is mainly hereditary
  • Specific genetic mutations can also trigger celiac issues in small babies
  • Some external issues and infections can also trigger this condition

Symptoms Of Celiac Disease In Babies

Some of the major telltale signs that indicate that your little one may be suffering from the celiac disease include:

  • Loss of weight
  • Lack of proper development or growth
  • Constipation issues
  • A bloated belly
  • Diarrhea
  • Rashes on the skin
  • Acid Reflux or heartburn
  • Pain in the joints
  • Tiredness

There is every chance that this condition can go unnoticed in little babies as most babies always seem to experience bloating of the tummy and diarrhea quite often. However, you need to be alert and talk to your little one’s doctor if the baby’s diarrhea continues for more than ten or twelve days and they appear to be in some kind of discomfort and pain. Smelly stools, potbelly, and severe irritability are other signals that you should not ignore.
breastfeeding and celiac

How To Diagnose Celiac Disease In Babies?

Diagnosis of this condition at the right time plays an important role in controlling the disease and overall wellbeing of your little baby. Very often the condition may be mistaken for irritable bowel syndrome and go untreated. Some of the tests to diagnose celiac disease in babies are:

  • Blood Test: Blood test is conducted to determine the raised levels of antibodies
  • Endoscopy: If the blood is positive of celiac disease, the doctor will usually perform an endoscopy to confirm the diagnosis. Here a small flexible tube is inserted through the mouth into the intestine to view the small intestine and evaluate the extent of damage
  • Capsule endoscopy: Capsule endoscopy is another way of confirming the diagnosis. It uses a small wireless camera in the shape of a pill to take a comprehensive picture of the small intestine. The tiny camera travels through the internal digestive tract that cannot be seen with endoscopy. It records the full view of the intestine and also the amount of intestinal damage

Treatment For Celiac Condition In Babies

The best remedy for this condition is to completely avoid gluten in the diet you give them. This includes avoiding

  • Barley
  • Malt
  • Rye
  • Wheat and by-products of wheat
  • Triticale

And you need a total revamping of the little one’s diet in order to suit her requirements.
You can include:

  • Rice
  • Corn
  • Tapioca
  • Arrowroot
  • Soy
  • Quinoa
  • Buckwheat
  • Sorghum

Just try out some simple recipes with the above-mentioned flours and make yummy porridges for the little one in order to ensure they have a diet free of gluten and at the same time nutritious too. It will take quite a considerable amount of time to totally remove all traces of gluten from the system and become fully gluten-free.

Celiac Disease And Breast Feeding – Can Breastfeeding Help Control Celiac Disease?

It has been proven that breastfeeding your little one can avert or even delay this disease by introducing small quantities of gluten to the little one through breast milk. This will be beneficial from the variations in the bacteria present in the intestines. Breastfed babies have an increased quantity of bifidobacteria in their system. Victims of the celiac disease do not have high amounts of bifidobacteria in the gut. The presence of gluten in the intestinal cells permits cells to accept gluten rather than getting inflamed. This makes the profusion of bifidobacteria present in the intestines of babies who feed on breast milk lower the chances of developing celiac disease.

  • So make sure you breastfeed your baby for at least six months especially if the little one is at a higher risk of developing this disease later in life
  • After say four months, you can slowly begin by introducing very small quantity of barley cereal to your baby while you are still breastfeeding so that the little one’s system gets used to tolerating gluten well
  • Exclusive breast milk for the first six months is found to postpone the onset of celiac indications for at least one and a half years

The above-mentioned details are sure to help you deal with celiac disease and ensure that your little mite is treated for it at the right time so that unwanted complications can be avoided when your child grows up. Make sure you take all the necessary precautions to delay the chances of your little one being a victim of this disease if your child is prone to developing celiac disease.
Did your baby suffer from celiac disease? How did breastfeeding help him to overcome this condition? Share your experience in the comments section below.

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