Children's Hospital Colorado

Pediatric Celiac Disease Diagnosis and Management (S1:E29)

Increased rates of proactive screening for celiac disease mean that physicians are identifying more instances of the condition in children and adolescents. Many of these children lack severe celiac disease symptoms so in the past, they likely wouldn't have been tested. Non-classic symptoms include joint pain, dental issues, headaches and fatigue. Proactive testing is great news for kids because untreated celiac disease can lead to stunted growth and other complications.

Still, even with proactive testing, it can be difficult for a PCP to make a celiac disease diagnosis. Some children may have symptoms that aren't recognized as being celiac-related. Other symptoms may not be severe enough to warrant making a doctor's appointment. Regardless of the severity, it's likely that every PCP will encounter potential signs of celiac disease in their practice.

Listen to a pediatric gastroenterology expert discuss celiac disease in children

Today on Charting Pediatrics, we're discussing celiac disease with guest Edwin Liu, MD. Dr. Liu is an international leader in the research and management of celiac disease and the Director of the Colorado Center for Celiac Disease at Children's Hospital Colorado.

In this episode, our expert explains:

  • How the prevalence of celiac disease has changed over time and what that means.
  • The hygiene hypothesis and its role in infectious diseases.
  • The ways that the clinical representations of children with celiac disease have changed in recent years.
  • Nontraditional symptoms and signs of celiac disease in children.
  • The relationship between type 1 diabetes and celiac disease.
  • An outline and definition of the nongenetic, environmental triggers of celiac disease in children.
  • The tests to order if you suspect a child may have celiac disease.
  • The pediatric populations that should be screened for celiac disease because of their heightened risk factors.
  • Factors that distinguish celiac disease from gluten sensitivity.
  • The importance of educating families on diet after their child is diagnosed with celiac disease, and how to have these conversations.
  • Whether or not there is a chance that children can grow out of celiac disease.

Diagnosing and managing celiac disease at Children's Colorado

Children and adolescents with suspected or known celiac disease and gluten-related disorders are treated by the Colorado Center for Celiac Disease. Our pediatric experts specialize in screening and management for children with a family history (genetic risk) of celiac disease, type 1 diabetes and Down syndrome. We welcome any patients looking for second opinions and referrals of complex cases. Refer a patient to Children's Colorado.