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Simple Growth Charts May Help Diagnose Kids With Celiac

Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition that causes the immune system to overreact to certain proteins in gluten, found in wheat and many other grains. The gluten can cause people with intolerance to trigger an immune system response that harms the intestines and actually prevents them from properly absorbing nutrients. Celiac can be quite painful internally, and gluten intolerances have been shown to cause many health and behavioral problems in kids. Despite the fact that celiac affects around 2 percent of the population, many people who have it do not know for many years.

A new study suggests that Celiac disease may be detected in kids by analyzing children’s height and weight as they develop. These early diagnoses can aid children in getting treatment faster and preventing any further damage that gluten may be causing. The study, published in the journal ‘JAMA Pediatrics” states that five simple calculations that are conducted based on a child’s individual weight and height were able to detect Celiac disease in 84 percent of boys and 88 percent of girls with the disorder. This study follows another one that found that kids with Celiac disease tend to weigh less and do not grow as quickly as their typical peers.

It is hoped that these findings will lead to new methods for testing children for gluten intolerances. Measuring a child’s height and weight are a simply, non-invasive and low-cost way to screen children for Celiac disease as they develop. If Celiac can be caught early, there may be a chance that other chronic conditions that affect growth could be too. Since gluten intolerance rates continue to rise in the United States, more and more attention has been paid to developing effective diagnostic methods and treatments. Once more research is conducted based on the above findings, children may have a shot at avoiding the agony that can come with untreated gluten intolerances.

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Used under Creative Commons Licensing courtesy of InKi Bae

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