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Does Your Child Have Issues With Gluten?

By Sara Butler

Gluten-free diets are getting a lot of attention these days. According to the National Institutes of Health, only 1 percent of people have celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that damages the small intestine when gluten is introduced. About 6 percent of the population has what's called gluten intolerance, which causes problems when gluten is introduced into the diet. When children complain of stomach pain it can be difficult to figure out what the issue is. Here are a few things to look for that may point to your child having a sensitivity to gluten.

What is Gluten Sensitivity?

Non-celiac gluten sensitivity is a mild form of the more serious gluten intolerance experienced by those with celiac disease, though it can still cause issues. Gluten is a protein you can find in barley, rye, and wheat and causes an adverse reaction in those with gluten intolerance and sensitivity.

Bloating

If your child complains that their belly feels full of gas or swollen after eating, then they may be experiencing the bloating that can accompany gluten sensitivity. Bloating can have explanations, but it's one of the most common complaints of those that are intolerant or sensitive to gluten.

Abdominal Pain

A lot of kids will tell you that their stomach hurts and it can have a lot of explanations, but when it comes to issues tolerating gluten, it's a very common complaint. In fact, according to the National Institutes of Health, 83 percent of people with gluten intolerance or sensitivity experience stomach pain after eating.

Headaches

While belly pain may be your child's biggest complaint, headaches often strike those with issues with gluten too. Studies have found that people who are gluten-intolerant are more prone to headaches, especially migraines, than other people. If your child complains of headaches often, it may be what they're eating.

Fatigue

Children are usually full of energy, but if you notice your child is tired a lot and there's no other explanation for it, then it may be due to issues with gluten. Fatigue and tiredness have been shown to impact the lives of up to 82 percent of people with gluten intolerance.

If your child is experiencing stomach pain on a regular basis, you need to get it looked at by a medical professional. It can take a while to get a diagnosis of gluten intolerance or sensitivity but keep at it until you understand what is wrong.

To learn more about your health, wellness, and fitness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Greenwood Village, Colo.

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