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My Non Gluten Life | Children With Gluten Allergies

Children With Gluten Allergies

by James Novotny 18. May 2010 02:00

There are many more allergies and food sensitivities that are common today than ever before in our children. From milk products to nuts, gluten is just one of the many intolerances that our children will have to live with each day in order to function normally with their peers. There are many steps that should be followed when dealing with gluten allergies in children, as with any food intolerance. 

There are many signs that may signal a gluten allergy or sensitivity for a child including;

* abdominal cramping and bloating
* diarrhea or constipation with foul-smelling stools
* nausea and vomiting
* extreme fatigue
* mouth ulcers

Many children will be slow to grow due to the lack of nutrients that is not being absorbed properly through the small intestine. Other symptoms can be depression, irritability, autistic-like behaviours or attention deficit disorder characteristics.  Your child may be experiencing many of these or hardly any at all, but you are best at judging if your child is having troubles so be sure to trust that instinct and seek medical help if you have any questions or concerns about your child's health. 

1. The first step would be to get complete testing done for food allergies and sensitivities.

You will want to discuss any signs or symptoms your child may be having to certain foods and try to have allergy tests run to eliminate any doubt for things such as gluten allergies. There can be a variety of tests performed depending on the style and type your doctor is seeking. Once you have the medical tests back, you can go over them with your doctor to discuss how mild or severe the gluten sensitivity may be and what the next course of action will be for dietary changes for your child. 

2. The next step is education for you and your child.

This step is very important for both of you. With the proper education, you can avoid any unnecessary discomfort due to cross-contamination of foods with gluten or foods that contain gluten which your child should not be ingesting as part of their everyday diet. Very young children should be monitored closely to ensure that sharing snacks at school or daycare is avoided at all costs since many other children will not be required to bring gluten free snacks and are more than willing to share with their friends. Educate your child on the dangers of taking foods and snacks that you are unsure of their composition, what can happen to their health and how to deal with a cross-contamination issue should one arise. 

Remember that you and your child are not alone. There are many others out there who deal with gluten allergies and sensitivities each day. Be sure to seek out guidance and help from others who have previous experience and knowledge and you will gain the confidence you need to make choices and decisions for your child. Keep yourself and your child on the right path, seek out medical advice and dietary information as needed and your child will continue to grow and thrive despite the lack of gluten in their diet.

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