Celiac Disease in Children

Inside Look at Celiac Disease in Children

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes inflammation and damage to the small intestine when a person consumes gluten-containing food.

Gluten, a term we hear about every day, is a protein found in wheat, barley and rye. When an individual who is prone to celiac disease ingests gluten, the body mounts an immune response directed at the small intestine.

The result is inflammation and injury to the villi extremely tiny, finger-like projections in the lining of the small intestine that increase the surface area and promote absorption of nutrients. The damage to villi affects nutrient absorption and leads to a multitude of symptoms.

Who Develops Celiac Disease?

It seems like we can’t go to any restaurant or supermarket without seeing or hearing the term “gluten-free.” The phrase is synonymous now with healthy eating. But who really needs to go gluten-free? It’s those who have been diagnosed with celiac disease.

Celiac disease has been reported in children of all ethnicities, though the disease is relatively more common in those with Caucasian roots. It is believed about a third of the Caucasian population have genes that increase susceptibility to celiac disease. However, only 3 percent of those actually develop the condition.

An estimated 1 out of 100 people have celiac disease in the U.S. To develop the condition, one needs to have the genetic susceptibility, exposure to gluten and variations in the immune system that are controlled by other secondary susceptibility genes. In other words, it has to be the “perfect storm” scenario.

Celiac disease also has a hereditary component, which puts children who have first-degree relatives, such as parents or siblings, with celiac disease at higher risk for developing the disease.

Read More: Inside Look at Celiac Disease in Children

Rob Hill at Ostomy camp and the Youth Rally

Rob Hill was busy in July volunteering at the Canadian Ostomy Youth Camp in Kananaskis, Alberta and the Youth Rally. These two camps provide an opportunity for children and youth in Canada and the USA who have had, or may have to have, bowel or bladder diversionary surgeries an opportunity to get together with other kids facing similar issues. Rob has been a long-time supporter of both events. Recently, Rob’s charitable organization, IDEAS, has got behind these events in a big way and found a way to build on them.

We wanted to find a way that would build on the valuable life skills these two camps offer their participants,” said Rob. “So we’ve provided scholarship opportunities for the Canadian camp kids, between the ages of 16 and 19, to attend a Counselor in Training program so they can learn to better mentor and move on to a staff/volunteer role at camp. We’ve also been able to coordinate a partnership with Youth Rally that allowed us to bring Carly Lindsay and Clinton Shard, both IBD Adventures Everest trek veterans to speak to the campers about their experiences living with inflammatory bowel disease and seeing the top of the world.

Read More: Ostomy camp and the Youth Rally

E-Course Kids Teens and IBD

I put together a new e-course that is tailored just for young people who have IBD and their parents. Kids are not just little versions of adults, especially when it comes to treating chronic illness.

Kids are being diagnosed with IBD in greater and greater numbers, yet there is still not much research on how to treat them. Even more scant is information about the social challenges that kids, teens, and young adults who have IBD face every day.

In this e-course you will learn more about how IBD is treated in young people, and how they can meet the challenges that IBD poses for them at school and in social situations. Sign up for the e-course here….