To fully understand what Celiac disease is and what alternatives we can offer our babies, let us begin by analyzing what Celiac actually is.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder caused by an intolerance to gluten, this can occur in both adults and babies. Gluten is a protein that is found mainly in wheat, Rye and Barley, and also in all the grains that come from these sources. Celiac disease, also known as Celiac Sprue or Gluten Sensitivity, can cause damages in your child's Villi, a part of the small intestine which is also responsible for absorbing nutrients from foods by transporting them into the bloodstream to be taken to the liver.
The only certain way to know is by doing a blood test that can count the levels of gluten antibodies in the blood. Should the test be positive some doctors will want to confirm the diagnosis by keeping the baby on a diet that includes gluten for a few month and then perform a biopsy to ensure that gluten has in fact damaged the gut. Other doctors confirm the diagnosis by doing the opposite and eliminating all gluten from the child's diet and repeating the blood test to confirm that the antibodies are no longer there, this can only work if the baby has been on a 100% gluten free diet. If the end results are indeed Gluten Intolerance, doctors will recommend a life-long gluten-free diet.
Symptoms may vary from child to child but general warning signs to look out for are:
Wheat and all its variations, Rye, Semolina, Spelt, Wheat germ, Bulgur, Couscous, Farina, Grahan Flour, Kamut Matzo and related grains.
It is essential to always read labels carefully as some foods have hidden gluten in them, this can occur with: cereals, commercial broth, oats (unless certified GF) oat bran (unless certified GF) and generally processed foods. Always look out for the following ingredients as they can be codes for gluten: Yeast extract, Dextrin, Hordeum districhon, Samino peptide complex, modified food starch,Hydrolyzed vegetable protein.
The safest way to discard gluten is to look out for “ Gluten Free” labeled products.
According to a recent study allergic ingredients can be passed to a baby from breastmilk, however gluten is not one of them.
The good news is, there are many healthy foods your baby can safely enjoy. All vegetables, unprocessed meats, fruit, rice and special formulas such as: Holle Organic Rice Porridge, Lebenswert all stages and All Holles Infant Formulas. If you have a baby who is intolerant to gluten and you want to share your advice and experience with us please let us know!
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