Celiac disease in children
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that causes lifelong intolerance to gluten. When a person with celiac eats gluten (a protein found in wheat, barley and rye), the immune system responds by damaging the lining of the small intestine. This damage interferes with absorption of nutrients needed to keep a child growing and healthy.
The Celiac Disease Program at Children’s Mercy provides comprehensive care for children with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity. The program diagnoses approximately 150 children with the disease each year, and because it is a lifelong condition, follows them every year until they transition to adult care.
Your Celiac Disease Program care team
In addition to a medical provider, families meet with a celiac-focused dietitian at every visit to help achieve a strict gluten-free diet, as well as learn new approaches to cooking, nutrition and wellness.
Children have access to a pediatric psychologist who addresses the social and emotional impact of having celiac disease, and can help families advocate for school-based services to accommodate a child's medical needs.