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Gluten-free diet for children, fashion or necessity?

Gluten-free diet for children, fashion or necessity?

In recent months we are witnessing a nutritional fashion, cultivated by renowned actors, actresses and characters, which is to follow a gluten-free diet.

We believe it necessary to emphasize that there are recognized diseases whose treatment is nutritional, and consists precisely in carrying out a strictly gluten-free diet. In this group of patients, made up of children and adults, this treatment is not a fad, but a necessity. On our site we wonder if following a gluten-free diet for children is fashion or necessity.

When is it necessary to carry out a gluten-free diet for children ?:

- Celiac disease is the permanent intolerance to gluten gliadin. This disease encompasses a wide range of clinical manifestations, most of which derive from the involvement of the intestinal wall. Typical celiacs because the villi of the intestine, which is the place where food is absorbed, are damaged. However, there are celiacs with more subtle symptoms, such as osteoporosis, elevated transaminases, canker sores in the mouth, etc. Its diagnosis is very well protocolized, and there are very useful tools, such as anti-transglutaminase antibodies and deaminated anti-gliadin antibodies, whose high reliability has achieved that only the intestine of a small number of patients have to be biopsied.

Non-celiac gluten sensitivity It is a disease that is being talked about more and more, but whose first cases in Pediatrics have been recently described. To date, her diagnosis is based on doing suppression and provocation tests, with all the burden of subjectivity that it entails. These children, when they consume gluten, develop somewhat nonspecific clinical manifestations (abdominal pain, irregular bowel habit, joint pain, skin problems, blood problems, etc.), which disappear with dietary exclusion. There are researchers who claim that up to 10% of the population has this health problem.

- A less frequent entity than the previous ones is gluten allergy, whose clinical characteristics imply a mixture of digestive symptoms (diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting) with the symptoms of any allergy (urticaria; edema of the eyes, lips or ears; respiratory distress). Its diagnosis is based on the clinic, as well as on the skin tests and specific detection of IgE antibodies against gluten-containing cereals.

It is important to emphasize that children who follow a gluten-free diet can lead a completely normal and healthy life, as long as they follow the nutritional recommendations in force today. It is also important to emphasize that, If there is no clinical indication, there is no need not to consume gluten.

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