The Celiac Program at Texas Children's Hospital uses a multi-focal approach to optimize the care of patients with celiac disease. Visits include expert consultation, focused dietitian visit(s), diagnostic and endoscopic imaging, and pathology services.

Referral

To refer a patient with possible celiac disease, please contact the GI clinic at 832-822-3131.

Symptoms

Symptoms are highly variable and may include poor weight gain, diarrhea, evidence of vitamin deficiencies or anemia. Celiac disease may also be found at a higher rate in patients with other conditions including: Type I Diabetes Mellitus, autoimmune thyroid disease, IgA deficiency, down syndrome, Williams syndrome and Turner syndrome.

Diagnosis and treatment

The diagnosis is made based on specific blood tests (serologies) and confirmed by upper endoscopy with biopsy of the small intestine. Although celiac disease may run in families, specific genetic (HLA) testing should be used with caution as 30 to 40% of the general population may have a positive test, while only a fraction of patients will have disease.

The treatment of celiac disease requires a strict gluten-free diet. Because there is significant overlap between celiac disease and many other conditions, it is best to see a pediatric gastroenterologist prior to making any dietary changes as this can affect both the blood tests and the endoscopy.

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