Celiac Disease Symptoms in Children

8 Common Celiac Disease Symptoms in Children


Celiac disease is a gluten-sensitive enteropathy and causes various celiac disease symptoms in children. It results from form intestinal sensitivity to the gliadin fraction of gluten which is present in rye, oats, barley, and wheat. The dietary rice does not have to be stopped as they do not contain even a fraction of gluten. Celiac disease symptoms in children are multiple and have polygenic causes. The main causes are wheat and oats intake, the genetic tendency of developing the disease, and environmental factors play an important role in celiac disease symptoms in children.

What Causes Celiac Disease Symptoms In Children?

Gliadin is a fraction of gluten in the wheat. gluten involves small intestine intestinal and causes small intestinal damage results from the immune response to gliadin which is triggered by the humoral and cell-mediated immune response. As a result of mucosal stimulation, the level of IgA is raised in the body, and IgA associated anti-gliadin antibodies, anti endomysial antibodies, and anti tissue transglutaminase antibodies are frequently present in the body of the child.

The villi, which are finger like projections are destroyed as a result of immune reaction. They are blunted or become flat and the crypts undergo hypertrophy. There are Plasma cell infiltration and lymphatic cell infiltration in the mucosal cells. The brush border enzymes levels are decreased in the great amount which causes celiac disease in children.


Clinical features of celiac disease vary considerably. Most children show symptoms of celiac disease between 6 months and 24 months of age. It is the age when the weaning of wheat products has started in children. Celiac disease in children can begin at any age when wheat and wheat-containing foods are given to the child. Celiac disease is to be suspected in any child when celiac disease in children of chronic diarrhea, abdominal distension, bloating, gas, vomiting, and failure to thrive occurs.

1- Symptoms Related To Gastrointestinal Tract:

Celiac disease in children related to the gastrointestinal tract is due to atrophy of the small intestinal mucosa. This atrophy of the mucosa leads to atrophy of villi and decrease the absorptive capacity of the intestine. The main symptom is diarrhea, vomiting, and abdominal distension. The child is unable to eat anything and it leads to Anorexia. There is marked weight loss in children as the absorption is hindered and all the food containing nutrients are not absorbed. There is a prolapse of rectal mucosa and it may also be called intussusception in small children. Celiac disease in children related to the gastrointestinal tract is very severe as it leads to failure to thrive in children.

2- Symptoms Related To Skeleton System:

Skeleton System changes are due to Malabsorption of calcium and Vitamin D as calcium and Vitamin D are not absorbed from the diet. Celiac disease in children related to the skeletal system includes rickets, osteoporosis, a decrease in bone density, and enamel hypoplasia of teeth.

3- Symptoms Related To Muscular System:

Celiac disease in children due to the Muscular System includes the atrophy of muscle. The muscle mass is lost as nutrients are which are iron, protein, albumin, calcium, and vitamin D are not absorbed from the diet and it leads to a decrease in muscle mass and muscular atrophy.

4- Symptoms Related To Nervous System:

The changes in the nervous system are due to decreased absorption of Vitamin A and Vitamin B12 deficiency and it produces celiac disease symptoms in children related to the nervous system. Symptoms may include epilepsy, irritability, peripheral neuropathy, cerebral calcifications, and cerebellar ataxia. There is an increasing tendency of epilepsy in children leading to fits and these fits are controlled when medications are given but reoccur as soon as medications are stopped. it is one of the deadly celiac disease symptoms in children.

5- Symptoms Related To Endocrinal System:

Endocrinal symptoms are due to malabsorption of Vitamin D and Calcium. Celiac disease symptoms in children related to the endocrinal system are short stature. There is a delay in puberty as the important nutrients are not absorbed from the diet. The growth hormone metabolism is altered and as a result, the child has short stature. There is secondary hyperparathyroidism and it leads to increased levels of parathyroid hormone in children.

6- Symptoms Related To Dermatologic System:

the dermatological symptoms of celiac disease in children are Dermatitis Herpetiformis, alopecia aerate, and erythema nodosum which causes painful nodules on Shin. Celiac disease symptoms in children related to dermatological are due to autoimmunity.

7- Symptoms Related To Respiratory System:

the main respiratory symptoms related to the respiratory system are idiopathic pulmonary Fibrosis, hemosiderosis, pleural effusions. Celiac disease in children related to the respiratory system may be fatal as it leads to respiratory difficulty and respiratory depression.

8- Symptoms To Blood And Vascular System:

hematological symptoms in children suffering from celiac disease are due to decreased iron absorption. The iron is absorbed from the small intestine and as a result of blunting of villi which are finger-like projections from the wall of the small intestine, the iron is not absorbed properly from diet and it leads to anemia. Celiac disease in children related to blood may cause pallor in children, irritation and irritability, and dizziness of the child. The child may also suffer respiratory difficulty due to decreased levels of hemoglobin and iron.

HP Thoughts: Children are easily attacked by viruses, bacteria, and germs that cause physical discomfort and emotional trauma. Rickets in kids is one that severely affects their bones. Learn more about it — Rickets in Children.


Celiac disease symptoms in children are usually asymptomatic. The first symptom to appear in patients of celiac disease is diarrhea. Silent celiac disease is present in those children who have a first degree relative affected by the disease and severe mucosal damage is seen on biopsy. Latent cases of celiac disease is a type of celiac disease in which the patient shows normal Histology on biopsy but show gluten enteropathy at a time in their life. Celiac disease symptoms in children may be fatal and strict dietary compliance of a Gluten-free diet is required to improve the quality of life and to prevent complications.

Scroll to Top