Healthy Living

Study Suggests Ties Between Celiac Disease and Early Respiratory Infections

Study Suggests Ties Between Celiac Disease and Early Respiratory Infections

With the rise of celiac disease and other problems related to gluten, finding out just what can cause it and how it has risen alludes even the best of researchers. Knowing the key differences between celiac disease and other gluten issues is a step for better understanding and management of the symptoms. Celiac disease is very much on the rise, as indicated by the 4 million and growing individuals that are facing these issues with gluten. With better access to healthcare and more options than ever, celiac disease has become an issue facing America, with around 1 percent of people having celiac disease. This does not include the number of people who are facing other concerns related to gluten. Issues that continue to remain diagnosed, especially in children, can continue throughout life and cause serious damage to overall health. Knowing how to find the right diagnosis can lead to easier breathing and decreased skin reactions.

Children have been found to have some of the most severe issues when it comes to respiratory health and celiac disease. Children that are found to have infections more frequently have been shown to have a slight increase in the chance of having celiac disease. The evidence is still unclear between this certain relation to each other. There could very well be a form of relation between more infections as a child and celiac disease. Problems related to processing the protein in gluten could alter the way the immune system responds to infections. This could suggest that these infections, even when treated properly, could result in an increased risk for celiac disease. The results for adults is still a process that needs further research.

Keeping track of respiratory illnesses and breathing problems as a child develops could help doctors hone in on future problems related to the health of the child overall. A study published online in Pediatrics suggests that children under two years old who have frequent infections related to the respiratory system are more likely to have an increased risk of celiac disease. Genetics and family history can play a large part in how doctors treat children with symptoms related to gluten sensitivity and celiac disease.

Respiratory Infections and Contributing Factors

 It is well known that adults can suffer from allergic reactions, skin issues, recurring rhinitis, and other related infections based upon their gluten intake. Within the first two years, some children could face an increased risk of celiac disease, especially if they are predisposed as infants towards gluten issues. In addition to causing further celiac disease related difficulty down the road, further complications can lead to an increased risk of breathing problems. Even an exposure to flour dust can cause a similar reaction to asthma for those who are facing gluten sensitivity and celiac disease. The digestive system of a child is still developing, which can lead to damage upon the small intestines. Food that is unable to be processed can be painful on the stomach, especially in smaller children.

While it is unlikely for a child to develop full symptoms until the age of ten, silent symptoms can still occur in younger children. It is even possible for children to not show any signs whatsoever until they reach puberty. If it is left untreated, difficulty can add up over time. Since a proper diagnosis in children can be even more elusive than in adults, pinpointing problems can be even more of a challenge. They can mimic other illnesses and can be masked for quite some time before a proper diagnosis. Other factors can contribute to respiratory illnesses and should also be considered if a history of breathing problems are to be found. Since respiratory infections can lead to lung damage later on, treatment and screenings should start when advised by a proper healthcare professional. 

How To Assist With Celiac Disease Earlier On

Some researchers are also under the impression that the disease is continuing to grow over time, with children being diagnosed at a higher level than from previous years. Children that have celiac disease and do not receive proper treatment can find themselves facing further complications. Malnutrition, iron-deficiency anemia, stomach problems, skin issues, weakened bones and growth are just a few examples of how untreated issues can affect a child that is still developing. Chronic body pain can be a part of respiratory illnesses. While it is more common in wheat allergies, which do not always necessarily overlap, breathing problems can occur in children who have celiac disease or are more predisposed to developing it later in life.

The body produces antigens to help fight off what it perceives as an invader, leading some children to develop respiratory related problems and an increased likelihood of issues breathing. Helping a child manage a gluten-free diet can present an untold number of unique challenges for some. From making plans ahead of time for school lunches to day by day changes, avoiding respiratory illnesses and breathing problems is paramount. This is doubly true for those who are suffering from a wheat allergy, as well. Children that have a wheat allergy in addition to any form of celiac disease should be be given extra consideration and monitored closely, as wheat allergies can have mild to severe consequences if left untreated.

Finding Ways To Lower Impact

One of the more common issues with treating respiratory illnesses in children might be the overuse of antibiotics when other factors are truly coming into play. No medical condition should be overlooked and a healthcare professional will suggest medication when needed. However, if a parent or sibling suffers from any reactions to wheat and/or the protein found in gluten, there is a greater chance that issues such as breathing problems and respiratory illnesses might be related to gluten. Gluten can also have an impact on the sinuses, albeit, this is found more often in adults than younger children. A stuffy and runny nose are just some of the many symptoms that could be coming from a gluten sensitivity or celiac disease. Allergens might also be overlapping with already existing conditions, making a proper diagnosis even more irksome.

Before beginning a gluten-free diet, especially for a child, proper healthcare advice is a necessity. Knowing what to rule out and professional care is almost required for a full treatment and management, with annual visits a special focus for developing children. Some children will need consideration and care as they make the switch. Patience and understanding in these cases is key to managing symptoms over time, especially to avoid anxiety and future overeating problems. The vitamins and daily needs of a child vary. Calcium and Vitamin D are essential in growth, something that even adults can miss in a gluten-free diet.

When properly diagnosed, it is possible to eliminate some symptoms and alleviate breathing problems. Knowing how to lower the impact and watching for signs early on could very well make the difference between future problems and ones that are addressed as soon as possible. While there is no cure, treatment from a young age could lead to better diet choices as an adult and a better understanding of how to manage the symptoms associated with gluten sensitivities and celiac disease.