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Yale Pediatric Celiac Program

Mission

The Yale Pediatric Celiac Disease Program is a comprehensive, family-centered clinic providing medical and supportive care for children with Celiac disease and gluten-related disorders and their families.

Criteria for referral into the program include children with the following diagnoses and/or conditions:

  • Celiac disease, diagnosed via biopsy
  • Probable Celiac disease, noted by elevation of Celiac serologic markers
  • Possible gluten sensitivity, based on improvement in symptoms on a gluten-free die
  • Asymptomatic children with a family history of Celiac disease
  • High-risk groups including children with type I Diabetes Mellitus, Down syndrome and IgA deficiency

The primary purpose of the program is to assist the family and child with Celiac disease and other gluten related disorders and to ensure that each child is growing and developing well.

Celiac disease is a common immune mediated disease with an estimated incidence of 1 in 133 people in the general population. It is associated with a permanent gluten intolerance that leads to a variety of symptoms including:

  • Poor weight gain
  • Diarrhea
  • Constipation
  • Short stature
  • Rashes
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal pain

Children with the disease are predisposed genetically with the presence of one or both of the genes associated with Celiac, HLA-DQ2 and HLA-DQ8. Despite the genetic predisposition, it is not uncommon for children to be the first one diagnosed in the family, as family members may not yet be diagnosed.

Currently, the only treatment available is with a gluten-free diet. Children with Celiac disease are at risk for micro-nutrient deficiencies, including iron, and vitamin D. Some of the deficiencies will resolve with adequate treatment and adherence to the gluten free diet. However, the gluten-free diet predisposes individuals with other vitamin deficiencies making adequate and regular follow-up essential.