Celiac Disease Symptoms in Infants and Children - Celiac Disease
Aug 14 2008

Celiac Disease Symptoms in Infants and Children

As Celiac Disease becomes more widely diagnosed, we are seeing a large number of infants and children that are being diagnosed with the disease.  

If you are concerned your child may have Celiac disease, here are a few of the common symptoms to look for.   Please keep in mind that with Celiac Disease, typically each person has many different symptoms, and they often vary based off the age of the child or adult.  This list aims to cover the most commonly complained about symptoms in infants and children that lead to a Celiac Disease diagnosis.

Symptoms of Infants and Children Diagnosed with Celiac Disease

  • Infants with celiac disease commonly have abdominal pain and diarrhea (even bloody diarrhea), and may fail to grow and/or gain weight.
  • Young children may have abdominal pain with nausea and lack of appetite, anemia (not enough iron in the blood), mouth sores and allergic dermatitis (skin rash).
  • Children with Celiac Disease are often irritable, fretful, emotionally withdrawn or excessively dependent.
  • In the later stages of childhood, children often become malnourished, with or without vomiting and diarrhea. This would cause the child to have a large tummy, thin thigh muscles and flat buttocks.
  • Teenagers with Celiac Disease may hit puberty late and are often short. Celiac disease might also cause some hair loss (a condition called alopecia areata).

Other Celiac Notes:

  • Lactose intolerance (problem with foods with lactose such as milk) is common in patients of all ages with Celiac Disease.
  • Dermatitis herpetiformis (an itchy, blistery skin problem) is also common problem in people who have Celiac Disease.

Article Written by:

Kyle Eslick is the founder of Gluten Free Media, as well as the creator of the popular Celiac Support Groups page. Connect with us on Facebook, Twitter, and now Google+!


  1. amy boon says:

    good morning i am just wanting to know if you can help me? my partner is a coeliac and im pregnant with his child, what is the chance of our baby having coeliacs? i would really appreciate a reply

  2. Tiffany Janes says:

    Celiac is the number one genetic condition in the world. Your child should be tested for the condition even without the presence of symptoms. Please refer to a doctor regarding what age the testing should begin at. Some doctors say testing before three will offer inconclusive test results. Even if the first test shows negative for celiac, the child should be tested every few years because celiac can develop at any age.

  3. Melissa says:

    Hello…I am very confused at this point. I have a 16 month old who was healthy and developing normally. Over the course of about a week she became severely constipated…that constipation has persisted for 4 months now. We have had multiple x-rays that do not show any type of obstruction. The pediatric gastroenterologist we seen said she was probably just holding in the stool intentionally because she had had experience with it hurting when she had a bowel movement. When she needs to go she becomes diaphoretic, rigid, bends over and screams. The only relief for this is Miralax 3 times a day without fail. The minute we stop the symptoms return. We have altered her diet…deleted lactose products…switched to goats milk…etc etc nothing has helped. We had blood work drawn including transglutaminase and he said he was testing her for allergies to soy, wheat, and milk. It all came back negative ( <10) but her IgA was 27, which according to the reference was low. I’m not sure what that means / or if that is even actually low for a 16 month old. I can’t find a clear explanation of it anywhere. Any help would be appreciated.

    • Amy says:

      My daughter is the same way. We are testing for celiacs now. She just had a bowl movement scan. they put her on some meds and took her off the mira lax. She seems better.

    • Meghan says:

      Did you ever get a response to this issue? I’m in the same boat right now with my 10 month old.

  4. Melissa Ketelsen says:

    How can you tell the difference from celiacs disease and just a wheat intolerance? My 15mon. gets rashes, varies between diarrhea, and constipation, has “fussy periods,” and has reflux. They want to do a blood draw to check for celiacs because I noticed she gets more symptoms when given wheat/oats. She is also intolerant to dairy and rice. How would I know if it is an allergy or intolerance?

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