Children with coeliac disease
It can be overwhelming to be diagnosed as a child, Coeliac UK are here to help you and make sure you understand your special diet.
What is coeliac disease?
Coeliac disease (pronounced see-liac) means that part of your tummy called the small intestine doesn’t like something called ‘gluten’. It means that you have to eat food that does not have ‘gluten' in it so you need a special diet.
To find out if you have coeliac disease you will have to see your doctor. They will have to take a tiny bit of blood but they will be very gentle. You may then have to visit a hospital where another doctor uses a tube to see inside your tummy to check why you are feeling poorly. This is nothing to worry about and it will help you to start to feel better.
When you have coeliac disease it can seem that everything you eat upsets your tummy and makes you feel very poorly, this is why it’s so important to make sure that you do not eat gluten.
Lots of other children (and adults) have tummies like yours.
What can I eat?
You can still eat a lot of your favourite foods, they might just be made by a different company or be from a different shop. Gluten is in wheat, barley and rye which are used to make bread, pasta, cakes and biscuits. Don’t worry, you will be able to find special versions of your favourite treats that will be fine for you to eat.
Gluten is also found in other foods like sausages, sauces and soups, but you and your family will soon learn to read labels to find out what is safe for you. There are a lot of special gluten-free foods, so you can still eat all your favourites. And there are lots of foods that are naturally gluten-free, like fruit and vegetables, rice, meat, milk, plain yoghurt and cheese.
To help you find out which foods you can eat, you could go through your food cupboards with your parents and mark products that are gluten-free with a smiley face sticker and mark products that are not gluten-free with a warning sticker. This will help the whole family and visitors to quickly identify products that you can eat.