Celiac Disease And Breastfeeding - Everything You Need To Know

Celiac Disease And Breastfeeding

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Are you a lactating mother? Do you know that celiac disease can affect your breast milk production? Don’t panic, though! Read our post and learn all about celiac disease and breastfeeding!

What Is Celiac Disease?

Celiac disease occurs due to the regular consumption of gluten rich food. It is an autoimmune health disorder. Gluten is a specific type of protein usually found in wheat, barley, and rye. If you are a victim of celiac disease, consuming gluten can trigger the immune response of the small intestine and trigger internal inflammation. Such a condition can damage your intestinal lining and prevent your body cells from acquiring vital nutrients and minerals.

The intestinal damage triggered due celiac disease can often lead to numerous health discomforts. The symptoms of celiac disease in breastfed infants include the following:

  • Sudden weight loss
  • Bloating
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of bone density
  • Fatigue
  • Joint pain
  • Acid reflux or heartburn
  • Skin rashes (1)

[ Read: Symptoms of Mastitis While Breastfeeding ]

Celiac Disease And Breastfeeding – Can Breastfeeding Help Control Celiac Disease?

Breastfeeding can prevent gluten sensitivity in babies, and your feeding baby is safe from Celiac disease. If you have gluten sensitivity running in your family, breastfeeding is a must for your newborn baby.

Every food fed to your baby finds its way to the intestines. As the immune system matures with age, the body becomes more resistive against the gluten. But during the early childhood days, the baby fights against the gluten by a regular intake of breast milk.

If your baby suffers from Celiac disease, the condition mostly occurs at the age of 5 months to two years. The longer you breastfeed your newborn baby, he would remain protected against the celiac disease (2).

[ Read: Colic Foods To Avoid While Breastfeeding ]

How Breast Milk Can Prevent Celiac Disease In Babies?

Breast milk contains simple proteins, which are easily digestible and absorbable. The breast milk also contains antibodies to prevent the onset of celiac disease in breastfed infants and to protect their intestines from further damage.

Popular belief says that breast milk can enhance the immune system of your feeding baby. The nutrients present in your breast milk can enhance infant’s growing system and protect against microbial and inflammatory infections.

As soon as the antibodies pass through the breast milk to the baby’s body, they safeguard your child from complex proteins. Breast milk contains a high percentage of antibodies like Immunoglobulin A. The antibodies coat the intestinal tract and protect your child’s digestive system from external gluten or other harmful infections.

Complexities Related With Celiac Disease:

If your breastfed baby suffers from gluten intolerance, there are risks of certain health complications, such as:

  • Growth problems in children
  • Birth defects, such as improper development of the spine
  • Seizures
  • Autoimmune diseases
  • Thyroid diseases
  • Anemia
  • Intestinal cancer (3)

[ Read: Preventing Thrush During Breastfeeding ]

Diagnosing Celiac Disease During Breastfeeding:

The medical tests to diagnose the condition with celiac disease are:

  • Blood Test:

Doctors may prescribe you to undergo a blood test, to diagnose the elevated levels of antibodies.

  • Endoscopy:

If the blood test indicates the onset of celiac disease, the doctor may prescribe to perform an endoscopy to view the small intestine and analyze the severity of damage.

  • Capsule endoscopy:

Capsule endoscopy uses time and a wireless camera to take the detailed picture of the small intestine. As the tiny camera travels through the internal digestive tract, the camera records the detailed view of the intestine and diagnoses the condition of the intestinal damage.

By feeding your newborn baby with breast milk, you can effectively keep him safe from gluten intolerance and protect him from celiac disease.

[ Read: Hay Fever While Breastfeeding ]

Did your baby suffer from celiac disease? Did breastfeeding help him to overcome his gluten sensitivity?

Share your views regarding breastfeeding and celiac disease with other mommies here!

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