Many of us parents who have gone through a celiac diagnosis with our children know doctors often concentrate on weight as a possible symptom of celiac disease. Usually doctors look for underweight children—often called “failure to thrive”. But new research published in the Journal of Pediatric Gastroenterology and Nutrition disputes that.

Researchers looked at patient records dated from 1986-2003 from Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin for this study. They found that 5% of the 143 patients had a Body Mass Index greater than the 95th percentile. In other words, they were obese.

The other interesting note in this research is that the classic symptoms (diarrhea, vomiting, etc) are less common in obese patients. So in my opinion, it appears that overweight children may have even a more difficult time getting diagnosed because many doctors look for “failure to thrive” and the classic gut symptoms, which, as it says above, is less likely to happen in obese patients.

Researchers concluded, that obesity is more common in children with celiac that previously thought. “In the appropriate clinical setting, CD must be considered even in obese children”, the report says.

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