Failure to thrive due to celiac disease

by Katie

My baby boy stopped gaining weight and height at about 8 months. He is the happiest, most energetic, bright little guy. No gastric symptoms at all. When he still hadn't gained any weight or height by 12 months, we were referred to a paediatrician. By this point he had fallen off the bottom of the growth charts, but in a proportionate way - he doesnt look malnourished at all.

Both myself and his father are tall (as are his 2 big sisters), so his smallness was a sign of something amiss. Celiac runs in my family so it wasn't a huge surprise that he had it too. I just wanted to write to let people know that failure to thrive can be the only symptom of celiac disease in babies.

Our little boy has a pretty good chance of catching up his growth and achieving his genetic height potential if a GF diet is strictly adhered to, but he might not.

If he doesn't start growing well in the coming months he will be investigated for growth hormone deficiency. Hormone problems occur in celiac patients at higher rates than the normal population.

If anyone has a celiac child who isn't growing well despite strict adherence to a GF diet, they should seek the advice of an endocrinologist.

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