Celiac Disease

What is Celiac Disease?

Celiac Disease in an autoimmune disorder in which gluten, a protein found in wheat and grains, causes damage to the lining of the small intestines.

What are the symptoms?

Typical symptoms are gastrointestinal in nature and include the following...

  • Abdominal bloat and pain
  • Chronic diarrhea
  • Vomiting
  • Constipation
  • Pale, foul-smelling stools
  • Fatigue
  • Weight loss
  • Failure to thrive in children

However, sufferers of Celiac Disease have listed many other symptoms some of which are found in the info-graph below.

Who gets Celiac Disease and how is it diagnosed?

Celiac Disease does not have a cause, it is something you are born with. People with family members with the disease are more likely to have the disease as well. If you, or your child, are showing symptoms of Celiac Disease, or if you have a family member with celiac disease, your doctor can performs some tests. These tests may include a blood test looking for higher levels of certain types of antibodies, a test for nutritional deficiencies, evaluation of a stool sample and/or a biopsy of the small intestines.

How is Celiac Disease treated?

Celiac Disease is a life-long disease. The only treatment is strict adherence to a gluten-free diet.

What can we do for our students with celiac disease?

The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness has put together suggestions for parents and educators who are developing a 504 plan for a student with Celiac Disease. Here are some of the suggested accommodations for educators:

  • Working with parents to monitor classroom activities that may include food
  • Finding alternatives to food treats (i.e. for birthdays or rewards)
  • Access to a bathroom whenever necessary
  • Special consideration and/or alternatives when using materials such as play dough, flour, paste, envelopes and stamp adhesives

Most importantly, educators need to be well informed and trained in recognizing the symptoms and triggers of Celiac Disease. Keep in mind that younger children will need more hands-on guidance, accommodation and monitoring.  

The entire document can be found here:  

Where can you get more information on Celiac Disease?

If someone you know is suffering with Celiac Disease please see the following resources:


Celiac Disease Foundation. Celiac Disease Symptoms. Retrieved from http://celiac.org/celiac-disease/symptoms/

Celiac Disease Foundation. What is Celiac Disease. Retrieved from http://celiac.org/celiac-disease/what-is-celiac-disease

Gluten Dude: The Naked Truth About Living Gluten Free. (April 26, 2013). Celiac Disease Symptoms (from Those Living with the Disease): An Infographic. Riveted from http://glutendude.com/celiac/celiac-disease-symptoms

National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. 504 Plan Roadmap for the Accommodation of a Student with Celiac Disease. Retrieved from http://www.celiaccentral.org/SiteData/docs/NFCA50...

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