What you should know about celiac disease
Gluten is a kind of protein that is seen in a lot of our grains such as wheat, barley and rye. There have been issues regarding gluten because it was found out to be causing celiac disease in infants. Celiac disease involves problems with the digestive tract where the usual manifestations were constipation diarrhea, failure to thrive and abdominal pain. These symptoms can lead to a lot of discomforts to babies and can even lead to their dehydration. Due to the risks of a gluten diet, researches tried to focus their studies on this protein and they have a number of findings from their study:
1. Babies born via C-section are more likely to acquire celiac disease.
In C-section, a baby is saved from the bacteria that he or she may actually acquire while passing through the mother’s vaginal canal. Everything is under the principle of sterility on C-section because it involves an operation on the mother’s abdomen. However, when you apply the hygiene hypothesis, C-section can be disadvantageous. Since a child is exposed to limited bacteria, his or her immune system does not get used to fighting other microbes later in life. This is the hypothesis behind autoimmune inflammatory diseases such as celiac disease.
2. Breastfeeding can protect your babies from celiac disease.
When you breastfeed, you are able to pass important antibodies to your child through your breast milk. These antibodies help your child fight against celiac disease and other forms of allergic reactions. You breast milk contains sufficient nutrients and antibodies to protect your babies from infection. This is the reason why exclusive breastfeeding is advised to mothers until their babies reach 4 months old.
3. Introduce gluten containing foods early.
You may find it surprising to know that giving your child gluten containing foods when they reach 4 months old can actually protect them better against celiac disease. This is because the digestive tract is most opt to tolerate gluten at this early stage of a baby’s life, as compared when they are introduced to a baby at 6 months old.