Two Things You Need To Do Immediately When Your Child Is Diagnosed With Celiac Disease

If your child has been diagnosed with celiac disease (also known as celiac sprue), you will have to be careful about gluten in their diet. Even if your child has a fairly mild reaction to ingested gluten, they can still damage their intestines by consuming it. Read on to learn two things you should do right away after your child's diagnosis to help eliminate their exposure to gluten.

Set Up Your Home Kitchen Properly

While celiac disease can be genetic, not everyone in the family may suffer from this condition. Chances are other people in the home can eat gluten without worry, and they may want to keep being able to eat things like bread, pizza, and cookies. However, for some people with celiac disease, even a few bread crumbs left on a cutting board can precipitate severe symptoms.

Most households find that setting up dual kitchen zones works best to ensure gluten doesn't inadvertently make its way into the diet of the family member who can't have it. Create clearly delineated areas where gluten and gluten-free products are kept. You may have to read the labels on processed foods and canned goods already in your pantry to see which items go where.

Pans, dishes, glassware, and utensils should be separated as well. It may be helpful to look at how Jewish kosher kitchens, which completely separate meat and dairy preparation, are structured for tips. Things like color coding dishware and thoroughly cleaning a shared sink or stove may be useful to you too.

Try to establish a dedicated food prep area for your child with celiac, with its own cutting board, toaster, and mini fridge. Run dishwasher loads separately too, or consider getting a two-drawer dishwasher with a compartment for each set of dietary needs.

Find a Supportive Pharmacy

You may not be aware of how much gluten is used in medications, from over-the-counter cough and cold medicines to prescription drugs. Often gluten is part of the inactive ingredients or coating for the medication, but it doesn't have to be in the formulation to make the product work.

Even with careful scrutiny, a medication containing gluten can get past your regular pharmacist. Many people with celiac disease find it's easier to use a special compounding pharmacy to prepare their medications to ensure that they are entirely gluten free.

Compounding pharmacies custom make each prescription for the patient from raw ingredients. They can eliminate allergens (like dyes) or gluten and even sometimes add flavoring to make medications more appealing for your child. For more information about the services they offer, contact a pharmacy like Pratt's Compounding Pharmacy.

Ask your pediatrician or gastroenterologist to recommend a compounding pharmacy for you. Chances are they already have one they work with regularly, which makes getting medications there even easier.

Having a child with celiac disease can be a challenge, but there are ways to make life easier for everyone. Make sure to get your kitchen and pharmacy needs set up right away, and you'll have taken two big steps to helping your child stay healthy and happy.