One of the difficulties you face when trying to identify and diagnose a gluten sensitivity is how its symptoms manifest differently for different age groups. There are gluten allergy symptoms that are specific to children while there are also some that are more common among fully grown adults. Let us examine these sensitivity symptoms in both age groups and distinguish how they differ.
Gluten Allergy Vs. Wheat Allergy
First of all, you need to understand that a wheat allergy is not the same as a gluten allergy. A wheat allergy is the result of a histamine response, like a peanut allergy or hay fever. A gluten allergy, which for this article we will consider a gluten sensitivity or intolerance, is an autoimmune response where your body attacks itself when it detects gluten in your system. A gluten sensitivity or allergy can have different degrees of severity, the worst of which is celiac disease, which can only be diagnosed with the presence of the celiac disease genes, HLA-DQ8 or HLA-DQ2.
Gluten Allergy Symptoms In Adults
In adults, many of these symptoms have earned the moniker silent celiac disease symptoms because they are not always the symptoms you first see listed when people discuss gluten intolerance or celiac disease.
These symptoms include joint pain, headaches, mineral and vitamin deficiencies (especially vitamin D and calcium), migraines and a loss in bone density. In some cases people may slowly develop ataxia and not realize it is a result of consuming gluten.
Gluten Allergy Symptoms In Children
While all the symptoms mentioned in regards to adults may be present in children as well, it is more common for the following symptoms to occur and to represent the explicit path towards a gluten intolerance diagnosis.
If your child is losing weight when he or she should be growing and gaining weight while also experiencing digestive disorders like diarrhea, constipation and gas, then I would suggest you discuss this matter with your pediatrician. A common and unfortunate symptom of a gluten intolerance is a failure to thrive; because this can have lifelong consequences it is imperative it be diagnosed as soon as possible.
This should help you better understand how gluten allergy symptoms may manifest for people of different age groups. However, this is not a condition that can be neatly defined or explained in one article. I encourage you to do further research and above all else, that you consult your doctor about these concerns.