ZocdocAnswers"If I have a gluten allergy, will my son have it too?"

Question

"If I have a gluten allergy, will my son have it too?"

I'm 7 months pregnant and have a gluten allergy. Will my son definitely get it from me or could he be okay? Can we give him a blood test as a baby to see if he has it?

Answer

As you know, a gluten allergy causes a condition known as celiac disease, which causes damage to the small intestine when gluten is ingested in the diet. Symptoms can include abdominal pain, weight loss, skin rash, and other symptoms. Fortunately, the condition can be usually easily controlled by adhering to a gluten free diet. Celiac disease does have a genetic component. This does not mean that your baby will have celiac disease, but his risk of getting it is higher than if you did not have it. Celiac blood tests do exist, but these are generally not done right away in babies, because they are taking milk. However, if your child does develop celiac disease, it may happen when he transitions to eating regular foods. Generally, it is not necessary to do celiac blood tests unless there are symptoms. This is because there is a good chance that your son will not have celiac disease. What does need to happen is that his growth and health should be monitored closely by his pediatrician, especially when foods are being introduced. If the pediatrician notices any problems with growth or other symptoms like rashes or abdominal pain, it might be necessary to do testing at that point.

This answer is for general informational purposes only and is not a substitute for professional medical advice.

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