The Medical Center in conjunction with Mount Sinai Medical Center has established The Pediatric Celiac Center. This joint program was created for the diagnosis and treatment of celiac disease in children. Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease that primarily damages the lining of the digestive system and interferes with absorption of nutrients.
Approximately one child in 400, amounting to about one child in every grade level, may be expected to have childhood diabetes. Celiac disease is difficult to diagnose, but it can be treated. Symptoms may not always be present, or may be similar to other digestive diseases such as irritable bowel syndrome, Crohn’s disease, ulcerative colitis, diverticulosis or other intestinal infections. Since celiac disease can occur without symptoms other than weight loss and poor growth, it can go undetected causing problems in later life. Symptoms may include:
Loss of appetite
Failure to grow or gain weight
Due to the high correlation of celiac disease and diabetes, testing for this disease is suggested. People with celiac disease tend to have other autoimmune diseases as well, including:
Systematic lupus erythematosus
Type 1 diabetes
Collagen vascular disease
“If a physician considers that a child may have celiac disease, the Pediatric Celiac Disease Center at Englewood Hospital and Medical Center is available for the diagnosis, counseling and treatment of these patients,” said Alexander Hyatt, MD, Chief of Pediatrics.
Pediatric Gastroenterologist Keith Benkov, MD, specializes in highly complicated children’s GI diseases. He said that for a definitive diagnosis of celiac disease physicians should order a screening test for celiac disease and a biopsy of the small intestine may be recommended. Once diagnosed, and the treatment of a life-long gluten-free diet begins, your patient may see a reversal of some of the effects of the disease. Since the treatment of diabetes also involves selection of food with treatment, guidelines may be particularly difficult to follow for children with both diseases. Addressing the major challenge of feeding children with celiac disease Englewood Hospital and Medical Center’s Pediatric Celiac Center will include support staff to address all of the nutritional and medical needs of children in their care.
If you have any questions on the Pediatric Celiac Center, or for more information, please contact Keith Benkov, MD in New York at 212-241-5415, or in New Jersey at 201-894-3690.