Medical Q&As

Diarrhoea - could be coeliac?

My daughter is 3 years old she has had severe diarrhoea for 8 weeks, which is the third time this has happened in two years. A friend of mine is a nurse and I asked her advice, as we are both distressed about the situation. My friend suggested that my daughter might be coeliac. Two weeks ago I put her on a coeliac diet and things seem to have settled down. I donít know too much about this and would like your advice.

I would think that there is strong presumptive evidence that your child is coeliac and it would be appropriate to confirm the diagnosis by undergoing confirmatory testing. The fact that the child got better on a coeliac diet strongly suggests that she could be coeliac but does not prove that fact. It could be argued that the change in diet and improvement in her condition were coincidental. I have already addressed the subject of celiac disease in a previous Ask the Doctor question, which you might like to access by referring to our bank of previously answered questions in the Ask the Doctor section of our site.