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December 15, 2008

Celiac, Other

Question from Truckee, Califronia, USA:

My nine-year-old daughter has type 1 diabetes. She has had itchy rashes on her torso and the skin where her legs and arms bend. In the past, our family doctor has prescribed steroid cream, but we are reluctant to use often unless the symptoms are really bad. Now, about twice a month, she has stomach issues. Symptoms include a sudden, bad stomachache and diarrhea. She gets over it quickly, usually within seven hours. This usually occurs at night, around 3 a.m. Due to its frequency and regularity, I know it is not the flu. I am not sure what to think. Are these symptoms of celiac, appendicitis, or another allergy? Could it be something with which I am not familiar? Do you have any thoughts about these symptoms?

Answer:

Your child would benefit from a thorough history and physical examination done by a board certified pediatrician. The symptoms you describe could be due to celiac disease — a sensitivity to gluten (from wheat). Celiac is more common in kids with type 1 diabetes. You can read more about the symptoms and typical treatment for celiac disease on our web site.

Rashes are difficult to diagnose in person — and certainly difficult to diagnose in a forum such as this. Please visit with your pediatrician for advice about the rash.

MSB