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Keywords

Celiac disease, Exclusive breastfeeding

 

Authors

  1. Chertok, Ilana R. PhD, RN, IBCLC

ABSTRACT

This article presents a review of studies examining the association between breastfeeding and delayed symptomatic celiac disease and provides implications for practice. Celiac disease is a chronic intestinal disease involving intolerance to gluten. Symptomatic celiac disease varies in presentation and may include malabsorption, diarrhea, steatorrhea, and malnutrition. Its etiology is multifactorial, related to genetic susceptibility and exposure to gluten. Exclusive breastfeeding, with its many health benefits, may mitigate or delay symptomatic celiac disease. Because infants with a positive family history of the disease could be affected, it is crucial to identify those at risk and educate and advise parents regarding the importance of exclusive breastfeeding.