Celiac Disease Program
Tools for Families
Our experts created resources to help families enjoy themselves without worrying about gluten. Take a look at our cooking videos, classes, gluten-free diet guides and more.
Children’s National Hospital is helping to improve the way pediatric celiac disease is diagnosed and treated. Working in partnership with concerned members of our community, our Celiac Disease Program brings together a team of expert physicians, nurses, nutritional consultants and professional counselors dedicated to developing a national model for detecting and treating celiac disease in children.
Our goal is to attack celiac disease aggressively through improved diagnosis, treatment and awareness, using a five-pronged approach.
Celiac disease is a genetic, autoimmune digestive disease that damages the small intestine and interferes with the absorption of nutrients from food. About one in 100 children has celiac disease, making it one of the most common conditions in children.
People who have celiac disease are permanently intolerant to gluten, a protein found in all forms of wheat, rye and barley. When ingested by affected individuals, an autoimmune reaction causes inflammation and damage to the nutrient-absorbing villi in the small intestine. If left unchecked, damage can occur in nearly every system in the body: skeletal, reproductive, neurological and dermatologic to name a few.
Although the common belief is that gluten is found only in foods, the protein is actually used in many everyday products including medications, vitamins, adhesives used for stamps and envelopes and cosmetic products such as lotion, shampoo and lipstick.
Gluten-Free Diet App
Our gluten-free diet app is designed and maintained by the Celiac Disease Program at Children’s National. It provides a cohesive set of high-quality educational materials to patients and families living with celiac disease or a gluten-related condition in order to help with living a safe, nutritious and tasty gluten-free lifestyle.
Celiac Disease Newsletter
For more information on celiac disease, sign up to receive our Celiac Disease Digest, which provides helpful information for patients with the autoimmune disorder. This newsletter is published six times/year.
Treatment for Celiac Disease
A gluten-free diet is the only treatment for celiac disease. If you are concerned that your child may have celiac disease, a diagnosis should always be confirmed with the help of an experienced physician. Our specialists have the expertise to make the diagnosis and help families manage the disease.
To diagnose celiac, physicians usually test blood to measure for higher than normal levels of certain autoantibodies in their blood. Fortunately, the disease is well managed with a change in diet. Because treatment for celiac is nutritional, the program emphasizes patient education, and we offer a range of patient and family-centered programs about living with and managing celiac disease.
Our team includes experts in gastroenterology (digestive disorders), laboratory medicine (testing and monitoring), and pathology (disease treatment evaluation). Counseling support is available through the Division of Psychiatry and the social work team at Children’s National.
A gluten-free diet shouldn’t mean less flavor. After years of experimenting with celiac-friendly meals and goodies, the Children’s National Hospital Celiac Disease Program has gathered a compilation of gluten-free recipes to share with your family and friends.
Celiac Disease Program Team