2017, Number 2
Bol Clin Hosp Infant Edo Son 2017; 34 (2)
Calderón BAM, Mejía LME
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ABSTRACTCeliac disease is the most frequent autoimmune disorder in childhood. It is an enteropathy caused by wheat gluten and its treatment requires a strict gluten-free diet. Other conditions such as non-celiac gluten sensitivity, wheat allergy, irritable bowel syndrome and carbohydrates’ intolerances could obtain also the benefit of a gluten-free and/or wheat-free diet. The prescribed period and restriction level will depend on diagnosis, which is seldom difficult. Everyday there are more followers of the gluten-free diet due to self-diagnosis, availability of gluten-free products and perception that it is healthier; therefore, it is currently one of the 3 most common diets over the world. However, many gluten-free products are limited in vitamins and minerals and contain more fat and sodium than their gluten-containing counterparts, which could induce malnutrition, primarily in children and adolescents. In addition, some of the compounds and food additives used in gluten- free foods to compensate the lack of gluten properties, could complicate some diseases evolution. The gluten-free diet should be consider as a treatment, carried out only by medical prescription and be monitored by a nutritionist to ensure a macro- and micronutrients balance. This regimen is an unhealthy option for healthy children, especially at the long-term and based on industrialized products.