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Current Evidence in the Diagnosis and Treatment of Children With Celiac Disease

Gallegos, Cara, PhD, RN; Merkel, Rachel, DNP, RN, CNE

doi: 10.1097/SGA.0000000000000365

Recent statistics report that 3 million people, or 1% of the population in the United States (U.S.), are affected by celiac disease (CD). In addition, in the U.S., as many as 1 in 80 children is affected with CD. However, CD can be challenging to diagnose and many children are not correctly diagnosed or live without a diagnosis for several years. Symptoms, if present, are often nonspecific and may be common manifestations of many pediatric illnesses. The purpose of this review is to examine the current evidence regarding incidence, pathophysiology, diagnosis, and treatment of a child with CD. Clinical implications for nurses caring for children and families are discussed.

Cara Gallegos, PhD, RN, is an Assistant Professor in the School of Nursing, College of Health Sciences, Boise State University, Boise, Idaho.

Rachel Merkel, DNP, RN, CNE, is an Associate Professor of Nursing, University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire, College of Nursing and Health Sciences.

Correspondence to: Cara Gallegos, PhD, RN, College of Health Sciences, Boise State University, 1910 University Dr, Boise, 83725 ID, 1910 University Dr, Boise, ID 83725 (

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.

Received August 03, 2016

Accepted March 25, 2017

© 2019 by the Society of Gastroenterology Nurses and Associates, Inc.