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MCN Am J Matern Child Nurs. 2007 Jan-Feb;32(1):50-4; quiz 55-6.

The importance of exclusive breastfeeding in infants at risk for celiac disease.

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West Virginia University, School of Nursing, Morgantown, USA. ichertoki@bguhsc.acwvu.iledu


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.

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