A child who is newly diagnosed with celiac disease can be seen in our celiac clinic within about 2 weeks. At these clinics, you and your child can attend appointments with doctors, dietitians, nurse practitioners and social workers. We hold half-day clinics twice a month – once at Seattle Children’s main campus in Seattle and once at Seattle Children’s Bellevue Clinic and Surgery Center.
Appointments with individual doctors, nurse practitioners and dietitians are also available outside these formal clinic times for families that need additional options.
Who is seen at the celiac clinics?
- A child whose doctor suspects they have celiac disease but the diagnosis is not yet confirmed
- A child who is newly diagnosed with celiac disease
- A child who has had celiac disease for some time but is having difficulty maintaining a gluten-free diet
- A child who has celiac disease and is doing well. We see these patients for a checkup once a year.
- A child who has been strictly following a gluten-free diet but is not getting relief from symptoms. (It can take several months to a year.) For the small percentage of cases that don’t improve with a gluten-free diet, doctors will partner with immunologists to do further testing. These tests can reveal a different inflammatory process affecting the intestines or a rare form of celiac disease that is resistant to a gluten-free diet.
Teaching sessions led by doctors and registered dietitians
A highlight of our twice-monthly clinics is the “new diagnosis” teaching sessions for you, your child and your family. Doctors and nurse practitioners present basic information that you need to know about celiac disease. Dietitians talk about the importance of good nutrition. They also give practical advice on how to make a gluten-free diet work at home, at school and as part of your child’s social and religious life. Our dietitians share recipes and strategies based on their years of experience at Seattle Children’s working with kids who have celiac disease.
Food plays a big role in our lives, and we know that making changes in the way your child and family eat can be challenging. We help you deal with daily meal planning as well as those tricky situations, such as what to do if your child is at a birthday party where pizza or hamburgers are served. There is also plenty of time for questions and answers after the talks. Because multiple families can attend each teaching session, parents and kids also get to meet and learn from each other.