Celiac Disease Program

The Boston Children's Hospital Celiac Disease Program and Support Group helps hundreds of member families cope with celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder that leads to damage of the small intestine and requires children to follow a strict, gluten-free diet.

More about celiac disease

Our expertise in celiac disease 

The experts in our Celiac Disease Program are some of the best in the country when it comes to diagnosing and helping families manage celiac disease with a gluten-free lifestyle. We also have a vibrant and active Celiac Disease support group with more than 400 member families. For more information about the support group, please email us at celiacsupportgroup@childrens.harvard.edu.

No parents want to hear that their child has a chronic illness, but the good news is that celiac disease (CD) is always treatable by changes in diet. This means that your child can avoid side effects associated with medicine, and as a bonus, often the whole family eats more healthily after a member is diagnosed with celiac disease.


5 things to know about celiac disease

Celiac disease is a lifelong intolerance to gluten—a protein found in wheat, barley, rye and also in oats that have been contaminated with gluten from other products. In people with celiac disease, gluten damages the lining of the intestines which can prevent absorption of nutrients and cause a variety of other symptoms.
  • Celiac disease is far from uncommon—recent studies suggest that an estimated 1 in 133 people in the United States are affected by the condition, and many more are undiagnosed.
  • There is no “cure” for celiac disease, but lifelong avoidance of gluten is an effective treatment.
  • Celiac disease tends to affect more girls than boys.
  • There is a strong hereditary component with celiac disease.
  • Living with celiac disease gets easier with time as you build up your knowledge.

For a more in depth look at celiac disease, including information on treatment and care, see our conditions and treatments page.