The debilitating digestive condition is now known to affect six times more children in Scotland than it did in 1990, according to researchers.
A team from Edinburgh University and Queen Margaret University analysed the health records of under-16s from the south-east of Scotland who were diagnosed with coeliac disease between 1990 and 2009.
They found that the rate of children being newly diagnosed rose from 1.7 in every 100,000 in 1990-1994 to 11.8 per 100,000 children in 2005-2009.
It affects only those who carry the gene for the disease and can be triggered by a viral infection such as gastroenteritis, which causes the immune system to attack the lining of the intestines.
This can cause weight loss, abdominal pain and even stunted growth although in many older children and adults, abdominal pain may be the only symptom.
Sufferers often have a bad reaction to foods that contain gluten such as wheat, barley and rye cereals.
The rise in the number of known cases could be down to a growing awareness of the disease, scientists believe.
But they say it could also be linked to changing patterns of childhood infection as the result of improvements in healthcare, as well as an increase in the incidence of autoimmune conditions in general.
Study leader Dr Peter Gillett, from Edinburgh University's department of child life and health, said: "This study confirms a trend we have seen on a daily basis in our local area of Lothian, Fife and Borders. It also confirms the need to look further at factors influencing why we are seeing more patients with Coeliac disease."