Friday, December 3, 2010

Welcome!

I started this blog to chronicle the journey my family is taking in regards to my son's digestive health issues, and to connect with others experiencing something similar.  I want this blog to be a positive forum that offers honest feedback about our daily experiences navigating the world of gluten-free, dairy-free living, as well a place to offer tips, recipes, and suggestions for celiac friendly venues in the GTA and beyond. 

Back story:

My son Etienne is 21 months old.  Since infancy, he's always had digestive issues.  We switched him to lactose free formula, but he was always in some sort of discomfort and he occasionally suffered from diarrhea.  When he started daycare at 18 months, the problems got worse.  Starting on the first day, he came home with a rash across his back and chest, and he was experiencing diarrhea.  He had recently been vaccinated, so the doctor told us it was a reaction to the vaccine.  Only it didn't go away.  He began experiencing three to four loose bowel movements per day, he had a chronic runny nose and the rash came and went.  To make a long story short, two months, two stool samples, two urine samples and two blood tests later, we were able to rule out parasites as the cause.  We were extremely worried.  His behaviour had changed and he was irritable and difficult to manage.  He had lost several pounds in a two month period and his pants were falling down. 

My mom mentioned to me that there was a history of celiac on her side of the family, and suggested I look into that as a possibility.  I did some research on the internet and found that his symptoms fit the bill.  After speaking with my doctor, she suggested that we try eliminating all gluten and dairy from his diet for a few days and see what happened.  We did, and his symptoms disappeared almost immediately.  We've had him on a strictly gluten and dairy free diet ever since, and he's regained all the weight he'd previously lost.  We've been referred to a specialist to explore the matter further, but that's a story for another post!

We're just starting our journey, and are learning how to navigate the world outside of our home with a small child who doesn't yet understand the dietary restrictions that are placed on him.  It's only been a month, but already I've experienced the difficulties of circumventing a daycare menu that is gluten heavy, the joys of soy yogurt, and how quickly symptoms can return when my son accidentally ingests something containing gluten.  I look forward to any comments, stories or positive suggestions on anything celiac related.

I'm looking forward to sharing this journey with you!

(It's also my mom's birthday today, so Happy Birthday Mom!)

4 comments :

  1. I'm so excited to have found your blog. I'm hoping it will be a help to me. I've been looking all year to find what may be the cause of my, now 2 1/2 year old, daughter's problems. At about 18 month she started to change, stopped growing, her diapers are always either diarrhea or she's constipated, she refuses to eat and says her tummy is sad, she went from being a very "sunshiney" (as I called her) child to screaming about everything and just utterly not herself. I had no idea what the problem was and we decided she was just in the terrible twos. But still she didn't grow. isn't growing. She's the size of an 18 month old. Our pediatrician just thinks her symptoms are related to something she's eaten or due to other little things. I finally blogged about it yesterday and a blog friend mentioned that it sounded like her son who has Celiac disease, so I looked it up and sure enough my 2 yr old has all the symptoms. Anyway, I hope to glean information from your blog and perhaps another blog friend as I go through finding a solution.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks for your comment. It does sound very similar to what we went through. Looking back now, our son's behaviour issues were so obviously a factor, but it's hard to know when you're going through it. Hopefully you'll get to the bottom of the issue with your little one, and I hope my blog has some info that you can use!

    Keep me posted on what happens,

    Kathleen

    ReplyDelete
  3. Our journey started when our son was 4 months old - he started getting constant ear infections- I kept telling the doctor I though he had an allergy to milk; but he just kept telling me that was it, that he just needed tubes in his ears...but he had diarrhea and would vomit a lot right after eating. So we did the surgery, which wasn't cheap~ and guess what no change...that's right...so I demanded an allergy test and made an appointment with an allergist...no dairy or soy....put him on rice milk...still sick...so I started doing my own research~ my husband is adopted so we had no medical back ground to go by and my family doesn't have a real history with food allergies...but Gluten is tied to a lot of congestion issues and gastro issues...so I did an experiment with my Dr's blessing...he cleared right up for 2 weeks~ then we put him back on gluten so he could be test for Celiac disease...and was sick within 3 days! His test came back negative but the specialist said obviously he is sensitive to it so he is back on a dairy, soy, and gluten free diet~ and so are the rest of us. He's been well for 1 month straight now and he's 16 months old...it's been a long 12 months and several, several...medical bills later! I've learned how to make everything from scratch and face challenges when it comes to having to eat outside the home. I've mastered pre-cooking and freezing~ it's a learning experience.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. My son reacts similarly when he eats gluten. The congestion and runny nose are the first signs that he's eaten something he shouldn't have. I do all my own cooking and freezing too. It's certainly a learning experience, but I'm glad you figured it out sooner rather than later. We also went gluten free to support our son. It takes some getting used to, but it gets better over time. Thanks for reading the blog.
      Kathleen

      Delete