Saturday, August 13, 2011

A little about me

A little about myself... I was diagnosed with Celiac Disease in late 2006, and became totally Gluten Free February of 2007. My sister, as well as her daughter, were also diagnosed in 2006. My daughter was diagnosed at the age of 2, in 2008, after becoming the "poster child" for Celiac Disease. She had the protruding belly, became very thin, didn't want to eat, and was quite mellow for her age. Thanks to my sister, who is also a dietician, I knew exactly what to look for and had her tested. (She was also tested at age one, and was negative for CD). We all had the intestinal biopsy to confirm the blood test findings. My daughter had severe damage,but after 3 weeks on the gluten free diet, she was like a different child. She liked to eat, she looked great, she had the energy of a 2 year old... it was amazing to me.

My daughter and I are very different in our reactions to gluten. I never had many symptoms, only headaches and mouth ulcers. Honestly, before my daughter was diagnosed, I occasionally cheated when all I could get was regular beer or just had to have a bite of pizza. Since her diagnosis, however, I am diligent about trying to avoid gluten. She is very sensitive if she accidentally ingests gluten. It has happened a handful of times since her diagnosis and every single time she begins vomiting approximately 2-3 hours after ingestion. Once it is out of her system (how long it lasts is directly related to how much gluten she ingested), she sleeps for a while and is then absolutely fine. She is my "canary in the coal mine". Obviously, I would never give her gluten on purpose, but she is 5 years old and a parent can only control so much.

I have learned a lot about being gluten free through my own diagnosis, my sister and niece, but especially having a child with Celiac Disease. Asheville is such a great place to be with this kind of dietary restriction. Lucky for us, there are several stores and restaurants that cater to gluten free eating. I decided to try and share some of our experiences because we have had both positive and negative while out there trying to navigate our gluten free world. My daughter just started kindergarten so this will be a whole new learning experience for me.

I am a working mother of 2, and have never blogged before, so be patient with me on this new journey. Did I mention we are vegetarian as well??

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