The Gluten-Free Story

Our Gluten-Free Story, I hope that it helps others in their journey.

When my daughter was born we noticed that she was different than our son.  Her stomach was very large and round.  She looked like she was 8 months pregnant and she was only 2 weeks old.  She also had tar colored stools and a rash around her lips, on her tongue, on her bottom, her belly and down her legs. Lastly, she screamed, constantly, if her eyes were open she was crying.  Even when her eyes were closed she was crying.  She cried all the time.  No matter what I did, she cried.  At 6 weeks I had enough.  When she went to the doctor for her 6 week check-up, I begged the doctor for help.  Because we knew my husband had a “sensitivity” (and I say it like that because I think he has Celiac) to wheat, the doctor suggested that I change my diet and remove all wheat products.  We did that and I noticed a slight improvement with her but she still had the rash, the big belly and the wonderful diapers.  She did cry a little bet less, but only a little.  She still seemed to be uncomfortable.  We went back to the doctor a week later.  He said why not try a gluten free diet!  Gluten is a protein that is passed through breast milk and it is possible that she was having a problem with that.  OK, fine… but man was I pissed!!! Going wheat free was bad enough, but gluten-free, are you nuts… I love bread!  This was torture and I was mad.  I told me husband that this was all his fault and if I had to suffer through the gluten-free diet, he did too.  He agreed, because who really wants to argue with a post-par tum woman who has been getting very little sleep!  If they would have taken away chocolate, I think I would have had to be committed somewhere!

Amazing things happened.  We saw improvements within 48 hours and by two weeks she was a normal baby again, instead of psycho baby that never stopped crying, she was lovable and wonderful! Then she started walking and talking but that is a different story all together!

My son at the time was still eating gluten… well that changed about 5 months later.  His presentation was very different.  He was 4 at the time and he had struggled with breathing issues and digestive issues is whole life.   The doctors diagnosed him with asthma, reactive airway disease, lactose intolerance, heart disease and he was even tested for cystic fibrosis. As my husband would say, “They had no clue what was wrong with him”.  Anyway, when he was 4 he got a stomach bug from pre-school, that never went away.  The doctor told him to eat crackers and drink ginger ale.  (Both of which had gluten in them).  So that was all he ate and he kept getting worse and worse.  So I finally said enough, you are going gluten-free just like the rest of us.  Magically, his symptoms improved!  Not only did his stomach virus go away, but he did not need breathing treatments twice a day and steroids and he could have milk again without a problem.

We have been a gluten-free family since that day!  We have gone to Celiac Specialist but they can’t help us or give us an official diagnosis because the kids are already gluten free.  So when the kids are older, if they want to eat gluten, they can go back to the doctor and eat gluten for 6 months…but at the end of the 6 months they have to have a endoscopy done to see if they have Celiac.  To quote my son, “No piece of bread is worth getting a tube shoved up my bum”!

All three of them, my husband and the kids, have had times when they have accidentally eaten gluten.  Their body’s reaction tell us that we are doing the right thing.  My son needs to have steroids, breathing treatments and also gets an upset stomach.  My daughter breaks out in a rash, has a fever and an upset stomach.  My husband gets a horrible head ache, chest pain, joint pain and an upset stomach.  They all react very differently, but we believe that Gluten is the cause of all their symptoms.  Since we have been gluten free, everyone has been doing much better!

I hope my story helps you, if you have any questions please ask.  I have posted some recipes in my blog you can search gluten free and find them.  Enjoy!

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