Unfortunately, many children go to the doctor numerous times before being accurately diagnosed with celiac disease and suffer with tummy aches, vomiting, weight loss and many other symptoms.
I've been collecting stories of children with celiac disease and I share their stories below. This will hopefully show that every child is not diagnosed the same and not every child with celiac disease has the same symptoms. Reading these stories, I was shocked to see that many did not have the same symptoms as Jack.
Meet the Sweet Faces of Celiac Disease:
As parents, we are the voice of our celiac children who may not fully understand their disease. Jack, is going on 5 years, since being diagnosed at the young age of 2 yrs. old. All Jack knows is that he can't eat gluten because it will make him sick. Mentioning the word autoimmune, villi, intestines, etc., can be quite confusing to a little boy. In time, Jack will understand the severity of his disease and hopefully he'll start trying new foods, like green veggies! That's a whole other story of feeding a picky eater, but either way, I'm proud of Jack and how he's handled his gluten-free lifestyle thus far.
I raise awareness all year long, but there's something about May and pushing celiac awareness to the next level. My goals this month are to:
- Encourage celiac testing among children
- Share stories of children with celiac disease, to show not every child has the same symptoms
- Encourage testing among siblings
- Share fun gluten-free products for children
- Lastly, inspire children with celiac disease and let them know, they are the voices of the future of this disease - knowledge is key, may they all embrace this disease and help others too!