Thursday, May 29, 2014

Sweet Faces of Celiac Disease: Meet Elise

Elise is 9 yrs. old and was diagnosed with celiac disease at 7 yrs. old.

What symptoms were you or your child having before being diagnosed?

Little/No weight gain over extended period of time. No other symptoms that we recognized at the time.  I remember wondering, though, why she had a "tummy" even though she was so small and skinny.  

Any other family members diagnosed with celiac disease?

Elise's grandmother has always had symptoms. She was not diagnosed, but she went gluten free after Elise's diagnosis. She has experienced significantly improved health.

How has your life or your child's life changed since being diagnosed?

Honestly, it is more complicated, but worth it because it is a matter of life and health for our little one. In the first six weeks of her gluten-free diet she gained as much weight as she had gained in the entire previous year!  Elise is a passionate and spirited 3rd grader who loves her friends, dance, theater, and show tunes. She is currently in rehearsals for a production of Disney's Beauty and the Beast.

Being that 83% of those with celiac disease are UNDIAGNOSED, what are some ways we can encourage more awareness of the disease and its multiple symptoms?

I think that the blood screening should be part of well child visits to the pediatrician. Early diagnosis and diet change prevents many of the problems that celiac adults face even when they follow a strict gluten-free diet.

Thank you Mom for sharing Elise's story. You have a beautiful tiny dancer. I HAD to share her fabulous dance ensemble! :)  I know what you mean, by "complicated". It can be stressful at times when social situations arise and there's no gluten-free options insight. Staying positive in every situation is the best example we can show our kiddos...even though it's hard at times. 

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