Friday, May 9, 2014

Sweet Faces of Celiac Disease: Meet Ashley

Ashley is 7 yrs. old and was diagnosed at 6 yrs. old with celiac disease.

What symptoms was your child having before being diagnosed?

It started with a stomach ache every other day, then every day.  Then several time every day.  Simple belly aches turned in to severe pains with her curled up on the couch, crying. I knew it was time to go to the doctor when she didn't want to go Trick-or-Treating because her belly hurt.

Any other family members diagnosed with celiac disease?

No.  But her sister has Type 1 diabetes, so I feared it could be Celiac.

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

Overall, my daughter seems to be handling it well.  She has only had a few meltdowns over wanting a certain food, and that's mostly when at a restaurant and she sees someone eating something she can't eat.  For birthday parties, we keep homemade cupcakes in the freezer and she can grab one and takes with her.  Everything in our kitchen is gluten free and she can eat anything and everything.  Life for me, her mom, is a lot harder since diagnosis.  Her sister has Type 1 Diabetes and I think it's a scarier autoimmune disease and some days are more stressful, but at least she can eat everything.  I still get mad at Celiacs and the fact that my daughter can't eat everything.  I find leaving the house stressful for me, especially vacations! There is so much planning and packing of snacks/meals. It's really hard for me!

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 feel like doctors need to be more aware of it.  Thankfully, our pediatrician knew to test for it right away because of other autoimmune diseases in our family.

Thanks Mom for sharing Ashley's story! She sure is a cutie! 

Keep up the good work Mom! Having a child with celiac and another child with diabetes can be challenging not only for the children, but for Mom too.

Staying positive and teaching our to embrace their autoimmune disease, makes a world of difference!

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