Wednesday, May 20, 2015

Sweet Faces of Celiac Disease: Meet Ryan

Ryan is 6 yrs. old and was diagnosed with celiac disease 
at 18 months old. 

What symptoms was your child having before being diagnosed?

Belly pain, failure to thrive (he stopped growing at 9mo.), irritability, the foulest smelling diarrhea ever several times a day, which lead to horrible diaper rash, he was sick with colds all the time and rarely slept through the night.

Any other family members diagnosed with celiac disease?

Nope. No one.

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

Ryan's life has changed for the better.  He feels great now and is a happy, well adjusted kindergartener.  My husband and I have had a much harder journey.  Initially, we knew nothing about celiac or gluten nor did we know anyone who did.  We had to research and figure out everything on our own.  Four years later, we have it down.  We are not able to be as spontaneous as we used to be but that's our life.  I have channeled the energy I used to spend worrying/being upset into our local CDF chapter.  It has been so therapeutic for me to help others on their gluten-free journey.

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?

Social media can be great to reach those who may not be exposed to celiac otherwise.  I posted a list of the more random symptoms on my Facebook page one day and a friend contacted me for more info because she has several of them.

Thank you Mom for sharing Ryan's story - what a cutie, I mean, handsome young man. ;) Keep advocating and helping others - like you said, channeling the negative energy and worry into helping others, is very therapeutic! 

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