Friday, June 9, 2017

Sweet Faces of Celiac Disease: Meet Dylan

Dylan is 11 years old and was diagnosed with celiac disease 
at 8 years old. 

What symptoms was your child having before being diagnosed?

Dylan was very thin with a lot of stomach pain. He had almost constant diarrhea and slept a lot from the fatigue. He had a lot of headaches. He was losing weight, and was in the "less than 3 percentile" for his age and height. Also he has severe social anxiety which has gotten better since diagnosis, so I think it ties in to the celiac. He was refusing to speak at school.

Any other family members diagnosed with celiac disease?

I (his mom) was diagnosed 2 years before he was.

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

Dylan has put on a lot more weight. He isn't in pain as much anymore, and has regained a lot of energy. His confidence is up and he is a much happier child. He is making friends now, and actually a chatterbox in school. He still struggles with his social anxiety, but it has improved greatly.

What advice would you offer a parent who’s child was just diagnosed with celiac disease?

It is overwhelming at first! It seems as if they think they need to stick gluten in everything. It gets easier though. Educating yourself, and look to others for support. There are a lot of support groups online, and often local ones. Also, I made sure to give Dylan as much information as possible to help him make decisions, and to know when to have someone check labels for him. He is a big label reader now.  Schools don't always get it. There are resources online and print outs you can get to send to the school to help them.  Just don't get discouraged! There are plenty of substitutes for cookies or cakes or treats so the little one doesn't feel left out. A lot of them are really good!

I'm happy to hear you are doing so well Dylan! Keep on playin' and reading those labels! Best to you kiddo.

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