Monday, July 3, 2017

Sweet Faces of Celiac Disease: Meet Izzy

Izzy is 10 years old and was diagnosed with celiac disease at 8 years old. 

What symptoms was your child having before being diagnosed?

I didn't think she was having ANY! She was tested because her father was diagnosed. But now we know- all of her unexplained fevers, headaches, dark circles around eyes, OCD, anxiety, depression, and massive allergies were all of her symptoms.

Any other family members diagnosed with celiac disease?

Her Father

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

We had to homeschool. She was so sick in school with just the gluten crumbs everywhere, parties and snacks in the classroom, the dirty lunch tables..being stuck in a gluten environment 7 hours a day 5 days a week just wasn't working for her. She won't do sleepovers, because she said figuring out the food thing is too hard because she doesn't like other people handling it. She washes her hands constantly and it's a battle keeping them hydrated with lotion. We have to plan our meals and pack them whenever we are going somewhere. Even a day of shopping has to be carefully planned out with snacks and food packed. She can't go to gymnastics camp and she's left with only inviting friends to our home because, with the exception of 2, the other parents are afraid of how to handle her food needs.

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

Having a fully gluten free home is less stressful than trying to have a dual household. Eat gluten free with your child so that they feel less alone and like they have a partner in this and someone to help show them the way. Work hard at duplicating their favorite foods that they will have to give up. 

It has taught us great lessons, of strength, overcoming obstacles and challenges, and that we could have been dealt a much tougher hand, so for now...we're thankful it's just celiac.

You look amazing Lizzie and I hope you're feeling amazing too! Just remember Lizzie, your opportunities are endless! Living gluten-free allows you to LIVE. Never look at it as a negative, but as a way to teach others about celiac disease. You got this kiddo! Have a great summer and don't fear going to camps or trying new things, it will all be just fine. xo

Yes Mom, there will be obstacles along the way, but not having to take medicine or be in the hospital to get better, that's what makes me so happy!  

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