Sunday, July 2, 2017

Sweet Faces of Celiac Disease: Meet Abigail

Abigail is 4 years old and was diagnosed with celiac disease when she was 2 years old. 

What symptoms was your child having before being diagnosed?

Extremely emotional, vomiting 1-2 times a month and poor appetite.  Abigail was categorized as "failure to thrive" and was taken off dairy for one year before she was finally diagnosed with celiac disease.

Any other family members diagnosed with celiac disease?

Yes - Her maternal grandmother and two of her cousins.

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

She is so much happier!! Literally within 24 hours of removing gluten from her diet; she was a different kid.  Still a very emotional and very sensitive kid, but she is healthier and she eats like you would not believe!! Sometimes I feel like she is making up for the years of lost nutrition.  She is small for her age but her growth has jumped since going gluten free and she now on the growth curve instead of below it!

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

Reach out to others.  We are "lucky" in a sense that she is not alone in our family, but there are lots of groups on social media as well as in person support groups.  Also don't panic.  There are so many options available and once you get the hang of it I think you will find that it is completely manageable.

Wow Abigail, look at you! You're a big girl, healthy and strong! Keep doing a great job and make sure to eat your veggies for your momma! ;) 

And yes Mom, "getting the hang of it and realizing it is completely manageable" is so true. It's a little overwhelming at first, but I can recall Jack the next day after starting his gluten-free diet, I knew it was all going to be worth it for his health! Amazing transformation in just days!

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