Monday, August 28, 2017

Sweet Faces of Celiac Disease: Meet Mara

Mara is 3 1/2 years old and 
was diagnosed with celiac disease when she was 
15 months old.

What symptoms was your child having before being diagnosed?

Severe bloating, weight loss, lethargic, she wouldn't eat, she stopped growing and was labeled failure to thrive.  Looking back, I can now see that she presented symptoms as early as 10-11 months, when she started eating more solid foods.

Any other family members diagnosed with celiac disease?

No. We had never heard about celiac disease before her diagnosis.

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

What a blessing a diagnosis can be! She is now a thriving sassy 3 year old. Other than being a little shorter than most kids her age, from stunted growth, you would never know by looking at her that anything was ever wrong.  She embraces who she is and isn't afraid to tell anybody she can about why she gets to bring "special food" with her. I couldn't imagine our life any other way!

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

Remember to breathe and focus on one day at a time. The amount of information to learn and remember can be overwhelming, you can't learn everything there is to know in one day. Focus on getting your child healthy again, enlist the help of a good dietician to help you understand ingredients and labels. If possible stick to Whole Foods such as, meats, potatoes, fruits and veggies. Most importantly, know that you are not alone!! Search out support groups to help you with your journey.

Mara, how sweet are you? I'm so happy you're loving life and having fun, just like a 3 year old should be!

Yes Mom, one day at a time...everything will be okay.

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