Monday, September 25, 2017

Sweet Faces of Celiac Disease: Meet Harrison

Harrison is 6 years old and was 
diagnosed when he was 4 years old.

What symptoms was your child having before being diagnosed?

Harrison was "fine" then after his 4th birthday his symptoms reared their ugly head quickly! He had horrid smelling gas! (Like literally clear the room!), a bloated tummy, rapid weight loss, diarrhea every bowel movement, lethargic, no energy - didn't want to play with his siblings, wanted me to carry him everywhere. Not himself at all.

Any other family members diagnosed with celiac disease?

No

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

His energy is where it should be as a child! He has healthy "normal" bowels movements and isn't gassy. No more big belly and he's filled out to a heathy weight again. His eczema patches have cleared. Very happy go lucky little guy!

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


Learn as much as you can. Read everything. Educate yourself thoroughly. Join supportive groups such as ones on FB. Teach your child to not be a victim of their circumstance but rather set them up to handle themselves and speak up when Mommy or Daddy aren't around. My son at 6 knows to question someone to make sure they are giving him gluten free items. I teach him to be strong and prepared rather than get upset and cry because he cannot have something.

Harrison, you look great kiddo! I bet you're an awesome soccer player. Keep taking good care of yourself, okay?

And Mom, I totally agree with teaching them how to positively deal with their gluten-free lifestyle. Encouraging them to be confident and deal with it the best way possible instead of looking at it negatively, that's really the best thing we can do for them. 

There will be times they will feel left out and of course that's understandable. But if we teach them to embrace their gluten-free lifestyle at a young age and we in turn be a positive light on their gluten-free journey, it really makes a difference in how our children live with celiac disease and manage it.

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