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Thursday, December 10, 2009

Celiac Disease and Autism

Since Kayla was diagnosed with Celiac Disease I find myself tuning in to reports, studies, articles, blurbs -anything really - that mentions Celiac Disease. Just like she when she was first diagnosed with Down syndrome I wanted to read and learn all I could about that as well.

In the November issue of Parents magazine there was a small piece that mentioned a connection between Celiac Disease and autism, which I found interesting. This wasn't saying a child who has CD is also likely to develop autism but instead a child whose mother has Celiac Disease has a three-times-greater risk of autism. It goes on to say Celiac Disease may be most dangerous in pregnancy when it's untreated because it blocks absorption of nutrients and can cause premature delivery and low-birthweight - known autism risk factors. This finding is from the July online issue of Pediatrics. I found more information in this article.

Speaking of Celiac Disease can I just vent my frustrations over it for a few minutes? I try not to complain about it because it's manageable and it's just a permanent change in your dietary lifestyle, but it sure can be frustrating as well!

Yes there a lot more gluten-free products on the market now to make it easier to shop, and restaurants are providing more gluten-free options and providing a list of menu choices that would be considered safe to eat ... but there is still so much more to it. Especially around the holidays when it seems there are so many functions you go to where food is being served. The majority of food Kayla can't have because they are cookies, crackers, breads, pastries, pies, cakes etc. It takes some getting used to the preparation of going out - finding out what is being served, and making sure my purse is stocked with snacks that she can have. I feel bad when I have to tell her "no you can't have that, or that, or that..."

I'm trying to keep it in perspective, though sometimes it gets the best of me and I just really, really wish she didn't have Celiac Disease!

12 Days of Giving day 9: I was in line at the store with several items in my cart. I noticed the gentleman behind me only had 1 item ... so I gave him the opportunity to go ahead of me ... which he really seemed to appreciate. It's neat how opportunities for giving present themselves in even the smallest of ways.

Day 10: Today the MOMS Club met for our monthly meeting and we were asked to bring items to donate to the Children's Aid Society; I gave a bag of Lucas's clothing.

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Marie said...

We were dairy free for a very long time so I do have an idea of what you mean. I'm glad though that you are being proactive. Vent away sometimes it is good to get it out.

Mom24 said...

I'm glad you took the chance to vent, albeit a tiny bit. I can't imagine how difficult it must be. No, it's not the worst thing in the world that can happen, but it's no walk in the park either.

I think it's hard for others when we don't admit sometimes things are hard. :) I'll be thinking of you during these holidays.

My grandson has a peanut allergy and it makes me crazy that people in my daughter-in-laws family refuse to make things to accommodate him--such a simple thing to do, but so hard to teach a child why they can't have the treat every one else is having. Very hard.

Robin said...

I can't imagine how difficult it must be to manage Kayla's diet. Celiac disease is something I have never heard of before you started sharing about it. What an interesting correlation between it and autism.
It sure seems like we are seeing more and more of these food related issues doesn't it?
My nephew has recently been diagnosed with diabetes - another horrible disease.

Bailey's Leaf said...

My cousin, Janeen over at Our Story, has a son that has an allergy to wheat/barley and whatnot. I suppose it would be Celiac! At any rate, besides his other allergies, she finds it challenging to go out. At school, they were making corn bread. Well, not only is he allergic to wheat, but also to egg.

I just talked the mom of a peanut-allergic child in K-'s class the other day. I told her that I always make certain that I send a snack along that Andrew can have, because I don't want him to feel excluded. I also will not ever send peanut butter with her at all this year (though the quickness could be tempting) because he is anaphyllactic (sp?!) If something happened to him because of my child's consumption of peanut butter, I would fall apart.

Food allergies. Argh.

ChupieandJ'smama said...

HUGS to you for dealing with this around the holidays. It's our 4th Christmas with the food allergies and it hasn't gotten any easier. Until we started dealing with food allergies, I never realized how much "food" was a part of every celebration. My son keeps saying "I hate being different and I hate my food allergies" :(

Lacia said...

I totally know how you feel. Everything seems to revolve around food, especially holidays. Nolan has a peanut allergy and it's tough. He's old enough that he fully understands, and he's fine with not having everything, but it's still tough. For me, I've always had the rule that if he can't have something then none of us can. I always felt bad eating stuff in front of him that he can't eat. It will get easier over time, and eventually it will be 2nd nature for her.

Brandie said...

Holidays can be so hard with food allergies. I remember a Thanksgiving when Goldie was a baby and all I could eat was the turkey and salad. She has a milk allergy, was still nursing and everything else was made with butter or milk. I hope, over time, people will to think to make treats that Kayla can enjoy, too.

Sasha said...

Dr. Oz just had his show on Celiac Disease today. Did you get a chance to see it? I didn;t get to watch it so I can't say how good it was. I work in a health food store and it is becoming so common. Best of luck I am sure that it is hard through the holidays trying to check everything. HUGS

kayleighderbyshire@yahoo.com said...

I have just started to follow your blog and I would like to say, you have the most beautiful children and I find your blog very interesting. I work with a little 18 month old who is on a wheat/gluten free diet as well and I know the difficulty of trying to find food when we are out and about. In the UK we luckily have a really good free from range in our supermarkets, the child is also dairy free and soy free too, and I find these foods taste very nice and he loves them. Not sure if you would have anything similar where you are?

Bethany said...

Wow, that is a crazy connection ... very interesting! I'm trying to think if I know any adults that have celiac...

Christina said...

I have several friends who are going GFCF for their children who have autism. None of them have been diagnosed with Celiacs, but the diet really seems to help with behavioral issues. I can only imagine how much work it must be at all times, but this time of the year especially. (((Hugs)))

Hajo (Custom Choice Cereal) said...

Michelle, you are very right when you say that celiac disease can be and often is a huge pain to deal with, especially because it is on top of all the "regular" stuff.

The best pieces of advice I can give you are
- don't panic
- read labels and gluten-free blogs!
- join a support group!

I actually just came across a paper entitle "Kids and the Gluten-Free Diet" that was published in a gastroenterology journal. It's been out since 2007 but one of the best (and still very valid) papers I've seen in a long time. You can have a look at a summary and a link to the paper at http://customchoicecereal.com/blog/kids-and-the-gluten-free-diet/

Hope this helps!

chelle said...

I am always in awe when I witness mothers (and dads) successfully manage diets like this. Seriously parenting is hard enough but add that element and wow.

Venting is never a bad thing.

Kristen said...

I do that a lot when someone behind me only has a few items and I have a whole basket full. I would get so frustrated at Costco when all I had was a cake for a special occasion and someone in front of me has TWO baskets full and they look at me like "I got here first". Nice.

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