The beginning of our adventure starts with my 6-year-old stepdaughter getting diagnosed with Celiac Disease.
Basically, her immune system deals with the presence of gluten in her diet by attacking her intestines and flattening the villi, preventing her from obtaining the proper nutrients from the food she eats. No matter how much food she packs in, she cannot absorb enough to sufficiently gain weight and grow, not to mention the other health issues she has (asthma, uber-sensitive to respiratory allergens, ADHD, etc) could be explained by the lack of nutrients and essential fatty acids her body needs to keep itself in check.
We kinda fell ass-backwards into the diagnosis, winding up in a specialist’s office for a quasi-related issue that turned out to be a dirty test and nothing actually wrong, but the specialist still had a spark in her eye after going through the medical history. Some blood tests, an endoscopy, and a biopsy later, and we finally have both answers and a treatment plan.
Before this, I had never heard of Celiac Disease. I had (of course) heard of the Gluten-Free movement, but had lumped it in with Paleo and the ilk. Not bad, not good, a bit fad-ish, but to each their own. If I had given it a bit of thought, it would have made sense to me that there would be folks with a sensitivity or an allergy to it, but even so I would have had no idea the level of ease by which something could be contaminated and harmful to some folks.
I suppose I’ll go over that more in my next post, which will address the transition we made in our house to go gluten free.