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lkforster

Member Since 02 May 2013
Offline Last Active May 03 2013 04:06 PM
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Topics I've Started

Celiac Disease And Children's Behavior

02 May 2013 - 05:22 PM

Hi everyone!

 

I just joined this forum today, particularly because my 9 year old son's behavior has gotten progressively worse in recent months. The "team" at his elementary school have been quick to suggest ADD/ADHD, but as a teacher myself, I'm just not convinced that is the problem.

 

I myself have been gluten free for 14 months. In the three years prior to going gluten free, I experienced frequent stomach cramps, vomiting, and constant diarrhea-they grew worse over time, to the point that I was experiencing severe vomiting attacks 2-3 times a week, attacks that left me physically exhausted and sore. Even though I had gone to my doctor at least a dozen times, trying to determine a cause, the best she could come up with was IBS. After my last attack 14 months ago, when I missed three days of work in a row, I went to my boss to explain my absence-I felt so ridiculous explaining to her that I was sick all the time, but didn't know why. Fortunately, I have a great boss, and one who has Celiac Disease. She suggested I eliminate gluten from my diet, which I did immediately-within a few days, I felt like a new person. Because I stopped eating gluten, I have not had the test for Celiac-I have done enough research to know that if it's not in your system, the test will result in a negative reading. However, I'm 99% certain that I have Celiac-I have been "glutened" a few times since that day, unknowingly, but have been able to trace my symptoms to a single gluten source on those occasions. I miss so many foods (especially great bread!), but none of them are so good that they're worth the physical toll they take on my body.

 

As for my son...to say he is a difficult child is putting it mildly. He was easy going and downright sweet until a few years ago, when he began to physically lash out when he was upset: hitting others, stomping his feet, slamming doors, etc. At that time, my husband had just returned from a deployment to Iraq, and we thought Carter was reacting to a difference in our routine and maybe worried that his dad would leave again. He had also just started first grade, the first year that he was in school all day, and he was in a different class from his twin brother (they were inseperable until that point). However, he didn't adjust whatsoever, and the physical aggression only became more pronounced; in addition, he has become increasingly disruptive in his classroom environment, can't seem to control his impulses, and is also quite disrespectful. This only happens *sometimes*, but no one (from us parents, to his teachers, to the school psychologist, to the school SPED teacher) can determine a trigger. In the past few months, Carter's energy level has also been a problem-he complains often of being tired, despite the fact that he has a regimented bedtime and wake-up each day (10 hours of sleep total), and his classroom teacher has reported that he often "zones out" during assignments, staring into space and making no attempt to do his work, but also no attempt to engage with his peers either. His cognitive/academic skills are much higher than his classmates, but he often does poorly on tests administered via computer. In the last month, he has been complaining of headaches, and has also broken out into rashes that I assume are hives (I got them as a kid, and still do on rare occasions). Finally, Carter is a small kid-his twin brother is 6 inches taller and outweighs him by 30 pounds. He looks normal when clothed, but once he takes his shirt off, we can count ribs.

 

We have an appointment with our pediatrician scheduled for the 17th, and I'm anxious to begin the testing process. My concern is that he won't be willing to do that (our insurance is TriCare, and our provider is an overloaded military hospital). The more information we go in with, the better off we will be. Do any of you have experiences you can share, or possible resources/links that may help us?

 

Thanks for any feedback, I appreciate the support!

 

Leanne