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Gluten-Free Camp Improves Quality of Life


Gluten-Free Camp

This article originally appeared in the Spring 2010 edition of Celiac.com's Journal of Gluten-Sensitivity.

Celiac.com 07/19/2010 - Thinking about sending your youth to a gluten-free camp, but not sure if the benefits outweigh the cost? A new study was conducted to determine the quality of life among young celiac campers and it is indicating that camp may not only be fun for younger celiacs, but also improve their general well-being, self-perception and emotional outlook.

The Department of Pediatrics, University of California San Francisco, recently published the results of a study they administered which indicates strong evidence that gluten-free camp is important to the physical and emotional well-being of young celiac patients. The study surveyed 104 celiac youth, 7-17 years old who attended a gluten-free camp. Before, and after attending the camp, each camper was given a 14-question survey, using a Likert scale, to evaluate their emotional outlook, overall well-being and self-perception.

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Of the 77 campers that completed the survey before and after attending the camp, all of them showed marked improvement in all three categories and were found to greatly benefit from attending a gluten-free camp. The reasons for the health benefits can be attributed to providing strictly gluten-free food for the campers, so no food was off limits to them. Also cited for the improvement of the campers was that all campers shared similar food sensitivities and they therefore felt safe and included among the other campers, decreasing the social anxiety that many celiacs feel when dining with non-celiacs.

Interestingly, campers who had been on a gluten-free diet for less than four years were more positively impacted by the gluten-free camps than were the campers who had been on a gluten-free diet for more than four years. The difference in results between the newer gluten-free campers and the more experienced gluten-free campers suggests that, over time, adaption to celiac disease can decrease the social anxieties that are often associated with the disease. To accurately test the endurance of these findings, once a young celiac has returned to normal daily activities, more tests will be needed. For now, it is safe to assume that not only is camp a great break for you and your kids, it is also important for their overall health and general well-being.

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Hi! My daughter is 19 was diagnosed at age 16. It took about 12-18 month s for her to fully heal from the damage and feel "normal" again. Also because of the damage done she had reactions to dairy, so you may want to try no or minimum dairy until youre fully healed. Just a suggestion. Hope you start feeling well soon!

Hi yall! New to this blog, but really glad it exists because I have lots of questions. First off, I'm Allie! I'm 17 and newly diagnosed Celiac after about 3 years of searching for answers. I initially went gluten-free on the recommendation of a friend, I felt better in about a month and then my pediatric gastroenterologist had me do the gluten challenge, and my symptoms were the worst they have ever been, and ones I barely noticed before became very present. I did the biopsy and was diagnosed, it's been about 2 weeks and my symptoms are still pretty bad, although my diet has no known sources of gluten or cross contamination. Wondering if anyone has any input on healing post gluten challenge, any tips or how long it took for you would be quite helpful! Thanks

Might want to look into a keto diet, I have UC on top of celiacs and keto is working great Yeah I have major nerve and brain issues with gluten, gluten ataxia with nerve issues and brain issues. Seems to cause my body to attack my brain and nerve system. My brain stumbles fogs, and starts looping, the confusion causes me to become really irritable, I call it going Mr Hyde. Like my mind will start looping constantly on thoughts and not move driving me literally mad, or it used to. Now days it is primary the numbness anger but the gut issues and sometimes random motor loss limit me motionless to the floor now days for the duration of the major anger effects. Used to be a lot more mental then painful gut. I did a mental trauma post on it on while back where I came out about all my mental issues with gluten.

^^^^^^ good info, tips and tricks^^^^^^^^^ yes, crumbs will make you sick. also, breathing flour/pancake mix, etc that is in the air because eventually, you're going to swallow some.

Hello I was diagnosed Dec 15 of last year and went totally gluten-free the next day. I actually got worse before I got better - it's a steep learning curve - but now, 4 1/2 months later I'm finally seeing improvement. Hang in there.