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Jamie1450

My Brother Possibly Has Celiac But Is Dragging His Feet On Diagnosis

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My 2 year old son was diagnosed with Celiac last October, his pediatrician recommended that our immediate family gets tested and that we encourage our extended family as well since it runs in families. We've been tested and all my siblings and my mom (dad is working on it) have been tested and my brother tested positive on one test. I don't know what test it was but one out of five was out of range. He said the base line was 22 and his number was 58. I said he needed to see a GI doc and to keep eating gluten. He called me specifically and seemed on board with the whole possible Celiac idea. That was a month ago.  He has tons of the symptoms, gastric issues, headaches, anxiety, edema, short stature as a child and more. Then all of a sudden if you bring it up he gets defensive and changes the subject. He won't respond to my messages about it now and I haven't been pushy at the least. My brother is pretty lazy when it comes to taking care of himself and doesn't take well to change, he eats an awful diet, and basically his idea of vegetables is lettuce on his cheeseburger and olives on his pizza. I'm really scared for him. About 2 years ago his doctor told him he is pre-diabetic, he's severely overweight and now possibly celiac disease. He's only 34 but I worry that he won't be around in 10 or 20 years. 

 

What information should I give to him to let him know how serious untreated Celiac is? I want to be able to throw hard core facts at him. 

 

Thanks for any info or advice you may have.

 

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I'd be willing to bet that he already knows the dangers he faces. He probably has already done some research on it and the diet scares him more than the possible consequences. After all, the complications are "could be's" but the diet is "must be". Ot's kind of like a smoker - we (I am a smoker) all know about the lung cancer, etc. that we might face. But quitting is HARD, and it's easier to just not think about the future POSSIBLE consequences.

 

So what I whould do if I were you is concentrate on the positives of the gluten-free diet. Talk about how GOOD people who go gluten-free feel. And maybe make him (if you are a good cook) a gluten-free meal. Even if you don't live in the same area, you might be able to send him something. Maybe some Udi's Double Chocolate Muffins - those things taste BETTER than their glutenous counterparts. If he knew that he could still eat delicious food, maybe he'd be more willing to try.

 

Where does he live? If he is in a city, odds are there are plenty of places he can get gluten-free foods, both to cook at home, and at restaurants. Help him do some research on that, and give him as much support as you can.

 

BUT, if he doesn't get on board there is nothing more you can do. We all have to make our own choices. I think a lot of us here have friends or family members whom we know have celiac and refuse to stick to the gluten-free diet. We bleed for them, but we can't force them, just like we can't force our smoking friends to quit.

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I sent notice to my family after my diagnosis too.  Then I figured that I had done my part in helping them.  The ones that are really close are starting to realize the impact and are considering whether they have it. 

 

I survived 30+ years of celiac.  It wasn't fun.  Compared to those years of suffering, the gluten free/intolerance free diet I am on is a piece of cake!  My family can't believe my will power.  They just don't understand.

 

 The gluten free food gift, sounds good.  Otherwise, I feel you have done your responsibility in sounding warning, and we hope one day he will heed it.

 

D

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You could tell him about the increased risk of developing other autoimmune diseases for untreated celiacs.  Search on "celiac associated condition" or related condition.

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There was a popular book called "Wheat Belly" by a cardiologist that talks about the benefits of going gluten-free... including resolving diabetes, obesity, etc.  Perhaps appealing to his vanity might work?

 

I'd also just cook yummy gluten-free meals for him when he visits... and tell him afterwords that it was gluten free.  Realizing that there are yummy gluten-free breads, pastas, etc. might make it more palatable.  Include a gluten-free beer, if that's a potential concern of his. :)

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Thanks so much for the responses everyone! I gave him some space to decide on his own, and he has his biopsy tomorrow. He also told me recently that he has decided to go gluten-free after he gets his formal diagnosis. :) 

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That is great to hear! I think it's natural to not accept that there is something going seriously wrong in your body, and the initial reaction for some of us is to just run away from it. I'm glad that he has such a supportive sister to help him out. 

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