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MelissaNZ

How vigilent do we need to be?

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My daughter has just been diagnosed and her symptoms are relatively minor, in that she doesn’t get major stomach pains etc (just sometimes feels a bit yucky and the odd throw up once very few months), but her main symptoms are she can get constipated and also has low weight and height gain.

 

So how vigilent do we have to be?  Like I know we have to remove gluten from her diet, but do we have to be super careful about cross contamination? Worry about things like gluten in hair products, cooking with different pans etc?  Will tiny amounts cause her on-going damage? It’s difficult because it’s not like she is suddenly ill or has symptoms  when she has some, so we don’t know what’s really going to affect her or how careful we have to be about cross contamination, as her symptoms are something we can't physically see (besides her being tiny).  Is everyone different and some can tolerate tiny amounts? – or does everyone who has Celiacs have to be extremely careful about every little speck of gluten they come across?

 

What about things like a bag of chips that says they just contain potatoes and oil – are they okay?  Or does it specifically have to say gluten-free?

 

Thanks

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How was she diagnosed?  If she had antibody tests, you can repeat those in 6-12 months to see if they return to normal levels.  If not, you should be more careful.

I had few if any symptoms, but discovered through antibody testing that I am very sensitive to teeny tiny levels of gluten.  One of my antibody levels (Dgp IgA) is still a bit above the normal range.  I find out next week if my villi are damaged (doc decided to do an endoscopy since I was due for my every ten year colonoscopy).  Visual examination said some villi are blunted, just waiting for biopsy results.

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Yes, those are antibody tests.  The gliadin, tTg and endomysial should be repeated after she has been gluten free for a while (but DON'T go gluten free until the endoscopy/biopsy has been done).   The IgA is a control test.  Different laboratories use different ranges so to compare, the repeat tests should be done by the same lab as the original ones.  And you'll need to find out the reference ranges so you'll know when she is in the normal range.

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My two year old was just diagnosed a little over three months ago. We have chosen to be extremely careful and overly cautious until we can go in for his follow up and see how much better he has gotten. There are so many different symptoms and some people don't outwardly show much. But that doesn't mean their body isn't being harmed immensely on the inside. In my opinion kids should be the most cautious because their bodies are growing and developing. But we are very new to this, and I am very far from being an expert. I would check with your gi dr. Good luck. I'm sure you will do great since you sound like a concerned parent. :)

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You need to be worried about cross contamination. Read our Newbie 101 pinned to the top of the Coping Section. It will tell you what you need to change.

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Hi

my daughter was diagnosed 1.5 years ago at 3.5 years old. She also hadn't grown properly (still looked 18 months old) and hadn't put on any weight for a year. She also had ADHD like symptoms and occasional diarrhea (although I think this was lactose!). 

I was ultra cautious initially, but rewarded when my daughter put on 3kg and grew 5cm in a month. Now she has grown 16cm in 12 months and is in the normal range for both height and weight growth charts. Our whole house is now gluten free and I replaced all chopping boards, non stick pans and anything with cut marks in them such as plastic bowls.

You don't have to buy only products with the specific gluten free labels on. I also buy products that don't label any gluten containing ingredients and don't have the warning statement of may contain gluten (but I live in Europe so the labeling might be different). Also gluten free food is full of sugar and tastes awful IMHO! I make a lot of our snacks and cakes and they don't taste much different to gluten stuff.

I also make sure her toothpaste is gluten free as she sometimes swallows some! I was told sodium laurel sulphate is wheat - can someone confirm this? I don't worry about anything else.

I think my daughter has occasionally had some cross contamination when out, but hasn't reacted to it other than a mild stomach ache. this is something you will find out later specific to your own daughter as some people can be very ill for a long time.

Good luck - you will work it all out. 

 

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4 hours ago, Ockero girl said:

Hi

my daughter was diagnosed 1.5 years ago at 3.5 years old. She also hadn't grown properly (still looked 18 months old) and hadn't put on any weight for a year. She also had ADHD like symptoms and occasional diarrhea (although I think this was lactose!). 

I was ultra cautious initially, but rewarded when my daughter put on 3kg and grew 5cm in a month. Now she has grown 16cm in 12 months and is in the normal range for both height and weight growth charts. Our whole house is now gluten free and I replaced all chopping boards, non stick pans and anything with cut marks in them such as plastic bowls.

You don't have to buy only products with the specific gluten free labels on. I also buy products that don't label any gluten containing ingredients and don't have the warning statement of may contain gluten (but I live in Europe so the labeling might be different). Also gluten free food is full of sugar and tastes awful IMHO! I make a lot of our snacks and cakes and they don't taste much different to gluten stuff.

I also make sure her toothpaste is gluten free as she sometimes swallows some! I was told sodium laurel sulphate is wheat - can someone confirm this? I don't worry about anything else.

I think my daughter has occasionally had some cross contamination when out, but hasn't reacted to it other than a mild stomach ache. this is something you will find out later specific to your own daughter as some people can be very ill for a long time.

Good luck - you will work it all out. 

 

I don't think sodium laurel sulphite is ever even made from wheat.  But even if it were, it seems to be one of those chemicals that has none of the proteins left.

But, whether you believe me or not.... I have never seen it listed on any reputable celiac group sites as something to avoid for gluten.

 

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Yes you need to read Newbie 101. Yes you need to be super vigilent. Yes even a spec the size of your smallest freckle can cause a problem for her. Even if it does not trigger noticeable symptoms, it does not mean it's not triggering an attack on her intestines!!! 

Yes, donate all non-stick and cast iron cookware and muffin pans and glazed on baking pans to someone else, get rid of wooden spoons, get a new toaster, waffle maker, etc.  Get rid of old cutting boards, wood and plastic.  Get new sponges! Anything previously used to cook something with gluten can hold onto it. Seriously clean all regular pans and utensils you are going to keep, scrub scrub srub. Clean out the fridge, cabinets, and drawers for any crumbs or flour left behind.

I chose to replace all face and hair and body products with gluten free. Started with the obvious of lipstick (I now use Red Apple brand), face, and hair (washes over your face when you rinse), then replaced body lotions after I used the old ones up (too easy to scratch your leg or arm and oops....)

I sincerely and strongly recommend that the whole household be gluten free within the house. No way was I going to cook one pot of something for him and one for me...too easy to use one spoon to stir the wrong thing...added clean up and what was the point anyway...gluten free is better for everyone anyway (read the book The Grain Brain). 

Until my partner was also diagnosed with Celiac's, we tried all meals at home being gluten free except for bread or cracker items for him. But that was kinda stressful on me.  Can I safely use the sponge to wipe up that crumb and then what do I do with the now  contaminated sponge?  I read to have 2 sponges...but what about the crumb that I didn't see that I wiped up with my so-called gluten free sponge?  What if a spec gets on the table mats...so I can't even put my fork on a table mat in case it has a crumb? Too crazy and you just never relax. What if he dipped into the jam and then put it on his toast and then re-dipped??? (caught him doing that even though he was trying to be very very careful...things like that are just too much of a habit). What if he ate that bread and then kissed me??? Ahhhhhhhh! Too much!

As soon as he was diagnosed and we tossed the remaining gluten items, it was a huge sense of relief. So yes, you can manage keeping your daughter's food gluten free through lots of care, but really, it is the mental side of it that was important to me.  So set yourself up for SUCCESS, not failure and paranoia. HOME SHOULD BE A SAFE ZONE!!!

Also...we have pets, so if they are prone to licking you, you might want to consider that. There are lots of grain free pet foods available now...grain isn't so great for a lot of them either.

My latest phase has been to replace all my herbs & spices (they were old anyway). I read that although they are naturally gluten free, outside testing has shown that they can contain some high amounts, possibly from cross contamination in processing or in where they are grown.  Spicely is a good brand that is gluten-free, but I couldn't find it around where I live. I found Morton & Bassett now labels theirs gluten-free, and I can find it at Fred Meyer's (grocery chain in the northwest), or mail order it from their web site. They have specials regularly, just sign up for their newsletter.

I'm sure there will be those who totally disagree with me, but I have been so much happier, much more mentally positive, and this is so much easier to deal with since my home is now totally gluten-free.  A big weight was lifted just by having my safe world at home.  Good luck!

 

 

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Right, but if it's on your skin or your hair and you touch that and then touch something that goes into your mouth or put your hands in your mouth, then you can get glutened. That's why I used up my body lotion, but was really careful about washing hands if I touched my skin ... it was a pain to do and it's much nicer now that all my body products are free of that stinkin' gluten.  And my doctor said to be careful of all products that get into eyes, nose, ears, and of course mouth ... all those parts drain down the throat to the stomach.

 

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