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    Do you have questions about celiac disease or the gluten-free diet?

SuperBeck

Help Me Convince My Dh

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Please help me .... I'm new to the forum. I've been looking for a long time for an explanation as to why my 3 and 4 yo DDs have not been growing properly over the past year. Perhaps during my search I've become neurotic and classified them as so many different things (eg. hypothyroid and anemic, but blood tests were borderline), but I really think I'm onto something with celiac disease.

Their 1st year of life they were in the 95% for height and weight, now they have fallen off the growth charts. Both DDs go b/w diarrhea one day, then constipation for a couple (never at the same time, so I don't think they have a virus. My 3 yo often has really wide stool that is often accompanied with bleeding: She had severe gastro reflux. My 4 yo has nasty rash that comes and goes on the back of her arms, and gets huge black rings under her eyes often about 1/2 hour after eating. They both have very swollen tummies after eating, look like they are pregnant. BUT the doctors say they are underweight and their stomachs are normal. They both had bad colic at 3 weeks of age (don't know if that's related).

I've told my husband about celiac disease and I've personally gone gluten-free this week, as I've been suffering with a pale itchy rash (that he could never really see) and constant diarrhea, and poor iron absorption and transient hypothyroidism. So far I've noticed my stomach size has already gone down an inch and my diarrhea is less. I love my DH with all my heart, and he is normally the most supportive person in my life, but I think b/c I've been so desperate to get DXed with something, he now thinks the internet has brainwashed me and that I'm DXing myself and the children with the "illness of the day".

My DH thinks I'm overreacting and says that our children are not going to become "One of those kids that has to bring food, and can't have cake at B-day parties." My blood pressure shot thru the roof and I flipped out and begged him to understand the commitment we are about to make. I explained that they will not be able to have ANY gluten and he said "a little piece of pizza won't hurt them once in a while, and when we go to other people's houses we are not going to bring different food for the girls, that's just plain ridiculous." I withdrew and said that I hadn't done a good job explaining the significance of them not having ANY gluten, and he just poopooed it and I had to stop talking b/c I was really about to go off my rocker.

At my insistence, the girls are going for allergy and celiac disease blood testing this week. After the tests come back, regardless of the results I wanted to do a 30 day trial of GFto see if their bowels and stomach swelling change.

I'm so upset, I don't know what to do. With our luck, even though my girls seem to have all the classic symtoms of childhood celiac disease, their tests will probably come back negative. My aunt has celiac disease and I suspect my dad has too, but he doesn't take care of himself and will probably never get DXed.

Please help me figure out a plan to help my DH be supportive of this commitment. In my heart I am convinced that we need to go gluten-free, but he seems to be equally committed to them staying "mainstream". I'ts like he thinks that gluten-free it is a fad.

Trying to breathe ....

>|< SuperBeck

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Hi Superbeck, and welcome to this board. It sounds like you're on the right track. Unfortunately, too many doctors are completely ignorant when it comes to celiac disease. If your dad has celiac disease, and your aunt has it, and you have the symptoms, it's VERY likely that, given your symptoms, you and your girls all have celiac disease as well, as it is genetic.

If you have your girls tested, DON'T have them go gluten-free quite yet. It would be good if their blood test would be positive, it would go a long way in convincing your husband.

Celiac babies often have colic, so, that could very well be related. It is NOT normal for a toddler to have reflux, again, that is a very common symptom in celiac disease. So are their distended stomachs, alternating diarrhea and constipation, anemia, rashes and failure to grow. You're not neurotic, and their symptoms are very typical for celiac disease.

Your husband doesn't want his little girls to have anything wrong with them, of course. But he may need to look at the fact that something is obviously not right, and that being in denial is not going to help them.

Try not to bring it up until you get the blood test results back. If everything else fails, you could have them tested by Enterolab (if you're in the US that is), even though that is fairly expensive.

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I agree with Ursula. Sounds like this one just needs some time. Hopefully the blood tests are conclusive and you can move forward from there. If it is Celiac, it will be easier once they've gone gluten-free. I'm sure he will only be willing one time to watch his daughters suffer for a week from that "one little slice of pizza." I can't imagine any parent being able to ignore the pain that this causes a child. I also understand him being in denial for now. Don't worry. This forum can get you through just about anything. (We even have gluten-free cake recipes) :)

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Bringing different food to a party or to a friends house really isn't that big of a deal. My girls and I do it all the time, usually when people understand that gluten is TOXIC to us, they forgive us for not eating the take out pizza they bought.

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Thankfully, my husband has been supportive, but other family members were not. After going gluten-free and seeing the difference in our kids, though, they are on the bandwagon too. If my son eats something that has even touched gluten, he gets D really bad. That's pretty good motivation to not cheat. He's 3 and if he eats anything new he'll ask "Will this make my tummy hurt" If it is celiac disease, then make sure you keep them 100% gluten-free duing the trial. I beth they'll look and feel so much better that they or their dad will ever want them to cheat. Try not to stress. I do that enough for everyone! :P

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Hi, Superbeck,

Hang in there~ And breathe!

You've got a bunch of different problems going on, and you're frantically trying to solve them all instantaneously! One is the medical issues facing your girls. One is your own medical problems. One is your husband's obvious need to deny problems. And one is the way you and your husband relate on this issue.

I think you might be able to be more in control of things than you think. You're already on the right track iwth testing for celiac (and as mentioned above, going gluten-free before the test will skew the test results. :angry: )But as soon as you've got the test results, regardless of what they say, you do have choices.

If all the test-results are negative for celiac, you can choose to go completely gluten-free anyway. You can talk to your husband during a non-confrontational time (sometimes with men, writing it out works better than talking--it gives them time to process) about this. You might be able to strike some kind of compromise, such as going gluten-free for one month and then re-evaluating the situation.

The compromise I reached with my husband was that, for now, I am gluten-free, and the family is gluten-lite (gluten-free for breakfast and dinner, and I make a lot of gluten-free snacks--they are allowed to eat bread at lunch). Now, I was the one with most of the celiac-type problems (my bloodwork was inconclusive)--but our middle son's eczema and occasional tummy aches disappeared just on gluten-lite! Most peopleon this board might disagree with me (and they are more experienced at this than I), but you might see a lot of improvement with gluten-lite. And going gluten-lite might be the way to convince your husband in the long run to go gluten-free a bit later without destroying your marriage. Sometimes you have to take baby steps rather than huge leaps. And sometimes dads are even worse than moms about denial when it comes to their perfect children.

Do you like to cook? There are lots of wonderful recipes on this board. Some of the ones I've found here are so good, my kids say it's the best they've ever tasted (and I don't bother to tlel them it's gluten-free). As far as your girls' growth, if they're eating a lot of pasta and bread, those are rather non-nutritious foods anyway. If you post what kind of foods you and your family like, I bet there'l be a lot of recipe suggestions from the wonderful people on this board. If your husband is a pasta freak, people seem to agree that Tinkyada Pasta is the best (it's made from brown rice flour). Bread is tougher to find a good substitute for, but if your husband likes Chinese food, you could avoid bread for a while with ease!

Good luck. Now that you've found a likely solution, try and relax just a little. You are probably right about the gluten being a problem, but you need to stay calm (externally AND internally) and focussed on a way to implement this without making your husband feel like you are 1)a hypochondriac and 2)trying to wrestle power away from him and 3) trying to label his "perfect" children (never mind that they are your perfect children, too, and you probably know them better than he does--ya gotta see it from his point of view.).

Please keep us all posted, okay? And ask lots and lots of questions here--I have learned so much from the fantastic people here, and I swear, most of them know far more than the doctors.

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I am so sorry your husband isn't more supportive of this.......it sounds like you are on the right track with thinking this is celiac. Especially since there is a family history of it.

I don't have much advice for you on how to get your husband to come around, but you need to stick to your guns for your children's sake. Hopefully once he sees how much they improve, he won't be able to argue with that. SO many kids have diet restrictions these days, it is really not a big deal to bring food to parties and such. The kids can have just about anything that the other kids are eating, it just takes a little more organizing and prep on the parents end to provide a gluten free version for them. And with the plethera of gluten free candy available, they certainly aren't deprived of childhood goodies in any way!

It sounds to me like your husband just doesn't want your girls to be labeled in any way, or feel different. But he really doesn't know all the details of the diet yet....hopefully he will come around once he sees how much they can actually have. And a diet change is certainly cheaper in the long run than endless doctor visits and tests, maybe that's another angle you could try with him.

Good luck to you, and keep us posted on their progress!

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