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Behavioral Symptoms

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What behavioral symptoms do you see in your child with Celiac?

My son has always become irritable with exposure to gluten, but with this last exposure it has been horrible! He is irritable, defient, mean, whinny, tired but won't sleep. I know he's 2, but he is a very sweet cooperative boy most of the time, this is just awful.

Since we haven't had this kind of reaction in the past I am wondering how other kids react behaviorally.

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My older son gets cranky, and touchy. The least little thing will set him off, into a sobbing meltdown. He'll also get very tired/lethargic. No energy.

My younger son is a hundred time worse, behaviorally. He can go into full-out rages-- screaming for an hour straight, violent lashing out- hitting, punching, biting. It takes next to nothing to set him off. It's really horrible. At school, he will become unfocused, ignores teachers and other students, has no interest in participating, etc. Our family doctor even suggested psychiatric testing, that he may be bipolar. But all of that gradually changed when we took him off gluten. Both at home, and at school, he is a much happier and emotionally stable child. Symptoms return if he's glutened.

(Those are all besides the gastro symptoms.)

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Lethargic, weepy, territorial ("MINE!"), prone to absolute meltdowns, and a little OCD. She gets these symptoms right before the vomiting and diarrhea.

It is so hard to see her this way because otherwise she is very generous, easy going, and is just a riot (she keeps everyone laughing!).

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You will only understand the symptoms of Celiac, once you are in the gluten-free diet. Toddlers go through so many issues that it is hard to understand which ones are regular developmental or associated with Celiac.

Now that my daughter (also 2yr) has been 16 days in the gluten-free diet, I can tell you some of the symptoms that I believe were associated with Celiac:

1- Constant desire to be held (not much independence)

2- Mood swings, specially before bed

3- Desire to watch TV (Elmo) all the time (less play, dance, etc)

4- Gloomy, passive behavior (not very active and adventurous)

5- Constipation, constant signs of stomach ache.

6- Very short concentration spams

I feel like the Claritine advertisement, it is like removing a grey layer of darkness that affect her completely.

- Now she laughs and giggles 25X times more.

- She mentiones Elmo, but once you place the video, she wants to play with toys.

- At the zoo it was the first time that she was actually looking at the animals and stayed in the same fish building for over 2 hours. Playing, running, making jokes, etc.

- She is in a great mood all time, asking my wife and I to dance, and playing with everything around.

- She cries tons when putting her to sleep now, as she has so much fun during the day!

Sorry for the long email, but as you see, I never tought that my daughter could be any nicer, cuter and more lovable, but the new gluten-free personality is like winning the lottery!! I was so depressed, but seeing her change is transforming me!! I love it.

Father of Alana

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My 9-year-old daughter has/had behaviorial symptoms, but also dark circles under her eyes and veyr smelly farts. No other "usual" symptoms. We had her blood tested in July 2006 to rule out possible physiological concerns as we were at our wits end with her. She was irrational, mean, never sleeping, explosive, etc. Her blood was randomly tested for celiac and which was positive. Another blood test, positive. Biopsy, very high level of damage.

She had loose stools as a toddler, but all that resolved and her only symptom was behavioral. After 2 weeks of being gluten-free she told a fellow celiac teacher that she "was much happier".

Of course, she still has typical almost 10-year-old behaviors, but when she has had gluten we can tell the difference. She is not rational, cannot calm down, is very easy to get upset, hurts her siblings, etc when she ingests gluten.

I truly wish that there was more clinical research on this area, rather than the parental accounts (which are very helpful as a fellow parent), but I would like the medical establishment to realize that celiac is much more than diarrhea. It is also difficult to pin down if she is just acting up, or if she ingested gluten.

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What behavioral symptoms do you see in your child with Celiac?

My son has always become irritable with exposure to gluten, but with this last exposure it has been horrible! He is irritable, defient, mean, whinny, tired but won't sleep. I know he's 2, but he is a very sweet cooperative boy most of the time, this is just awful.

Since we haven't had this kind of reaction in the past I am wondering how other kids react behaviorally.

Describes my almost 4yr old to a tee when she has gluten. It is like a different person!

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Katharine gets lethargic and extremely defiant and aggressive at the same time. Most things set her off, she doesn't want to eat and she is just plain ol'cranky. She also gets mad cause she gets a rach on her tush and it itches bad.

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    Oh yes, it could, although to be honest I never got myself so wet with sweat that it would have been a serious situation.  However, I can remember one time when I got caught in a cloudburst while going to my car in a large parking lot, though, and got soaked to the skin, and of course had to wear those soaking-wet clothes while I drove the 45 minutes it took me to get home --- I will NEVER forgot the misery and agony of that drive!  I could just barely keep the car under control, in fact.
    Thanks for your response, Squirmingitch, but I have to almost laugh, as at this point I am not really stressing over these questions at all --- just curious.  I have always been an insatiable question-asker, so please don't take my frequent questions as a sign of my obsessing over celiac disease or DH.  Yeah, admittedly I was rather stressed out for a couple of days two weeks  ago or so, but I am significantly settled down now, even while negotiating the nutritional maze of trying to manage two
Water?! That's… unreasonably inconvenient. Did it happen with sweat?
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