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brianw

Question Especially For Parents

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I was diagnosed with celiac disease a little over a month ago, and have been gluten-free since then. My wife has been fantastic in helping with this. Thus far, my children haven't shown problems that show they need to be tested, so we're not rushing them out for testing, but we're keeping a careful eye.

For now we're eating totally gluten-free suppers together, and then I recycle leftovers for my lunches. But we're not changing the family's foods for breakfasts and lunches and snacks. So there's still a lot of gluten in the house...scraps and crumbs on counters and tables, dishes, etc. I fix foods for my kids and am handling gluten stuff all the time.

I'm looking for advice from others in a similar situation. How do you handle it? Is it a problem with having scraps and crumbs all over? I feel like they're little land-mines waiting to get into my body and glutenize me, but maybe I'm just overreacting due to all of the reading I'm doing. I've taken great effort to change all of my foods, personal care items, etc., and we're being ultra-careful about cross-contamination at meals. But there are times in the house that I'm still surrounded by these gluten-filled food items in the hands of young (and wonderful) children. I'd appreciate words of wisdom and experience.

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I have gluten covered little kids too. I have a separate counter for prepping their gluten foods. I clean up crumbs as quickly as I can and I wash my hands alot. My son will eat a cookie or PB and J while on one of my computers, so I wash my hands after using the computer. I haven't gotten glutened from any of their crumbs. Just do careful crumb management.

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For us? We just took the whole family gluten free. I couldn't figure out any other way to do it so that it worked. The cross-contamination was so easy to do, and the stress of constantly being aware of that started to show, with having two butter dishes, two spreads of every kind, constantly washing hands so a small person didn't eat something with gluten and then reach into something that was gluten-free for me, etc... The kids started feeling paranoid and having to check when they had to wash, etc...

As a gluten-free house, we just know all the food is safe, and it's a much more peaceful feeling at home, now. This goes doubly for us as I began having reactions to food AFTER I went gluten-free, and that included my throat swelling up when I accidentally got wheat (turns out I'm celiac AND allergic to wheat on top of that). I got to find out first hand just how true all those warnings are about 'cross-contamination.' It's frightfully easy to do.

But honestly, for your kids? I would urge you to to reconsider testing them with the blood test, at least. Or if nothing else, putting them on a gluten free diet.

Here's the reason: as close relatives to you, your kids, your siblings, and your parents have a 1 in 22 chance of being celiac positive now or in the future. And if your kids have the gene for celiac, the only way to avoid triggering it and avoiding celiac disease in the future? Gluten-free diet.

My father was diagnosed 8 years ago with celiac disease, and we didn't test anyone else. No one else had symptoms that seemed like 'celiac.' Last year, I found out I was celiac positive, by accident. I pestered everyone else to get tested - still with no symptoms that we could see - and both my daughter and brother came back positive as well. My son has turned out to be gluten intolerant.

I'm told that we have 'silent celiac disease' and that this is a growing population among celiac positive people. We have few symptoms, if any, until later in life when all the deficiencies we've been having catch up with us in nasty ways.

That's how my whole family was. There were NO gut symptoms - a few mood issues, a little more tired periodically, that's it. But if a child does have it, the mineral and vitamin issues can affect their growth and development through puberty. And if you have daughters, if they ever get pregnant, undiagnosed celiac disease is a common cause of miscarriages.

So, another plus to going gluten free, in that respect.

I think your description of land mines was pretty accurate. All the little crazy-sounding hyper-careful things to do to keep away from gluten? They have all slowly become things I had to be aware of, even if that wasn't true early on.

Like lipstick. If your wife wears it, every time you kiss, you've just got gluten. It's frustrating, eh?

If you feel the family can't go gluten free, hopefully someone here will have some ideas for how it worked in their house! :-)

I was diagnosed with celiac disease a little over a month ago, and have been gluten-free since then. My wife has been fantastic in helping with this. Thus far, my children haven't shown problems that show they need to be tested, so we're not rushing them out for testing, but we're keeping a careful eye.

For now we're eating totally gluten-free suppers together, and then I recycle leftovers for my lunches. But we're not changing the family's foods for breakfasts and lunches and snacks. So there's still a lot of gluten in the house...scraps and crumbs on counters and tables, dishes, etc. I fix foods for my kids and am handling gluten stuff all the time.

I'm looking for advice from others in a similar situation. How do you handle it? Is it a problem with having scraps and crumbs all over? I feel like they're little land-mines waiting to get into my body and glutenize me, but maybe I'm just overreacting due to all of the reading I'm doing. I've taken great effort to change all of my foods, personal care items, etc., and we're being ultra-careful about cross-contamination at meals. But there are times in the house that I'm still surrounded by these gluten-filled food items in the hands of young (and wonderful) children. I'd appreciate words of wisdom and experience.

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I feel like they're little land-mines waiting to get into my body and glutenize me, but maybe I'm just overreacting due to all of the reading I'm doing. I've taken great effort to change all of my foods, personal care items, etc., and we're being ultra-careful about cross-contamination at meals. But there are times in the house that I'm still surrounded by these gluten-filled food items in the hands of young (and wonderful) children. I'd appreciate words of wisdom and experience.

Land mines is about how I feel on the issue. We're about to have a baby, and our plan, at the moment, is to keep the house primarily gluten free. (My husband has a little bit of gluten stuff - granola bars, instant oatmeal, cereal - that he can keep. We may or may not keep his dedicated cutting board out while the kid is in "run around the house with dirty hands" mode.) We may try the kid on gluten when she's older (definitely after 1 year), but it'll be outside the house, and probably done by my husband. Heck, I'm still worried about that! :)

It's probably easier for us, because she won't grow up eating gluten-y foods that get taken away, but it may still be possible to put those in the garage and dedicate them to "out of the house" eating.

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