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BrooklynFamily

Glutened Or Just Overtired/cranky 2- Year Old?

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Hi-

This is absolutely one of the best resources I've found over the past month since my 27 month old son was diagnosed with Celiac. But, now I have a question. We're on vacation at a rented house with my parents. My husband and I brought along a ton of gluten-free foods, a cutting board, utensils & dishes for my son, a colander, a can opener, and wooden mixing spoons just for my son's meals. We also brought our own sponge and frying pan for him. We've made our home completely gluten-free and I feel "safe" there. At this house, we're trying to avoid cross-contamination, but I just don't see how it's possible. Meanwhile, yesterday was a really rough day for my son. No diarhea, but extra cranky, clingy, etc. and it SEEMED like some of his Celiac behavioral were re-emerging (pickiness with food, eating less, etc.). Of course, it was nothing like how he was pre-diagnosis... but I'm so scared of going back to that stage.

My question is how can you tell the difference between being glutened and just being a two-year old? We're so new to this. Our son has only been gluten-free for maybe two weeks and we've seen such amazing improvements already. Do kids just have some good days and some bad days as their guts recover? Or do they constantly feel better so long as no gluten goes into them? I'll cut our vacation short, obviously, if he's being cross-contaminated. It's just hard to know with a 2-year old because he can't really tell you his tummy hurts. He could just be picky & whiny because he's overtired and in unfamiliar surroundings and because he's 2! I don't know.... just looking for some guidance from fellow parents. My inclination is to cut the vacation short even though it means not seeing my family again until October or even Christmas.

Thanks for listening!

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It's going to be hard to tell if it's 2yr old behavior, being on vacation behavior ( fun , exercise, overstimulation) or Celiac behavior if he is not showing belly or stool problems. IMO only use paper plates for him and as a cutting board and plate, only use plastic utensils that get thrown away after each use, and ziplock everything with a do not touch taped to it ( buy a lot of these items)

Even the grandparents should know not to feed him. This way you are on total control.

Cutting boards carry a high risk of cross contamination and even a stirring spoon or spatula can be easily grabbed by someone and used for gluten containing foods, then put back down on the counter. The easiest way to handle things is to have your boy be the first to eat at all times that way you handle it and no one else. If he is not ready to eat when the kitchen is free, baggie it till he is.

Good luck , I have a family camping trip coming up and I will be facing the same problems. no matter how hard my family tries at cook outs they Always put something on my girls plate that is cross contaminated, so I have thrown away a meal and started over being the hawk, hovering over my 1 section of aluminum foiled grill, with plastic fork and plate at hand.

FYI,

Aluminum foil can be your best friend it keeps food separate and you can grill ANYTHING in it. I have even done Tatertots, just oil the foil a lot.

Maureen

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eek! I had no idea cross contamination could be this bad. :( I can imagine it's hard to tell the difference between just a cranky toddler and a toddler who is not feeling well. I know that all of my kids have been cranky for the first couple of nights at a new place; new routines and new environments can really throw them for a loop. I hope that it's just a cranky baby and that he is feeling okay. Good luck!

Oh yeah, is he cutting any new teeth? My son was extra cranky the last few weeks and he was finally getting his canine teeth. I can't wait for the 2 year molars...not.

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Let's see.

Do kids have good and bad days during recovery? I have never experienced it that way, no. Myself and my daughter were both diagnosed last fall, with my son being a pretty suspicious false negative, since he had so many symptoms and they all went away, going off of gluten. For all of us, we had gluten issues plus a few foods allergies. Once we took out the offending foods, recovery was pretty consistent. When there was a relapse, we could trace it to a food, or had some suspicious foods that were possibles.

Since your little one is so new to this, I think that's adding an extra level of difficulty on for you. I think it would be hard for you to tell right now what's what, without gut symptoms.

For later, however? With our son, his behavior is his main symptom, too. Our experience has been that you'll start to be able to distinguish certain behaviors as 'gluten' ones. Our son has that food pickiness and eating less issue, too, when he gets gluten (or a couple of food allergens). And then, of course, he's hungry, but won't eat, and everything just snowballs, ugh.

Some of his other behaviors can go both with overtired, bad mood, or gluten, but there are a few that are pretty consistent as only WITH food issues. And the gluten ones tend to be, hmmm, over-exaggerated? Someone who doesn't know our son might not be able to tell, but we can look and see that he's more out of control than normal when he gets the gluten. So when we look at it overall, we usually figure it out.

I'd say, at a guess? If after 2 weeks gluten-free you've been having certain symptoms really drop, and these are ones that have been pretty consistent before now? Those are the ones I'd be looking at as possible gluten indicators, and it sounds like that might be the case. It's SO hard to be sure, especially at this age, but one thing has become really clear to me at this point: if I'm starting to feel like something isn't safe for my son, or that he's reacting, most of the time it ends up that I'm right.

I think I'd go with your gut on this one, as frustrating as that may be for the vacation. :(


T.H.

Gluten free since August 10, 2009.
21 years with undiagnosed Celiac Disease

23 years with undiagnosed sulfite sensitivity

25 years with undiagnosed mast cell activation disorder (MCAD) 

 

Daughter: celiac and MCAD positive

Son: gluten intolerant
Father, brother: celiac positive

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