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Is Anyone Else Seeing A Rise In The Number Of Kids With This?

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I'm a homeschooling mom. Both my kids are gluten free. And it's been really fascinating, and a bit disturbing to me, that in the last year and a half, half of the people I'm close to within my homeschooling group have had to go gluten free. I should probably clarify and say they went gluten free for medical reasons vs. fad diet ones.

Asking around, it sounds like there are more within the group that I'm not as familiar with who also had to be put on the diet. A few had children who were diagnosed. A few had children who were ill and had no solution, but because they were desperate and they know that some of us were improving on a gluten free diet, they took their kids off gluten and that was the answer. In the others, the adults were diagnosed and took the kids off and saw an improvement.

I thought it was just a coincidence in my little group, until I went to visit another state and happened to go to a homeschooling park day there, and the same thing is happening there, too. Out of the first 8 families I spoke to, 4 of adults are gluten free, their kids are gluten free, or both. And the number kept growing the more people I met.

It was kind of wild. I don't think I've ever been somewhere before where there is such a high incidence of this, at least not diagnosed, you know? And in two places - it makes me want to go check out other homeschooling groups and see if this applies there, too, you know?

We were sitting around, trying to figure out why this could be, and a couple of theories were proposed that I thought were really interesting. One, quite a few homeschoolers start down this path because their kids are having trouble in school. Behavioral problems, personality issues that don't mesh well with the school's teaching method, ADHD, tics, inability to concentrate, etc....

And a lot of these behaviors and problems are also ones that can show up in our kids when they get gluten, as we've all seen. So I'm thinking that this might increase the potential 'pool' of kids with celiac disease in the homeschooling community.

But the second potential reason is the one that I would find disturbing. Could this simply be indicative of the increase in Celiac Disease that the studies have been pointing to? It's been trending upward, and we keep reading that non-celiac gluten intolerance is out there as well. So is this what it's leading to? I can't imagine it's this high in the population, but really...it was bizarre. :blink: Does anyone else notice this in their schools? Or are there more kids who are having behavioral issues these days?

In the homeschooling community, we tend to have playgroups that get together, and all the adults get to see all the kids and how they behave. So when we have one parent try something, we get to see the results just like they do. I wonder if that larger pool of children that we see, combined with instant access to the parents of all these childrens, helps propagate faster the information that gluten can sometimes cause 'X' behavior/damage. So more parents are having kids checked or trying the diet themselves, maybe?

It makes me wonder that if all parents had this available, would we be seeing more parents trying this diet, too, and finding results? Or is it simply a higher concentration within my community because of other factors that are self-selecting for this population?

Is anyone else noticing an upward trend, with more gluten free children? At the school where your at, or in your homeschooling community? I'll be honest, the number of kids I was seeing with this blew my mind.

Although admittedly, on the bright side, it was great for my daughter and son. No one blinked an eye at the food she was eating. We were invited over to her new friend's house on the visit and everything was gluten free and it was just lovely. That's definitely something on the plus side. But honestly - weird, bizarre, and a little disturbing to see so many people have to go gluten free who AREN'T in a gluten free group, you know?

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Interesting. Could it have anything to do with ethnicity and economic conditions? Before someone jumps on me, I know any ethnicity can have celiac disease or intolerance or homeschool. I have seen something that it may be more prevalent in European descent. Economically better off people in the US are more likely to have insurance and seek out medical care. People educated enough to home school, might be more likely to research help for kids conditions. Parents that are around their kids all day, might have a more realistic idea of thier behavior, bathroom habits, energy levels, etc.

Anyway, just some thoughts to add to the mix.

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I homeschool too albeit in an isolated environment with only a handful of families within 50 miles.

However I agree with all the above.. homeschool families do a lot of research into everything so it isn't unusual to see them researching any anomaly in their experience and then apply problem solving.. hence discovery of gluten issues.

The reason I am responding is that I have this same sense.. there is an iceberg effect here but not only within homeschooling.. it's everywhere. Okay, not to that degree but it is bizarre how many people are coming out of the woodwork with gluten issues. And I wish tons more kids and parents would give it a go.. the schools here are seeing behavioral issues escalating each year.. and with no apparent reason.

T.H (and Kareng)... what you said.. it makes sense.

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Hi all,

We homeschool as well. We have noticed a few that were gluten-free, but I did not pay much attention to it until my son started to have gut symptoms.

I diagnosed him myself, after all different types of milk trial, dairy free and then severe illness with diagnosis of Kawasaki Disease, followed a few months later with anaphylaxis. Then at the same time of his second anaphylaxis episode he basically stopped eating due to continuing painful stomach cramps and diarrhea. During our visit in emerg. (due to anaphylaxis) we finally had a Dr. listen to my questioning the root cause of all his recent illnesses combined. My son was already seeing immunology, cardiology and our family Dr. The emerg. Dr. was the only one who told me that likely I would not find out the root cause in the conventional medical world. However, she did book us to a new Immunolgist and a G. I. specialist (for the first time). But the GI appointment was not until 2 1/2 months later.

This caused me to continue searching... I found out that in Canada one can buy a finger poke Celiac Test Kit. I bought and tested both my son and myself. We were negative. However, then we immediately went on a 20 ppm. gluten free diet, with some slight "C.C.ing" as I was still learning. My son was substantually better within 3 days.

When we finally met the GI. and he heard my son's history, he immediately agreed that he has Celiac and lectured him to never eat gluten again. You could not force my son to eat a bagel or anything else with gluten. He knows the pain it causes.

I think because we are in the homeschool world... I was able to closely watch my son's symptoms and take the time to meticulously prepare foods for him. We have made our household gluten-free (as well as food colour, pesticide, preservative, dairy and soy free), which has made the whole family feel a lot better. I'm so glad I've had the ability to figure this out.

I, as a child, grew up with horrific headaches/migranes that would send me to bed for two days, and then a diagnosis of Ulcerative Colitis at age 17, caused me to lose my colon a few years later. I believe now, that I had Celiac all along, but never once did anyone in the medical world or other, mention the possiblity of a need to remove any foods from my diet.

I believe I experienced everything I did, in order to cause me to watch my son more closely. I told him from very young to be aware of how his body felt and to tell us if he developed stomach cramps etc., which he did.


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Having no scientific basis for this, but I'd homeschool parents would be more intune to what is going on with their kids. You're with them all day - you're going to notice bathroom visits, smelly gas, fatigue, behaviour issues more quickly than those who don't see their kids as often. Being around other parents to share thougths an concerns with has to impact things as well. I think the disease is out there, it just isn't getting diagnosed. The homeschool environment probably lends itself to more diagnosis of kids.

And I think there's definitely a possibility of undiagnosed Celiac being a contributing factor to homeschooling situations. School has to be a nightmare for many undiagnosed kids. I know we were amazed at the differences we saw in our son after only 2 weeks of gluten-free. He as a straight A kid, but he'd still bring home math fact sheets that had simple problems (like 0 + 1) left blank scattered around his page. He'd do his math worksheets in random order instead of numerically. His hand writing was almost unreadable. In fact, he started the diet as school was breaking for Christmas. When he went back to school two weeks later and brought home papers both my husband and I had to double check the name on the papers because the handwriting was so different! Anyway, I'm getting off topic.

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