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Robear

Does My Son Have Celiac?

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I believe my 5-year old has symptoms of Celiac, but I was hoping people with experience with the disease could provide more insight. My doctor indicated that he'd have to draw blood to be certain, and I'd like to avoid that.

He tends to be cranky a lot, but not all the time. Sometimes he's high-spirited, others he's the kind of cranky kids get when they're tired. Actually, I believe that's WHY he's cranky. Sometimes he comes home from daycare at ~4:00 and will sleep until 6:00 AM the next day. At first I dismissed it as needing a nap, but he's getting too old for that. He also often complains about stomach pains and I don't think he's had a normal bowel movement since he was born. He's always constipated and it never looks normal. He often complains about his stomach hurting. There was a point we thought he had a parasite or infection because he was complaining he couldn't breathe. The doctor said it was probably GERD, so he was on that medication but he can eat spicy stuff without exhibiting symptoms of heartburn: it seems to be something more that comes and goes with time. He also frequently complains of stomach pain. When I ask him where, he'll point to his belly button or below it.

I want to put him on a gluten-free diet, but his day-care won't do that without a doctor's note first, which means I'd need to get blood drawn. Before I make any decisions like that, I was hoping to get some personal insights from people who do have the disease (and perhaps some advice on how to covertly transition to a gluten-free diet).

Thanks!

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I completely understand how you feel about a blood test, I really do. Aside from giing him a blood test, which doesn't take very long, the only other thing I can think of is an elimination diet, but that seems impossible with the daycare. I hate to say it, but it seems like a blood test would be the best thing you can try in your situation. You will hold him while they do it. Just make sure he drinks plenty of water beforehand to make sure he is well hydrated. That will help it go much more smoothly. I wish I could hold your hand whild you are holding his.

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I completely understand how you feel about a blood test, I really do. Aside from giing him a blood test, which doesn't take very long, the only other thing I can think of is an elimination diet, but that seems impossible with the daycare. I hate to say it, but it seems like a blood test would be the best thing you can try in your situation. You will hold him while they do it. Just make sure he drinks plenty of water beforehand to make sure he is well hydrated. That will help it go much more smoothly. I wish I could hold your hand whild you are holding his.

Do the symptoms sound like Celiac? Has anyone observed / experienced these symptoms? Is there anything else I can look out for? Are there any foods that really set it off?

Thanks :)

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No, the symptoms are definitely suspicious of celiac and I think that should probably be the best first line of investigation. Crankiness, tiredness, stomach pains, constipation... I know these symptoms individually are common in youngsters, but in combination they could well be celiac. And the blood test is the beginning of the testing for celiac....

Most phlebotomists are used to working with children and I don't think you should worry unduly about the blood draw. If that is the worst thing that happens to him in life it will be a miracle. It is such a routine procedure. I know you want to protect your wee guy but you also have to protect his health. :)

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If you're worried about the pain the blood test might cause, you could ask your doctor for a prescription for "EMLA cream" (or its generic form, "lidocaine"). You put it on the skin an hour or two before a medical procedure, and it numbs the area. I have a severe phobia of needles and I used to use it myself. It worked well!

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One word of caution. Do not start him on the diet before the blood draw. You need to have gluten in your system for the test results to be accurate.

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