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What Do You Think - Gluten Challenge

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My eldest and middle child both need to do challenges at some point, our specialist said to give my eldest a good year at school, because he missed about half of preschool when he was sick. So keep him gluten-free and we'll try next year.

With my younger one (who is 2 and a half) he says we should wait a few years. But I don't want him having a terrible time at school like my eldest one did, he missed so much preschool that he didn't make any friends really because he was in and out in and out.

Me n DH think we should do the younger one earlier - before preschool etc, what would you do in the situation? The specialist said "as a doctor you can do it now, as a dad, I would wait"

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Why are you doing a challenge ? is it for an endoscopy ? How long have they been gluten free ?

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He had an endo in Jan, there was inflammation and increased lymphocytes, but not enough for a diagnosis of anything, he went on nexium and started a gluten-free diet and has improved but there are still problems with his stool, so we are not sure if its celiac, if the gluten-free diet has stopped the constant vomiting or was it the nexium, or if he has something else as well as celiac. If he were completely better gluten-free I'm not sure I would bother with the challenge for an official diag, but because it seems like it could be celiac or something else or both I feel I should be thorough.

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For your oldest

IMO prolonging the inevitable is just that. You have decided to do a challenge , so do it as soon as possible. There will be missed school days , works days etc.. no matter when you do it unless you wait till summer break.

Also, when a person is gluten free for a period and then goes back on gluten it is a far worse experience as your body was healing. So be prepared for the worse. My DD is gluten-free 1 1/2 yrs and simple cross contamination gives her reactions as bad as pre diagnosis when she was eating gluten regularly.

Your youngest is different as he/she usually cannot fully express their pains and emotions verbally to you. You may want to wait until they are older for that reason. However if you do them both at the same time you can get it done with all at once. You know your kids best I think it's more your call on that.

good luck with your decisions

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I forgot about that, if I eat gluten now its enough to put me in ER. The youngest had pretty bad symptoms anyway, but I'm just not sure if its Gluten. To be honest - if he gets suddenly bad and I know its gluten - then I will stop the challenge, I'll be happy to just know if its gluten or not - I am not hell bent on an official diag if it will make him too sick!

They have both been gluten-free for almost a year now.

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Personally I would not do the challenge. There is a lot of research going on right now and you don't know what testing will be like in a few years. If they do have celiac and you give them gluten for a prolonged period of time (at least 3 months is needed for testing) then it puts them at an increased risk of developing other autoimmune disorders. And, it can make them more sensitive.

I know it's hard not having answers but I have found out the hard way that, with gluten intolerance, sometimes you just don't get all the answers. Gluten intolerance and celiac are so complex that they just don't know enough about it. They're working on a vaccine right now for celiac, just wait...once that is out doctors will start being more informed and hopefully testing will improve.

Have you investigated other food intolerances like dairy, soy, eggs, etc? It's not uncommon for these to accompany celiac.

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He has a problem with lactose and has done since birth, I thought it was because of the inflammation in the gut but it hasn't gone away even though he has been gluten-free for a year. We took him off dairy for 2 months, but he didn't seem any different that when he was just lactose free iykwim. Haven't tried all the other things yet, I was just trying to do one thing at a time, although I think he needs to go on a restricted diet for intolerances because there is obviously something else going on.

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