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Aly1

Need Advice Re. Toddler Going Gluten Free...

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I was put on a gluten-free diet 3 months ago after years of some serious neurological issues (I ended up in a wheelchair). My blood tests for celiac disease were negative but the doctor wanted me to give gluten-free a try; I did and I discovered that gluten makes me really ill. I had no idea - no gastro symptoms ever, no reason to think my illness was related to my diet at all. After clearing gluten out of my system, I now get sick pretty darned fast (though, still no gastro issues) if I eat it.

I have a 2 year old and I am thinking of putting her on a gluten-free diet and then doing a challenge to see if it effects her at all. I do not want her to have the life of illness I've had, IF she happens to have the same issue with gluten that I do. She takes after me in so many other ways physically that I wonder. BUT. No gastro issues. The only things "off" about her are: 1) For the first 6 months of her life she had the most beautiful rosey cheeks ever. After going on solids she became pasty and pale like her mommy - and has been that way ever since. 2) She's tiny. Not a case of failure to thrive, but hard to keep her weight up and little. I'm short too though so maybe just genetics (though - am I short due to gluten? I am the smallest person in my family by far) and 3) she has a lot of problems sleeping. Not really a symptom, I know, just something about her that's "off". She is not moody, not moreso than you'd expect from a toddler her age.

Does it make sense to you that based on those little things I would try her gluten-free? Or am I over-analyzing based on my own issues?

And - if we do try gluten-free, how long should we do it for, to give it a proper run of it? We were planning 1 month, just wonder if it should be 6 or 8 weeks or if 1 month is totally adequate to judge.

Thanks very much to everyone!

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Is she going to be able to tell you she's feeling better? It doesn't sound like there is much that you would be able to observe so unless she is very verbal and in tune with her body I am not sure how useful it will be. Will it hurt her? No.

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At 2 yrs old, you are still pretty in tune with her body. She can't tell you if she feels "off", but you can observe changes in bowel movements and temperament. My children are a bit older than yours, but I asked the older two (8 and 11) if they wanted to try going gluten free to see if they notice a difference. I'm anxious that my children don't go through the same problems I have had to deal with. The two older agreed. My 11 year old went gluten-free right away, in October. The other decided to wait until aftre the holidays, so she could have all the treats offered her (she decided that after 1.5 months gluten-free). I don't know where I read it, but we decided three months would be best. It gives the diet ample time to work, including a few cases of contamination. They have both noticed changes in bowel movements and tummy aches when they have gluten. Thus we know it is affecting them-- but I don't think either are convinced yet. I am encouraging them to keep trying. I don't want them to be Celiac either. They know how hard the diet is. I just want them to be healthy.

To answer your questions: I think we all over analyze, when it comes to this. It's probably because the symptoms are so varied, and can be subtle. We've been through years of people telling us our symptoms are in our head, that nothing is wrong, that when we find out something really is wrong, we have a hard time trusting our own judgement. We don't know what is normal anymore. It's even harder when it comes to our children.

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To answer your questions: I think we all over analyze, when it comes to this. It's probably because the symptoms are so varied, and can be subtle. We've been through years of people telling us our symptoms are in our head, that nothing is wrong, that when we find out something really is wrong, we have a hard time trusting our own judgement. We don't know what is normal anymore. It's even harder when it comes to our children.

Oh, you hit the nail on the head. I wonder how different my life would have been if I'd never touched gluten. Three months? Ugh. Then we will consider doing that. Before going gluten free I could not tell at all if I had it (well, I was messed up but did not associate the two). Being off it, then going back on, it was clear as day. I guess I wonder if perhaps that will be the case with her; that once being free of it she might manifest noticeable symptoms. I guess we'll see, it can't hurt to try. The reason I want to do it now rather than wait - aside from not wanting her to have another bite of gluten if she happens to have an issue with it - is that I'm at home with her now so it will be easy. I am however looking for work and once she starts going to daycare full-time I just don't see how we'll ever convince them to keep her gluten-free if we are only doing a test! Anyway. Thanks for the advice.

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give it try, my daughter never slept, now gluten free she sleeps 11 - 12 hrs straight

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You might want to consider having her at least blood tested before you put her gluten free. False negatives are higher in children but if they are positive you would have added information and documentation for daycare/school. Of course the tests could be skewed if she is eating gluten light due to you being gluten free. Just something to think about.

Definately give the diet a try if you think you need to. My youngest son(7) is diagnosed and has been gluten free for a little over a year, but my oldest son(almost 11) is not diagnosed. He has had negative everything(bloodwork/biopsy) but has been gluten free for 4 months now. We did reintroduce gluten after Christmas and he did have some mild symptoms. He has decided that he wants to stay gluten free based on the improvements he has seen by going gluten free and the return of some symptoms after gluten reintroduction even though they were very mild.

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