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Could This Be A Gluten Sensitivity?

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Thank you for this forum!

I recently did an elimination diet with my 6 year old daughter. She has had poor health since she was 2 with frequent fevers and cold symptoms. The doc said that she needed to have her tonsils out which we did. Her typical pattern for fevers continued after the surgery. I did an elimination diet with her and she was stunningly healthy (everyone noticed a change) at the 3 week point. I reintroduced each food but when I tried to reintroduce gluten she did fine for the first 48 hours and then came down with a fever, runny nose, racoon eyes and acted like she had ADHD . When gluten was removed again she recovered in about 48 hours. I tried to reintroduce gluten a second time and the same thing happened! I got some books out of the library (including the Dummies book) but can't find symptoms like this associated with gluten. The only gastrointestinal symptom she had was constipation and that has also cleared up.

Can fevers be a symptom of gluten intolerance and where should I go from here? Thank you!!!

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Her symptoms appear consistent with either celiac disease or gluten sensitivity (especially the raccoon eyes, runny nose, and ADHD symptoms). In small children, many parents have reported that behavior becomes radically different--the child may exhibit ADHD symptoms, whininesss, depression, aggression, clinginess, anxiety, dizziness, or headaches. It sounds as though you've done an excellent job in pinpointing the source of her ailments. It may be too late to have her tested for celiac since she's largely been following a gluten-free diet, but it wouldn't hurt to request a full celiac panel from her pediatrician, just in case.

As to where you should go from here? Remove ALL gluten from her diet, including any that might be found in vitamins, supplements, or medications (you may need to call the companies that manufacture them). Even the smallest amount of gluten will set her back, so you should use a gluten-free shampoo (such as from Desert Essence Organics). And, remember, gluten is in lipstick, so you'll need to be careful when kissing her. You can find helpful information in books written by Dr. Vikki Peterson, who works a lot with young children with food sensitivities. If you live in Northern California, you can actually visit her office in Santa Clara County (I think she's in Palo Alto or Sunnyvale).

Your daughter is SO fortunate to have a parent who is observant and compassionate--I predict that your daughter will be fully well in the very near future!

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