What are the chances? Apparently our family is a bit of an anomoly.
It all started when I rushed my 19 year old daughter to emergency one morning. I was on my way to work when I got a call on my cell phone. My daughter was very distressed, in a huge amount of pain and had rectal bleeding - could I take her to the hospital? I turned my car around - raced home and was shocked to see the pain she was in.
We raced to the hospital - she was seen quite quickly - although she would probably say not quick enough. Once in the dr.'s and nurses began to assess her condition. After convincing them that she was not miscarrying - ohh that can be sooo frustrating - we started to see some action.
To make a long story short - after numerous tests - including a gastroscopy and colonoscopy - she was diagnosed with Celiac Disease.
Stunned - we had never heard of Celiac disease and began to do extensive research. We learned that the symptoms are soo varied that it's hard for dr's to make a true diagnosis. Often patients are diagnosed with Irritable Bowel Syndrome.
gas, bloating, constipation, diahrea, stomach cramps, weight loss, weight gain, stomach discomfort, generally feeling quite yucky - to not having any symptoms at all
So why the 4 celiacs? Well, the doctor who diagnosed my daughter mentioned to her that this is quite a hereditary disease and likely someone else in her family has it.
As her mom - I have never enjoyed pasta, pizza, buns, anything wheat based. I had been tested for a wheat allergy many times but it always came back negative. I was becoming more embarassingly gassy and had visited my dr. to find out why? I was also quite consitipated - great symptoms heh.
I asked for the blood test for Celiac disease and boom - sure enough my levels were through the roof. I was then referred to a GI specialist and had the obligatory gastroscopy where they take biopsies of your colon for a complete diagnosis. My GI specialist confirmed the diagnosis.
We tested my 16 year old daughter next - yep she joined the celiac club too.
My son - 24 - just had his test - he's positive. We're now batting 4 for 4.
My son - the oldest had tummy trouble when he was a small child. We went to the dr.'s then and we were told he had IBS (irritable bowel syndrome) and so that's what you have to work with. He is 6'3" tall and skinny and was spending way too much time in the bathroom. With his recent diagnosis - and change in diet he will soon be feeling better.
We have found between the four of us the severity of our symptoms are quite different. My oldest daughter is the most sensitive - while my oldest son is the least sensitive. We are quite concerned about cross-contamination and try extremely hard to ensure our foods are all gluten-free.
Oh and let me throw one more curve at you - after our family began to go through diagnosis - I now have two sisters and one brother who have also been diagnosed - talk about all in the family.
You truly have to work hard at eating completely gluten-free - but it is possible and well worth it. So if you're a celiac like me - hang in there - cause even though it takes about a year to feel like yourself again - it's worth it.
There are so many great websites out there for information about gluten-free foods, symptoms etc. If you just google gluten-free a whole new world will open up to you - who knew?
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