Friday, October 21

Gluten-Free Girl, One Year Later

Today marks the one-year anniversary of Beth's endoscopic biopsy, and then October 30 is the one-year date of when she officially began her gluten-free diet.  It's been a whole year already.

Going through some of my old blog posts from last year brought me to tears.  Finally realizing why Beth had been in pain for so many months. Her first tastes of gluten-free bread and pasta- she loved them.  Watching her clothes get smaller as she grew taller, watching her bloated belly thin out.  Noticing short, sweet hairs growing on her precious little head... Hairs I didn't even realize she had been missing.  The dark bags under her eyes... Gone.

She always asks if the food she's been given is gluten-free.  She will proudly tell anyone she has a gluten-free tummy, and I think she understands the idea that what she eats is different then what most people eat.  However, it doesn't bother her that her food is different- not yet anyways.  I realize it might not always be easy for her to stick to her diet, but as of now Ryan and I are doing our best to provide her with the best!

We've been given so many opportunities to share about our gluten-free lifestyle with other families, which has left other parents wondering if they should have their children tested.  It's estimated that 1 in 133 people have celiac disease, and it's diagnosed in childhood now more than ever.  Why?  Is testing better now?  Or is something we're doing/exposing our children to the culprit?  As you can imagine, I've read so much about it, and all I can conclude is that I have to provide the best possible diet for all three of my children.  We avoid possible triggers, are quick to treat gastrointestinal distress, and are always on the lookout for potential triggers.  We avoid food dyes, preservatives, sulfites/sulfates, and GMOs as much as possible.  We now drink organic milk and eggs, and I'm hoping to move to organic fruits/veggies/meat sooner than later.  We take probiotics and work hard to boost our immune systems with fruits and most recently, elderberry syrup.  Really, it's very similar to the ADHD diet, and based on my reading, just a healthy diet in general.  It's a lot of work initially, but we should all be eating this way.  And it's worth every penny of the financial sacrifice.
If one of the boys is diagnosed, it won't be the end of the world.  Celiac disease is completely manageable.  I'll be disappointed for them like I was disappointed for Beth, but we'll get through it.  There are other conditions that tend to go hand-in-hand with celiac disease, but again, we'll cross that bridge when and if we get there!

As of now, Beth is a healthy, growing, beautiful, amazing little girl who has tons of energy!  And, as most almost-5-year-olds, tons of attitude!  By my rough calculations, she's grown over two inches and gained several pounds in a year, I should have more accurate measurements in December when we go for a follow-up visit.  She's a wonderful big sister, quite bossy, and full of imagination.  We know that she'll continue to thrive now that her body is getting the nutrients it needs, and I definitely look forward to seeing what this next year has in store for her!


Neen said...

She is such a beautiful young lady. I am so glad that you have found the new balance that works for you all.

grandma and grandpa said...

Beautiful, beautiful Bethie are such a blessing to us! We are so proud of you!

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