Saturday, March 24, 2012

Please, Sir, Spare a Little Cheese and Bread? GF/DF

I thought it was a fad.

You know, like the crazy no carb/high protein diets.

It sort of annoyed me to be honest. Gluten-free was turning up everywhere! I couldn't believe that many people really had a gluten problem. Ridiculous, I thought.

And then one day I decided to read what the heck it really was about, mostly out of irritation at how prevalent it'd become in so many people's conversation. Wouldn't you know, my enigma of a 2 year old son hit every. single. point. in the first article I read on gluten in kids.


Meet Sam. (Hi, Sam.) Sam is 2. He loves Bunca's 'ruck, 'nanas, 'reats, and my hair.

When Sam was about 18 months, he started getting a weird rash. They were just little bumps kind of all over his skin. We thought it was eczema, but the doctor said it wasn't. The magical break in sleeping through the night that his sister finally hit at 18 months never came for Sam. Neither did the normal #2's. He was overly sensitive and very demanding of me, falling apart at the slightest provocation. My oldest was also on the smaller side, but Sam was even more so, especially in height. Then the mouth sores started. Strange red sores around his mouth mostly on his face. That, the doctor said, was more like eczema. He would also frequently cry about his belly hurting.

It seemed most of these things were the worst after spending a lot of time with our extended families. Not that they eat terribly, but it is a little different than what we do at home. I chalked it up to too much milk. We tried removing dairy to see if that helped. It didn't really.

A couple months ago I hit the last straw, when the mouth sores weren't going away like usual, he cried that his chest was itchy, his eyes were itchy and his glands were swollen. It truly seemed like an allergic reaction. And scared me. By this time I'd read about gluten intolerance/sensitivity and suspected that's what we had. So I dragged him in to the Ped to take a look at what was going on. They referred us to a Ped Allergist. We saw him shortly after and were tested for allergies to cat, dog, dairy, dust mites, chicken feathers, and wheat. None came back positive.

I didn't really think they would(be positive) but wanted that reassurance. Now I'd read all over the place you were not supposed to begin gluten free prior to being tested. I did anyways, going back to some gluten the week before his testing. And I'm glad I did. Because you know what? In the month that we slowly transitioned over to gluten and dairy free, finally hitting a good stretch of truly holding to it, he got better. The mouth sores went away. His sleeping pattern improved. The weird rash started to clear. He even had normal #2's! And no more crying over a bloated belly.

During the stupid lice thing a couple weeks ago, we cheated for a day and a half on easy meals while spending hours cleaning and combing. Except I wasn't savvy enough just yet to know where to go to get fast, easy GF/DF meals(love me some Jason's Deli now!). And maybe there was still a part of me that didn't really believe this gluten stuff. One night after our family haircut, we ate mac and cheese. Big mistake. His little belly filled up tight as a drum with gas. He started crying and I thought he was going to throw up. I'm sure he wished he would have. It was awful to see him in such pain.

So that was that. In addition to the gluten and dairy free stuff, I'm giving him a children's probiotic, omega 3 supplement and digestive enzyme. I've even toyed around with attempting to pump extra milk so he can have a cup a day. My thought is that his digestive system has a lot of healing to do; hopefully the above will aid in that. Just an interesting side note, he breastfed until 17 months. It wasn't until he was 18 months that the skin reactions took place. Perhaps breastmilk was keeping it all semi under control until he weaned.

I plan on getting back into posting recipes more frequently; obviously they're going to be the GF/DF kind. I'd like to think I've high standards in taste though, so rest assured they will only be ones that I feel are up to par for my picky palate. And my kids'! Be on the lookout.

PS Bonus: In the short while we've been at it, I lost some weight! Had to break out the pre-pre-pre-pregnancy jeans(that's jeans 3 pregnancies ago!). For the Win!


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