Friday, March 13, 2009

A Diagnosis Story That Might Hit Home...

I want to share a story with you about a friend of mine that is struggling to find answers for her one-year-old son, who has been extremely sick for quite some time. They have seen doctor after doctor, only to wind up more confused and frustrated.

Finally, a simple allergy test indicated that her son might have an intolerance to gluten AND dairy products. Double-Whammy. As if being intolerant to gluten wasn't enough, she now has to avoid gluten and dairy products.

Oh, and I forgot to mention that her one-year-old son who is ill has a twin brother and a 4-year-old sister! Needless to say, she and her husband have their hands full!

So, after they received the results of the allergy test, she called me in a complete panic! After a few deep breaths, she explained that the tests indicated that her son not only had an intolerance to gluten, but was also carrying the gene pre-disposing him to Celiac Sprue.

Right then, I had an "AHA" moment...

I explained to her that the lactose intolerance could be directly related to the gluten intolerance. If a biopsy indicates that the villi in the small intestine are flattened, then the Lactase enzymes that are responsible for splitting milk sugar (lactose) would be reduced; therefore causing her son to have a lactose intolerance. Once a gluten-free diet is implemented, the lactose intolerance should go away.

You could practically hear her smile on the other end of the phone, knowing that the lactose intolerance could potentially be treated with a gluten-free diet.

So, why am I sharing this story of a struggling mother trying to figure out how to help and treat her one-year-old son?

Because it hits home with so many individuals who either have Celiac Sprue or are intolerant to gluten.

I thought back to when I was diagnosed with Celiac Sprue and remembered all of the confusion and frustration that occurs. You see, people don't really understand gluten-intolerance or Celiac Sprue until they are exposed to it.

Thankfully, my friend has found support from others here on and is dealing with the diagnosis process much better than before. I will keep you posted as to her son's diagnosis.

In the meantime, if you have any thoughts or insights that might help her through the diagnostic process, send me an email at and I will be sure to pass along your message.


Chad Hines

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