Over the summer of 2011 I began to have increased worry regarding Sweet Girl. She had "tummy problems" to put it mildly. She would often end the day curled in my lap, saying her tummy hurt and that was often followed by a trip to the potty that was less than normal.
In early October of 2011 I made an appointment for the Sugar Kids five year check up. I spoke to her pediatrician about the symptoms I had seen and she agreed that what Sweet Girl was experiencing was not normal. She ordered a whole host of blood work. Included in the blood work was a Celiac scan and various food allergy panels.
The next week we had an endocrinology appointment for Sugar Boy. At this three month check up I learned that Sugar Boy's A1C was way up. This was not exactly a surprise as his blood sugars had been all over the chart and extremely difficult to control. I felt like I was beating my head against a wall. I simply didn't know what else I could possibly do to even out the numbers. I felt like I had tried everything. The doctor reviewed the data downloaded from his insulin pump and continuous glucose monitor and he assured me that I was doing everything right. He felt there was nothing more I could have done given the patterns in the numbers and erratic highs and lows he was having. Then he asked me something that caught me totally off guard: He asked if Sugar Boy had been complaining of tummy aches. I said yes, on a daily basis, but it was always in conjunction with asking me for a snack, so I had dismissed the claims of a tummy ache as a way to talk me out of food. He said that given the numbers he had to wonder if we may be dealing with Celiac. I told him about Sweet Girl (already knowing myself that Celiac can run in families) and he ordered blood work for Sugar Boy.
After getting the blood work done we made the decision to go gluten free as a family in order to see if Sweet Girls symptoms cleared up and if Sugar Boys numbers evened out. Within three days we had our answer. The blood work came back negative for both kids. Neither presented as having Celiac through the blood work.* However in just three days of following a gluten free diet Sweet Girls tummy trouble had completely disappeared and Sugar Boys blood sugar numbers had leveled off.
Another surprise that we experienced was in Sugar Daddy's reaction to a gluten free diet. While researching Gluten Intolerance and Celiac, Sugar Daddy recognized many of the signs and symptoms in himself. He has lived most of his life with the belief that he simply had a "sensitive stomach." With the research we were doing he began to wonder if gluten may be the culprit in his own digestive malfunctions. After three days being gluten free (and then a mishap where gluten was reintroduced causing severe stomach cramps and diarrhea) he too had his answer. Sugar Daddy now says that he feels better and has a normal digestive process for the first time in over 15 years!
So, what do the doctors say? Both Sweet Girls and Sugar Boys pediatrician as well as Sugar Boys endocrinologist have diagnosed the Sugar Kids with Gluten Intolerance. Sugar Daddy has not had blood work done yet as he will have to return to a gluten rich diet in order for the blood tests to be as accurate as possible. For now, since this is the first time in years that he has felt this good, he is unwilling to do that. The doctors have suggested we re-introduce gluten in six months to see if the reaction is still the same. If it is, we will remain gluten free permanently.
*The only way to 100% rule out Celiac is through an endoscopy and intestinal biopsy.