It all started in the fall of 2012. My younger son had some stomach issues that we thought were attributed to a random stomach bug. He does go to public school after all.
The pediatrician thought it was just a common stomach bug as well. A week went by and he was still sick. It was just diarrhea, but it didn't seem to be consistent. I was given the unenviable task of collecting stool samples and delivering them to the testing facility. Still, there was no conclusion as to what was going on inside my little guy.
Another warning sign was the fact that from the age of four to six, my son only gained two pounds. He had fallen off the growth chart. Something was wrong.
Finally, after almost three months, we expressed our concerns to another pediatrician in the practice. (By this time we had done our own research and concluded that it might be Celiac disease.) The pediatrician gave us orders to have a blood draw to test for tissue transglutaminase antibody (tTG). Although it can't conclusively determine whether on not someone has Celiac, it can give a you a pretty good idea. A normal person will have a measurement between 3-5. Our son's bloodwork came back with a measurement of 100+. The test doesn't measure above 100; it just indicates that it is over 100. Clearly our son was sick.
In February of 2013, our son had an upper endoscopy which confirmed everything. The endoscopy showed that the top of his small intestine had been smoothed out. Where there used to be villi, there now were none. Gluten had done its damage. Fortunately, the villi grow back, but it does take some time. Also, since they are important in the production of the enzyme that helps break down lactose, we had to avoid milk for several months.
We didn't realize how much food contained gluten. We quickly realized that there were going to be major changes. We also knew we had to do it if our son was going to grow and be healthy.
After getting on and sticking to a strict diet, we saw our first real results when he went to his first follow-up appointment. His tTG level went from 100+ before the endoscopy to a reading of 5 after three months! All of his other bloodwork as been at a reading of 3. According to the doctor, the test can't read below this amount and it is considered the normal level for an average person.
It has been a long road, but I can say that I am glad to have gone down it. I want our trials to be a blessing to you. Please allow us to ease your transition to a gluten-free diet. Things will not be the same, and you will have to adjust. Just know that it can be done. You can't cheat. Stick with it. You can do it.