Living as a gluten free home.
Eliminating gluten has been a very positive shift in our family’s health. Around the time that Tessa turned three we saw a huge decline in her mental well-being and physical body. Yes, three is a tough age as far as behaviour goes but this seemed different then just the typical toddler tantrum episode. She would have blowout tantrums that lasted anywhere from 10-60 minutes. Multiple times a day. The only way it would end would be that she would completely scream herself out and become exhausted. She was such an unhappy little girl and it broke our hearts to see her this way, as she used to be nothing but smiles.
Then came time to try potty training and it was a huge failure. Constant accidents, both at home and at preschool. She could never make it to the bathroom in time. We assumed she was doing this on purpose as an act of defiance with Monty just being born, but this never got any better. We waited months and months for the “jealous period” to pass but it never did. We then started backtracking our thoughts to what shift happened around the two to three year old mark.
The major shift we pinpointed was that she stopped eating different types of food. She was an amazing eater as a baby and young toddler. She would eat and enjoy many types of food. She devoured fruits, vegetables, grains, anything we put in front of her. The only food group she would then eat after three was beige! Pasta, bread, bagels, more pasta, more bread…you get the picture. So we decided to completely eliminate gluten from our diet and see what happened. Yes I used the word “our” because we want to support each other as a family, not force one member to make changes with no support from the rest of us.
Can you take a guess at the result? Within days of eliminating gluten from our diet (its a team effort over here), she was back to her old self. Her confidence was back, she’s loving again, she plays freely, and she’s smiling. As for the tantrums that happened multiple times a day, they have diminished to maybe a couple times a week and are so much more manageable and we are able to calm her down by just giving her some one and one time and hugs. She felt confident to try potty training again and has had ups and downs but we are getting a lot better with that.
After a few months of this elimination we allowed her to have bread to see if this would trigger any old behaviours. In under 20 minutes she had soiled herself and had a massive tantrum. It confirmed for us that the decision to pull this ingredient off the menu was absolutely warranted. It kills me that something that we fed her caused so much unhappiness and added stress to her and our whole family’s life.
I can’t imagine how many kids out there are having similar issues that get labeled as being a “problem child”. We truly thought that Tessa was becoming a bad kid, but in reality that was not the case at all. We are so thankful for the resources out there that helped us come to this conclusion and make these changes.
Along with positive changes in Tessa, we have all seen great benefits from eliminating this ingredient. Weight loss, less bloating, reduced inflammation, and enhanced mental sharpness. For us, the symptoms are not as severe as they are for Tessa. Though we are all benefiting from the change.
We have not had her officially tested for Celiac disease based on the fact that you need to reintroduce that substance leading up to the test. We are not willing to put her through the negative side effects based on giving her a diagnosis that is truly irrelevant in our eyes. To the best of my knowledge the disease management program is elimination of the substance anyways, so really who needs to put a young child through that for an official diagnosis. If she so chooses to be tested at a later date, we will 100% support that decision but we will leave that up to her when she’s old enough to know and understand all the facts.