If someone had asked me ten years ago what gluten was, I’m not sure I would have known other than the fact that I thought you needed it to make bread. But then my nephew Anthony became ill. He was five years old, weighed a mere 28 pounds and had been diagnosed with “failure to thrive.” It was a long road that led to discovering the cause of his illness and his delay in growth. Fortunately, my brother Tony and my sister-in-law Susan were finally able to find a doctor who recognized that all my nephew’s symptoms could be attributed to celiac disease.
At this same time my nephew was diagnosed with celiac disease, my daughter Kelly was diagnosed with Candida, yeast overgrowth in her body. The best treatment for this was a change in diet. That meant removing wheat, milk and sugar from our diet. We maintained this way of eating for almost a year, then when she was well, we slowly resumed our normal diet again.
Kelly baking gluten-free cupcakes.
But when we began adding wheat, milk and sugar back into our diet, for the first time in my daughter’s life I think, she told us she was not hungry for dinner. She would skip dinner, then later in the night, she’d become very hungry and would try to eat a little something, only to feel sick to her stomach again. This lasted for almost two weeks. After the second week of this, we decided to have her tested for celiac disease. I knew the genetics of the celiac condition and that there was a strong possibility Kelly might also have the disease since her cousin had already been diagnosed with it. The prevalence of developing celiac disease if you have a second-degree relative (aunt, uncle, cousins) diagnosed with celiac disease increases to 1 in 39.
We had her tested through Dr. Fine at Entero Lab because this was the most sensitive and least invasive testing we could find. The results - Kelly tested positive for sensitivity to gluten, milk, egg yolk and yeast. We also discovered that she had two genes for celiac disease, one she’d received from me and the other from her father. Later, we came to find out that Candida may be a catalyst that triggers the onset of celiac disease.