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Celiac: Mother And Daughter In It Together

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Mother And Daughter With Celiac

The world changed for Brandi and Bailey, mother and daughter, last November. They were both diagnosed with celiac. The world changed, but it changed for the better. They both received an answer to ongoing health issues, an answer they could do something about.

Bailey, age 10, was diagnosed first. Her diagnosis helped their doctor connect the dots to mom’s ongoing health issues. Bailey’s genetic tests for celiac were positive and her celiac markers were high enough that their doctor chose not to do a biopsy. He also decided to diagnose mom from Bailey’s test results. Her lifelong history of symptoms had him believe mother and daughter both had celiac. 

*It is important to continue eating gluten until all testing is complete. 

Learn more about celiac testing from Beyond Celiac.

Brandi understands the importance of testing. Due to her own symptoms, however, and due to her daughter’s test results, she chose to follow her doctor’s advice and go gluten free along with her daughter. Once gluten free, she knew this was her answer. The stomach issues she’d experienced most of her 36 years finally disappeared. Cross contamination, just one time in the four months since removing gluten, reminded her of gluten’s impact on her health.

A Lifetime Of Health Issues (Impacting Childhood)

Brandi remembers frequent stomachaches as a child. “They just told me I had a sensitive stomach.” She remembers having to go home from sleepovers with friends because of the pain she experienced. 

She was prescribed medications for her stomachaches and for what doctors called IBS. “I basically learned to live with my sensitive belly,” Brandi said.

She also learned to live with brain fog, joint pain, numbness and tingling in her hands and feet, sensitive skin and eczema and constant fatigue. She also struggled with “horrible teeth” despite the fact that she provided excellent care.

But answers to all those symptoms weren’t discovered until Bailey, her daughter, was diagnosed with celiac. 

And now mother and daughter can face this gluten-free journey together.

Like Mother Like Daughter

Bailey’s symptoms started when she was in prek. Constipation and belly aches were chronic. “She would break out in horrible rashes and we could never get them to clear or figure out the cause,” mom shared.

Allergy tests found Bailey to be sensitive to dairy and soy so they did their best to eliminate both. They blamed bellyaches on the assumption that she ate something with dairy or soy.

Increasing Pain, UTIs, and Constipation

Four years later, when Bailey was in 3rd grade, stomachaches became noticeably worse. She also started experiencing UTI’s. The Miralax that was used to relieve the constipation (that seemed to cause her pain) was only a temporary remedy.

By 4th grade the pain she experienced had her in tears, often. She started experiencing horrible bouts of diarrhea and random episodes of vomiting. She would seem just fine after an episode, however, according to mom.

The doctor prescribed ranitidine (Zantac) in October of 2018 for something he called “abdominal migraines.” They reported “no change” at Bailey’s follow-up visit the next month. Next step: blood tests and stool samples.

The first set of results returned the following week. Negative.  Mom got a call two weeks later, however, to bring Bailey in ASAP. The celiac test results were in. They were positive.

Mom said, “I was in total shock. She (Bailey) was in total shock. The doctor was in shock. But he knew just what to do. His wife is celiac.”

Remove Gluten – Improve Life

Within just one short gluten-free month, Bailey felt so much better. “There was a HUGE change in her,” mom said.  Research on the internet had Brandi quickly realizing just how many of Bailey’s symptoms had been connected to un-diagnosed celiac.

When asked if Bailey’s energy has increased, mom shared, “My quiet little girl is all over the place!!!!!! And I love it!!!!”

Brandi became immediately proactive, researching what mother and daughter could and could not eat. She educated Bailey along the way. After discovering a list of beverages to avoid, mom added a little humor to one of their conversations. “Awe man sissy, you can’t have beer.” As she told her daughter, “We have to laugh at the little things.”

I like her outlook!

Help From The School Nurse

Mom has been extremely happy with the support Bailey has gotten from their school nurse.  She provided some one-on-one education on label reading, and went through the entire school menu with her, marking items she could eat and items she could not.

Is your school able to provide safe gluten-free meals? Is the cafeteria staff trained?

Beyond Celiac offers a food service training program.  

Mom's Continued Health Improvements

While Brandi’s physical energy has noticeably increased since removing all gluten, she is still working on treating adrenal fatigue. She has only been gluten free for four months, after decades of celiac symptoms. It takes the body time to heal. 

I wonder how many more improvements we could share if we do a follow-up report a year from now. 

Using Their Journey To Help Others

Mom has mixed emotions about her daughter’s diagnosis. They are glad for an answer, of course, but sad to know she “has something.”  Mom is proud of how her daughter is handling these changes. “She has quickly adapted to the new lifestyle and has completely embraced it. I couldn’t be more proud of her for taking charge of her own life and health.”

Brandi is also embracing their new lifestyle. She has created her own blog to support their mother-daughter journey and to support others. 

Visit their blog: A Girl Against Gluten  and their Facebook page.

Share A Story - Plant A Seed

Check out the Celiac Stories page for dozens of stories.
Be sure to request celiac tests before removing gluten from your diet.

This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Brandi

    Amazing!!!!! I am sitting here crying as I read our story…. Amazing work at putting our story into words!!!!!

    1. Debbie Simpson

      My pleasure Brandi. Thank you so very much for allowing me to share your story. You never know who will recognize themselves or a loved one. Seeds that grow.

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