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Malnutrition: Celiac Symptoms Started At Age Two

Celiac Symptoms That Started as a Toddler Led to Malnutrition Before Diagnosis

Jaiden’s symptoms started at age 2. Her symptoms continued to increase, impacting her daily life. A lack of answers ultimately led to malnutrition. Attempts to find answers led to an endoscopy when she was  2 ½ yrs old. The biopsy, however, didn’t detect celiac disease.

When Jaiden was 5, her pediatrician thought her symptoms were all connected to nerves due to starting kindergarten. (Hmmmm….symptoms for three years that could now be blamed on current life situations?) The urologist ran tests and ended up prescribing Magnesium citrate for her severe constipation. 

Blood Tests -- Finally!

Doctor visit after doctor visit for eight months. And then, finally, in December of 2010, her parents found the right one. They took Jaiden to a Gastroenterologist who finally ordered the correct blood work. Even though an upper endoscopy had been performed, they learned that celiac tests had not been run before! 

In addition to a celiac panel, she also had orders for tests for diabetes. Her weight loss and frequent urination had them concerned that she may be diabetic.

It took two long weeks for mom to finally get the blood test results: positive for celiac. Another biopsy was scheduled (three years after the initial endoscopy).This time the damage was clear. The damage was extensive enough that it put her at the stage of malnutrition. Jaiden wasn’t absorbing nutrients. 

By the time Jaiden was diagnosed, at age 5, she weighed only four pounds more than her 2-year-old sister.  She had gone from the 74th percentile in weight to the 14th!

Remove The Gluten -- Get On With Life

At the time this story was originally posted, two and a half years after they removed gluten from Jaiden’s diet (on January 1st, 2011) mom shared that she was now a happy, healthy 8-year-old. She was gaining weight and growing again. A well-visit appointment, two years in, made it apparent that both her height and weight were on the rise.

Her behavior was also impacted. Jaiden had been previously diagnosed with ADHD, two months before going gluten free. Many of her behavioral issues diminished once gluten was removed. Mom and dad were convinced that her behavior was all gluten related and never ADHD at all.

Proactive Efforts To Help Others

Prior to Jaiden’s diagnosis, her mom and family were like so many–they had never heard of celiac disease. They didn’t know what gluten was. Dealing with the challenges of her diagnosis encouraged Anna to want to do more to get the word out. She decided to file a proclamation request to the Governor of Arizona. After waiting a year from the time of submission, the Governor approved her proclamation request and proclaimed May to be Celiac Disease Awareness Month in Arizona.


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Be sure to request celiac tests before removing gluten from your diet.

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