Lara will soon turn 12, and looking back, her first sign of celiac disease was iron deficiency, which was detected at a regular health check when she was nine months old. She was prescribed iron food supplements, but the deficiency persisted. At 14 months, she was sent to the hospital because in addition to iron deficiency, she had undegraded starch in the stool and her pediatrician considered the malnutrition syndrome. Unfortunately, she was not tested for celiac disease at that time and at the same time, the malnutrition syndrome was not confirmed.
When she was two years old, the diarrhea was occurring more frequently and for several months, the doctor insisted on the diagnosis of secondary lactose intolerance following a virosis. She also began vomiting after meals, she was losing weight, had a few skin rashes and had a bloated stomach. She was constantly tired, indisposed and complained that her legs and arms hurt. It was very stressful for the family to watch her suffering and not knowing how to help her. Therefore, we were somehow relaxed when at the age of 2,5 years she was finally diagnosed with celiac disease.
After the diagnosis we started to learn about the disease and the gluten free diet. As her parents, we went through a desperation phase when we figured out how demanding the diet is, but we’re fortunate enough to have a lot of support from long-standing celiac patients. The local kindergarten and later the school were willing to learn about gluten free diet and to cooperate with us.
Soon, after Lara has started the gluten free diet, her mood, disposition and health remarkably improved. She began to gain weight and to grow. At home, we all switched to gluten free diet, as we wanted to provide our daughter with un unstressful environment, where she would not have to doubt if the food is gluten free and take care about the hygiene because of cross contamination. Over the years our decision has proven to be right. We are raising our daughter with the knowledge that she can achieve her wishes and goals, in spite of her strict diet. Although we have to organize and prepare a lot, we do travel around the world and Lara is doing very well at school and at her other activities, which include karate and violin classes.