One of the major changes that I’ve had to adapt to since I really stopped blogging in 2009 was the unofficial diagnosis of Celiac’s Disease. It’s unofficial because I tested negative to the Ontario version of blood testing, yet my Doctor saw overwhelming symptomatology that is explained by Celiacs. I am also quite gluten-intolerant, which actually made the gluten-free switch a lot easier to accomplish.
There is also strong evidence that both of our children have gluten-intolerance. Gluten tends to affect the body in three major functions. It affects the digestive system first, then it affects both the immune and the neurological systems. I have symptoms in all three areas. Perhaps because I’ve been an eater of gluten for my whole life, less 1.5 years now!
Our daughter definitely has the immune and digestive responses. Our son’s ADHD has strong links to the neurological effects of gluten.
Most of my journey with gluten-intolerance has been with the blessing of our family doctor, but the knowledge growth and current attempts to repair my badly damaged internal health systems have been with the direction of a Naturopathic Doctor.
Image above taken from: http://www.queenofquinoa.me/2011/10/puffed-rice-cake-with-sliced-apples-almond-butter/ [Picture borrowed from Queen of Quinoa - I hope the borrow is okay, Your Majesty!]
This week I met with a member of the more traditional North American mental health sciences. For our son, we’ve learned that working within the traditional system allows adjustments and adaptations that benefit him. It was difficult to accept the power of a diagnosis within the “system,” but the benefits have been many.
Because of his recent transition to high school, we’ve had to restart a number of the tests and such so that his current school has their own reports and plans that will provide clout to the adaptation of high school which will allow our son to make the most of his gifts and talents.
Hence the visit.
It was very illuminating. This was the very first time that I have ever heard such strong support for the diet changes that I’ve been implementing with our family. The recommendations were such that the changes to diet made up the cornerstone of his new “treatment” plan. Strict adherence, I was told, could result in the ability for our son to completely eliminate his current use of daily supplements.
Additional tightening of his diet could actually result in lessening of other difficult “symptoms” that we attribute to his personality.
As a person who has already experienced such immense relief at the elimination of gluten, I was surprised at my shock at her words! Pardon my indirect language here, because I want to respect my son’s privacy. Why had I never explored the thought that some elements of his personality could be exaggerated by food allergic type responses? I had already crossed the leap into understanding that food can cause neurological responses.
And so the journey goes. I was talking about some of the findings with my co-worker this week and I was struck by the accuracy of the journey metaphor. One is never finished until death. Always something new, always something else to explore, always another level of knowledge to attain.
We live in a truly amazing world.