Some people have asked what happens if The Kid eats gluten.
(For new readers of this blog, The Kid was diagnosed with Celiac disease before her third birthday. You can read more about this here.)
Our telltale sign is poop-related. A stomachache leads to steatorrhea, or yellow diarrhea. The yellow is the gluten that her body cannot absorb.
But, it goes beyond the biological and manifests some challenging behaviors.
First is sleep related. She will often wake up in the middle of the night, as she did last week after being glutened (what we call it), and cannot get back to sleep. We’re not just talking about a few minutes. This can go on for hours. Last Wednesday night was a doozy, as we were all awake from about 1 to 4:30 a.m.
The other is almost like a hyperactivity.
Friday night we ate at one of our favorite spots, Boom Boom Mex Mex. The Kid snacked away on tortilla chips and discovered that phony orange nacho cheese tastes good. In the past, she has eaten the cheese with no problem. After researching, we found out that the imitation cheese food product made for foodservice by Ortega was indeed gluten free.
Apparently, Boom Boom switched suppliers.
The Kid woke up at 5 a.m. today. She and The Wife went downstairs at 6 a.m. I joined them around 8 a.m. A stomachache led to yellow poop around 11 a.m. But all day long has been a fight about behavior. Using indoor voices. Listening to simple requests like not to jump on the couch. It’s more than typical four-year-old misbehavior and defiance. Everything from a dog barking to a car door slamming to a train passing on the nearby tracks is a life-altering experience that causes her to grind to a halt and ask 40 different questions.
Most of the time, she’s easygoing. High energy, but easygoing. Today, we’re super-sensitive about everything from sensory stimulus to asking her what episode of a cartoon she would like to watch. One can see why parents of children with ADHD pursue dietary changes, including avoiding gluten.
So, what happens when The Kid eats gluten? She becomes unglued. In more ways than one.