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Monday, January 16, 2017

My Mom...Why I want to be just like her!

Today is my mom's birthday. Anyone who knows me well, knows that my mom and I are super close. There is not a day that goes by that I don't talk to my mom and I often talk to her several times a day. So many things come to mind when I think of her, but if I was asked to describe her I would definitely use Proverbs 31.


My mom and dad have been married for 41 years and they are still truly in love. I have watched my mom love, support, honor, and cherish my dad my whole life. While they have certainly experienced their own ups and downs, they have always remained focused on keeping God first in their marriage. My dad was not a Christian when he and my mom met. While my grandfather spent a lot of time with him studying God's word, I know my mom's influence had a lot to do with my dad's interest in learning more about becoming a Christian. My mom encouraged my dad throughout the years as he became a song leader in the church, led prayers, and preached sermons. Most recently, she has supported his work as a deacon in the church. She has taught me what a wife should be. She has taught me how to love my husband even when times are tough, how to encourage him, understand him, and support him. I know that my dad would surely say that my mom has truly enriched his life. 

 
She is so wise and she gives exceptional advice. We all know many people who are willing to step in and give advice, even when we haven't asked for it. One thing my mom always reminded us was that there wasn't anything we could not talk to her about. In fact, she was fantastic at making us feel comfortable talking to her. I know there were so many times that we shared things with her that she would rather have not heard and even though there were, at times things we shared that disappointed her, she was never judgmental. As adults, she has respected us, our family life, and our marriages. She has given us much advice, but only when we asked for it. She has spent countless hours on the phone with us, sitting on her bed talking with us, and even holding us. She has corrected us in a loving way and she has shown us tremendous patience. 





My mom loves her family. She not only tells us that daily, but she has truly shown her love for us in many ways. I could probably write a book about all the many things she has done for each of us. She has always gone above and beyond to make things special for us. When we were little, she would buy us little gifts that she called "sercies". It wasn't until I was much older that I figured out that she didn't make that word up herself. There were times that I would find a card in my book bag or in my car from her. They always showed up just when I needed the encouragement. She never missed a school event or dance recital. In fact, she and dad spent quite a few years carting Tiffany around for her dance competitions. You could always find my mom in the crowd because she would be the one yelling the loudest "Go Tiffany" or "Go girls"! My mom has provided us support and literally held us up when we weren't sure we could go any further. Our family has experienced tragedy and gone through things that we never thought we would experience. Tiffany and I both experienced long labors with Meredith and Lauren and we ended up delivering by c-section. Mom never left our rooms, never left our side, and never once complained. She spent a week with us both after we had our daughters and we both cried like babies when she had to go home. I want to be that mom. I want to give Meredith the same love, encouragement, support, understanding, and guidance that she has given to me. I want Meredith to talk to me about everything, even the things that I may not want to hear. I want to be a part of all the experiences, big and little. I want Meredith to be proud to be my daughter as I am so very proud to be her daughter. 






The most important thing I can share about my mom is her love for God and her firm faith. My mom and dad always had us at church. When the doors were open, we were there. We grew up in a small congregation and we had a very small number of youth. They made sure that we participated in youth activities. We went to youth rallies and Bible camp. Mom even drove three hours back to the Bible camp to pick me up after I broke my ankle. As a child, one of my fondest memories is going to the nursing homes to sing to the residents. I truly believe that is what sparked my love for older adults and led to my education and career choices. My mom loves to sing and she has a beautiful voice. When I was a little girl, I would look up at her in church and wish that one day I would be able to sing as beautiful as she does. Her faith and her belief in God is what helped lead my dad to become a Christian and together they led Tiffany and I to also become Christians. I pray that I always have the strong, firm faith that my mom has and I pray that I am able to be the strong, Christian example that Meredith and Creig need.



She is kind, thoughtful, loving, gracious, sincere, trustworthy, gentle, humble, generous, nurturing, strong and hardworking. She is loved. She is honored. She is praised. She is my best friend. 




Thursday, November 17, 2016

Little Blessings...Big Messages

I am a worrier. Actually, let me be honest...I am a professional worrier. God gives us a clear message about worry. In fact, one of my favorite Bible verses is Matthew 6:34.

Now, I know what I should do with all of my worries- give them to God. I say a lot of prayers. Actually, if you pass me on the road and I look like I am talking to myself, I am more than likely talking to God. I have learned over the years that some of the best time in prayer is while I am alone in the car. 


I have a confession to make. I am also really good at trying to help God. When we pray and lay our worries at His feet, we also have to trust. Our family has been through a lot lately and while I have prayed often about the many different things we have been going through, I have also allowed myself to pick those worries back up. I am trying to do better. I want to do better. I want to show God that I trust him and I know that he has all of the answers.

This morning, I changed my usual routine and stopped to get breakfast on my way to work. I went through the drive thru and as I reached the window to pay, the cashier said, "your breakfast has been paid for by the car in front of you." She gave me my receipt and along with that receipt was a card from the kind person that paid for my breakfast. 



Wow!  This person had no idea that I needed this. Their kind gesture of paying for my meal certainly meant a lot to me, but what meant even more was the message I received on this card. God sends us exactly what we need, when we need, sometimes through the help of others. 

I am so thankful for this reminder. We are in very capable, merciful, kind, and gracious hands! 



Wednesday, November 16, 2016

One Word Wednesday: PERSISTENCE



My sweet friend, Starr started One Word Wednesday on her blog back in 2014. She is kindly allowing me to use her phrase. You can read more of her blog here.

Today, my one word is persistence. The definition of persistence is firm or obstinate continuance in a course of action in spite of difficulty or opposition.

I used to think if you looked the definition of persistence up in the dictionary, you would find a picture of my sister. Tiffany has persistence down 100%. She drove me nuts growing up because if she wanted something, she would beg me until I would finally give in just so I didn't have to hear her beg anymore. Her persistent nature has served her well even as an adult. I am thankful for Tiffany's persistence, mainly because I have learned from her example and that has in turn finally brought about diagnosis and treatment for Meredith.

Anyone that knows our family is aware that Meredith has struggled with multiple medical issues since birth. She was diagnosed with atopic dermatitis at 3 months old, which has worsened as she has gotten older. By age 4, she was diagnosed with severe atopic dermatitis and had been on oral steroids more times than I can count. When Meredith was 6 years old, she began having episodes of severe abdominal pain, nausea, vomiting, and fatigue. We began seeing a Pediatric Gastroenterologist, who decided that Meredith needed to have an endoscopy procedure. After that procedure, we were informed that she was allergic to gluten and instructed to remove it from her diet. Meredith's pain improved, but not completely and less than a year later she was struggling again. At that time, the doctor performed a colonoscopy and endoscopy on Meredith, again telling us that gluten was her issue along with irritable bowel syndrome. We were told to continue with the gluten free diet and also provided a prescription that was supposed to help spasms from irritable bowel.

Last year, Meredith was hospitalized at UNC Chapel Hill. A specialist and his team of residents were responsible for her care. They first told us that they thought Meredith may have an intestinal blockage. She had blood work, x-rays, and other tests. They did not find a blockage, but then said that they felt Meredith could be constipated. I knew this wasn't the case and told them so, but they were not willing to listen to what I had to say. They insisted that Meredith begin drinking juice with Miralax. When she wasn't able to keep any of that down because of the pain and vomiting, they placed an NG tube through her nose to her stomach. When I think of that experience, I still cry because it was awful and Meredith should never have had to go through that. The next day when they returned to check on her, they asked if the Miralax worked. When we told them that she had not gotten up all night, nor had she used the bathroom, they had no answers. They then proceeded to say that she must be constipated and that was their diagnosis. Meredith had not eaten in over 5 days, yet she was supposed to be constipated. By the end of the week we were so tired. Tired of pushing, and fighting with the doctors. We told them if they couldn't do anything further to send us to Levine's back home.  One resident told Creig that Meredith was probably doing this to herself. Unfortunate for that resident, my sister heard the whole conversation. Tiffany, yet again showed just how persistent she can be. We had a meeting in the hospital room with the doctor, residents, and family. Tiffany didn't hold back and she let the doctor's know not only how much Meredith had suffered and struggled, but also that their comments were completely unprofessional and unacceptable. I can't even begin to say how proud I was of my sister in that moment. She was so mad that she was crying, but she fought for her niece, when I no longer had the energy to do so. She said everything that I was thinking, but couldn't and because of this we not only received an apology, but the doctor and residents went back to the drawing board. We left after being there for 6 days with a diagnosis of abdominal migraines.

Over the last 3 years Meredith has consistently struggled with abdominal pain. At times, it is minimal, but others she is in such severe pain that she is not able to function. Three months ago, she began having severe symptoms again. She has also had bloodwork in Chapel Hill and the results were abnormal. This prompted a visit with her gastroenterologist. She ordered additional blood work, an ultrasound, and multiple 24 hour urine tests. All results were normal. The ultrasound checked her gallbladder, kidneys, bladder, spleen, and liver. When I asked about additional tests that could be done to check her gallbladder, the doctor insisted that everything was normal. I had asked multiple times about her gallbladder. I was told that the ultrasound would have shown gallstones and it didn't. I was also told that gallbladder issues are extremely rare in children.

I found an article online about another family whose child had struggled for almost 10 years with the exact same symptoms as Meredith. When this child was in college a doctor finally performed a HIDA scan and found that she had a dysfunctional gallbladder. She had to have the gallbladder removed and she has been pain free since. I also knew that it took several years for doctors to determine that my father had a gallbladder issue, because his ultrasounds were also normal.

I persisted. I again suggested that even though Meredith does not have gallstones, she could still have a gallbladder issue. I was told again, that this was highly unlikely, but because I was persistent, a HIDA scan was ordered. When a HIDA scan is performed, they place an IV. They then put a tracer into the IV, which is supposed to go through the liver to the gallbladder. After one hour, they take an x-ray to confirm that the gallbladder is full. Then they put a special fluid through the IV that drips for one hour.  This fluid is supposed to cause the gallbladder to contract and empty. A second x-ray is then completed. Meredith's gallbladder filled perfectly, but upon the second x-ray it was noticed that the gallbladder was still very full. After leaving the hospital, I received a call from the gastroenterologist. Meredith's results showed that her gallbladder only functions at 6%.  6 percent! I was then told that Meredith was being referred to a Pediatric Surgeon.

We saw the surgeon yesterday. He is fantastic! He entered the room and first introduced himself to Meredith. He shook her hand, asked her questions, and then told her that she would need to have her gallbladder removed. He explained how it would be removed and told her that she would have to stay at the hospital overnight. He then asked her when she would like to have it removed. She replied with, "Well, if you wanted to take it now you could, but I'd really like to wait until after Thanksgiving." That worked out for her because, they didn't have anything available until December. She will be having surgery on December 7th.

Meredith's pediatrician told me that she was so glad I was persistent. The surgeon also said that it is very rare to see gallbladder issues in children. He said most doctors would not order a HIDA scan for a child and that because I was persistent, we were able to find out what was causing all of this. He said he feels certain that after having the gallbladder removed Meredith will greatly improve. On top of that, we have also been told that it is highly likely that Meredith will not have to continue the gluten free diet and her specialist in Chapel Hill also believes that this could help improve her atopic dermatitis. Stress and pain can cause flares with atopic dermatitis. Meredith has certainly been in a lot of pain over the last 3 years, which has also increased her stress level and even anxiety. We pray that this surgery will be the answer to many, many prayers.

When we received this diagnosis, I was angry. Angry that Meredith has been through so much over the last three years, and most of it wasn't necessary. Angry because if the HIDA scan had been done long ago, we may have had this diagnosis much sooner and she wouldn't have suffered for so long. I have also felt guilty. I have spent a lot of time over the last few days wondering if I had just known then what I know now and if I had just persisted even more, maybe the doctors could have found this before now. Maybe Meredith wouldn't have had to experience all of the procedures and tests she has had to endure over the last three years.

My prayer life is pretty strong, but God has definitely heard from me much more over the last few days. I wanted to ask God why. I wanted to ask him to help me understand why Meredith had to go through all of this, but I didn't. I know he has a plan. He knows everything and he is in control. I am thankful that through all of this, we have become even closer as a family. We have received so much support and encouragement from our church, friends, and people that we don't even know. I am thankful for my mother-in-law and her willingness to be with Meredith everyday as her learning coach, so that Meredith can attend school everyday from home and for her constant support. I am thankful for my mom and dad, for the many times that they have dropped everything to help us, for their listening ears, unconditional support, and for always being there. I am thankful for my sister Tiffany, for her love for Meredith, her support, and her persistent nature.

We are grateful and we are blessed!

Thursday, May 26, 2016

Week 4: Celiac Disease Awareness Month - Eating Out

May is Celiac Disease Awareness Month and I have committed to blogging about the disease each week this month, in honor of my daughter, Meredith. You can read Week 1 here, Week 2 here, and Week 3 here.

This week I am going to share some of our favorite gluten free friendly restaurants. I want to first share that even though you can eat gluten free at a restaurant, you still have to be careful and inform your waiter/waitress ahead of time that you have a gluten allergy. I can't tell you how many times I have had to send Meredith's food back and have it re-cooked. Meredith likes to order a burger without a bun, but when it comes to the table with a bun it has to be re-cooked due to cross contact. It's also important to remember that if your food is prepared in a kitchen or cook space that also prepares food with gluten, your food can easily be contaminated with gluten.

This is Meredith's absolute favorite place to eat gluten free! If you ask her where she wants to go, this place always comes up first. Meredith likes to order a cheeseburger, no bun and fries. They always ask if she has an allergy and then they are very careful to prepare her food safely. She gets her cheeseburger in a bowl and they give you a lot of fries. We usually all share the fries. She can eat the fries at Five Guys because they don't fry anything else in the oil, so we don't have to worry about cross contact here.

Long Horn has a gluten free menu and Meredith loves their salads. They are also very good about carefully preparing the gluten free food and their steaks are great!

 We have only been to Outback a couple of times, but Meredith was super excited to find out that they not only have a gluten free menu, but they also have a gluten free dessert. It is very hard to find gluten free dessert in a restaurant, but Outback has the best flourless brownie with ice cream.


Red Robin has a gluten free menu and they also prepare their fries in separate oil, so no worries of cross contact. We don't eat here often because it isn't close to us, but Meredith does enjoy their burgers!

I don't know many people who don't like pizza. Meredith loves it. If we have a pizza and movie night at home I will usually buy frozen pizza because I can get the Udi's gluten free pizza. Meredith loves to order pizza though, so if we do we will order from Pizza Hut or Domino's. They both have a gluten free pizza, but you can only get them in cheese or pepperoni at this time. Pizza Hut prepares their pizza on the Udi's crust and it is really good. Sometimes, I like to get the gluten free pizzas just because the crust is so much thinner and crispy.

We rarely, and I mean rarely eat at the Cheesecake Factory. It is not cheap! We took Meredith to the American Girl store in South Park a while back and had lunch at the Cheesecake Factory. Many of their items can be prepared gluten free and they have them marked on their menu. Meredith's favorite part is the gluten free Godiva chocolate cheesecake. I shared it with her and it is really good!


We have certainly tried other restaurants, but these are Meredith's favorites. Do you have a favorite gluten free friendly restaurant?  Feel free to share in the comments!


PLEASE NOTE:  I am in no way an expert, but wish to share as much as possible about this disease in an effort to raise awareness and better understanding for those who suffer with this disease. Please be sure to consult your physician if you believe you may have Celiac disease for a proper diagnosis.
To find more information about Celiac Disease, go to:  www.celiac.org  or  www.beyondceliac.org


Friday, May 20, 2016

Week 3: Celiac Disease Awareness Month- Meredith's Favorites

May is Celiac Disease Awareness Month and I have committed to blogging about the disease each week this month, in honor of my daughter, Meredith. You can read my first post here and my second post here.

This week I am going to share Meredith's favorite gluten free food products. All fruits and vegetables are gluten free. I always have carrot sticks, celery, apples, grapes, bananas and other fruits and veggies available for Meredith to snack on. When Meredith first started eating gluten free, choices were much more limited than they are now. It's important to realize that just because something is gluten free, doesn't mean it is healthy.

 Meredith loves these wraps. She uses them to make sandwich wraps with meat and cheese, or she will put peanut butter and jelly on them. She has also used them when we have taco night to make a burrito.

I think almost all kids love fruit snacks. Meredith is no exception. All Betty Crocker fruit snacks are gluten free. We usually keep a box or two in the cabinet for her school lunches.

Honey Nut Cheerios can now be found gluten free. You do have to check the box. We have accidentally purchased the one's with wheat flour in the past. Meredith also likes the Chex cereals. They have some great flavors out now and her favorite is the Vanilla Chex.


Van's makes great gluten free waffles. These are the plain, but the blueberry and strawberry waffles are great too!

These muffins are very good, if you need something quick. You can also make several batches and freeze them.

Meredith does not like the flatbread at all! I am sharing it because I do like it. They have a original/plain and the everything flavor. I am pretty sure that the flatbread is something that adults would enjoy more than kids. I like to eat the flatbread with a little peanut butter or flavored cream cheese.
We were so excited when Snyder's started making gluten free pretzels. Meredith loves chex mix and I often use the pretzel sticks when I make her gluten free chex mix. She takes these for snacks as well.


We don't eat pasta often, but when we do these are the noodles I use. I have tried many different kinds of gluten free noodles and I have found that these not only cook the best, but they taste the best too. Trader Joe's has a gluten free corn pasta, however corn pasta can get really gummy. The Barilla gluten free pasta is a mixture of corn and rice. It doesn't get gummy and you can't tell a difference at all.
I am going to be honest, there is not a gluten free macaroni and cheese that tastes as good as the real thing. I am sure at some point someone is going to come up with a really good gluten free mac and cheese, but it hasn't happened yet. Meredith does like Annie's, so if we are having a meal with mac and cheese this is what I make. Annie's also has the individual mac and cheese cups that you can prepare in the microwave.




My mom found these cones for Meredith and she loves them. She enjoys being able to have an ice cream treat in a cone with everyone else.



I recently bought this mix, but we have not yet tried it. It looked fun and I knew Meredith would enjoy it. I usually prefer the gluten free Bisquick mix. The Bisquick mix makes great pancakes, but I have also used it to substitute for flour in some recipes.


I have shopped for gluten free foods at Harris Teeter, Publix, Trader Joe's and Walmart. They all have some pretty good gluten free options. Aldi also has some good gluten free options and you can also find good prices on produce there. If you enjoy shopping at Food Lion, they don't have much to choose from, however I recently contacted the corporate office and was informed that they are working on expanding their gluten free options for customers.

Eating gluten free is not cheap. If you like to coupon like I do, you will find that there are very few coupons available for gluten free food items. If you find a product that you really enjoy, it is often a good idea to email the company and let them know. Sometimes they will send you coupons for their products. While I am not able to find many coupons for gluten free items, I do continue to coupon. I try to save more money on our paper products, personal care items, etc.

These are just some of the items we have found and tried. Do you have any favorites?  Feel free to share in the comments.  Next week, I will share some of the gluten free friendly restaurants we have found and enjoy.

PLEASE NOTE:  I am in no way an expert, but wish to share as much as possible about this disease in an effort to raise awareness and better understanding for those who suffer with this disease. Please be sure to consult your physician if you believe you may have Celiac disease for a proper diagnosis.
To find more information about Celiac Disease, go to:  www.celiac.org  or  www.beyondceliac.org

Monday, May 9, 2016

Week 2: Celiac Disease Awareness Month- Eating Gluten Free and Cross Contact

May is Celiac Disease Awareness Month and I have committed to blogging about the disease each week this month, in honor of my daughter, Meredith. Last week I shared facts about the disease and also signs and symptoms. You can read about that here. This week, I am going to share information related to eating gluten free and cross contact. The only way to effectively control celiac disease, is to eat a strict gluten free diet. It can be very difficult to stick to a gluten free diet, especially if you don't know what foods contain gluten. Individuals with celiac disease or non-gluten sensitivity must avoid protein from the following grains: wheat, rye and barley.

It is frustrating and time consuming to navigate the gluten free diet. I personally have spent a lot of time reading labels and learning about ingredients. In the future, Meredith will be able to navigate this herself, but she is not quite ready.

Unsafe ingredients include wheat grain, all types, including wheat flour, wheat bran, wheat germ, hydrolyzed wheat protein, and wheat starch. The following are ingredients that have to be avoided:

* Wheat grain
* Barley grain and barley flour
* Malt, malt extract, malt flavoring
* Rye grain and rye flour
* Triticale grain and triticale flour
* Oats (unless they are labeled gluten free)
* Brewer's yeast
* Modified food starch made from wheat
* Dextrin made from wheat

Some of the packaged foods that can contain wheat are:

* Bouillon/Broth
* Communion wafers
* Deli/lunch meat
* Gravies, sauces, and marinades
* Imitation meat and seafood
* Licorice
* Salad dressings
* Soups
* Seasoned potato/tortilla chips
* Seasoned rice mixes
* Soup
* Soy Sauce
* Teriyaki Sauce
* Vegetables in sauce
* Veggie burgers

While most people are aware that those with celiac disease have to avoid certain foods, they are not aware that they also have to avoid other products. Art supplies, personal care products, alcoholic beverages, vitamins, supplements, and medications can also contain gluten.

Cross-contact can occur at home, but most often occurs in when eating out. It doesn't take much gluten to make someone with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity sick. A crumb is even enough to start the autoimmune response. Cross-contact occurs when a gluten-free food is exposed to an ingredient containing gluten. This makes it unsafe to eat. For instance, if someone orders a hamburger without a bun, if the burger is prepared and then put on a bun, it results in cross-contact. This hamburger would need to be thrown away and new one prepared. The crumbs that the bun would leave on the hamburger can be enough to make the person sick. Individuals with celiac disease cannot use the same toaster that others in the home use, due to cross-contact concerns. We chose to no longer use a toaster in our home and often toast things in the oven.

Individuals with celiac disease or non-celiac gluten sensitivity cannot eat gluten free foods that have been fried in the same oil as foods that contain gluten. When our family is out to eat, we have to make sure that if Meredith wants to eat fries, they are prepared in a different fryer. If she gets fries that are prepared in the same oil as breaded chicken, fish, etc. this will make her very sick. In many cases, she is not able to order fries because most restaurants do not have an additional fryer to prepare them safely for her.

These are just a few things that we have to look out for in order to keep Meredith safe and healthy. There are many, many more and as I stated before it can be very frustrating, not only for us, but for Meredith as well.

Next week I plan to share information on some of our favorite places to eat and some of Meredith's favorite gluten free foods and snacks!

PLEASE NOTE:  I am in no way an expert, but wish to share as much as possible about this disease in an effort to raise awareness and better understanding for those who suffer with this disease. Please be sure to consult your physician if you believe you may have Celiac disease for a proper diagnosis.
To find more information about Celiac Disease, go to:  www.celiac.org  or  www.beyondceliac.org



Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Celiac Awareness Month

May is Celiac Awareness Month and I have made it my goal to post about this disease on my blog at least once a week this month in honor of my daughter, Meredith.

Meredith was diagnosed two years ago and we never would have imagined the struggle we would have with the huge changes we had to make with her diet. Thankfully, the availability of gluten free foods have come a long way in the last two years, so it has become easier.

This week, I would like to share some facts about the disease.

Did you know?
-1 in 133 people in the United States have Celiac Disease. (approximately 3 million people)
-Celiac Disease is a serious, genetic autoimmune disease.
-83% of the people with the disease are undiagnosed.
-Left undiagnosed and untreated, people with Celiac Disease are at risk for other serious health consequences, such as osteoporosis, anemia, thyroid disease and even certain cancers.
-Celiac disease is the only autoimmune disease with a known trigger- gluten. Gluten is the protein found in wheat, rye, and barley foods and foods and drinks that contain these grains.
-Currently, the only treatment for Celiac Disease is a strict gluten-free diet.

Signs and Symptoms:
* Anemia                                                 
* Anxiety                                                 
* Bloating or gas                                     
* Constipation                                         
* Delayed growth in children                  
* Depression                                              
* Diarrhea
* Discolored teeth
* Fatigue/tiredness
* Headaches or migraines
* Infertility
* Irritability
* Itchy skin rash
* Joint pain
* Pale mouth sores
* Poor weight gain
* Thin bones
* Tingling/numbness

While these are some of the common symptoms reported, many individuals with Celiac disease will not have any symptoms at all.

Ingesting small amounts of gluten, like crumbs from a cutting board or toaster, can cause damage to the small intestines.

Celiac disease is diagnosed by completing a screening process. There are blood tests that can screen for celiac disease. If your blood test is positive, a biopsy of the small intestine should be performed to confirm the diagnosis. Once the disease is confirmed, the only treatment is a strict gluten-free diet. It is important to note that you should not self-diagnose as it is very important that you are NOT on a gluten free diet for the screening. If someone has already begun a gluten free diet, their tests will not be accurate.

It is important to be screened, because this is a lifelong disorder that will affect multiple parts of the body and can potentially lead to other serious illnesses. Anyone over the age of 3, experiencing symptoms, first-degree relatives of individuals with celiac disease (siblings, parents, children) and anyone with a related autoimmune disorder should get screened.

PLEASE NOTE:  I am in no way an expert, but wish to share as much as possible about this disease in an effort to raise awareness and better understanding for those who suffer with this disease. Please be sure to consult your physician if you believe you may have Celiac disease for a proper diagnosis.
To find more information about Celiac Disease, go to:  www.celiac.org  or  www.beyondceliac.org