Question: Our 11 year old daughter was just diagnosed with celiac disease. We are feeling overwhelmed and want to make sure we are doing right by her. We live on the west side of Cleveland. Any advice on diet or other helpful information will be greatly appreciated.
Answer: Hello John & Jenn. Your daughter’s diagnosis & treatment (diet) are understandably overwhelming. I am confident you will find it all to be less overwhelming with each passing week/month. Here are a few tips to help you with the process:
1. You’ve started at the right place! Our website is packed with invaluable and reliable information and resources about all things gluten-free. Under the Learn: Celiac and GF tab, you will find information about our local group for kids, school lunches, and resources for both parents and kids. Also, keep an eye out for local events which can be a great place to learn, sample products, and meet other parents of children with CD.
2. Please set up an appointment with a registered dietitian who understands celiac disease and the gluten-free diet. She will provide information about label reading, cross contamination, school & social challenges, inherent deficiencies of a GF diet, simple recipe modification, etc.
3. There are some inherent nutrient deficiencies when switching over to GF, including fiber, certain B vitamins, and iron. There can be excesses, as well. It is important to be aware of these in effort to best maintain balance and good nutrition in her diet.
4. Be careful about the resources and websites you use. It is prudent to stick with national CD organizations and CD centers around the country until you’re able decipher reliable and accurate information from unscientific, fear-based opinion.
Wishing you and your daughter much success as you adjust to this new yet manageable challenge.