Blog Entries With Tag: Disease


Posted: Oct 13, 2011

UPDATE:  Here's a recent  link that might help you understand this condition that affects Type 1 diabetics - https://www.verywell.com/the-gluten-free-diabetes-diet-562996 - but please feel free to carry on reading below - and pass on this information to anyone you think might find it useful!

FatCatAnna June 2, 2017

* * * * *

Lately I’ve been noticing that quite a few diabetics I meet (mainly young ones) have been diagnosed with celiac (or coeliac) disease.  What is it?  It’s a condition that damages the lining of the small intestine and prevents it from absorbing parts of food that are important for staying healthy. The damage is due to a reaction to eating gluten, which is a protein found in wheat, barley, rye, and possibly oats.  Really the way I understand it, it’s very much like diabetes, where it is all revolving around our immune system.  For more indepth info – you can check out The Canadian Celiac Disease website http://www.celiac.ca/index.php

Some of the symptoms are:

- Abdominal pain, bloating, gas, or indigestion
- Constipation
- Decreased appetite (though it can be increased or remain same)
- Diarrhoea, either constant or off and on
- Lactose intolerance (common when the person is diagnosed, usually goes away after treatment)
- Nausea and vomiting
- Stools that float, are foul smelling, bloody, or “fatty”
- Unexplained weight loss (although people can be overweight or of
- normal weight)

 

A video from JDRFUK explains how T1* and celiac are very closely related and if you take the time to watch it – you will learn quite abit (it’s 17 minutes in length).  In the UK I found out from a Mum whose diabetic daughter has coeliac disease, that a  simple blood screening test is done most of the time for children when they are diagnosed with diabetes (though according to the video link above – it’s still abit of a controversy as to whether it should be done for EVERY newly diagnosed diabetic patient).  I am not sure if the same applies in the United States – but my understanding from a few teens I met up with in July said that it is done all the time.   I know that here in my province of Quebec (Canada) – according to Marco Bianchi from the Montreal Children’s Hospital that “we only screen for celiac if there is a presence of clinical evidence”.  It is perhaps different in other provinces of Canada and the world. So would love to hear from anyone that has more knowledge then I do.

From what I’ve been hearing through the grapevine, the way that wheat is now grown is perhaps the problem that is causing the increase in celiac diagnosis.  It is no longer “pure” – due to what is added in the growth stage of the wheat, and then when made into a product that is sold on our grocery shelves – is further compromised.

I heard from one person that says that since making their own bread at home, using a sour dough recipe, that they do not have any problems associated with celiac.  Now, I’m not sure if perhaps they are using wheat that is grown from old stock seeds (this is now being done – as it appears that old seeds that have not been “modified” seem to not cause any problems … yet).

I know that some of the Canadian magazines I subscribe to seem to be posting more gluten free recipes this year (Chatelaine is one such as this gluten-free pizza dough recipe).  I have also come across some restaurants in my travels that offer gluten free meals – but it is still a big worry for those that have celiac disease – where you can’t be exactly sure if the food you are eating has come in contact with any gluten product like you would with preparing your own food at home.  Perhaps more chain restaurants will show on their menu a product that is gluten free, besides just catering to those who are watching their carb intake, etc.

*Also, from the research I did for this blog, apparently people who are not diabetic but have celiac disease are prone to becoming diabetic (Type 1 or 2),  or have thyroid disease, and other health problems.  Often lactose intolerance is present as well – but often disappears once a gluten-free diet is followed (results take about 2-3 months for improvement).

Additional website you might want to check out - explaining how Celiac disease affects children / adults can be found here . Remember, these sites are valuable for information that you can bring to your own health care provider - do not always rely on the sources that you read online!

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Posted: May 4, 2011

I’ve been joining up to more Facebook pages that are aimed at parents with diabetic children and I have had to hold my true comments back due to not wanting to upset the parents.  Well, I’ve decided to roll the dice and bare it all.  I have written about this subject in the past as well as in various forums within the D-OC (diabetic online community) as I was diagnosed just as I entered Grade 1 – so bear with me if I repeat myself (remember – I’m now ½ a century old ).

What has lead me today to write this post is seeing a parent say they are battling a horrible disease.  It hit me like a brick in the face reading that.  I wrote on my Facebook page that parents with that children are likes sponges and to be careful with what they said or thought.  I was once one young like your own son/daughter – and could sometimes hear the whispers (I have Super Power hearing – remember I wear a cape ) of my parents behind closed doors as they tried to fathom what they were up against –if they were bad things – luckily I had shoved those words into the deep recesses of my brain.  Back in the 60’s when I was diagnosed, we had much less knowledge about diabetes in young children (sometimes I think it was hit or miss), we were only 1% of the population compared to the now almost 10%.  I was a cute novelty in the hospital I went to in Ottawa, where mainly Type 2’s were being taken care of.  I darn well took advantage of that as well – I knew where the bread was buttered.

Other than that diabetes was just something that was part of my life and I didn’t really think much about it.  Injections then were just once a day.  Testing of urine a few times a day (I can’t really recall – it just was something I did – just like tying up your shoe laces – wait – now kids use Velcro).  I was a kid just like any other kid.  I wanted to explore, play with my friends!  Luckily my parents pretty well let me do anything I wanted to do.  I was I guess what you would call a wanderer – a parent’s worst nightmare.  I was always off exploring in the woods, going on organized bicycle trips in the summer time with the youth camp that was at the park across my street.  I was just plain active.  Do I remember much about having hypos, etc.?  Nope, all I knew I was a kid having fun, playing with my friends.

I think my parents giving me this independence probably is what made me stronger with coping with life with diabetes.  They did not make a big thing out of it.  Perhaps now-a-days due to all the medical advancements – parents perhaps know too much – and it worries them with trying to keep their child’s A1C at that “perfect” number along with blood sugar readings.  I don’t really recall too many hypo episodes – when they did – it was jelly bean time – yippee!!!  I really don't remember many bad episodes (well - one of my Mum chasing around the house when I had a hypo and my vivid imagination thought she was a giant chasing after me and she's only 5' 2" (1.6 metres).

Of course, in my teen years, life became abit more difficult with peer pressure, etc.  I mean, what parent doesn’t experience problems with their teenager, diabetic or not?  Our hormones are way out of control – we want to be adults NOW – we don’t want to do what our parents tell us to do.  With diabetes, it’s abit more complicated, but I managed alright and was holding down 2 part time jobs along with school.  Again, maybe due to my parents letting me take control of my diabetes much earlier than many parents do today helped?  Was it a good thing?  I don’t know.  I’m to blame I know for going into DKA and coma at the age of 14.  Again, this memory is vague, probably not a pleasant experience for me to remember (or for my parents as well plus as my Mum says - it's too long ago to remember for her).  I survived though; it was a learning lesson, and luckily no devastating results except for what they say a few brain cells lost for earlier memories and my knotted hair got cut short (I was always ahead of time with fashion ).

So, the point of my writing this to all you parents out there.  Please be careful with what you think/say around your children.  After almost ½ a century of being a diabetic – I can attest that I think having diabetes for most of my life has made me a much better person and hopefully the same will apply to your children with having a positive attitude to the ups/downs of what diabetes can bring.  There are also so many great discoveries being made in the 21st century that astound me sometimes, that it makes me excited to keep on living/mentoring/educating about diabetes and I want to be able to try new products and make my life which I already consider is really good, even better!!!   




Picture taken in 1968 when my Nan came for a visit us in Canada
(she thought I was a terribly spoiled child and bought my Mum
a paddle to keep me in place)

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