Is bread pushing teachers and parents to their limits?
6-year-old, Taylor Berry’s defiance had become uncontrollable once again. Time seemed to stand still as Taylor’s aggressive actions towards other children, uproar with teachers and bad behavior at home set in.
Taylor’s outcry had been going on for two years in school. Consequential—Taylor was facing suspension.
“I’d never imagined my child would even get near being suspended. I felt deeply ashamed,” stated Crette Berry, mother of Taylor.
“At home, we’d tried methods such as time out and taking away toys in an attempt to encourage him to behave. Nothing worked,” Crette expressed.
Guided by anxiety, the Berry’s assured others that Taylor’s unruliness was not due to a lack of discipline.
Crette was determined to understand her son’s actions and although misguided by GP’s and specialists who dismissed any possibility of an illness, Crette channeled her emotions into helping Taylor.
Crette continually witnessed Taylor’s exhaustion, represented by dark circles under his eyes. “I was constantly frustrated and angry with Taylor,”said Crette, who lives in Marschapel, Lincolnshire, with her partner Gary, 37, and two other children.
What she came to realize with a little research, in fact, Taylor had symptoms of celiac disease — an allergy to gluten, a protein formed in wheat, barley and rye.
With depression and tetchiness a known symptom, experts are cautioning parents that some children are mistakenly diagnosed with Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) instead of suffering from an allergy.
Celiac disease is an auto-immune disease caused by intolerance to gluten, which is in a variety of foods from bread to pasta, and is regularly used in foods such as fish fingers and sausages. It causes inflammation of the small intestine due to the body attacking itself.
When sufferers eat gluten, it triggers an auto-immune response that damages the villi, the finger-like protrusions that line the small intestine. The damaged and inflamed villi cannot absorb food properly, causing stomach cramps and malnutrition as well as anemia, exhaustion, nausea and depression.
“Celiac disease affects around one in 100 people,” states Norma McGough, from Celiac UK. “But only about 10 to 15 per cent of people with the condition are clinically diagnosed. It is important health-care professionals consider all the different manifestations of celiac disease and not just the most obvious ones of stomach problems.”
In a German study of 67 individuals with ADHD, 15 percent were confirmed positive for celiac disease.
Researchers at the Psychiatric Hospital of Rodewisch established that once these subjects started a gluten-free diet, there was substantial progress in their behavior.
Dr. Nick Read, gastroenterologist and psychotherapist, agrees with the study, stating “In the studies, the response to a gluten-free diet is probably too quick to be caused by an improvement in general nutrition, and therefore it may be that having (celiac) disease, which in itself causes malaise, slight fever and discomfort, induces distraction and lack of focus.”
There is no cure for celiac disease. The only treatment is lifelong obedience to a strict, gluten-free diet. Left untreated, the disease can tip off malnutrition, osteoporosis, bowel cancer and infertility.
Having immediately changed Taylor’s diet to exclude gluten, Taylor grasped a positive advancement in within a week.
“There needs to be a better awareness of the symptoms of celiac disease, including behavioral problems,” Crette articulated.
Taylor now adheres to a strict diet including gluten-free cereal or bread for breakfast and gluten-free pasta for dinner.
“I feel so guilty we couldn’t have helped him sooner,” says Crette. “But at least we have a diagnosis. If I hadn’t persisted with my research, he most likely would have been diagnosed with ADHD.”
Symptoms of CD in Children
Celiac disease has numerous and wide-ranging symptoms and symptoms in adults may be different to those in children. Symptoms do not aggress until gluten-containing foods (bread, cereal) are presented in the diet.
Poor appetite, irritability and a failure to gain weightPale, bulky stoolsVomiting and diarrheaSwollen stomachArm and leg muscles may become futile and thin
The information on this site is not a substitute for diagnosis or treatment from a licensed medical practitioner. If you are experiencing a serious medical condition call your local emergency services or your doctor.