Today at the nutrition store I met a wonderful woman in the gluten free aisle. She was looking for crackers for her daughter (6 years old I believe) who has autism and celiac disease. She has her on a gluten free, casein free, soy free diet. (Same as me!)
She explained to me how holistic medicine helped save her daughter’s life.
The conversation I had with this woman was the highlight of my day. She explained to me the lengths she goes through to make sure her daughter is healthy and happy. From buying 100% organic products,hiding B vitamins in her food well enough to match the texture, to dicing everything she eats a specific way and prepping her meals at night to pack for school lunch the next day. This warmed my heart so much. ( and no, she is not a stay at home mom lol). She spoke of her daughter as a gift and was happy for the opportunity to help her through monitoring her diet. If she waited any later to take this approach, it would have started stunting her daughter’s growth. Even with the B vitamin supplementation, her daughter almost experienced liver failure. She stressed how important it was for her to stay updated with information regarding food allergies and autism. “It’s a growing process and I’m researching things everyday to make sure I don’t miss anything.”She was thankful and hopeful. This warmed my heart so much.
One day I hope to be a mother with the same care and consciousness.
This encounter led me to think about a brilliant kid I worked with named Cody (I was an assistant teacher at a Title 1 middle school almost two years ago). He also has autism, but doesn’t have the same access to unprocessed, gut friendly foods; not because his mother isn’t amazing or trying her very best, but because of life circumstances and access to the same standard of healthcare.
I wish every child could have the medical attention necessary to look at their allergies,food intolerances/sensitivities and nutrient deficiencies so that they can function optimally.
(I send my love to him and his family in my prayers. He’s such a great kid, brilliant and kind, with an honest humor and a most memorable smile. )
Today I realized first hand what people mean when they say “there are no coincidences”. I say this because I am currently writing a paper on gluten and cognitive impairment. Many of the papers I’ve been reading and finding most interesting are the articles focused on celiac disease and autism.
I’ve had an interesting battle with my health since puberty, only to find out years later (after X-Rays, MRIs, CTs, ultrasounds and ridiculous amount of blood work) that my issue was gluten! (As well as vitamin deficiencies caused by prolonged gluten exposure).
The only treatment is a gluten-free diet. This has led me to a love affair with health and wellness. It’s truly been a blessing in disguise and I couldn’t be more thankful.
I have a feeling that after finals week I’m going to be posting more often about nutrition and food science. Yay!