Friday, April 9, 2010

Friends, Food & Jude...

The kids and I have spent the past two days at my friend Jana's house getting a crash course on gluten-free living, and I'll explain why in a minute. Jana discovered a year ago that she and her daughters are gluten intolerant, so they are on a new gluten-free diet, and she's seen a large improvement in their health! It's great that they've figured this out, since Jana had been praying and searching for answers to their health issues for quiet some time. (Jana is also hypoglycemic like Jude is and has been since childhood too.)

While I was at her house I snapped some photos of her two adorable girls.

(Real quick, because I know so many of you have emailed me or commented that you enjoy receiving the photo info here it is:
I shot these indoors, in Jana's living room while it was hailing outside. :) We had JUST come in from the outdoors because of the hail. The girls were playing on the couch and they were facing the window, which was behind me. I shot these with my 5d Mark II, 50mm lens, manual mode, ISO 500, aperture f/2.0, 1/250 shutter speed. I probably shot pictures for a total of 3 minutes and that was it for the day. The girls were just being so cute and totally themselves.)

So, the reason we've been over there getting a crash course on the gluten-free diet is because Jude tested positive for being gluten intolerant. We got his lab results back just this week. I think this answers a lot of questions for me regarding Jude's body's quirks/health.

The way the lab reading works is that less than 10 units of Intestinal antigliadin IgA antibody is considered normal and above 10 units is considered gluten intolerant. I was tested too, and my lab showed that I was at 8 units, meaning that I'm normal. My friend Jana's lab was 44 units, meaning she's gluten intolerant. Jude's lab said 220 units!

Jude and I had some genetic testing done too. Here's what Jude's genetic test said about his gluten intolerance if you care to read it:
HLA gene analysis reveals that you have two copies of a gene that predisposes to gluten sensitivity (any DQ1, DQ2 not by HLA-DQB1*0201, or DQ3 not by HLA-DQB1*0302). Having two copies of a gluten sensitive gene means that each of your parents and all of your children (if you have them) will possess at least one copy of the gene. Two copies also means there is an even stronger predisposition to gluten sensitivity than having one gene and the resultant immunologic gluten sensitivity may be more severe.)

I've said a few times that I would share about the road we've been down with Jude's blood sugar/growth issues, and this is a great time to share because it's all part of this new discovery.

Feel free to bale at this point or read on. :) I know this is a long blog post!

Some back story...

A year and a half ago was a pretty crazy time in our life. Selah was only 6 months old, I had a small surgery after some abdominal issues, Jude ended up hospitalized with blood sugar as low as 40, and Josh had a career change. Things just seemed nuts to me and I wished that these huge, uncontrollable things weren't happening at one time so that I could simply just enjoy Selah being a baby. At that time we didn't know that Jude was hypoglycemic. It took another 2 trips to the ER with low blood sugar and me reading and putting these obvious clues together to say to the doctors, "Hey, I think he's hypoglycemic" and they agreed. He also seemed to change and become a somewhat more irritable kid and I couldn't figure out why. Jude has also been slowly falling off the growth chart. He is about 1 year behind in growth. His hands have been x-rayed to look at bone growth/development and his bones are 1 year behind where they should be. We've been to lots of dr. appts. and he's had a ton of labs run (poor kid has had his blood drawn too many times). Jude also doesn't really like to eat. You can just tell he doesn't feel great all the time. He's still a happy kid, but I've always felt like I just couldn't put my finger on what was "off"!

So, Jude got an amazing new doctor last year that has tackled his issues straight on and she sent us onto some specialists. Long story short we've started to suspect a gluten intolerance as being a piece of the puzzle and decided to have him tested for it. (In a lot of my reading/searching "gluten" keeps coming up when I'm reading about hypoglycemia, low growth, etc.) My friend Jana strongly encouraged we test Jude because our situation sounded so similar to hers. We finally did and sure enough when we got our lab results back on Tuesday they showed that Jude's very intolerant of gluten. Josh & Selah will be tested next. I'm looking forward to Jude's next appt. with the endocrinologist. I know that this may not be the "fix all" for him, but I believe it will make a huge difference in his life. And I'm so grateful for this information, God's timing and peace, Jana's immense help with this all to help make it an easier transition for us in eliminating wheat from our world, and our family's amazing support. Thank you for all of your prayers too as we've been on the quest to help Jude feel better! :)


Mindi heart said...

My sister too is gluten intolerant, though its forced her to become a much better cook :)

whitney rae said...

Hi Bethany, I recently came across your blog and started reading. I thought I'd comment on this post, because I have celiac disease, and can relate. Glad you've figured out what's going on with your little boy! It's hard at first, but you'll get used to it, and as the previous commenter said, you'll probably become a better cook as a result. There's so much available online, as far as tips and recipes go. And quite a few gluten free products in the store now, as celiac and gluten intolerance seem to becoming more common. I'm sure your friend has given you lots of tips too. Good luck!

Matt + Gina said...

Love the pics, and the Jude info, B. So glad you are on the right track with all of it! Love to you guys! Hopefully we'll see you soon!

Annie Schilperoort Photography said...

Hi Bethany, I'm glad to hear you are getting more figured out with Jude - praise the Lord! I've had (seemingly) numerous friends recently find out they are intolerant to gluten and two good friends diagnosed with celiacs within the past 3 months. I know making dietary changes has helped each of them SO much and I'm excited for you to see how it helps Jude. Take care!

John and Natalee Warren said...

WOW, very interesting and so glad for yall that there are at least some answers!