Developmental Delays Resolved with Gluten Free Diet

“Stories from You”

My son, Benjamin, was diagnosed as having a severe gluten-intolerance
when he was almost 5 years old. It had taken us over 4 years to
finally figure out what was going on in his little body. While he was
a good baby, he had tons of intestinal problems, which we were unable
to pinpoint. We were also somewhat concerned that he seemed to be
missing several developmental milestones: Ben didn’t sit up until 9mo.
He didn’t crawl until 15mo. He didn’t walk until 19mo. At about
14mo he started having uncontrollable tantrums….ones that were very
out-of-the-ordinary for a child his age. And they persisted and
persisted over months and years. I remember saying to my husband,
“Why is our 3 year old so unhappy? This isn’t normal!” Ben would go
from moderately happy to extremely upset in a matter of seconds and it
was rare that he would recover by the end of the day. He also started
to show signs of Sensory Integration Disorder; it took over 45 minutes
to get dressed in the morning because all of his clothing ‘bothered’
him. 4 out of 5 days a week we brought him to school in tears because
getting dressed was so upsetting to him. We were in Occupational
Therapy once a week and nothing was improving.

Finally, we brought Ben to a holistic chiropractor and a D.O. who both
thought he might have a gluten intolerance. After going over his
history, as well as my pregnancy history, they both concluded that we
should try him on a gluten-free diet. I was so scared. All Ben ate
were products that had gluten. He was so picky I had no idea what I
would feed him. We met with a functional nutritionist who guided us
through the process of going gluten-free and we gave it a try. Within
3 weeks, I was in her office, crying, because this diet had completely
changed our lives. Ben no longer had these debilitating mood swings.
He was feeling so good that he would comment, often, throughout the
week that he was having the ‘best day ever!’ Ben also began to try
new foods. He was a different kid, a happy kid.

That was 9 months ago. Since then, Ben has grown 5 inches and gained
5 lbs. Now he is exactly where he should be. Most of his sensory
issues are gone. He still has difficulties with clothing textures and
shoes, but he was actually able to put on a tee-ball uniform and
cleats for his first game last week. I never even thought this would
be a possibility. Plus, getting dressed now takes 5 minutes, and
usually is without tears. Ben’s stomach issues have subsided. He no
longer has chronic diarrhea and stomach aches. And most importantly,
my son is a happy, thriving, growing kindergartener. I am now able to
enjoy my son. Going gluten-free has improved our entire family’s
quality of life and I am forever grateful for our practitioners who
recognized Ben’s symptoms and helped to eradicate them.

Robin Kaplan, M.Ed., IBCLC, RLC
International Board Certified Lactation Consultant
Manager, San Diego Breastfeeding Center, LLC
www.sdbfc.com
619-606-2211

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