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Invisible Illness Awareness Week

Friday, September 17, 2010

Did you know it was Invisible Illness Awareness Week?

Maybe not - 'cause it's invisible!

Well.... you know. As invisible as it can be.

There's lots of illnesses that are invisible. But I'm going to blogging about those that are nearest and dearest to my heart.

I'm not going to start with Diabetes...

No, I'm going to start with Celiac Disease.

The Celiac Disease Foundation Website ( explains it as this...

Celiac Disease (CD) is a lifelong inherited autoimmune condition affecting
children and adults. When people with CD eat foods that contain gluten, it
creates an immune-mediated toxic reaction that causes damage to the small
intestine and does not allow food to be properly absorbed. Even small amounts of
gluten in foods can affect those with CD and cause health problems. Damage can
occur to the small bowel even when there are no symptoms present.

Gluten is the common name for the proteins in specific grains that are harmful to
persons with celiac disease. These proteins are found in ALL forms of wheat
(including durum, semolina, spelt, kamut, einkorn and faro) and related grains
rye, barley and triticale and MUST be eliminated.

How's this for invisible?? SPELL CHECK didn't even recognize Celiac!!

I had no idea about the complexities of this illness. I knew a little about it before D ... but I thought that it wasn't that big of a deal. Diet change. You could eat a little... just not a lot.... of gluten. That's like saying that Sweetpea can eat a LITTLE bit of carbs without insulin. Just doesn't work that way.

Oh how clueless we are until it smacks us in the face!

Have you ever paid attention to what foods contain gluten... wheat... Well, it's pretty much EVERYTHING!!!

I can't imagine dealing with celiac on top of diabetes. But many do...

Sweetpea has been tested for celiac and was negative. But it's not uncommon for people with diabetes to also have celiac. So we'll keep testing... just to make sure.

There are some great resources out there for folks with Celiac... and some great blogs...

Check out Wendy at Candy Hearts. She has celiac and so does super sweet Sugar - her T1D kiddo.

Check out Gluten Free Eating. This family also deals with Celiac and Type 1. Lots of great recipes!

And now for a laugh...

Sweetpea LOVES the Berenstain Bears. LOVES. THEM. She wants to know where Bear Country is. She wants to go there on vacation. She asked me the other night a question and said something about playing with her cubs.....

SO..... when Sweetpea visits the library, she often gets Berenstain Bear books. At a recent visit with Mimi and Gaga, Sweetpea picked up the book, The Berenstain Bears' Big Bedtime Book.

This is a cute book filled with traditional stories and fairy tales.... but they all have a twist!

My favorite was The Little Red Hen.

In this story, the characters all HELPED make the bread. They all pitched in!

And at the end, when the Little Red Hen asked who would help her eat the bread..... THAT was when they said, "Not, I."

The reason? They are all allergic to wheat.


So, I dedicate this story to all my dear friends fighting the invisible battle with gluten. Fight on, friends. Stay strong. I know life isn't easy. I know cooking might well be a nightmare. But at least the Berenstain Bears "get it"!

**If you want to get a copy of this book for yourself, click here for a link. I get nothing from this... just the joy of knowing that you're reading a great book! **



  1. Awwwww.....Thanks for this SUPER SWEET GLUTEN FREE post!!!!!!!!!

    I think it's hilarious that the Berenstain Bears have a story about wheat allergies :)

    Celiac is more complicated than an allergy, but gluten free food is making quite a push these days and it seems like there's constantly new and exciting alternatives available :)

    I really appreciate the Gluten Free love from the DOC....YOU GUYS ROCK!

    By the way, it DRIVES ME CRAZY everytime I type the word Celiac and it comes up as a spelling error!!!!

  2. Nice job, Hallie! You even have a song to match the post!

    I like that Sweetpea wants to go to Bear Country on vacation! It's funny how these stories are so real to our little ones. My kids have all liked the Berenstain bears, too. :)

  3. AWESOME and THOUGHTFUL post for our buddies dealing with Celiac Disease. I cannot even imagine having that in the mix with "d".

    My kids are STILL huge Berenstain Bears fans. We have tons of their books and they love the cartoon. I love the wholesome stories told with great lessons. YES, don't mock that I said that I love "wholesome" stories...xoxo

  4. Oh my goodness, I just feel like you are my new best friend! Brian Doss from the JDRF in Northwest Arkansas lead me to your blog and I just feel so...hmmm, what's the home! First of all, I haven't found anyone whose child was diagnosed at 3 or earlier so that is a relief. Our son was diagnosed at 3, exactly one month ago today. Also, I think my daughter and your daughter could be twins (a year apart, but still)! Right down to the Gymboree Watermelon dress! I so wish that we could come to your JDRF walk. I can't tell you how many times we sing "A dream is a wish your heart makes..." We LOVE Cinderella! ;) Aiden, too. Ha! But I just know that I will learn so much from you. Thank you for sharing all of this on your blog.

  5. Ketone comes up in spell check too... what is that?? I could not imagine anything else on top of D either. Maybe I shouldn't write that just in case someone is wanting to prove me wrong?!?!

  6. I love the Berenstain Bears! That is awesome that you thought of Celiac's disease. Very nice post.

  7. Thanks for the Celiac shout's the cherry on top of D I tell you!

  8. Sick of Carbs coming up in spell check too, but that is me being picky becuase it's just a nickname for Carbohydrates and all...but about your awesome post...I give props to the celiac peeps of our community. Another thing to think about, I think my brain would officially explode!


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