Although I didn’t know anything about CSF leaks before Jon’s diagnosis in 2009 and didn’t know much about Type 1 Diabetes when Turbo was diagnosed in 2013, my experience with Celiac Disease was different. Because Type 1 and Celiac Disease often accompany one another, it’s now common to test Type 1 diabetics automatically for Celiac Disease. Thankfully, another mom whose son also has Type 1 gave me a heads-up about this automatic testing. When Turbo’s blood work came back positive for Celiac Disease, I wasn’t as unprepared as I had been for our family’s previous diagnoses.
Since gluten-free diets have become a regular buzz word in today’s world, I knew what a gluten-free diet was, and I also knew it was used to treat Celiac Disease. Although I still had a lot to learn about gluten-free eating and Celiac Disease, even knowing what they were was a good start.
However, mastering the art of gluten-free cooking in addition to carb counting and insulin administration seemed overwhelming. As we’ve adjusted, though, it’s become clear that Celiac Disease may be one of Turbo’s biggest blessings in disguise. High-carb meals cause uncontrollably-high blood sugar, but when we were forced to replace wheat flours with almond flour and nut butters (all low-carb options), we saw an instant improvement in Turbo’s diabetes control, so much so that I believe that he is actually healthier with Celiac Disease than he ever would have been without it!
I’ve never been a decent cook, so in a way, I think that having to learn to cook gluten-free was probably easier for me since I’d never really learned to cook well in the first place. I didn’t have much to un-learn! It’s rather funny that I now spend a large portion of my day creating, testing, or altering recipes to suit our family’s new way of eating.
If I ever discover or create something worthwhile, I’ll be sure to share it on the blog. Until then, I’ll keep creating and hunting online for gluten-free, diabetic-friendly recipes.
Update: We've now embraced a grain-free, dairy-free lifestyle for Turbo after learning that a strict gluten-free diet wasn't enough to overcome his celiac symptoms. It's been a long journey, but we are hopeful that this new endeavor will help his digestive system heal and prevent the onset of any more autoimmune issues.