Celiac Disease and ‘Failure to Thrive’


Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disease where the body is literally attacking itself. The damage that gluten causes internally is horrific… but often times one can visually see it as well.

This is exactly what my 2 year old was facing with extreme side effects… she was malnourished, below the 0 percentile and labeled as ‘Failure to Thrive’  in her medical charts because of her lack of nutrition in her body (which believe me, I was making sure she was consuming good wholesome foods she just wasn’t benefitting from them) she also experienced skin discoloration and she even lost a good portion of the hair on her head.

Chanelle at age 2. Three Months prior to her diagnosis.

Why? Because she has #celiacdisease and as you see here… #gluten is self destructing for her little body, just as it is for YOU!

I didn’t fully see it at the time but looking back at her now… I can visually notice the side effects of her small body attacking itself!

Notice the picture above- her eyes, her coloring, belly, and this was before she lost literally chunks of hair off of her head!

The symptoms that led to her diagnosis were extreme and very scary. Some symptoms can be considered ‘typical’ to the celiac community. When you are not familiar with the disease, this can be very scary and very frustrating, especially to a desperate mother seeking answers.

She was small for her age… like 0 percentile.

She had an extended belly

Severly constipated her whole little life

Her eyes looked dark and set back

Her skin color was light

Her hair began to fall out in serious chunks…

The doctors first called it Alopecia, then kidney failure, then cancer, then leukemia… seriously what a wild, scary goose chase. But finally we go the answers we were searching for and are so grateful that we are not doing chemo, we do Gluten free!


3 Years of being completely 100% (well to the best of our knowledge- and believe me we are SUPER careful) she is doing so well… And Look at her now… she may have some gastrointestinal issues now and then but overall she is doing amazing. I think it is wonderful that with a crazy strict gluten free diet and a lot of positive speaking about celiac disease, she is doing amazing!

Chanelle at age 5. Three years of living 100% Gluten Free

👀Look at her now… to say we are proud to be #glutenfree, that would be an understatement… we are so happy to know how to keep our bodies happy and healthy!

If you are new to living a gluten free life, be patient with yourself. Stick with it! It is sooo worth it!


For more information on finding your celiac groove head over to the CeliaceCourse.

To follow our journey in realtime… follow us on Instagram @ServingCeliacs
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