Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Family results

We finally have the results for our entire family. There are two genes tested: DQ2 & DQ8.
What is the meaning of HLA DQ2/DQ8? As an autoimmune disease, Celiac Disease is the consequence of the interplay between genes and the environment (gluten). We don’t know all the necessary genes to develop CD; however, HLA DQ2 and/or DQ8 are absolutely necessary to develop the disease. Since 1/3 of the general population also have these genes, the presence of DQ2 or DQ8 does not imply that the person will develop CD, rather, that they have a genetic compatibility with CD. Conversely, the absence of DQ2/DQ8 almost certainly rules out CD.

That being said, here are our results:
*Carson tested positive for DQ2
*Alex tested positive for DQ8
*Nathan tested positive for DQ2 & DQ8
*Mel tested negative

As you read previously, it doesn't mean that any of the three will absolutely have CD, it just means that the genes are there that cause it. It's our job to eliminate the "environmental factors" so the disease is not triggered.

Our doctor believes that Nathan's type 1 diabetes is a results of repetitive exposure to gluten. I tend to agree with him. The true blessing is having this knowledge now so we can hopefully prevent these types of complications in the future for our children.

Here I have been thinking all along that I have done so well with Carson's diet. Just today, I learned that hot dogs contain gluten (a food he ate for 6 months on a daily basis) and his current staple, Sprouts rotisserie chicken, uses flour in the skin and spices that contain gluten. Ahh! Clearly, I have a lot to learn.

Thank goodness, I have access to amazing resources. I am meeting with a nutritionist and she's given me a recommended meal plan for the family. Yesterday, we met at Whole Foods and did a store tour together. Next week, we are taking a hands-on cooking class with Dr. Claudia Pillow. I am looking forward to Nathan being a part of the cooking class and learning with me. He's had such an incredible attitude and is "all in." That really helps! We are going to be spending a lot of time in the kitchen together, and we are excited to learn. It helps when you have an amazing spouse :)

Last night, we explained everything to Alex. We used puppets and a lot of humor to explain how and why we can't eat wheat. She absolutely understands and seems to be on board! We are on day 3 of GF in our house! Here's to being on the road to recovery (I hope!)


Andrew said...

Mel you are a great mom and Nathan is a wonderful dad!! Love you!!

shannon houlihan said...

Sorry that was from me not Drew!

Sally said...

hang in there melfa!!! you are doing soooo good!! love you so!! sorry about those hot dogs and that chicken!! booooo!! :(