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I was told by doctors that my daughter only had an upset stomach for 18 months, but it was a life-threatening condition

A SCHOOLGIRL suffered from severe stomach problems and lost weight dramatically for 18 months while doctors overlooked her potentially life-threatening condition.

Isabelle was too ill to compete in her gymnastics and spend time with her classmates — but medics dismissed it as an upset stomach.

Isabelle suffered from stomach problems for 18 months before doctors diagnosed her with celiac disease

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Isabelle suffered from stomach problems for 18 months before doctors diagnosed her with celiac diseaseCredit: Delivered
The schoolgirl was too ill to participate in her gymnastics competitions

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The schoolgirl was too ill to participate in her gymnastics competitionsCredit: Delivered

The youngster showed the first signs of illness at the age of five, when she appeared pale and lacking in energy.

Her symptoms progressively worsened, with severe abdominal pain and bloating leaving her too tired to do much at all.

It was then months before her GP referred her to a specialist – and another 18 before a diagnosis was finally made.

Her father Peter, from Conwy, North Wales, said: “Isabelle did not seem to grow as much as some of her friends and was often bloated.

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“She was also pale and losing weight.

“We kept going back to our GP but they kept telling us it was just an upset stomach.

“It took a real effort to finally get her referred to our local hospital for a blood test.

“Even with a referral, it still took almost a year and a half to get a full diagnosis.”

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Isabelle was eventually diagnosed celiac disease – a serious, lifelong disease in which the body’s immune system attacks its own tissues.

Left untreated, it can lead to anemia, osteoporosis, infertility and even certain types of cancer.

Peter said the whole process “really eroded Isabelle’s confidence” and left her little to no strength to do what most kids love.

“She was too exhausted to play her favorite sport,” he said.

“She often had to give up her gymnastics and triathlon training and her competitions.”

Her family suspected she may have had the condition, which requires a strict gluten-free diet as its only treatment, as her grandmother and aunt both have it.

But the doctors were convinced she was simply suffering from mild stomach problems and saw no connection to it.

“If it weren’t for our family history, we’d probably still be waiting,” Peter said.

“Since the diagnosis, Isabelle has been a completely different child and we are so happy to see that she has changed and her growth is on the right track.

“We’ve adjusted her diet and taught her siblings what she can and can’t eat and also about cross-contamination to make sure everyone understands her needs.”

What is celiac disease?

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that affects one in 100 Britons.

The immune system (the body’s defense against infection) mistakenly attacks healthy tissue when it mistakes substances in gluten — a dietary protein found in wheat, rye, barley and oats — as a threat to the body.

This damages your gut (small intestine), preventing you from absorbing nutrients from food.

It can cause a range of symptoms, including diarrhea, abdominal pain, and bloating.

There is no cure, but a gluten-free diet helps control symptoms and prevent the condition’s long-term complications.

These include weak bones (osteoporosis), anemia, pregnancy complications and some types of cancer.

Isabelle, now 12, said: “Now that I’m eating the right foods I have a lot more energy and my stomach doesn’t feel full all the time.

“I can do all my favorite sports again and have also taken up my new hobbies of skiing, acting and singing.

“I want more people to know about the symptoms of celiac disease so more people get tested early, especially kids like me who may not know something might be wrong.”

Peter and Isabelle shared their experiences as Celiac UK launched its campaign to get children diagnosed faster.

Research shows that a quarter of children with the condition, which affects one in 100 people in the UK, live with pain for more than two years while awaiting diagnosis.

But once diagnosed, it can be treated and, in most cases, eliminated by eating only gluten-free foods.

Experts have urged parents to look out for fatigue, nausea, bloating, abdominal pain and slow growth as signs of the disease and to check for them with a simple test Self-Assessment Form.

dr Peter Gillett, Consultant Pediatric Gastroenterologist at the Royal Hospital for Sick Children in Edinburgh and a member of Celiac UK’s Health Advisory Council, said: “I have seen time and time again how celiac disease impacts those who suffer on a daily basis and can really destroy childhoods.

“But there’s good news – it can be managed through a carefully controlled gluten-free diet, and once gluten is removed from the diet the body begins to repair the gut lining and so symptoms diminish and stop fairly quickly in most.” on.

“I find it amazing every day how transformative the transition to a gluten-free diet can be for a child with celiac disease and their family.”

Isabelle's father, Peter, said she was like a different child now

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Isabelle’s father, Peter, said she was like a different child nowCredit: Delivered
The young woman said she finally has the energy to pursue her favorite hobbies

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The young woman said she finally has the energy to pursue her favorite hobbiesCredit: Delivered

https://www.thesun.ie/health/8562614/upset-tummy-doctors-life-threatening-condition/ I was told by doctors that my daughter only had an upset stomach for 18 months, but it was a life-threatening condition

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