Weekly Update February 12 2016

In the News

A recent report on CBS news talked about concerns over for-profit labs and genetic testing. A company, Pathway Genomics, was making claims that they can detect cancer via "liquid biopsy." Unfortunately, their research about the effectiveness of this product wasn't being done until after the released their product for sale. "Tests like these don't have to prove their claims before they go to market," said reporter Jim Axelrod. The FDA does not track companies like Pathway Genomics, and CBS estimates that are 10,000 labs developing these for-market tests.

I have concerns about genetic labs like this. Concerns that they may pray on the fears and concerns of those with illnesses and food allergies. Please remember that carrying the "Celiac gene" does not necessarily mean that you have a Celiac Disease diagnosis. Celiac Disease is tested via blood work, taken while the patient is STILL consuming gluten. It is also confirmed via small bowel biopsy, again while consuming gluten. The website Kids With Food Allergies lists scientifically safe and proven ways to have your child tested.

In the Kitchen

It's winter in Michigan, a.k.a germ season. And nothing makes you feel warm and feel better than a warm bowl of soup. I've been living off of The Kitchn's Red Lentil Soup recipe. Full of vegetables, fiber and iron-rich red lentils, it's loaded with nutrition and light on calories. It's great served with a baguette from BFree- Gluten Free bakery.

In the Mail

This week I received a box of broths, sauces and gravies from Full Flavor Foods. I'll be writing more about them in the weeks to come, but I'm most excited about their cheese sauce mix. Think instant macaroni and cheese that's way better than Kraft. You can read a bit about them from one of my previous GFAF Expo posts.

In My Opinion
In case you missed it, it's been a week of lots of opinions, by lots of people. It all surrounds this article on the Orlando Sentinel. A mother wrote about why she chose to hide her 11-year-old daughter's Celiac Disease diagnosis not only from those around her, but from her daughter herself. For weeks she didn't tell her what was wrong, nor made her follow the diet. Writers like Gluten Dude, Hannah Ross Crane, and others have chimed in about their take on the issue.

It was quite a gut check when I read this article. While  I wasn't diagnosed until my 20's, my dad's diagnosis was hidden from me when I was young. I was shocked when my mom took me to the gastro for testing, and explained that my dad had "Celiac Sprue." And that my grandmother had it as well. What????????

I sometimes think about how my life might have been different. I wonder if I had seen my family members, not only with a disease, but follow the prescribed diet, that it would have opened my eyes and heart to a whole world of people. Maybe I would have gone to medical school. Maybe I would have better understood the needs of fellow school mates with food allergies. Maybe my parents would have better understood the genetic connection and had me tested as a child. Maybe I would have been saved from embarrassing bathroom issues in college and extreme fatigue.

I understand not wanting to burden a young child. I understand that a Celiac Disease diagnosis is not easy. But it does last a lifetime, has long lasting health and emotional effects. And sometimes when we protect our kids, we may just stand in the way of the amazing people they will become. Joining the ranks of the Celiac community has personally been an awe-inspiring experience.

What's your opinion on this issue? Were you diagnosed as a child? Do you have children who have been diagnosed?  How do you find the balance in empowering them to handle their disease while at the same time safe-guarding their hearts?