Welcome GFAF Expo Friends!

2014SECExpo_Facebook

Shout out to the Gluten & Allergen Free (GFAF) Expo and Secaucus, NJ!

You sure know how to party!

Had a great time meeting everyone and checking out all of the new products.

My head is still spinning and I haven’t finished eating my way through my swag bag goodies!

 

 

Thanks to everyone who signed up for my newsletter so that we can keep in touch and bought my book, A Little Bit CAN Hurt: The Shocking Truth About Food Allergies—Why We Should Care, What We Can Do.

I must say that what really struck me when speaking with so many of you (I think they estimated 2,000-3,000 people over the course of the weekend) was

1. the varied presentation of your gluten intolerance and Celiac Disease

2. the delay in your diagnosis.

 

Why do you think that is?

 

I met people who presented with migraines, belly pain, endometriosis flare-ups, and “brain fog” just to name a few.

Many people told me that their diagnosis was delayed 5-10 years!

 

I thought I’d share a few stats about Celiac Disease from the University of Maryland Medical Center but first, check out these products!

 

GFAF 1

GFAF 2

For more pictures, check out my GFAF Expo Pinterest board!

Okay, now for some facts….

(Information below from the University of Maryland Medical Center .)

Definition

Celiac disease is a condition that creates inflammation in the small intestine, and damage in the lining. This prevents important components of food from being absorbed. The damage to the lining of the intestine comes from a reaction to eating gluten, which is found in wheat, rye, and possibly oats.

Causes

The exact cause of celiac disease is unknown.

Symptoms

The symptoms of celiac disease can be different from person to person. This can make diagnosis difficult. For example, one person may have constipation, a second may have diarrhea, and a third may have no problem with stools.

Gastrointestinal symptoms include:

Abdominal pain, bloating, gas, or indigestion

Constipation

Decreased appetite (may also be increased or unchanged)

Diarrhea, either constant or off and on

Lactose intolerance (common when the person is diagnosed, usually goes away after treatment)

Nausea and vomiting

Stools that are foul smelling, oily, or and stick to the toilet when flushed

Unexplained weight loss (although people can be overweight or of normal weight)

Other problems that can develop over time because the intestines do not absorb key nutrients include:

Easy bruising

Depression or anxiety

Fatigue

Growth delay in children

Hair loss

Itchy skin with a rash (dermatitis herpetiformis)

Missed menstrual periods

Mouth ulcers

Muscle cramps and joint pain

Nosebleeds

Seizures

Tingling or numbness in the hands or feet

Unexplained short height

Children with celiac disease may have:

Defects in the tooth enamel and changes in tooth color

Delayed puberty

Diarrhea, constipation, fatty or foul-smelling stools, nausea, or vomiting

Irritable and fussy behavior

Poor weight gain

Slowed growth and shorter than normal height for their age

Treatment

Celiac disease cannot be cured…Do not eat foods and beverages or take medicines that contain wheat, barley, rye, and possibly oats.

 ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

LOTS of symptoms which likely cause a delay in diagnosis.  Knowledge is key!

For more pictures, check out my GFAF Expo Pinterest board!

 

Questions:

So how did your gluten intolerance, celiac disease or food allergies present?

How long until you were diagnosed?

 

Be SAFE,

Donna
Supporting the Food Allergy Circle

Donna DeCosta, MD ( @foodallermomdoc ) is founder of FoodAllergyMomDoc an online community dedicated to supporting the Food Allergy Circle with tips, ideas and resources and author of A Little Bit CAN Hurt: The Shocking Truth about Food Allergies — Why We Should Care, What We Can Do.

 

 

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Free tickets –New Jersey GFAF Expo

2014SECExpo_Facebook

 

Anyone interested in attending the GFAF (Gluten & Allergen Free) Expo next weekend in Secaucus, NJ on September 6th and 7th for free?

Enter your name.

Random drawing of 5 names (one ticket per person) on Labor Day, September 1st at 9 pm EST.

 

 

Be SAFE,

Donna
Supporting the Food Allergy Circle

Donna DeCosta, MD ( @foodallermomdoc ) is founder of FoodAllergyMomDoc an online community dedicated to supporting the Food Allergy Circle with tips, ideas and resources and author of  A Little Bit CAN Hurt: The Shocking Truth about Food Allergies — Why We Should Care, What We Can Do.

 

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Food Allergies and School… Scary? Not necessarily.

Summer is winding down and school is about to start.  Is your stomach doing flip-flops?

If your answer is yes, you’re not alone!

For years mine did.

Admittedly, I still get anxious about the start of school because of the change in teachers, classmates, parents and schedules.

But my message to you regarding sending your food-allergic child to school is the same as with any food allergy-related challenge – what may be overwhelming at first becomes manageable over time with education, preparation and dedication.

The good news?

Below are 3 videos to help you in each area.  The content was written by me and Meg Carey, editor of A Little Bit CAN Hurt.  The videos are courtesy of my kids.

Here’s to a successful and safe school year!

 

Back-to-School Preparation

PART 1 OF 3

5 Tasks to Perform Outside of School

 

Transcript~

1.   Refill emergency medications weeks prior to the start of school

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Food Allergies? Avoid These 8 Summer Camp Mistakes

Summer CampSoccer camp, lacrosse camp, religious camp, basketball camp, robotics camp, nature camp, day camp and overnight camp.  Over the past 13 years, my food-allergic sons have attended their fair share (and more!) of summer camps.

Although it can be nerve wracking to send your food-allergic child to summer camp, it is possible for them to have a fun and safe experience and for you to be a relatively “happy camper” as well.

Here are 8 mistakes to avoid:

Mistake #1: Checking the availability of medications the night before camp. 

  1. Review medication expiration date days/weeks prior to camp. Continue reading
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Food Allergy Happenings in the month of May

I can’t believe it is already June!! The month of May flew by but was really exciting. I have several events to tell you about and so many people to thank.

First    **new** -Food Allergy Action Month

fare logo I hope you saw that FARE declared the month of May to be Food Allergy Action Month. In addition to Food Allergy Awareness Week we now get to raise awareness all month long. Although it just ended, check out their site for some great bookmarks, posters, sample tweets etc. at www.foodallergy.org. Increasing awareness can be a full time project! I wore my teal and I got lots of comments on my teal nail polish!

 

Second  The 2014 Charity Golf Classic & $210,000!


Dr. WoodI had the privilege to play a small part in a terrific annual fundraiser, the 2014 Charity Golf Classic. Every May, this amazing group holds a golf fundraiser at the beautiful Bulle Rock Golf Course in order to raise money for Dr. Robert Wood’s food Continue reading

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Better U Series – Learning about food allergies makes YOU a better YOU!

 

Del TechAt the request of FARE, I had the opportunity to give a food allergy talk to the Delaware Technical Community College students, staff and community members as a part of their Better U Series on April 8th.

 

Suzanne Marsh, a science teacher at the college and creator of the series, was a wonderful help and did a fabulous job in organizing the program. We had a great turnout with a very enthusiastic group. Participants were engaged, listened intently and asked insightful questions.

I am so thankful to have the support of many in the food allergy community who supported this event by sending books, labels, food products, pamphlets, brochures and coupons!

Specifically, I’d like to thank Smart Allergy Friendly EducationNamaste FoodsGoDairyFree, Enjoy Life FoodsSunButterFAREMylan, Gordy and the Magic DietSurf Sweets, The No Biggie Bunch, and Sun Cups!  Check out some of their wonderful, Continue reading

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Not believing the “hoopla” about food allergies

RespectOne morning while reading the numerous emails in my inbox, I saw this one that stopped me in my tracks and about brought me to tears. It’s moments like this that I know I did the right thing.

What thing?

Writing and publishing my book A Little Bit CAN Hurt: The Shocking Truth about Food Allergies–Why We Should Care, What We Can Do.

Although it took me 7 years with help from my editor, Meg Carey, as well as numerous family, friends, and professionals, I am thankful that I persevered.

 

With permission, I share Laura’s letter…

Thank you Donna!!  

     Since we discovered the boys’ food allergies, Jim’s father has never quite “gotten” it.  About a month ago, he kindly suggested to us that we feed them a little bit of peanut butter to see what happened.  He did not really believe all the “hoopla” about food allergies.  

     Seriously, this is no joke.  I gave him our copy of your book and asked him to read Continue reading

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Maryland Restaurant Awareness Bill Support

dinnerAction needed today, February 19th!

 

Would you like Maryland restaurants to have staff trained on food allergies?
Would such legislation make it safer and more enjoyable for your family to eat out?

 

If so, email your state senator to ask for their support for legislation sponsored by Senator Raskin (SB409) that would require training and awareness of food allergies in Maryland restaurants.

The legislation is being heard in the Senate Finance Committee tomorrow,  February 20th.

General information from FARE
Form letter from FARE

Be SAFE,

Donna
Supporting the Food Allergy Circle

Donna DeCosta, MD ( @foodallermomdoc ) is founder of FoodAllergyMomDoc an online community dedicated to supporting the Food Allergy Circle with tips, ideas and resources.

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My Baby: What If’s, Flashbacks and a Higher Power –Inside the Mind of This Allergy Mom

bigstock-Mother-Caressing-Baby-147849As I sit here writing my thoughts on the back of my son’s emergency room discharge instructions, it’s probably obvious that I have good news and bad news.

The bad news?  My “baby,” now a tween, had an allergic reaction to something he ate at school which necessitated the immediate deployment of his allergy action plan involving epinephrine, a call to 911 and an ambulance ride to the emergency room.

The good news?  He was treated quickly and effectively and discharged from the emergency room.

When I received the call from the school nurse, I was at work and had just sat down to eat Continue reading

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FREE Kindle giveaway follow up!

Quick follow up to the FREE Kindle giveaway of A Little Bit CAN Hurt.

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Thanks to you and my awesome launch team, which included families from the USA, Italy, UK, and Australia over 10,000 books were downloaded worldwide over a 3 day period!

 

Thank you to everyone who tweeted, posted on Facebook, pinned on Pinterest and shared by word of mouth.

 

 

So…what next?

As a concerned group, let’s mobilize, work together and move forward!

Are there any food allergy issues that keep you up at night?  You are not alone.  We are here to help.

Please leave a concern in the comments below or email me at donna@foodallergymomdoc.com.

 

Be SAFE!

Donna
Supporting the Food Allergy Circle

Donna DeCosta, MD ( @foodallermomdoc ) is founder of FoodAllergyMomDoc an online community dedicated to supporting the Food Allergy Circle with tips, ideas and resources.

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