Today personality Dylan Dreyer shared publicly that her six-year-old son, Calvin, was diagnosed with celiac disease “a few months ago” and that her family had been quietly dealing with this life-changing diagnosis since.
The symptoms? Calvin experienced “excruciating” pain in his stomach, which was so bad that Dreyer rushed him to the emergency room, thinking his appendix had burst.
She says it wasn’t his appendix causing the excruciating pain but gluten, a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley.
Blood work, and subsequent endoscopy, revealed that Calvin had celiac disease. This genetic autoimmune disease causes the immune system to attack the healthy tissue surrounding the small intestine every time a person with the disorder eats gluten.
Going on a gluten-free diet not only resolved Calvin’s stomach pain but also resolved an earache, which Dreyer said “wouldn’t go away,” and a lingering skin rash on top of his head.
Dreyer shared Calvin’s diagnosis on her Instagram page, where she was inundated with comments of support and encouragement from the celiac and gluten-free community.
“Wow…I feel like I’ve become part of a whole new community today,” she says. “Ever since Calvin’s celiac diagnosis, I’ve quietly been doing my research, and as a family, we’ve been figuring it all out. But today opened my eyes to how many of you have gone through the same thing.”
Celiac Disease Turns Your Life Upside-Down
Dreyer admits to knowing little about celiac disease and even what “gluten-free” meant when she saw it on a product at the grocery store, noting that it didn’t affect her at the time.
However, like anyone who finds themself part of the gluten-free community for medical reasons, Dreyer had to quickly learn that this is a very real and serious disorder that requires constant vigilance. It also requires one to tune out naysayers who write off the gluten-free diet as a “fad.”
She also learned that creating a safe, gluten-free home requires much effort. She talks about how she had to clean and scrub her kitchen, replace many kitchen items, and learn a new way of cooking and baking.
She says she has been learning to make gluten-free recipes, including crusty French rolls, and recognizes the challenges ahead, particularly when it comes to cross-contamination.
“Cross-contamination is scary not just in the home but also in restaurants,” says Dreyer.
Calvin Is Thriving
The good news is that Calvin says he feels “terrific” and is feeling “1,000 percent better” since going gluten-free a few months ago.
If you’ve been recently diagnosed with celiac disease and need support and guidance from a nutrition professional, consider taking my SIGNATURE Gluten-Free Course to help you get started.
For other celebrities diagnosed with celiac disease and gluten disorders, check out my Complete List of Gluten-Free Celebrities. I’ve also recently profiled Tarek El Moussa, who was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2021.