Elaine writes: Although I have read "The Management of Celiac Disease" by the Drs. Haas many, many times, today I reread some of it with my newly-found background on ASD. I must share this with you. But before I start typing, be reminded that the book was published in 1951 before, I assume, autism became so well known as an entity.
For those who do not have my book with "The Celiac Story" in it, you may also wish to read "What Happened to the Cure for Celiac Disease."
The following excerpts are from Chapter 6 - Clinical Symptoms of Celiac Disease. After a long discussion on diarrhea, we come to:-
The second most common symptom of celiac disease is a typical emotional state that is evident at once in the appearance and the behavior of the patient. The apathy, the irritability and the obvious unhappiness of the child suffering from this illness has long been noted. Dr. Kleinschmidt (many references given) who was one of the first to stress the importance of psychological as well as physical treatment, described psychic abnormalities of celiac patients in regard to food and feeding. He added that those children showed no joy in play but sat daily in a corner or lay quietly.
Drs. Czerny and Keller were struck by the lack of attention to the psychological aspects of celiac disease on the part of many authors. This aspect began to receive increasing attention later, and by 1934, Dr. Schiff laid particular stress upon it. Like many others, he noted special symptoms in connection with food and feeding idiosyncracies but emphasized the facial expression which, he said, seemed to lack all joy and pleasure. He also noted, among celiac patients, a concentration of interest upon themselves rather than upon things and persons around them. Refusal, he said, was the leading symptom of their nervous constellation. He pointed out that these children are frequently hypochondriacs. The complete apathy of most celiac patients, although attributed to autointoxication by Herter is considered primarily psychogenic by Schiff and by most writers.
Such marked symptoms of irritability and apathy occur, of course, in the most severe cases. In the last decade, when more mild cases and early cases have been recognized and treated, such strong psychological symptoms have been less common. However, they may be found in some degree in almost every celiac patient. Fortunatley, they are the first symptoms to disappear with proper treatment, usually clearing up within a week or two under correct diet.
The appetite of celiac patients is affected as much by the psychological as by the physical state. In most cases the appetite is very poor, although some patients show a good appetite. Many authors have reported strange quirks in the appetitie. Dr. Kleinschmidt found that many children showed abnormal hunger and thirst, with all their interests centered upon food. He observed children who sit in the kitchen half the day and ask their mothers what they are cooking. Often these children discuss their hunger with total strangers. He also noted peculiar cravings-for wall plaster, sweepings, paper, coal and sand. On the other hand, Kleinschmidt found many children who lost all appetite and interest in food. Some would insist on eating only from a special plate or on being fed by only one person. Others insisted that their milk be strained before their eyes before they would drink it.
Drs. Lehndorff and Mautner state that appetite varies greatly; sometimes there is bulemia, sometimes complete anorexia. They, too, not a sturbbornness about certain foods which must be offered in strictly prescribed forms, prepared in a specific manner and served by a particular person.
Schiff comments on screaming and fits of rage when food is pressed on some celiac patients, and Dr. Lichtenstein observed the same thing. Dr. Stolte mentioned many children who would eat only from a special plate, using one special spoon. Schiff tell of some who take only water of milk, and of others who concentrate on one particular foods such as potatoes or ham. Some, he said, demand food only until it is brought into sight, whereupon they spurn it. He also mentioned children who reacted to the very sight of food with nausea and even with sitophobia (an insane fear of taking food).
Although extremes such as these are not frequently encountered in normal practise, the appetite is precarious. But this symptoms also reacts quickly to the proper treatment, returning to normal sometimes in a matter of days. Like all the other psychogenic disturbances associated with celiac disease, the appetite peculiarities are all secondary manifestations.
Of course the rest of the book is a masterpiece. Published in 1951 after 50 years of medical practice, considered the first doctor to cure celiac (and with SCD™) and within the year, one research paper testing 10 children turned around the whole thing to GF.