Healthy Living

Jon Stewart Discusses his Son's Battle with Celiac Disease

Jon Stewart Discusses his Son's Battle with Celiac Disease

Photo: Comedian Jon Stewart. Source: Hollywood Life

Famous comedian and celebrity Jon Stewart has opened up about his son’s personal battle with celiac disease in 2014, sitting down with Jennifer Esposito to discuss her memoir Jennifer's Way. For those who have this disease, the effects of it on day to day life is real. This disease can leave children missing out on typical favorite childhood foods and even exclude them from some events. Celebrities are also not immune to this disease, and those like Jon Stewart, who open up and share these issues, bring in more awareness and support for their fans who also suffer from it. 

For some time, Steward has been looking for a better way to address his son's illness, even going so far to make sure that people know the difference between gluten-free trends and those who have to be on a gluten-free diet for their health. While those with celiac disease know that gluten is harmful towards their health, others are quick to judge and patients feel like they have a target on their back since they feel like they do have to defend themselves. For some, even if they ingest a small fragment of gluten, they could have a severe reaction.

There can be severe interactions with the body that requires emergency physicians to step in. With the gluten-free trend going on, there have been more options out there. However, because of the confusion between the trend and the illness, those with celiac disease are still at risk for contamination, even if they follow a strict diet. As shown in several studies, restaurant might not even take someone seriously because of the diet trend. Its important for everyone to know the difference between the trend and the illness as it will give people a better understanding. 

For those who are like Stewart's son, the differences can be life altering. Even eating out can cause some serious worries, which is why parents with a child diagnosed with celiac disease do not go out to eat often--unless they are sure the restaurant is celiac-friendly. 

Celiac disease affects millions of people, with the numbers continuing to grow. While this issue is being addressed and the numbers will come down in the future once proper treatment is in place, awareness right now is vital. Restaurants and other areas need to be more up front about various food and food handling practices. Just because one uses gluten-free ingredients does not mean the food is entirely safe. As mentioned before, even the smallest fracture of gluten can cause a severe reaction, so the gluten-free product must not be in contact with gluten for it to be safe. 

Growing up with celiac disease

Growing up with this disease is never an easy task; it can change the life of a child and those who are around them. This type of disease can even be the difference between allowing a child to attend a party or not. Although there are different types of issues with this disease, knowing the differences between non-celiac gluten sensitivity and celiac disease can make all of the difference. But, one thing's for certain. Having a child with celiac disease has been requires both patience and understanding.

Now more than ever, children are facing different obstacles that their parents haven't even thought of. Adding celiac disease to the mix can completely alter their life, so it's important for parents to understand what their child is going through. With celiac disease, there is no way to break the diet with any form of dietary change that involves gluten. The actions of doing just that could be very severe and affect the child long term.

Ignoring this issue can also be a recipe for disaster. The usage of gluten in a diet for those who have celiac disease can lead to damage to the small intestine and put them at risk for developing depression. With these side effects, knowing a better way to communicate is far easier than managing the side effects from consuming gluten.

This disease can also cause some kids to feel left out. Feeling left out of an event is never something that is easy to understand, especially for children and pre-teens. This may confuse your children in the long-run, as they will have trouble understanding why they cannot eat certain things that other children can. It's essential to have a physician or gastroenterologist who understands these issues as well, so they can not only be aware, but also help you explain to your child why they have to take extra precautions. Having someone who doesn't understand can only make everything worse.

While there might not be a cure for the disease, there are researchers working everyday to discover more about it. It could take years for a breakthrough, but with continued and supported research, this is something that can be done. For those who are worried about holidays and children with celiac disease, looking for different activities beforehand is highly suggested. Look for gluten-free and allergy friendly cookies to bake or host a gluten-free safe party for them.

Making sure that kids feel involved will allow them to accept these changes. From Jon Stewart’s son to those all across the globe, celiac disease can impact a child's life in various ways. Parents need to learn to make the right choices and allow themselves room to breathe. This issue can cause tension between couples with kids even, as different parenting styles can come into play there.

No matter what issues one might face, getting emotional help for both caretakers and the child involved is suggested if a child appears to be having issues with their emotional health. Finding out what works for a certain individual is not something that will happen overnight; it will take time and energy. Look for resources and stories out there. Inspiration can come in many forms, but will continue to grow if one feeds into the positive aspects of a lifestyle that is focused on a celiac free way of living. It is not easy changing up a diet for a family after a diagnosis.

Other children without this disease might not understand why foods cannot come into contact with the food, leading to some hard feelings and a sense of things being changed. Help is out there when you need it, from programs to support groups, there is always someone you can talk to. You do not need to be alone. Not only is Jon Stewart a comedian, he's also a concerned parent with a child suffering from celiac disease. And, like you, he is trying to provide his children with the best life he can, and standing up against those who believe celiac disease is made-up. From mild gluten intolerance to celiac disease and the gluten-free fad, it's important to understand these differences and make others understand that the difference exists.