I Was A Banana Baby

I was what was called a banana baby.  I am old enough  so that when symptoms of celiac first appeared (when I was about one year old), all the doctors could do was to eliminate everything but bananas from my diet, and slowly begin adding foods again.  This was back in 1958.  I began losing weight almost immediately after I was weaned and began eating solid food. I lost so much weight that I began looking like one of the malnourished babies that lived in a third world country.  My parents ended up taking me to the doctor, who after thinking of all the possible diagnoses that ended up with me being dead within six months, decided to give celiac a try.  I began growing and gaining weight immediately.


Unfortunately, that is not the end of the story.  My mother, thinking celiac is something that can be grown out of, reintroduced wheat to my diet.  While I  didn't exactly go back to where I was before, I stopped gaining weight like I did, and my growth slowed considerably  despite my voracious appetite.  I ate like crazy and never gained an ounce.  I was still skin and bones.   In the sixth grade  was only 63 pounds.  I developed so many red pimple-like marks people began calling me Acneback.    My back was extremely dry because of this.  I  passed gas all the time.   In spite of my appetite I always complained about bread, and refused to eat it.


It wasn't until I was in my 30s that I learned enough about CD that I began to adjust my diet and finally cut out the gluten.   

Griff25 Griff25
51-55, M
2 Responses Feb 16, 2010

I also am a banana baby, diagnosed in 1943-44 during world war 2. Like you, the doctors thought I'd outgrown it by the time I was six, so during school years I could eat anything, although my mother was somewhat leery of giving me much bread and such and I had lots of stomach aches. Also, by the time I was 20, I was really sick. This was in 1962 and the doctors still thought celiac was a childhood disease by got in touch with my paediatrician anyway and so I was on a gluten-free diet for the next 30 years. Then in 1993, I was medivac-ed out of Nigeria with a different illness, in the process of diagnosis, the gastro doctor did a biopsy (brand new procedure then) and said that not only did I not have celiac, but never did and could eat anything. Since I still didn't like bread and other flour-based products, it took another 10 years for me to get so sick again that I was rediagnosed and now have been happily back on gluten free. We raised 3 children and travelled quite a bit while I was gluten-free and never had any problems. Now I find that I am much more sensitive, and if I could remember the name of that doctor who misdiagnosed me, I'd sure give him a piece of my mind.

hi griff25 I to am a banana baby I was diagnoised in scotland 68 yrs ago I spent the first 3 yrs of life in hospital not because I was so sick but bananas was the only cure back in thoes days and like you when I came home from the hospital it was assumed I was cured and like you I had that same rash but it was all over my face blisters that would itch so bad I wanted to scrach my face off the blisters would weep then dry out causing scabs I was called scabby face my mom called it my itchum not a very happy child hood fast foward 20 yrs and so sick of being so sick no dr could tell me what was wrong and others said it was all in my head , I always new I had celiac but new nothing about gluten . I went one day with a friend on her dr visit and she asked me if I would go in with her it was to be the day that changed my life the dr kept looking at me and I just new he was wondering if I was contagest , he said that looks like you have DH I asked what it was he said its caused from celiac disease he took a biopsie that day and my life has changed so much no more scaby face no more migrain no more CD symptoms thanks for sharing sorry I went on so long but you stirred that story cheers