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Diagnosis of Celiac Disease: That's how Paul (9) lives with the disease

When Paul Poschmann, 9, goes on holiday with his parents, not only swimwear, sunscreen and sandals, but also toast and toasters end up in his suitcase. Because when it comes to food, a nine-year-old has to beware of hell. If something goes wrong in his neck, he can get really sick.

– Nine-year-old Paul Poschmann of Taufkirchen suffers from celiac disease for food intolerance. If he drinks gluten-containing foods, his intestinal mucosa becomes inflamed. This can have serious consequences. There is no cure for drugs. The small intestinal mucosa can only regenerate under a strict diet. Changing your diet is not just a challenge for Paul.

Symptoms start at the age of six. "During the winter months, he was suddenly ached by his stomach – again and again and really strong," says Father Michael Poschmann. The fact that the son is constantly complaining. "He's never sick." Well the Poschmann's go to the pediatrician – several times, but without any improvement. The doctor excludes a number of possible causes and eventually orders a blood test. This gives the first hint: there are antibodies in Paul's blood that can be an indicator of gluten intolerance. A sample of tissue from the small intestine is taken at the Starnberg Children's Clinic. It provides definitive proof: Paul has celiac disease.

The diagnosis was a shock

Although the Poschmann's have already dealt with the clinical picture after the blood test, they have to swallow the final result: "On the one hand, we were relieved to finally have the result," says Michael Poschmann. "On the other hand – especially with her husband – some panic ensued. She was worried that our lives would have to change completely."

It doesn't get so bad. First of all, it’s about shifting Paul’s food. "My wife immediately sent me to buy a freezer," the 43-year-old recalls. For many gluten-free frozen foods.

The toaster comes with travel

Meanwhile, the whole family at home eats gluten free. "Paul has no siblings. That makes it a little easier, of course," says Father. Gluten-free products are hard to find in the poschmann household. Only in the upper kitchen shelf can you store normal toast or bread. But if you eat it, you have to be extra careful. "When I cut my bread, I have to be careful that no crumbs remain on the plate." Even the smallest pieces of gluten-containing bread can lead to inflammation with Paul. "

"McDonald's became our friend"

In recent years, Poschmann's preferred holiday destination has been Italy. "You can buy a lot of gluten-free goods," the father explains. The problem there is Essentechnisch. Because there is virtually no food in the freeway areas for Paul. "McDonald's became our friend because of this," Michael Poschmann candidly admits. Not only that, the fast food chain offers gluten free fries. There are also gluten-free burgers in Austria and Italy. "That's great for Paul."

In general, a nine-year-old copes with food intolerance well. "He sees it as a restriction, but also as a specialty," the father says, praising in the same breath of his son for his discipline: "He is very careful not to eat anything bad." Teachers, classmates and their parents are sensitive. Michael Poschmann is especially grateful for the care of his son at the AWO Children's Home shelter at Pappelstraße. "They cook for our son and another baby at great cost without gluten." He has been a chef for years, sometimes even being a dietary assistant at AWO-Kinderhaus.

There is no extra food for Paul at the new school

But with the new school year, Paul is on a plan to change schools – and for that, it's important to first remove the obstacle from food from the path. The 9-year-old will be attending Lise-Meitner-Grammar School in Unterhaching in the future and, according to her father, will use the full-day school program for at least two in the afternoon. Problem: The school canteen does not offer gluten-free meals and may not serve third-party food. Michael Poschmann learned this in an interview with those responsible at the school and the government of Upper Bavaria (RvO).

That, according to RvO employees, has never faced such a case. "After all, Paul is not the only one with celiac disease in the pantry." Paul's father now wants to rent a Vietnamese snack, delivering gluten-free food to his son twice a week – directly to the playground. Need makes you inventive.