Sunday, July 14, 2013

Stuff People Say To Celiacs

I stumbled upon this video today thanks pinterest and just had to share because it is so true. Funny yes, but also it points out the on-going frustrations and sometime insensitive responses of those around people who deal with gluten intolerance and/or celiac disease. 

I have been gluten free since the beginning of my senior year in college, so from September of 2009. And yes, I have heard every single one of these lines as exemplified in this video.

This past December I decided I wanted to know once and for all if I did or did not have celiac. I began eating one serving of gluten a day for 12 weeks so I could be tested officially for celiac. Yes, that is how long you have to expose your self to gluten before you can be tested. It turned out, after 12 weeks of enjoying eating anything I wanted... although I definitely did have the same unpleasant side effects that I used to have, I got tested and received the result that I am not celiac.  I was honestly shocked because I have celiac symptoms whenever I eat gluten. As my Gastroenterologist reminded me, the only test they have is to check if you are or are not celiac, not to test if you are gluten intolerant or allergic and to what extant. He encouraged me to continue on a gluten free diet if it made my celiac like symptoms go away. For me, that means I continue to live a gluten free life and basically live as if I was celiac. 
And I am really ok with that! I don't feel deprived and I enjoy knowing that I can eat without fear of something upsetting my system.

If you know someone who is celiac or even thinks they are celiac/ gluten intolerant because they've found living a gluten free life means they no longer have to deal with IBS symptoms, severe stomach cramps, migraines and the list goes on, please, don't pester them with questions or jokes about how its so inconvenient being friends with them now because of the limited places they can eat etc. I've been there and still am there and as much as I can laugh it off when a friend jokes about my dietary needs being an inconvenience to them, deep down it hurts. I already know it causes an inconvenience and if I could change it I would, but to do so would mean dealing with the aforementioned side effects of being gluten intolerant and personally, I'd rather not live under the constant concern of where the nearest restroom is or if my headache is going to turn into a full blown debilitating migraine. 

So be considerate, there are TONS of gluten free options available today, many of the chain restaurants have gluten free menu's that weren't around just 4 years ago when I first when GF. Do be aware that they don't always cook in a seperate gluten free kitchen so there is no true guarantee ( I personally avoid the chains and go for local gluten aware restaurants), let your gluten free friend decide based on their risk/comfort level.  And no, salad is not always what we who deal with gluten issues want to order so please don't assume we want it! ;)

On the flip side, if you have a gluten free friend who complains all the time (and I have met some people who like to use it as a woe is me) then be encouraging and remind them of all the options! And if they still keep boo hoo-ing then by all means, give them a hard time and tell em to suck it up because really, its NOT THAT BAD,  at least, not when you live in a 1st world country and are privileged enough to have all the shopping amenities and options that are now available! :)

Speaking of gluten free, I can't wait to try some of the recipes from Naomi's website Better BatterBonus.. her products are sold at my local Whole Foods! Yes!

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