I see a lot of stories about Gluten allergies, but none tell the real story. What it's really like on a daily basis to have a gluten allergy. Most people think, Oh well, if you don't eat it you must feel fine.

Not so! We may feel better, but it's a constant battle. We have to be ever vigilant against the threat of cross contamination, of wheat being in our cosmetics, (cosmetics! How insane is that?) of slipping up and having "just a little", of bloating, diarrhea, constipation, or nausea, of skin rashes, puffiness, headaches, joint aches, memory loss.

It's a daily mission to find clothes that somehow hide our bloated bellies, without making it look worse, or without making us look pregnant when we certainly aren't!

The guy at the kabob place that looks at you weird when you tell him not to put the bread in there, that feels great! Not to mention your poor long suffering friends and family!

My grandma had celiac sprue, she was sicker that a cat with a 5 pound hairball! But, it never seemed as if it was a bad thing, she made delicious food, grew her own herbs, made her own dressing. It all seemed delicious and fresh and fabulous! Oh How I wish I had paid more attention then!

She made it all seem so effortless, now I know better. But, you never think you are going to have it too. So, how do you prepare? Now it's all about finding a happy balance, and taking care of yourself. So here are some tips! Yay!! Tips!

1. Always know where bathrooms are. Seriously, as soon as you walk in somewhere, be it someone's home, a restaurant, the grocery store, ask where the restroom is. You will be glad you did! I don't mean barge in someone's home and blurt our "Where's the John? I may need to drop a bomb on it!" But, being proactive is the name of the Gluten free game!

2. Do not cheat. DON'T! It's not worth it. That little slice of birthday cake, or delicious, delicious pizza hates you. It wants to make you sick. Hate it right back. If people look at you funny for glaring at food tell them you are a spy, and you think there's a microphone in there! People love spies.

3. Even though it's tempting to hoard your glorious gluten free snacks like a happy little miser, screaming "My Precious" over and over, be nice! It's no one's fault that the snacks cost so much, or are hard to find, and are one of the few things you enjoy. ...On second thought, hoard away little glutenators! That's your nom nom, and they should back off of it!

4. Don't be a Debbie Downer. No one wants to hear about how one time you ate at this restaurant before and got violently ill, and had to spend three days at home curled up by the toilet. Especially if the persons(s) you are talking to happens to enjoy dining at that restaurant. Don't say things like.."I wish I could have fried ice cream", while ravenously watching them as they enjoy their dessert. No one will be your friend anymore.

5. Don't be bitter. Even though finding the words 20ppm or less on the side of the box means that the product you have been stuffing down your gullet, while dancing around your living room  singing "I'm eating crackers!", may or may not have trace amounts of wheat in it, and you may or may not be curled up in a ball later, doesn't mean that you get to be bitter! You get to be proud that you didn't hop in the car, and race over to the FDA demanding restitution and throwing things dramatically. Good Job!

As always, Celiac.com welcomes your comments (see below).