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Celiac On The Job

Posted by little_c, 20 April 2007 · 126 views

If you've read my previous blog, you know that I'm newly diagnosed.

I'd like to hear from others on how you handled telling co-workers about your condition. Or, did you choose not to tell them because it's none of their business.

I chose to tell mine because I've been at the same job for 12+ years and know them very well. I had a birthday coming up and our office tradition is to bring food for the birthday person and everyone to share throughout the day. Knowing what foods we tend to bring, I knew that I probably wouldn't be able to eat any of it. So I chose to tell folks. I had already told my boss because I've been missing a lot of work for doctor appointments in the last few months while I've been going through various blood tests, etc. And I figured that she would have told a few people anyway. So much for confidentiality...

I'm still undecided if telling everyone was a good decision or not. I think in the long run it will help me remain gluten-free, but I'm not used to telling people about my medical issues.

I chalk it up to just another new territory that I'm forced to explore now that I'm a celiac. It's taking me kicking and screaming into my future. I found out I had celiac 11 days before my 50th birthday, which I wasn't looking forward to in the first place. Now I'm fighting the tendency to categorize my life in the 'before old' and 'after old' and also in the 'before celiac' and 'after celiac' eras which have coincidentally coincided. I feel like I don't know my body anymore and that's whats the scariest. I'm hoping that time will blend these things together and I'll just be focused on living my life and not on this stupid disease.

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I don't have a job, so I haven't been faced with that particular dilema, but I feel sure that I wouldn't mind telling anyone about my celiac disease. I don't go around telling everyone I meet, but if the subject comes up, I don't hesitate to tell. It's nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about. I mostly socialize with friends from church and they all know about my celiac disease. Many of them try to cook gluten-free foods when we get together. Of course, they don't always get it right, but they're nice enough to try. celiac disease comes up frequently among my friends and I'm glad to talk about it because it may help someone else get diagnosed.
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I don't have a job, so I haven't been faced with that particular dilema, but I feel sure that I wouldn't mind telling anyone about my celiac disease. I don't go around telling everyone I meet, but if the subject comes up, I don't hesitate to tell. It's nothing to be ashamed of or embarrassed about. I mostly socialize with friends from church and they all know about my celiac disease. Many of them try to cook gluten-free foods when we get together. Of course, they don't always get it right, but they're nice enough to try. celiac disease comes up frequently among my friends and I'm glad to talk about it because it may help someone else get diagnosed.



I'm 52 and was diagnosed at 38. As to work or social functions, I'll tell people if the need arises, but I get tired of having to explain the disease. I have found that there are more people out there that are allergic or have some kind of intolerence so it's no big deal anymore. I ignore the stupid disease and just avoid gluten. Sure I wonder about how life would have been in my early years if I had known, but what's the point? Today is today and we're lucky to have been diagnosed at all. Don't let yourself be selfconscious about being a celiac because you'll be the only one making it an issue, it's all in the mind.
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Agreed!
Just because you got diagnosed with Celiac's does not mean life has to change that much. Dietary changes and perhaps supplementations are going to be more prevalent -- it should not be a burden. There are people here to help!!! To listen!!! To talk!!!

Keep it in perspective, there are much worse things!!! Exercise, watch your diet (obviously this is a big one with Celiac's), and give your body the right vitamins and minerals to help!!!

Dietary recommendations for celiac disease (FROM - http://www.Lame Adve...-dietary.html):

* Because malabsorption is prevalent with celiac disease, daily vitamin and mineral supplementation is essential. Important supplements for celiac disease include iron, B vitamins, magnesium, calcium and vitamin D.
* Add organic extra virgin coconut oil to your diet to benefit from healthy plant-based saturated fat.
* Add foods rich in omega-3 essential fatty acids to your diet in the form of ground flax meal, wild-caught salmon, minimal-mercury albacore tuna, walnuts, fish oil, and sprouted walnuts.
* Eat plenty of vegetables and vegetable juices (kelp, sprouts, green and black olives, peppers, spinach, chard, celery, zucchini).
* Add nutrient-dense and unprocessed foods such as sprouted nuts and seeds to your diet.
* Drink purified water throughout the day.

Foods and other products to AVOID include:

* All foods that contain gluten in the form of wheat, rye, barley, and oats.
* All processed foods that contain gluten as an ingredient. Read all processed food labels carefully for hidden gluten. Foods that may contain gluten include canned soups, salad dressings, ice cream, candy bars, instant coffee, luncheon meats, ketchup, mustard, processed and canned meats, yogurt, and sausages.
* All supplements that contain gluten. Wheat starch can be used as a binding agent in tablets and capsules.
* Cosmetics. Gluten can be found in cosmetic products such as lipstick.
* All grain alcohols such as beer and malted liquors.
* All dairy products, since those with celiac disease also tend to suffer from lactose intolerance.
* All foods containing refined sugar or artificial sugar-substitutes such as aspartame, Splenda®, etc. Choose a natural sweetener like Xylosweet instead.
* Excessive caffeine intake – While moderate amounts of caffeine may be beneficial, excessive consumption of caffeine can disrupt the body’s systems, causing irregularity (constipation or diarrhea)
* Sweetened fruit juices that spike blood sugar levels too rapidly
* Carbonated soft drinks that alter pH levels, making the blood more acidic
* Bottom crawlers, such as oysters, clams, and lobster that may contain toxic levels of mercury
* Deep-sea fish such as tuna, mackerel, and swordfish that may contain toxic levels of mercury. Choose minimal-mercury albacore tuna instead.
* Sodium nitrite found in processed foods such as hot dogs, lunch meats, and bacon
* Monosodium glutamate (MSG) found in many foods as a flavor enhancer
* Hydrogenated or partially hydrogenated oils (trans fats) found in many processed foods, deep-fried foods, fast food, and junk food – Read more about good fats and bad fats.
* Products (such as soy milk and ice cream) that contain carrageenan, a seaweed extract that’s added to foods to retain their creamy texture. For some people, carrageenan irritates the stomach.

WEBSITE HAS TOOONS OF INFO, CHECK IT OUT SOMETIME.

GOD BLESS AND BEST OF LUCK!!!
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Little c.
I'm like you, nearly in my 50's and have only been diagnosed over a year now. It was a blindsider.

I never thought twice about telling my boss, and he probably knew more about it than I did. We've had a few deep conversations about our bowels etc. Thankfully not any more. He was very sympathetic, and sometimes gives me a hard time about it, but all in good fun.

As for my workmates, well the job is quite food orientated and I never thought twice about telling them. We are all in the staff room twice a day and we have numerous morning teas. It is quite embarassing to say the least, at the amount of food that is consumed by the individuals. I did tell them very early on, and I see it as educating them in a way. But they've taken to it quite well and a few staff members have taken it on, and when they put on a morning tea, they make sure there is something there that I can eat. I love them for it, but it is not always something I would normally pick. But their mainstay seems to be rice crackers and cheese. I am probably the only one that can leave morning tea without feeling I overate. So that is one positive of been gluten free, the chance to overeat is not there like before. On top of that, I went through quite an emotional time the first few months and at times while working tears were not very far away. I needed people to know that I what I was going through, and that it was not easy. I tend to show all my emotions, I haven't learnt how to keep them under wraps.

I have no regrets telling them and they never question me about what I eat, I think if I never said anything they would've noticed the compeltely different diet and would've thought I'd truely lost it!

The first few months were hard, with the extra time needed in food prep at home. I made a concious choice and cut back my hours at work. It was the best thing to do, I did feel I was letting people down, but I needed the time out for me. I would never have survived working full time. Now I am going back to increasing those extra hours and it feels right. I am in a good place right now.

But at times I do think I have truely lost it as along with changes in food attitudes, there are changes in me as well. I would like to think they are all positive and have made me a more rounded person.

All the best, it gets easier. The thing I like most is my changed attitude to food. I can either take it or leave it now. If there is food I cannot eat, I'm not worried about it anymore, I don't even feel like it or miss it.

Cathy
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