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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to FREE Celiac.com email alerts What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic) Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

Family Members Treat Me Weird...
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17 posts in this topic

I was diagnosed with celiac disease at age 10, so I've had it a fairly long time, but some of my family members, particularly my Grandma and my Aunt, act weird around me because of my special diet. For example, my Mom is planning to make gluten-free lemon bars for a church event, and my Grandma told her; "just don't tell anyone they're gluten-free." This seems ridiculous to me, because I'm not the only one in my church with celiac. Whenever I shop with her and buy something gluten free, she gives it an "eww... nasty!" look, or makes a weird comment, such as "I wouldn't be able to get that past my lips!" It seems like she thinks gluten-free food is something disgusting, and I should keep my celiac a secret. It really hurts my feelings and makes me feel self-conscious, the way she and my Aunt single me out. I don't want to feel bad about who I am. Does anyone have any advice on how to deal with situations like this?

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lolz they know it's genetic, right?  what if they have it, too?!   

 

my dad made fun of me for ONE SECOND because i asked him "how ya feeling, buddy?" - i think he would benefit from a gluten free diet, and he probably knows this, but he can't commit without a reason.  my cousin said "that sucks" never occurred to her that she is also related to me.  the list goes on...  don't let them bug you.  

 

and i see you are, what?  23?  i am 50, and i was sick for pretty much half of that.  you have such a great advantage being diagnosed and getting to feel great instead of puny all the time.  i almost posted for my facebook status this morning, when i woke up feeling awesome (and i am still amazed i can feel so good!) "if you have celiac, and you don't know it, you should find out!  and feel great!"  lolz

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lolz they know it's genetic, right?  what if they have it, too?!   

 

my dad made fun of me for ONE SECOND because i asked him "how ya feeling, buddy?" - i think he would benefit from a gluten free diet, and he probably knows this, but he can't commit without a reason.  my cousin said "that sucks" never occurred to her that she is also related to me.  the list goes on...  don't let them bug you.  

 

and i see you are, what?  23?  i am 50, and i was sick for pretty much half of that.  you have such a great advantage being diagnosed and getting to feel great instead of puny all the time.  i almost posted for my facebook status this morning, when i woke up feeling awesome (and i am still amazed i can feel so good!) "if you have celiac, and you don't know it, you should find out!  and feel great!"  lolz

I think my Grandma actually does have it. She always gets sick after eating certain things, but she won't get tested, as she doesn't want to give up the foods she likes. I think a big reason why she treats me the way she does is for fear that she could have Celiac too.

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our son has type 1 diabetes - when he was diagnosed, i felt terribly guilty!  like i messed him up or something (of course, i didn't) in fact, he was 19 and 950 miles away at school when he called to tell me what the doctor had told him i said "you don't have that.  go tell him he is wrong"  lolz - he does, indeed, have diabetes and it's probably from me :( from my genes.  so, i guess i feel apologetic even though it was nothing i did or didn't do.  it's a wierd feeling.  maybe it's a mom thing.  does your aunt have kids?

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I have to say that if you were my kid, I would have told them long ago (like when you were 11), that if they didn't stop trying to make you feel bad (I would list some specific behaviors) , they would not be around you any longer. 

 

Now that you are an adult, you could speak up and tell them that you are sorry they are ashamed of you and your genetic disease.  That they have hurt you for the last 13 years.  That might be enough for them to stop.  If not, you can always distance yourself from them.  Don't shop with them, when they are at your mom's, stay at your house or in your room, etc.  I have a feeling that if you had cancer or diabetes these people may have acted in a similiar way.

 

Maybe have them read this thread?

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People don't realize they are being insensitive. They probably (honestly) don't like our alternative flours but aren't tactful enough to shut their 'cake holes' about it.  To be honest, I know that brown rices and the like often take some getting used to. When I do gluten-free baking that I need to share, I use mostly starches as that seems a bit closer to what people are used to. The other ones do take a bit of getting used to, and most people won't bother getting used to it. LOL

 

If they make odd comments again, you might just politely ask "why?" ... and then needle her gently on being a picky eater.   ;)

 

Really, I think we are a bit weird. we don't eat like most people. I think that is a fine thing too - who wants to be average.

 

Best wishes.

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I get fed up with stupid comments 'it must be awful' (no, after over 20 years feeling awful I feel great) or 'so what DO you eat?' (err, healthy stuff, meat, fish, eggs, veg fruit) 'how do you go out?' (take my own food. It usually looks better than everyone else's).

I am sorry to hear you are being treated like this. Some people think it is ok to make personal comments about your food. I was vegetarian in the 80s, and I had the same thing then, I just wanted to eat a meal without it being an issue. When I gave up alcohol, people seemed to have to have a view, and tell me. Most of them were very defensive.

I am sure my Mum is gluten intolerant, and although she is supportive of my choices, it is made very clear I can't discuss her diet.

With the help of people here I have learned to gently stand up for myself. Being here makes me feel normal, and on a bad day I let off steam here so no one gets bored of hearing about it.

Good to have you here, hope you find the support you need

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LadyK,

Not to insult or offend anyone ie, your mom, grandmother or aunt but, to some, ignorance is bliss. Maybe you could make your grandmother a gluten-free meal without her knowing. When she co,pliments it, let her know it was gluten-free.

our son has type 1 diabetes - when he was diagnosed, i felt terribly guilty! like i messed him up or something (of course, i didn't) in fact, he was 19 and 950 miles away at school when he called to tell me what the doctor had told him i said "you don't have that. go tell him he is wrong" lolz - he does, indeed, have diabetes and it's probably from me :( from my genes. so, i guess i feel apologetic even though it was nothing i did or didn't do. it's a wierd feeling. maybe it's a mom thing. does your aunt have kids?

Maybe you should buy some new jeans ;)

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Maybe you should buy some new jeans ;)

fixing them with a sledgehammer ;)

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I am told that I am obsessed. 

 

People just do not understand.

 

I was so sad, because my Mom was angry about my "pickiness" at eating.  Now, I found out she just isn't totally with it.  I imagine she is suffering from celiac too.  The moral of this is:  IF someone makes an outrageous comment, try not to take it to heart. too much. They are probably not trying to be malicious.

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Thanks for the advice everyone! I am feeling a lot better, since I put this situation into words. For years, I've tried to avoid thinking about my Celiac Disease, but it's nice to be connected to people who get what it's like!

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Next time they tell you not to tell anyone about your Celiacs,  retort: Don't tell anyone about your (insert name of their illness).

 

My aunt too is all upset I wasn't eating bread when I was gluten free.

A friend stopped inviting me to her dinner parties as if my celiacs is contagious.

 

Hopefully with all this gluten free awareness, newer generations will be more open minded.

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Next time they tell you not to tell anyone about your Celiacs,  retort: Don't tell anyone about your (insert name of their illness).

 

My aunt too is all upset I wasn't eating bread when I was gluten free.

A friend stopped inviting me to her dinner parties as if my celiacs is contagious.

 

Hopefully with all this gluten free awareness, newer generations will be more open minded.

I hope so! I'm sorry your friend stopped inviting you. Something like that happened to me, too, when I was in high school.

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I think my Grandma actually does have it. She always gets sick after eating certain things, but she won't get tested, as she doesn't want to give up the foods she likes. I think a big reason why she treats me the way she does is for fear that she could have Celiac too.

You are a very smart young woman!  The more rssistance you get within a family about Celiac Disease, the higher the likelihood that the offender has it too.  My mother is the same way....she gets pissed and very defensive if I talk about Celiac for more than a nano-second around other family members.  I get questions from others and my mother gets annoyed.

Guess what...she's a walking, talking case of Celiac but she's 80 and will not change her crappy diet.  Seeing as I can't change the way she thinks, I have just moved on.  I tell her she has a right to kill herself slowly with gluten!  ;)

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Well thats just sad lol I found it hard at first to attend dinner parties at friends or family. I just decided I wouldnt go and if I had to ,I ate before I went so I could just nibble. However,  being at a dinner party and not eating, you get the looks from people.  Why are you eating, is the food not good enough for you. It puts the spotlight on you, and I hate the spotlight.  I really just prefer not going. lol  My grandma was horrible. (I wont go into details) but she died from cancer of the gut, so I am convinced she had it.  It comes from her side. Many of her kids have it (not my dad, his Thyroid is toast though)

I am glad there is a place to come to, even after 8 years, I still learn so much. 

 

HUGS LadyK and the rest of you.

 

REBECCA

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Boy I hear you.  My daughter gets very upset these days when people make negative comments - she hates it when somebody says "this tastes just like REAL cake!".  It is insensitive and thoughtless, and I agree with the poster who said if she was your mother she'd have given them a "what for" a long time ago.  I would have too.  I think you need to make it clear that this behaviour is upsetting for you.

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Hi LadyK  :)

 

i think sitting down and talking with them would be a good choice if you're up for it and think they'd be open to listening.  hopefully it will make them think, and they'll come around.  maybe it won't be right away, but lately my motto is, "Better late than never."  

 

I think my Mom has a problem with gluten, and I've mentioned about getting tested, but she said she'll try and give up some gluten <_<  My Mom has never been the healthiest eater, and eats a lot of processed foods chocked full of it.  I can understand why it's scary for her because her diet would have a huge change.  I already eat a good amount of fruits and vegetables, so the switch is still challenging, but I actually find the meds and cosmetics more difficult than the food labels.  She's made the comment that she's too old to give up the foods she enjoys...she's only in her 50s :huh:  When she makes that comment, I like to remind her that I never heard my grandma tell me she was too old to do something until she was at the ripe old age of 90  :)  positive thinking goes such a long way...hence my user name  :P     

 

I told my Mom I was going to stop eating dairy too for awhile, and she was immediately like, you don't have a problem with dairy, and I automatically got defensive...something I've got to work on  :wacko:  I'm still very new to gluten-free eating, but I bought some yogurt covered gluten free pretzels and ate some last weekend to see if dairy wasn't a problem and if it was in my head.  By the next morning my joints were hurting, and those pretzels were the only thing I had eaten differently the day before.  I told her about my reaction, and I think she's slowly getting it.  She sees my diet as restrictive, but if it makes me feel better, that's what matters, and I only wish she'd try it herself.  

 

In the end, and although it's hard, you are only in charge of yourself and your choices.  I teach elementary school, and I say use the word choices so many times in a day, but life is really all about the choices you make.  At least if you can say what you need to say to your aunt and grandma, you can find your inner peace, and my hope is that they will come around  :)

 

let us know!

 

PS- Listen to John Mayer's song Say for some inspiration.  i love his music!

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