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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.

Dating A Celiac
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17 posts in this topic

I just started seeing a woman with Celiac Disease. She's pretty special, so I want to get it right. I'd appreciate any advice you could give me!

I'm not looking for recipes (I can find those myself). I'm looking for potential issues I might not have thought of. For example, I didn't realize until I found this forum that kissing can spread contaminants. I'm glad I found out about that one early!

Thanks!

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I think it may all depend on how sensitive she is to gluten. Some are very sensitive, my daughter not so much.It depends maybe on how sick she is or was. The experts will give their advice,I'm still learning since my daughter was diagnosed.

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Kissing is the only real hidden danger I can think of. My husband and I share a gluten-free kitchen, which is nice, though occasionally he'll bring home something premade that has gluten. He's careful about contamination should he reheat something in the microwave, and he washes his hands immediately after (maybe I'm overreacting, but gluten-y hands touching the fridge door or something freaks me out).

I'd just be super careful about cross-contamination should you decide to cook her a meal. Maybe such things should be done at her place until you get the hang of it.

Also, you might want to let her decide where you go out to eat, since she probably has some limitations.

Otherwise, the fact that you care enough to post on here is a pretty good sign that you'll be careful, so I'm sure things will be fine. :)

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Aww, what a considerate guy! I agree with Mskedi. And just be very careful when eating before you see her. Brush, wash face and mouthwash before kissing. And beer and some distilled drinks like bourbon are problems (even though drink makers say the gluten is distilled out, I can tell you from personal experience that it's not always the case).

Have fun!

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And always wash your hands after eating, before you do anything else.

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"Dating a Celiac" sounds like a good series title for Showtime or HBO!

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"Dating a Celiac" sounds like a good series title for Showtime or HBO!

Maybe lIke the bachelor. Gluten free dates. Or maybe more of a competition. They have to cook for the Celiac and get eliminated if they gluten her.

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The best thing you can do is exactly what you are doing - being considerate, taking her needs seriously, and asking questions :) If she's anything like me she would happily answer the same question 10 times (does this contain gluten, do I need to etc etc) to know that people close to me are taking my health seriously.

Cross-contamination has already been mentioned, this is a big issue. There can also be a lot of emotion attached to being gluten free - missing out on favourite foods, feeling left out or different etc. You didn't mention how long she has been gluten free, but even it it's a long time, feelings about food can still pop up. If she gets fed up or upset, just try and be sensitive to it.

You are doing a great thing by finding out how to deal with this early on. Unsupportive partners can be a nightmare for someone with celiac, so I'm sure she will appreciate your effort. There will be other issues that come up if you end up moving in together or having kids - are you willing to have a gluten-free kitchen, or even house. These are all things you can negotiate along the way.

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Thanks guys! I'll bear all this in mind!

Maybe lIke the bachelor. Gluten free dates. Or maybe more of a competition. They have to cook for the Celiac and get eliminated if they gluten her.

Really, it should be on the food network. It can't be weirder than Iron Chef.

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Maybe lIke the bachelor. Gluten free dates. Or maybe more of a competition. They have to cook for the Celiac and get eliminated if they gluten her.

During the last season of the Bachelor, I was thinking--in a flight of fancy--that it might be fun to apply to be the next Bachelorette. Never mind the fantasy suite; the one who keeps a clean mouth and who scrapes me off the floor after a glutening is the keeper. lol

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Maybe lIke the bachelor. Gluten free dates. Or maybe more of a competition. They have to cook for the Celiac and get eliminated if they gluten her.

Ha ha- I love it!

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Round of applause for you!!! You are a keeper and this earns you like 1000 points!!!

The same stuff the others said. Cross contamination and kissing. Brush your teeth after you eat gluten and wash your hands too.

Good luck with the new relationship. If she doesn't appreciate the efforts you are making, then keep trying because a guy willing to do what you are doing is a good catch.

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Aaaw, nice of you to be considerate! Same as others said. And, I'm all about being fair and am NOT about one partner unequally bowing to the other, etc. Unfortunately (for me, who is gluten intolerant, lol) being gluten intolerant requires 'special attention' and a fuss which I hate. So... it might seem unequal with you catering to her and sacrificing more than vice versa due to the diet. So just...be patient. Some things will be annoying. The places you'll eat at will be limited if you want her to be able to eat too. Don't think just because something doesn't obviously have wheat in it that it is safe. Gluten can basically be hidden anywhere, and she isn't "safe" to eat something unless she's checked up on it and knows it's good. that kind of thing, plus the cross contamination issue, etc. So... Just try to be as patient and accepting and accommodating as you can. And, hopefully she'll be willing to sacrifice/accommodate here and there if you want to eat out somewhere else where she'll just have to eat a baked potato or something. But if she seems ultra picky or "paranoid" about food, maybe has random outburst of tears over the lack of food-availability for her - just be patient and don't take it personally. :) I'm very self-conscious about the hassle my diet puts upon others, so doing what you can to ease that (if she has it) would be nice. I know I appreciate it greatly when it happens.

Good luck with the new relationship. If she doesn't appreciate the efforts you are making, then keep trying because a guy willing to do what you are doing is a good catch.

And I agree with this too. Don't forget yourself in this either.

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You're sweet - my husband and I both have Celiac, and we hope when our sons grow up, they find such sympathetic girlfriends.

Find out whether she wants you to attempt to cook for her at first, or if it will just make her feel nervous and pressured. Better yet, offer to cook WITH her, i.e. you'll cook if she hangs around to supervises. ;) We do get so tired of cooking sometimes!

Many times, the people in our lives who love us attempt to cook for us in their gluten-containing kitchens as a surprise, and once they have gone through the effort, we feel like we need to eat the food to show them how much we appreciate it. It's all well intentioned on everyones' part, but sometimes you get glutened this way. Then the person who is glutened is embarrassed to tell the well intentioned person that they were glutened by their food - afraid they'll be hurt or put off, scared to every try again - it's not good.

Typical newbie mistakes would be making gluten-free cookies on your regular cookie sheet - or a gluten-free cake in your regular pan - or gluten-free pasta using your regular pot and colander - or using part of a stick of butter that was used directly on a piece of toast. Unfortunately, gluten sensitivity comes from the part of the immune system that is used to fight bacteria and viruses, so it takes very little "contamination" to raise a response in some people. The first year after I was diagnosed, I was particularly sensitive.

I suggest taking things slowly with regard to cooking - use her kitchen, or use yours with supervision - until you get used to the type of issues that can pop up.

You're off to a great start - good luck!

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If you use a lip balm, make sure it's gluten free.

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Thats sweet that you want to take ever precaution to keep her from getting sick just remember ask lots of questions if your not sure about something, I'm still trying to get it through my boyfriends head that he cannot use my pots and pans to cook gluten food! Ughhh so frustrating have had to replace my pots and pans a few times <_<

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April in KCs response was so good. I think that's one of the trickiest situations, well-meaning friends who are going out of their way to "help" but not being informed enough to avoid cross contamination or gluten containing ingredients, and then the gluten-intolerant person looking ungrateful when he/she can't eat what was offered.

I think it would also be good to find out from her what her reactions to gluten are like and to be aware that for many celiacs, there are emotional responses when they get glutened: depression, anger, anxiety. Knowing upfront about some of those reactions will help both of you deal with them better when they come.

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    • Gluten ataxia...?
      I was explaining that some people have other trouble that is immune related and caused by eating gluten, but doesn't effect the gut in a noticeable way. According to the paper that I quoted there are some people which have different types of brain problems but don't have inflammation when tested by a biopsy.  The author used the term "non-Celiac gluten sensitivity" to refer to anyone who has any brain trouble that can be traced to gluten but without obvious gut inflammation.  There are a lot of different possible ways gluten can effect the brain some may not be related to the gut.  It could still be an immune system problem.  Normally "non-Celiac gluten sensitivity" refers to just a food intolerance.  Withdrawal symptoms are not normal and could be indicative of an immune system response of some sort, but I don't know for sure.        
    • Weird Reaction
      Hi Richie I've put the above in quotes as you have described in the first and second sentence how I felt six months prior to my DX.   In my own case, in the end I concluded it was anxiety after consulting Dr Google!  It was such an alien feeling to me, I couldn't even think what it was, particularly as life was pretty good at the time.  Anxiety is a problem for a lot of celiacs prior to diagnosis, and often after glutening after going gluten-free. You mention breathlessness, this of course can be for reasons such as anaemia (again a common celiac problem, I had this prior to DX) but of course also can arise if you are anxious.   Re 'gluten free' - Flowerqueen is right, from what I have read on this forum some people really do seem to react with less than 20ppm.    But perhaps some other things to consider...  could there be something wrong with the batch you have consumed?  Might it be worth contacting the manufacturers?   That said, you could , as Flowerqueen suggests, have a problem with another ingredient, in the product or something else you consumed. In the past I have had a terrible reaction - fever, trembling, diarrhea, stomach cramps that lasted up to three hours the last three times I ate..... broccoli, of all things.    Who would have thought that possible?  I have often thought I should try it again, just to be sure it was the broccoli, as it is a 'super food' that I ought to have in my diet, that I like very much, but the thought of having such a reaction again has put me off. I do hope you will find some answers soon.  
    • Weird Reaction
      Hi Richie,  I've not heard of this drink before, as I live in the UK, but any drink made from barley is something you should avoid.  There's a brand in the UK that makes lemon and barley water and orange and barley water and Coeliac UK say it is not safe for people with Coeliac disease.  (Our labelling laws in the UK changed a couple of years ago).  You say the drink you had was under 20 ppm, which is acceptable (usually) for coeliacs, but a lot of people are super-sensitive to gluten even in very small amounts.  I recently had a similar problem with something which was supposed to be okay for coeliacs, but when I checked the website of the product, for all it said there were no gluten containing ingredients, it was produced in an area where gluten was present, which was enough to put me off and must admit, the symptoms you describe sound very much like I experienced at the time.  (Personally I'd be avoiding that particular drink like the plague from now on). One other thing though,  have you checked the ingredients to see if there could be anything else in it which you may be intolerant to? 
    • Confused
      I have not. I'll talk to my doctor about it
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