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Insensitive Family Members
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Hi Everyone, I have been Gluten free for almost 2 years now . My question is how do you deal with very insensitive family members? Since my diagnosis my children , husband and I have been excluded from various family dinners and occasions. I just dont get invited anymore and if I do my father will complain about the few choice restaurants that I can eat safely at so I decline the invitation anyway. When I bring up the issue and how it hurts I am told my diet just makes it too hard. The only time I have gone out with them they were all passing food to each other to try right over my plate while I was steaming. And alot of the converstion revolves around food! On a few occasions my mother has tried some of my food and has stated how horrible it is and that she would never eat it even if she had to. My father has made hurtful jokes like "oh how is your bread, cake , pie, etc ? oh yeah thats right you cant have any hahaha" I have been limiting my contact with them because of this. They just do not take this disease seriously as I have been told by my father if you are going to get very sick from celiac disease you dont do so until much later in life. Trying to bring up the issue i am told I am being too sensitive and they seem to find it funny. HELP I am a 45 year old woman with my own family -I dont want to keep fighting to be part of this anymore. Any suggestions???

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I'm sorry these people are your relatives. You can't pick them. Just because you are related to someone, you don't need to spend time with them or even like them. Its likely they would be mean to you about something else if they didn't have Celiac to pick on. People don't suddenly become mean & vicious just because you can't eat gluten.

The part about your mom not liking gluten-free foods is stupid. Doesn't she eat BBQ chicken, steak, salad, brocolli with cheese, baked potatoes, chili,strawberries on vanilla ice cream, etc. She is missing out.

I fix gluten-free Thanksgiving. We had cornbread, turkey etc. We aren't big on stuffing. No one thought the food was bad.

We all have family members that are not good people. I try to distance myself & my kids from them as much as possible.

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Hi, Thanks and you are right that they have always been somewhat mean and vicious in nature. Celiac or not limiting contact is the right thing to do. Regarding my food with my mother i mean my cookies, breads, pizza crusts and those types of things-she eats the other things you mentioned. I am so lucky to have the most supportive husband and kids -They are wonderful!

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Wow! I cannot imagine my parents or siblings saying anything like that to me or having anyone exclude me from family events. That's just cruel and you do not deserve to be treated that way. You don't have a contagious disease for pete's sake. Sorry, hon--I imagine it hurts your feelings very much!

Yes, I am glad you have a supportive loving husband and children. My hubby is wonderful, too and even went gluten-free with me and makes our bread.

Um.....you probably got celiac from one of them....don't they get that part?!!

Make your own family memories with those who are kind to you and avoid occasions with the rest who are not accepting of you, especially those occasions that involve food.

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No suggestions but I can relate. Just last week, I had a problem where my van was in the shop. It wasn't done when I needed it so my dad had to run my daughter to dance class. We stopped at Walgreens on the way to our house so I could buy her a drink and a snack. We arrived at our house just when the school bus did.

Now some Walgreens sell fresh fruit. This one did not. And I had limited time to buy anything. So I got some Skittles and Lays Stax. The only things I saw that she could eat.

So then my mom complained about it and said I should have bought her cheese and crackers instead! I was like... She can't EAT cheese and crackers? And then I had to explain once again why she could not. It gets really frustrating.

In my case my parents are elderly. I think their memory is going. My mom has tried to force her to eat crackers on more than one occasion. And these are not gluten-free crackers!

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Wow, that must really upset you. At least your daughter knows enough not to eat food that is not safe for her.

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Same issue here. I've been alienated from my family and pretty much disowned by my parents.

At first it really upset me, and still sort of does like on holidays I spend alone but overall I wouldn't have it

different. I'm not going to poison myself just to make them happy.

I've had to make a number of lifestyle changes over the years including being an alcoholic and having Celiacs.

So make the right choices for you and your health and everything else has a way of working itself out.

You have to feel good to deal with nonsense like the 'F' word. (family)

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You have to feel good to deal with nonsense like the 'F' word. (family)

:lol: :lol: :lol:

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I have a lot of respect for people who have to deal with family when there is so much opposition or misunderstanding, and also with elderly family (bless their misdirected hearts). It takes a lot of patience and forgiveness (and some venting and pillow punching maybe...). :)

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i too have issues with family members

they can not under stand that i have done dammage to my intestines by getting so sick and being hospitalized for a week and a half and haveing diareah for 2 months straight, and had a scare that my bowels were coloapsing

they seem to think that i am making my self believe i have celiac just because i need to be tested for it

i can not make them understand or listen to me when i said i have never been able to handle pasta and when i do eat it i feel so bloated and have stomach cramps

and sure i was able to eat bread but was still feeling sick

last night was really bad i had taken my own dip and gluten-free tortilla chips to his mothers

and what did everyone do but diped their gluten laden chips and crackers in my dip,put chips in replace of my smokes in my case, i did not see the humor in this tatic

they said i was being too sensitive and that i dont have celiac and that its all in my head

ohhh its so frustrateing

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they can not under stand that i have done dammage to my intestines by getting so sick and being hospitalized for a week and a half and haveing diareah for 2 months straight, and had a scare that my bowels were coloapsing

they seem to think that i am making my self believe i have celiac just because i need to be tested for it

i can not make them understand or listen to me when i said i have never been able to handle pasta and when i do eat it i feel so bloated and have stomach cramps

and sure i was able to eat bread but was still feeling sick

last night was really bad i had taken my own dip and gluten-free tortilla chips to his mothers

and what did everyone do but diped their gluten laden chips and crackers in my dip,put chips in replace of my smokes in my case, i did not see the humor in this tatic

they said i was being too sensitive and that i dont have celiac and that its all in my head

These do not sound like nice people. If you didn't have Celiac, they still wouldn't be nice people.

Nice people put the wheat cracker in the dip. When you explain the problem, nice people are sorry. Nice people didn't know or remember. Nice people try not to do it again. They may forget because they don't live with it on a dailt basis, but they wouldn't try to poison you on purpose. Nice people may not understand ,or really want a big explanation, of your illness. But nice people would be worried that your illness put you in the hospital.

I don't known if you are married to this guy or have kids with him. If you aren't & don't, count your blessings. You may want to reconsider making these people your family. If it's too late, then your husband needs to tell them that they cannot disrespect and try to hurt you in this way. It's the same as if they were hitting you or putting arsenic in your food.

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yes i have been married for 27 years and i agree these are not nice people the mother in law is a nurse yea some kind of nurse huh

i hope i get a medical diagnosis to be able to throw it in their faces see this is why im sick and can not work and this is why i have to be on a special diet

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my wife actually mocked me last night. I was complaining about all the gluten in the house and how there are crumbs all over the kitchen. She went and got a hostess fruit pie out and starting eating it and said 'mmmmmm gluten'. I said thanks thats real nice, and she said 'what, you expect me to go gluten-free too? I'm not the one who is sick all the time'

You know, the family going gluten-free would be like a dream come true, but I understand people have limits. I just don't

expect to be mocked and made fun of. pardon my language but f that s

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my wife actually mocked me last night. I was complaining about all the gluten in the house and how there are crumbs all over the kitchen. She went and got a hostess fruit pie out and starting eating it and said 'mmmmmm gluten'. I said thanks thats real nice, and she said 'what, you expect me to go gluten-free too? I'm not the one who is sick all the time'

You know, the family going gluten-free would be like a dream come true, but I understand people have limits. I just don't

expect to be mocked and made fun of. pardon my language but f that s

WOW all I can say is WOW,,, :angry:

I guess I can understand that it must be hard for family members to have their lives "inconvenienced" :angry: by a loved one being gluten free but considering the FACT it is our health that is at risk I do not expect to be intentionally disrespected by someone ,especially a family member :angry:

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Wow...I'm so sorry for all of you having a difficult time with insensitive family members. Unfortunately, all of you are my "peeps" (people). I say unfortunately because this is a subject which should have no members and no need for peeps, because family should treat you with dignity and respect.

My dad is visiting from overseas, so this week there was a family dinner at my brother's house. I took along some "emergency food" because they are generally not great about having much i can eat. Turns out they made nothing i could eat and just expected that i would bring my own food. They had food that would have been okay, but was cooked on a contaminated surface (veggies on a marinade-and-bun-laden outdoor grill). How hard would it be to wrap some in foil first??? They just never even planned to make anything i could have--didn't even prepare a quantity of food that would have included me.

The next day we all took a train trip into town--a family day together--as a reward for my 3 year old niece being good about going to bed and not making a fuss for a specified number of days (she loves the "choo choo"). I was told the plan was to take the train and go to my brother's work because my niece loves to visit her daddy's workplace and it would be cool for my visiting dad to see (it's a fire station).

We never went to the station. Instead my brother and his wife took us to a restaurant were they all ate appetizers. I could eat nothing. Then we left and they took us to---another restaurant. A trendy German beer and sausage (hot dog) house. Again, i could eat nothing. I'm sure i must have looked miserable; i came so close to tears a number times. Neither place they took us had any food i could eat. The only way i could make it through was to suppress my feelings and slightly dissociate because if i thought about it the tears would have flowed. And in my family that would not have been okay. I would have just been told that it was my own fault and i should have brought my own food. (Nevermind that i was not told that i would be in a situation where food would be involved at all.)

After we took the train home and were splitting up to go out separate ways there were a number of "This was a great day!"s that were said. Driving away from the train station the tears just rolled down my cheeks. Later, my dad remarked again to my mom: "This was a great day!" and tears started *streaming* down my face.

Nobody in my family has figured out i was upset (is this by choice or obliviousness??) and there seems little point in telling them because there will be no good resolution if i do. It just makes me so sad.

---------------------------------

In regard to the comments in above posts: yes, i have found that the way people treat you in regard to celiac (or other food restrictions) is just an extension of the way they treat you otherwise. Inconsiderate people are inconsiderate, mean people are mean, and caring people are caring.

Thank goodness i have some friends who are super cool and kind about the whole diet thing (one friend even has kind parents who have known me for over 25 years and always want to make sure there is something i can eat when they hold holiday parties etc.).

For those of us with inconsiderate families, creating our own "families" of supportive, kind and caring friends is *really* important.

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I had a few bad incidents and finally lost my temper and wrote Dear Abby. lol

What we've done since then is turn our house into the 'party place'. I love to cook and I can make some great knock-off's of family favorites. Of course, there's always someone's "family recipe" that can never be duplicated, but I ask that no gluten food be brought into our house without clearing it by me. We have a few family members on very difficult diets that I try to accomodate but if they need gluten, they can have it.

The last meal we ate out, my daughter had a reaction while we were still there - just doubled over in pain, turned white and started crying (cross contamination). I probably should have offered to cook for that one too, but some lessons are learned hard I suppose.

We cook and invite everyone. If it's centered around a holiday, I ask they bring food items to donate to a gluten-free family in need or some other charitable act. Hey, they don't have to cook, clean or pay for the food - I figure it's the least they can do. Life is too short to bicker over food. My daughter has a medical condition and those needs come first. If they don't want to comply, they can look for an empty table at their house because everyone knows my house has the good stuff. ;) If they choose to eat somewhere else, that's fine too. They do occasionally get mad with me for not coming to the "family holiday meal" they want to serve, but we simply don't. What fun is it to go to a family meal when my daughter can't eat things? I can't eat because I feel too guilty and my husband won't eat because of the principal of it. My youngest daughter also refuses to eat if she sees that her sister can't eat the food. (My oldest has autism and eats whatever she wants).

I'm sorry your family won't do right. You can't make them do right. Next family holiday, make a huge crock pot of chili, cook cornbread (gluten-free of course) and have a great gluten-free dessert and invite them all to your house. Tell them no gluten food allowed. Print invitations if you want (we've done that before so people don't think we're acting out of spite or something).

All the best...

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my wife actually mocked me last night. I was complaining about all the gluten in the house and how there are crumbs all over the kitchen. She went and got a hostess fruit pie out and starting eating it and said 'mmmmmm gluten'. I said thanks thats real nice, and she said 'what, you expect me to go gluten-free too? I'm not the one who is sick all the time'

You know, the family going gluten-free would be like a dream come true, but I understand people have limits. I just don't

expect to be mocked and made fun of. pardon my language but f that s

NateJ and everyone, HUGS! I'm like Wow too! To have someone see you sick and be so insensitive to it.

I'm a single mom so all I have to worry about is my kids. They are almost gluten-free. I only cook gluten-free and limit the snacks etc they have. Gluten filled snacks are kept away from my kitchen in zip lock bags. They may have some frozen dinners, but are instructed on how to deal with them away from my stuff. I've educated them every step of the way, because one day one of them may test positive for celiac. I still get CC at times from living in a shared enviroment. It would send me over the edge to be around so many crumbs and gluten products. OP I'm so sorry your parents are this way. Hugs to you all!

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i went to make some fish that hubby and i bought still being so new to this i did not read the ingredients at the store

so i take a look at the ingredients and the second was wheat flour and dh looked at me and said scrape it off

i can not make him understand i have printed off some lists of what i can not eat

but he is still insisting that i can not believe everything on the net and that he dosent think that i have celiac

i keep telling him because since i have gotten so very sick with a hosp stay i did dammage to my bowels and intestines and that i have to refrain from lactose and gluten until everything heals in there then mabe possible i can eat normal and if i can not then so be it

its so hard to be so alone in this new life style

thanks to this place i do not feel so alone in this new quest

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I don't know if this will help anyone or not. I usually show up late for family events and leave first. Last in - first out. If I bring a dish, I have a separate container for myself that I know won't be contaminated.

Today, I was tempted to eat the fruit salad, but I weighed the costs. I didn't know who had dipped what into the salad, what knife or cutting board the salad had been cut on, etc.

I was satisfied by the trail mix I brought with me. And I knew I was going to have a very good, safe meal when I went home. You really do not need to be considerate of people (even family) that aren't considerate of you.

Hope everyone had a Happy Mother's Day,

m

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Wow...I'm so sorry for all of you having a difficult time with insensitive family members. Unfortunately, all of you are my "peeps" (people). I say unfortunately because this is a subject which should have no members and no need for peeps, because family should treat you with dignity and respect.

My dad is visiting from overseas, so this week there was a family dinner at my brother's house. I took along some "emergency food" because they are generally not great about having much i can eat. Turns out they made nothing i could eat and just expected that i would bring my own food. They had food that would have been okay, but was cooked on a contaminated surface (veggies on a marinade-and-bun-laden outdoor grill). How hard would it be to wrap some in foil first??? They just never even planned to make anything i could have--didn't even prepare a quantity of food that would have included me.

The next day we all took a train trip into town--a family day together--as a reward for my 3 year old niece being good about going to bed and not making a fuss for a specified number of days (she loves the "choo choo"). I was told the plan was to take the train and go to my brother's work because my niece loves to visit her daddy's workplace and it would be cool for my visiting dad to see (it's a fire station).

We never went to the station. Instead my brother and his wife took us to a restaurant were they all ate appetizers. I could eat nothing. Then we left and they took us to---another restaurant. A trendy German beer and sausage (hot dog) house. Again, i could eat nothing. I'm sure i must have looked miserable; i came so close to tears a number times. Neither place they took us had any food i could eat. The only way i could make it through was to suppress my feelings and slightly dissociate because if i thought about it the tears would have flowed. And in my family that would not have been okay. I would have just been told that it was my own fault and i should have brought my own food.

After we took the train home and were splitting up to go out separate ways there were a number of "This was a great day!"s that were said. Driving away from the train station the tears just rolled down my cheeks. Later, my dad remarked again to my mom: "This was a great day!" and tears started *streaming* down my face.

Nobody in my family has figured out i was upset (is this by choice or obliviousness??) and there seems little point in telling them because there will be no good resolution if i do. It just makes me so sad.

---------------------------------

In regard to the comments in above posts: yes, i have found that the way people treat you in regard to celiac (or other food restrictions) is just an extension of the way they treat you otherwise. Inconsiderate people are inconsiderate, mean people are mean, and caring people are caring.

Thank goodness i have some friends who are super cool and kind about the whole diet thing (one friend even has kind parents who have known me for over 25 years and always want to make sure there is something i can eat when they hold holiday parties etc.).

For those of us with inconsiderate families, creating our own "families" of supportive, kind and caring friends is *really* important.

Girl, I'm so sorry you had to deal with your family disregarding your celiac, but you've gotta take care of yourself first. Then If they someday choose to accomodate you it will be a sweet bonus. Never let your day be spoiled because of lack of food. Next time, don't just take "emergency" food but take the most delicious gluten free food you can and only take enough for yourself. That way you will not feel deprived or jealous or have to even worry about what they are eating. It sounds like it also might not hurt to speak up every once in a while--like when you arrived to your brother's house you could have asked what they were having and before it was on the grill you could have asked if they could put some in foil for you. Unless you speak up they will never think of these things. ((Hugs))

___________________

Everyone else it sounds like you have down right MEAN family and I am truely sorry. I can't imagine my spouse, my partner for life mocking something that came very close to killing me. My extended family has had varying reactions--everything from thinking "auto immune disease" meant I had AIDS and quarentining their kids from me (yeah it was just a big misunderstanding by very ignorant people) to constantly asking me "can you eat this?" "What about this?" when everything they were asking about had wheat as plain as day in the ingredients. Despite all these reactions, however, I tend to think they are just mis-informed or uninformed but well-meaning. I didn't visit family for Easter this year because they don't get it yet and I was not ready to deal with the celiac and my new milk allergy. But you can be sure, I will be ready to take all my own food and just deal by next year. If I had some of the family members y'all are describing I think I would just not go to anymore family dinners ever again.

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Quite simple. If they don't get it then they aren't in my life. I try to educate them at first, since gluten is a problem for everyone, this has worked out well so far. But if it didn't they would be booted for sure. ;) Not worth it!

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wow gluten-free goddess (((huggs)) thats horrible i think i would have tears as well and i can really see that happening to me in the future im sure there will be parties and functions that i will not be able to eat the food

i can not wait until the next pot luck tho im going to find a great gluten-free dish and show everyone that going gluten-free is really tasty

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Yeah. i haven't had to travel for work in quite some time and I was never so glad to leave my house yesterday.

Even the anxiety of going out of town with no safety net didn't bother me as much as what they did to me on Sat.

I'm still angry about it.

I did go out to eat tonight for the first time in 4 months. (since diagnoses).

Went to a placed called Bonefish Grill (in Tampa,FL). I found it on the gluten-free registry.

They have a seperate gluten-free menu, looks like a kids menu. I joked and asked if it came with some crayons.

At first they brought my salad out with Croutons and the waitress apologized and took it back.

Then they brought our food and and switched my main dish with my coworkers sides, very confusing.

So they took it back and when they brought my plate back out it was actually wrapped in cellophane.

I was like wow, thats precaution i would have never thought of.

Food was very good, the menu had a nice variety.

I guess we will see if I get sick from it or not.

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Nate , I have made my kitchen mostly gluten free .My husband and kids get only one area of the kitchen and one section of counter space. My kids and husband are great about it. I dont allow any frozen foods to be cooked on my pans -they have to use the microwave. I found in the beginning when we shared the whole kitchen i was being contaminated and put a stop to it. They know I wont buy any gluten if they have it all over the kitchen. You can't expect them to go gluten-free but you should be able to count on them for support. I heard Bonefish Grill offered a gluten free menu but we dont have one around here. I go out to eat every weekend because I refuse to sit home but I stick with Unos, Outback ,PfChangs and a few local places that are excellent and serve many gluten-free customers. A few weeks ago I did order a burger though and it came out on a wheat roll. It does create alot of anxiety when they mess things up.

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    • Thank you everyone! Good to know I am not alone with this. I am asking for a referral to a new cardio. Hopefully it will all go away the longer I am gluten-free. It started up in February/March after a gluten challenge and mostly vanished until July when I had a lot of shortness of breath. It absolutely was CRAZY just a few days after the glutening. I was gasping for breath and the beats were all over the place just walking through a parking garage and I was only mildy anemic at the time.   But it seems to "quiver" and do funny things for a bit still. I sort of theorized maybe it was inflammation in the heart because after this last glutening, my head felt like it was in a vice and my eyes would sting or get stabbing pain hurt (that is finally going away thankfully...knock on wood).  The head/eye pressure I learned also happens to my sibling who has celiac and his naturopath told him that sometimes the brain gets inflamed. Hopefully I can meet the new cardio soon and feel confident that he is taking me seriously. It is sort of difficult to feel confident in the opinion of a doctor that your ticker is ok when they are not really listening and end up making you cry. LOL. A friend of mine in the mental health field recently listened to my story of doc after doc and test after test and said that it was akin to the folk story of blind men describing an elephant. A group of blind men all feel one part of an elephant (tusk, tail, ear, tail) and then compare notes only to find they all disagree.  In some  versions they argue intensely. In other versions they have to collaborate and listen to each other in order to "describe" an elephant.    
    • Good afternoon! I am new to this board and fairly new to researching Celiac Disease, although I had a general idea what it was. My health has become a huge mystery to me, and it's one that I am desperate to solve. The biggest issue right now is horrible, life affecting fatigue. I have been dealing with it for several years now- as many as 5 to 6. It has gotten progressively worse, and nothing at all helps. Sleep apnea has been ruled out. Intestinal issues are something I have dealt with for almost two decades. I'm 45, but I've already had two colonoscopies as well as two endoscopies. My first endoscopy was as a child for persistent, severe stomach pain. My last colonoscopy and endoscopy was two years ago. The only thing that has come from those is an Irritable Bowel type condition and GERD, which is pretty bad. My bowel movements have always been crazy. They can be very normal and healthy to completely crazy. I've had periods of persistent diarrhea to occasional constipation, which is a fairly new thing within the last year. Last week, I went from having diarrhea that morning to hard, round balls of stool by that evening. My most common stools here lately, though, are not quite diarrhea, but more fluffy, large piles. Gas is an ongoing, daily issue for me. I have copious amounts of gas every day no matter what I eat or drink. Most of the gas in non-odorous but it can be very loud. I am currently on a total of 60 mg of Ritalin per day just to function. I often add energy pills, purchased from places such as GNC, because the Ritalin isn't working. Yesterday, I took both doses of Ritalin and two energy pills, and I passed out on the couch after work. I work from 7:30am to 3:30pm, and my work day is nothing too crazy. I try to keep very consistent sleep hours and could easily sleep to 1:00pm or longer if I don't have to get up for something. I sometimes have short periods of energy in the mornings, but that is usually over by noon. The quality of my life is greatly affected. I don't want to go anywhere or do anything because I am way too tired. I'm trying to keep up with my exercising, but that is also a struggle.  I have a history of clinical depression for practically all my adulthood, but it has been very well managed for the last four years. The fatigue is currently causing a great deal of depression, but it is very different from the clinical depression that I use to deal with. When I don't feel sleepy and tired, I don't feel depressed. When the fatigue sets in, I feel very irritable and sad. I realize that the stimulants can cause irritability, but I don't feel irritable or sad when I'm not feeling fatigued.  I've only recently began to explore that the fatigue and the intestinal issues could be related. I have always accepted that I have a sensitive, cooky digestive track. The increasing, unrelenting fatigue is what has lead me to exploring the possibility that everything could be related. I did have blood work last November. My doctor did not test for anything Celiac Disease specific, but she did do a Vitamin D, ferritin level and overall metabolic panel. All of that is normal. My thyroid level is also normal, and I do take thyroid hormone because I had half of my thyroid removed 11 years ago due to what turned out to be a benign thyroid tumor.  I just saw my doctor two weeks ago, and she increased the dosage of my Ritalin. That has not helped at all. She has never mentioned Celiac Disease to me before. I made an appointment for this Friday afternoon to talk about it, but I keep wondering if I'm even heading in a direction that makes sense. I decided to post here for some guidance. I'm sorry this has been so long. I'm not really into cutting something totally out of my diet just to see what happens. I also feel like that if I have something that is poisoning my system, I need a real clinical diagnosis of that. I feel like maybe I'm grasping at straws now and imagining a correlation that isn't there. I am not looking for a quick fix, but right now I have no idea what needs to be fixed. I am open to any information and/or suggestions. Thanks so much!   Jennifer
    • Celiac disease sufferers or those who embrace a life without gluten can check out Canada's Gluten-Free Market when it makes stops in London and ... View the full article
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