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Celiac Roommate
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Hi everyone,

I realize this is the opposite of what you're used to, but here goes: I am not a celiac, but my roommate is. I knew this before we decided to live together, and agreed not to use flour in the kitchen, which I don't, we have separate dishes for if I cook pasta or fry something glutinous, we even have separate sponges for washing glutinous dishes. Now here is my beef: my roommate is currently dating a non-celiac, and spending most days in his partner's apartment, (cooking), but... the partner isn't gluten free! they share dishes, and he's even baked BREAD in the kitchen. I've even seen them share dips that were gluten contaminated. Furthermore, this roommate often eats out, and I feel like all my hard work is going to waste, and I'm fed up of trying to hard to keep things gluten free. How/can I bring this up with my roommate? How would you, as a celiac, react to a non celiac friend pointing out all the ways you are not being careful? I figure its hard enough, but I'd like to know if as a celiac you think this is normal, or if said roommate might not be as sensitive as he thinks?

Any input would be appreciated

Thanks!

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Hi everyone,

I realize this is the opposite of what you're used to, but here goes: I am not a celiac, but my roommate is. I knew this before we decided to live together, and agreed not to use flour in the kitchen, which I don't, we have separate dishes for if I cook pasta or fry something glutinous, we even have separate sponges for washing glutinous dishes. Now here is my beef: my roommate is currently dating a non-celiac, and spending most days in his partner's apartment, (cooking), but... the partner isn't gluten free! they share dishes, and he's even baked BREAD in the kitchen. I've even seen them share dips that were gluten contaminated. Furthermore, this roommate often eats out, and I feel like all my hard work is going to waste, and I'm fed up of trying to hard to keep things gluten free. How/can I bring this up with my roommate? How would you, as a celiac, react to a non celiac friend pointing out all the ways you are not being careful? I figure its hard enough, but I'd like to know if as a celiac you think this is normal, or if said roommate might not be as sensitive as he thinks?

Any input would be appreciated

Thanks!

How incredibly frustrating for you. And how incredibly irresponsible of your roommate. Did he really bake regular gluten full BREAD ?!?!?!?!? What a dufus ! (Do you use this word in Nth America?)

You need to be honest with him about what this is doing to your head and your patience. No one should have to watch on and play along to such double standards.

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Wish all roommates were as great as you about being careful.

Is this girlfreind a pretty new one? If he really likes her he may feel if he 'sticks to the rules' around her it will be too much for her and he will lose her. Do you have a good relationship with the girlfreind? If you do you could talk to her about it or maybe help him to do so.

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I think i'ld say something to my roommate ( who appears to be a close friend). I might point out that gas, bloating & calling the new " friend" by the wrong name ( brain fog) are not very romantic.. I would ask if the new love knows about the Celiac. If so, maybe offer to explain cc and safe kitchen procedures to him ( her). If not, the new love needs to know right away.

In the end, all we can do is encourage & nag. He's an adult.

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Okay, I have a sort of devious idea.

Invite her over for a meal that you will prepare, for all 3 or 4 of you to have together, (you can invite another SO or friend, and even let them in on joke) to be gluten free. ;) And while serving this, you can make sort of a Big Deal Out of It, casually, like "and this is the risotto that was prepared to be GLUTEN FREE, so I used the Lundberg brand," or "I hope you like Tinkyada ? I made the sauce for it myself, from scratch," and "Oh, No, we don't use THAT BRAND of bread because it's not GLUTEN FREE, we use {whatever, like Udi's} and we want to keep our apartment safe for [name of ingrate roomate] so please use that cutting board for the gluten free bread when making the sandwich. Whoops, not that butter, it's cross contaminated, this one." "Oh, wait, not that spatula, this dedicated one." "Here, have these rice crackers with the cheese, not those. " "I made this bread myself from the Pamela's mix, in the microwave in a bowl, I hope you like it." "Chebe breadstick ? Aren't they great?" "Have another taco. I made sure this brand of tortilla was gluten free and manufactured in a facility that tested for cc, btw."

You get the idea.

I don't know if he'd be speaking to you the next week, but it would be worth it to see the look on his face. ^_^

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I have a sneaking suspicion the gluten intolerant roommate couldn't care less, and trying to embarrass him/her won't do a bit of good. Subtleties are lost on those in heat....

If the gluten-free roomie is not being gluten-free, it will backfire soon. Just be patient...don't abandon gluten-free habits in the shared house yet...because s/he will be back in the diet soon or completely give it up (and you can totally stop worrying about it).

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I agree with pricklypear that he'll pay sooner or later, also you pointing out how bad he is treating his celiac could really make things tense between the two of you. You really have no place to be correcting his mistakes on his diet unless he asks or starts bitching about how poorly he feels. But, if you bring it up on your own you could distroy your friendship and make the rest of the year living hell.

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I think I would just say something like "hey, I notice you are not on the gluten free diet right now, so can we relax the rules at home for now?"

Or, "now that you are taking a break from the diet, I am going to relax the rules at home. Just let me know when you want to go back to a safer kitchen."

Or something similar. The point being, let him know you are aware and not judging, but would like a break while he takes his break.

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I wonder if he's the type of person who, when he finally DOES get sick, will blame it on you. You are keeping your promise to have a safe kitchen, but if he gets sick, he probably won't blame his new sweetheart. And although we all know he should blame HIMSELF, it's human nature to find someone else to blame.

I would talk to him about it. Just lay your cards on the table, let him know that you are concerned, and then the ball is in his court.

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Thanks so much everyone! You guys are great, I used this forum a lot to understand celiac's, and it's been a great ressource!

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Thanks so much everyone! You guys are great, I used this forum a lot to understand celiac's, and it's been a great ressource!

So.....don't leave us in suspense What did you do?

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I came back here because I was wondering the same thing. What happened? I also want to say that you seem like a great guy to be so caring about your roommate. It seems he is blinded by love.

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    • Thanks Stephanie & Gemini for the info. that the 4 of 5 doesn't apply to children. I wasn't aware of that until now. 
    • I think the posters above have given you very good information and I will throw in my 2 cents worth.  I am surprised that they did not test her DGP IgA also.  I am sure that would have been positive.  They switched off with antibody classes and usually they do both tests for both antibodies.  IgA is more specific to Celiac but the IgG is also useful.  The testing shows your daughter is producing antibodies to the gluten in her diet. (DGP IGG). THe tTg shows positive for some damage or inflammation. You know........your daughter is only 4.  She hasn't been on the planet or eating gluten that long. It can take years for enough damage to occur for it to be able to be found on biopsy.  I would say it is highly likely that this is Celiac, especially with her symptoms. But because the damage hasn't graduated to bad enough yet, they won't diagnose her. I think you need to do what others have said and get all copies of testing and find someone else who will take a look and give a diagnosis, especially if they have you do a dietary trial and her symptoms go away.  That might be the only recourse if you want faster proof. I know I would want faster.  I would not really be happy if I thought I had to keep feeding her something that was making her sick.  If you keep her on gluten long enough, the diarrhea will probably show up. BTW.........the criteria mentioned regarding diagnosis does not apply to kids.  I know it's silly and stupid but most leading Celiac specialists do not go by this criteria for kids.......adults only.  Keep that in mind because it might come up.  You could recognize it but they might not. Have you considered gene testing, to help bolster a diagnosis? As far as false positives go, it's the other way around. False negatives happen more frequently than many people think.  It's a recurring theme here.  With her symptoms, which is what I had, a bloated belly and tummy aches are telling.  Have they tested her for lactose intolerance?  That can cause similar symptoms, although it sure won't raise those 2 blood tests.  Keep looking for Celiac because there are many red flags here.
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    • Mnoosh, I had swollen lymph nodes prior to celiac dx and for a while after going gluten free. My neck as well as groin. The groin ones were the worst. Guess what? All gone! It's hard to recall a time line & consider that everyone is different but I think mine completely resolved within a year.  You've been given great information. Just breathe and then again, breathe. You're going to be fine. 
    • It is the only thing you have eaten, so it can't be anything else?  I eat it with no issues so I am not sure how you can be certain that is the problem.  All I am saying is that its sort of "your word against mine and the company's word".  
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