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How To Make Boyfriend And Friends Understand
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13 posts in this topic

Hi everyone,

I'm 15, been diagnosed for 4 months, and still struggling a lot with my health, not feeling normal yet.

And my friends and boyfriend don't really understand, and don't take it seriously.

I'm super sensitive and I've been researching and have found that even if you kiss someone who's eaten gluten you can get contaminated. And I've spoken to my boyfriend about this and he's not willing to read books about celiacs or try and gluten free foods or anything..

And with friends and boyfriend like that it just makes everything a whole lot worse!

Any ideas?

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I know and remember being sick and on a restrictive diet at 15. Its really tough. The situation with your boyfriend and friends is a difficult one. Post people at that age don't get the concept of a food allergy unless they have one. I do sagest, not forcing it on them, If they dont want to read the books, pamphlets, web sites, or any other information. You need to focus on you and your health right now, if you feel like you get sick after kissing him from him eating gluten then quit kissing him, if he wants your kisses then he will avoid the gluten to be able to kiss and be near you. Your friends on the other hand, I would keep it simple. Tell them you have a wheat allergy any that has flour in it, you cant have.

When it comes to outsiders don't get it. Best rule of thumb is keep it sumple stupid... Not calling you stupid, but most people have a tendency to over complicate things. gluten-free is not a simple thing but for those that dont have to follow it dotn need to know the whole issue, Wheat allergy works for most people.

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I know how you feel. I was diagnosed two years ago (I'm now 14) and my boyfriend and I were together for three years (broke up over the summer..) Last year he would express how much he wanted to kiss me, and I tried to get him to understand. He was veRY UNderstanding which was so helpful. He said he would go on a gluten free diet just to kiss me - unfortunately he didn't understand exactly what that meant and how much it would restrict his life - it doesn't mean just not eating bread or cookies (normal oneS).. I told him it would be too hard, and we promised ourselves when we got older he would go totally gluten free.

He also said that he researched, and couples who had one person gluten free, the other could just brush their teeth really well with gluten free toothpaste, but being the ultimate worrier and I also have the worst phobia of getting sick, I said no. I actually made up a lie that I have a special kind of celiac disease, which means I'm SUPER sensitive.. I feel really bad about it, but I was so obsessed with staying gluten-free clean I felt like I had to.

So we ended up sticking to the other physical things, and kissing on the cheek, head, other places on the face besides the mouth. Of course he could only kiss me there since I was terrified that his shaving cream or aftershave had gluten in it as well!

Luckily my friends were also understanding, kind of.. One friend, said she WANTED to have celiac disease, just because my gluten free pretzels (glutino by the way, everyone's a fan!) were so delicious. That made me so angry!!! I tried to tell her NO you do NOT want to.. because it's not just getting to eat yummy alternatives.. besides you can eat them when you don't have to avoid others ANYWYA!!!

I sort of gave up on making them fully understnad... though

I just kept my food to myself, and if I was invited somewhere, I brought my own as well. I didn't bother asking people to get special food, or if they asked, I politley refused and said not to bother, I'd be content with my own stuff thans. I have a wonderful best friend though, and even though she doesn't understand what it's like, she treats gluten like the black plauge when I'm around! <3 Watching out for me, even though I don't need it I'm quite thankful. :)

Tell your boyfriend that you will get very sick and it will contribute to further fatal illnesses later in your life if you get gluten, and kissing him is posing a risk. If he is a true heart boyfriend, he would rather you not get sick, because he cares about you. He doesn't have to read anything as long as he beleives you. Send him the link to wheere you read the thing about kissing though, just so he knows youa re teling the truth. And make sure you express how you love to spend time with him, so it doesn't seem like a way of sneaking out of the relatihonship.

If he refuses to cooperate, though, then I don't see the whole relathionship working There needs to be aggrement on both sides.. But health comes first.

Goodluck

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kick him to the curb & just tell your friends that gluten "messes you up" plain & simple. Bring your own food when you hang out with friends,etc. Good Luck!

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Hi everyone,

I'm 15, been diagnosed for 4 months, and still struggling a lot with my health, not feeling normal yet.

And my friends and boyfriend don't really understand, and don't take it seriously.

I'm super sensitive and I've been researching and have found that even if you kiss someone who's eaten gluten you can get contaminated. And I've spoken to my boyfriend about this and he's not willing to read books about celiacs or try and gluten free foods or anything..

And with friends and boyfriend like that it just makes everything a whole lot worse!

Any ideas?

I know exactly how you feel. I got so frustrated with the guy I was dating so I printed him out a little booklet for his family and for him as well. Unfortunately they still didn't get it. It's really hard to be a celiac and in the dating world, I hate constantly worrying about the food at dining places.

You need to worry about your health and well being, if they can't understand that then kick them to the curb. Someone who understands will come along, you're only 15. When I was diagnosed I was 16 and I know how awful it is those first few months. I know it feels like you're a prisoner, but I've been gluten free for 2-3 years now and it does get better and easier.

I'm an extremely sensitive as well, and I have been contaminated by kissing someone who has eaten gluten. The only advice I can offer you as far as helping people understand, keep explaining. It may take a while, but some people will understand. I wish you luck :)

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Hi everyone,

I'm 15, been diagnosed for 4 months, and still struggling a lot with my health, not feeling normal yet.

And my friends and boyfriend don't really understand, and don't take it seriously.

I'm super sensitive and I've been researching and have found that even if you kiss someone who's eaten gluten you can get contaminated. And I've spoken to my boyfriend about this and he's not willing to read books about celiacs or try and gluten free foods or anything..

And with friends and boyfriend like that it just makes everything a whole lot worse!

Any ideas?

I totally understand what you are going through. Its very hard to get people to understand the concept of it all. Especially a boyfriend. I was diagnosed when I was about 15 and I am now 21. I tell my boyfriend tho that if he wants to kiss me, he has to brush his teeth frist. It works great that way too. He doesn't mind brushing his teeth after eating wheat before we kiss. Hope this helps and good luck!!

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I know how you feel. I think we all have been there at one time or another. I'm 20 and have been gluten free for 2 years but was pretty much food free for 3 years before that because nobody could figure out what was making me sick so my food intake was very little because I didn't want to feel worse! I got very fortunate with my boyfriend. We live together and just bought a house together but my house must be gluten free and he has sacrificed gluten for me. He will still eat it at work and when I'm not around but when were together he does not eat gluten. I know it may be hat for your boyfriend to understand now but if he truly loves you he will educate himsel on the subject because he shouldn't want to risk your health because he wants to eat a sandwich! And with your friends; I've found that my best friends all understand and are very conscious of it but my not so close friends don't really understand. And there not going to. I have to exaggerate the severity of my reaction to gluten so my friends are EXTRA careful when they want to cook something for me or whatever. That's been the best way I've been able to cope with it!

Good luck!

Natalie

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All I have to say, is be glad your not a guy. I find guys are much more willing to sacrifice for a girl then girl's are for a guy, having to be the forward one usually makes the first kiss awkward as F when you have to find a way to be smooth about saying "so hey yeah, I can't kiss you unless you go brush like a fiend! with .. this kind of toothpaste.. ahaha it's funny to think about it because it will never happen. I wish you the best of luck with it though. Would love to have good advice on that one =P

If I come off as insensitive, my bad, I'm not saying all girls are that way, just alot of them find it way easier to just move on, I can't blame them either.

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After I went gluten-free I found out who my real friends are. Not to make you feel bad or rub anything in but I have friends who throw whole gluten-free parties when I'm the only one attending that is gluten-free. They would never decide to go out to dinner and pick a place that I cannot eat at. As for my boyfriend, when we go out to eat he eats off of the gluten-free menu. If he does eat gluten he always makes sure that he brushes his teeth really well and uses mouth wash to get anything he may have missed. When we move in together (hopefully soon) he was very accepting when I explained why I wanted our place to be a gluten free one. He loves me and he loves me healthy.

You'll find REAL friends and there are guys out there who will adapt to your diet to make sure you don't get sick. I swear they are out there and when you find them hang on to them.

Good luck! It gets easier.

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I was just diagnoised with a severe gluten intolerance in September; I turned 14 in October. I became so sick and am now VERY careful. I always have purell with me and use it before putting anything near my mouth. It took so long to find out what was wrong with me and in the process of not nowing I lost a lot of weight and had to stop ALL physical activity. 2011 was the worst summer of my life! So I completly understand what it's like to have to try and explain what it means to be gluten free to friends and family, some are more willing to listen and try to understand than others... My grandmother has been super supportive and so had my parents and sister her boyfriend even looks out for me when it comes to gluten (his mom even made me a batch of gluten-free brownies...although I was too nevous to try them. I wasn't sure how careful she was about cross contamination, but everyone else seemed to enjoy them). My reaction to having gluten is almost instant so I do everything possible to stay gluten-free.

One way that I have found helpful to explain my reaction to gluten is explaining to people that what happens when I have gluten is nothing like a peanut allergy or anything like that. I don't get hives or anaphylactic shock.... When I have gluten everything is internal, you can't see it happen, I can just feel it........

Relationships with me are pretty much non-existant... Now that I'm gluten free my parents have officially allowed me to start dating purley becuase they know there won't me any kissing. I don't even let my family get anywhere near me without brushing their teeth and washing their hand after they have gluten, nevermind a boy...

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I kno how u felt. My husband didnt quite understand wat celiac was, and i explained it to him, and now he doesnt even eat gluten food in front of me, just to not give me temptations. I had self diagnosed myself at first, and everyone thought i was just inventing this disease, they thought i was loosing weight because i wasnt eating bread and stuff like them. they was just depressing me more. But then as i continued the gluten free diet, they actualy understood that i wasnt making it up( and plus i got the test results later). But my friends, well at least the ones i thought were my friends , didnt even bother to see if i was okay or something. Im just happy i have a great famiy who undertands and always make gluten free food when i come over. Friends come and go, family are their to stay.

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I'm 23 now and totally know what you're getting at with people not understanding the disease or what it's like to have to be hyper vigilant about EVERYTHING that comes in contact with your mouth. My mom once saw me reading through the ingredients on an antacid bottle and snapped at me that "They wouldn't put gluten in medication that's meant to make you better!". Completely false. Gluten can be found in anything... She was frustrated with me that night and insisted the glutening I'd experienced from Applebee's was in my head. (It wasn't. The tortilla chip strips were fried in a common frier... ) She used to harp on me about overthinking things and still does occasionally. She'll often think I've simply psyched myself out when I've been glutened if the amount or source of it doesn't make sense to her. She's since gotten MUCH better. It was helpful for her to be able to see the damage it to me after a recent glutening. Rather than try to hide the bloat behind baggy clothes, I decided to wear a shirt that made it incredibly obvious I looked five months pregnant. When she commented on it, I told her something along the lines of "This is what cross contamination does. Now imagine if I ate an actual piece of bread?" She was freaked out enough by seeing how distended I looked in addition to how many times I ran to the bathroom that day to believe it was real. She did a lot of research on it and now is one of the very few people I trust to make me a meal now.

 

My advice, which is very similar to what others have said, is to try and illustrate with really concrete examples why gluten makes you so sick. If the damage is visible on you, like a really bloated belly or a rash, maybe you could show them that (I definitely don't mean purposefully gluten yourself though!) Otherwise I've had luck asking them to remember their worst experience with the stomach flu, and then ask them imagine that illness happening every singe time they ingest something. I've seen some visual representations online that show a crumb next to a piece of bread in order to illustrate how little gluten is required to make a Celiac sick that are helpful too. Show them these as well. Most people will come around eventually. I've encountered a few really ignorant people who don't think any food allergies or intolerances exist, but they are rare. Most people simply have no clue how careful we have to be!

 

The other thing I've done is brutal honesty. I think most Celiac sufferers have had an experience where someone well-meaning tried to make them something gluten free but ended up making them sick. The first few months I was gluten free I'd lied and tell them I felt fine so I wouldn't hurt their feelings, but I think it makes them more aware of just how serious it is if they realize that their careless prep methods caused you illness...If someone accidentally makes you sick, definitely let them know. It doesn't have to be in a rude way, but this got one of my closest friends to be a better ally about gluten.

 

As far as kissing goes, I agree with making your boyfriend brush his teeth first. I'd probably also ask he rinse his mouth out thoroughly with water or mouthwash. Make sure the mouthwash and toothpaste is gluten free though!

 

Hope it helps!

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Hi everyone,

I'm 15, been diagnosed for 4 months, and still struggling a lot with my health, not feeling normal yet.

And my friends and boyfriend don't really understand, and don't take it seriously.

I'm super sensitive and I've been researching and have found that even if you kiss someone who's eaten gluten you can get contaminated. And I've spoken to my boyfriend about this and he's not willing to read books about celiacs or try and gluten free foods or anything..

And with friends and boyfriend like that it just makes everything a whole lot worse!

Any ideas?

 

This makes me incredibly frustrated. You could try to explain to your boyfriend that you have a DISEASE. If he found out you were allergic to peanuts, he wouldn't try to throw them in your face, would he? It's a disease, and he needs to treat it like one. I understand that it can be hard for him to understand, but it's honestly not that hard to put into practice. I don't know how sensitive you are, but for most people simply having their boy/girlfriend brush their teeth after eating gluten is enough to stay gluten free. 

 

Honestly, just refuse to kiss him after he eats gluten unless he brushes his teeth. He will also probably see you get glutened at some point, sometimes that's what people need to truly understand that this is something serious for you.

 

I wish you the best of luck! And don't despair. There are plenty of great people out there that will understand and accommodate to you. I've been with my girlfriend for 9 months now and she is completely fine with it. She even defends me in front of other people!  :)

 

Take the same approach with your parents. Simply refuse to eat anything with gluten in it, and do your research well. No parent will want their child to starve, so they will inevitably buy you gluten free foods.

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