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  • Kelly Carter
    Kelly Carter

    A Love Note to the Partners of a Celiac Sufferer

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      Journal of Gluten Sensitivity Summer 2019 Issue

    Caption: Image: CC BY-ND 2.0--hildaaa

    Celiac.com 07/22/2019 - I was thinking...the significant others of someone with celiac put up with a lot.

    They endure the constant discussions at every social gathering about celiac disease. New social contacts mean an explanation of why we can't come to your house for dinner without a 20 minute conversation about bringing our own food. It means the camaraderie of a pitcher of beer is ruined by our need to order cider or a glass of wine. It means that the well-intentioned friend at a pot luck brought something gluten free, but we can't eat it because we don't know how it was prepared.

    They cannot make dinner reservations at a new place without first a 20 minute review of the menu, then a 5 minute grilling of the wait staff, only to watch helplessly as we endure the results of the inevitable cross contamination.
    They hold our hair back, bring us the heating pad to put on our sore stomachs, and deliver emergency toilet paper for each request in the bathroom.

    Just not in the mood—really means, I want to but I was sick all day and don't want anyone in that general area. And sometimes it means, everything hurts, so I just don't want anyone to touch me.

    Travelling with us requires hours of planning where to stop to ensure we have a safe place to eat, then later speeding to the next exit to find a restroom in sometimes questionable gas stations. And then standing outside the bathroom at those questionable gas stations to ensure our safety.

    They also go gluten free in the house to make sure we have a safe place to live. They brush their teeth after their beer but before kissing us. They understand that paying for a gluten free loaf of bread that is half the size of normal bread and three times the cost shows us love. They check every label when going to the grocery store for us, just to make sure they buy the right stuff.

    Our partners often put themselves in awkward social situations, endure financial burdens, and put themselves in sometimes dangerous places to protect us. Celiac disease affects them is obvious ways and many that we may not see. They do all of this out of love for their partner.

    And your partner may not do any of those things or maybe all of them or maybe just a few—they love and support you. And if they don't, dump them!

    The bottom line is that we should appreciate those that choose to spend their time with someone with Celiac. We didn’t make a choice to have this disease, but every day they choose to be with us. So, thank you from the bottom of our hearts for all the love and support.

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    Recommended Comments

    On 7/30/2019 at 11:09 AM, Guest Deborah Beauvais said:

    Thank you for sharing the different degrees and wonderful for those less affected. A very strict diet is key for many of us and good quality enzymes before meals, makes a huge difference in cutting down bathroom trips and absorbing nutrients..also a quality probiotic. Thank you for such a great article!

    Can  I ask what kind/brand of enzymes you take before meals? I do take probiotics everyday, not sure if I also should be taking a prebiotic too

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    On 7/29/2019 at 3:11 PM, Guest celiac disease exaggerated said:

    The teeth brushing thing is a bit extreme. I have celiac since 2008 and I do not think if someone drinks beer and you kiss them you are contaminated. In my kitchen we still have some gluten items. You just need to be careful and smart. Trips don't have to be all that complicated. Bring things and do not eat fast food...

    Obviously you’re lucky enough not to have a severe sensitivity to even tiny amounts of gluten. Everyone’s sensitivity is different, and whether you experience it or not, even a few bread crumbs can cause reaction in some people (a.k.a., me). So, yes, kissing someone who just drank a beer or who has beer on their lips CAN cause a reaction for some. My body is that sensitive to it. I’m glad you, however, don’t have to be extra vigilant. 

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    Guest Kathy in FL


    I am a highly sensitive celiac and my husband and son have always been extremely supportive of me.  We have a completely gluten free household.  If my husband wants anything with gluten in it, he eats it at a restaurant or place like Whole Foods away from the house.  He is great at finding new gluten free products for us to try. 

    I plan all our vacations and our hotel choice is always a place that offers gluten free meals.  Restaurants are similarly chosen.  Since Europe is usually more gluten free friendly than the USA I get no complaints from my family when we travel. 

    My extended family is also very supportive and my daughter-in-law always prepares gluten free food for me when I visit.  She is a pharmacist and knows how to avoid cross-contamination.  I am very thankful for these wonderful, supportive family members. 

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  • About Me

    I was diagnosed with Celiac in 2012 and have been gluten free ever since.  I live in Atlanta with my husband and two medium sized children.  I run a blog at FatCeliac.net that covers real life issues with celiac disease, upcoming drug trials, and try to be a reliable source of information for the celiac community.

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