Jump to content



Celiac.com Sponsor (A1):



Celiac.com Sponsor (A1-m):


  • You've found your Celiac Tribe! Join our like-minded, private community and share your story, get encouragement and connect with others.

    💬

    • Sign In
    • Sign Up
  • Scott Adams
    Scott Adams

    COVID-19 Vulnerable People with Celiac Disease and Other Diseases Forced Back to Work Too Soon

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    People with celiac and other diseases are being forced back to work by political leaders demanding that they sacrifice themselves and their loved ones to "help the economy."

    COVID-19 Vulnerable People with Celiac Disease and Other Diseases Forced Back to Work Too Soon - Telemarketers. Image: CC BY 2.0--News Oresund
    Caption: Telemarketers. Image: CC BY 2.0--News Oresund

    Celiac.com 05/13/2019 - People with celiac and other diseases are being forced back to work by political leaders demanding that they sacrifice themselves and their loved ones to "help the economy."  The problem is not simply relegated to pressure from bosses. In fact, some state governors are threatening to end unemployment benefits, including the federal $600 weekly CARES unemployment benefit, for anyone who refuses to return to work, as requested by their employer.

    You can read about that in this related article, which is aptly subtitled, "Governors Cut Off New Unemployment Benefits Before Some People Even Got Checks."



    Celiac.com Sponsor (A12):






    Celiac.com Sponsor (A12-m):




    Of course, the problem is that the pandemic is far from under control, in fact, several states just saw their highest death toll, or highest new case numbers to date. Until we have adequate testing, tracing and ways to measure the safety level of any given state, city, or business, going back to work could be risky, especially for workers with autoimmune disease like celiac disease or other medical conditions. 

    Moneyist recently featured a letter from one person in Florida, whose work challenges illustrate the dilemma perfectly. The letter begins: 

    Quote

    I‘ve been sick since March 1, diagnosed by urgent care with an acute upper respiratory infection. My primary physician put me on prednisone, as I’m anemic with debilitating asthma and celiac disease. I’m 66 years old. I’ve been hospitalized twice in two years with inflammation and pneumonia.

    For the last three weeks, I’ve asked the optometrist I work for to supply masks and gloves so I can protect myself and others while I’m at work. He thinks this whole thing is a farce, and a way to shut down the economy so that President Trump will lose the election in November.

    The worker states that her employer initially discouraged her from wearing a face mask, as per CDC guidelines. She goes on to add that she "continue[d] to cough, and last week I had a video visit with my primary physician. He became concerned, given my history of hospitalizations, and ordered me to be tested for COVID-19. I was tested on Thursday and am waiting for results. I was told to self-isolate for 14 days."

    The woman is legitimately concerned that staying home, as per her physician's direction, could leave her ineligible for unemployment benefits. Her letter includes this desperate line:

    "I’m falling through the cracks. I worry that if I do get COVID-19 and die, my husband and children will have no recourse against this employer"

    Are you or a loved one in a similar situation? Are you worried about COVID-19 and being pressured to return to work too soon? Share your story below.

    Read the letter, and the reply by Moneyist at Marketwatch.com.

    Edited by Scott Adams



    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    I was diagnosed Celiac in 1961 time frame at Chicago Illinois Research....long before it was nationally recognized. I actually lived in the hospital because there was little to no knowledge of Celiac, and back in those days, they had to do a biopsy and there was a lot of hit or miss per se when I was being diagnosed.  I was severely ill and so emaciated by the time they got me from another hospital - that I could not stand up on my own. Chicago Illinois Research was a teaching hospital and I was visited often by physicians from all over the nation and world - very thankful to Pediatric Doctor Rosenthal back in the day.  He was my primary care physician, he was devoted, and I actually thought of him as a second father.  

    The thing I remember most when I "lived" in the hospital in 1961 in the pediatrics critical care floor - none of us children were isolated from one another - there were two to a room - visitors allowed - if the weather was nice, the nurses would bring us outside in our wheelchairs for fresh air and sunshine.  Since that point-in-time I have lived through other pandemics, illnesses and disease with a lot of unknowns and never experienced isolation or shutdown.

    I left corporate world in 2005, and went the self-employed house keeper route.  I temporarily closed my house cleaning business during the second week of March 2020.  My plans are a soft reopen in June, and then, get completely back on track with my clients' cleaning schedules by July, (I clean four houses a week).  I provided a handout of safety protocols to my clients.  The safety protocols are designed for my clients, as well as, keeping my own health and welfare in mind.

    We each have our own unique circumstances, and I was taught early on that the world does not revolve around my needs - it is up to me to take care of myself. 

    Regarding death tolls and cases....it has been brought to our attention that these numbers include "probable's", and some deaths are counted as COVID19 when there were other original underlying causes of death.   Also, if the same person is tested positive more than once, each positive test that same person takes is a separate count versus a one time count.  Unfortunate, that accurate accounting is not occurring - hence, we do not know the true numbers.

    Long-story-short, I am heading back to work - throughout my life I was taught to be clean, get fresh air and sunshine, eat good food (had dieticians), take my supplements and mingle with the world.  Trying to live a sterilized life will only backfire in the long run...it is impossible; at least that is what I believe and what I was taught as a child.

    Kind regards, JoAnne

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    LOL "forced back to work too soon" i wish i got to isolate for months like all of these people. i got 2 weeks off, had to cut through red tape to get it, and i've been at work this whole time apart from that. my employers never really let me use celiac as an excuse for anything. I've been called into the office 3 separate times to "have a conversation about my attendance" where I explained my condition and was met by a vacant stare. I wake up 4 am each morning and dont get home until 7pm, I have to rely on other people to make my food at least to some degree and unless im missing some kind of disabilities benefit I can collect while i look for a more accommodating job I'm SOL

    Link to comment
    Share on other sites


    Join the conversation

    You are posting as a guest. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.
    Note: Your post will require moderator approval before it will be visible.

    Guest
    Add a comment...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Restore formatting

      Only 75 emoji are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • About Me

    Scott Adams

    Scott Adams was diagnosed with celiac disease in 1994, and, due to the nearly total lack of information available at that time, was forced to become an expert on the disease in order to recover. In 1995 he launched the site that later became Celiac.com to help as many people as possible with celiac disease get diagnosed so they can begin to live happy, healthy gluten-free lives.  He is co-author of the book Cereal Killers, and founder and publisher of the (formerly paper) newsletter Journal of Gluten Sensitivity. In 1998 he founded The Gluten-Free Mall which he sold in 2014. Celiac.com does not sell any products, and is 100% advertiser supported.


  • Celiac.com Sponsor (A17):
    Celiac.com Sponsor (A17):





    Celiac.com Sponsors (A17-m):




  • Related Articles

    Amanda Rosenkoetter, Ph.D.
    Celiac.com 03/20/2020 - Food hardly ever entered my mind. In the past, I practiced intuitive eating. If I was hungry for a burger, I had a burger. Pasta, then I had pasta. I felt what I wanted and I got it. Simple as that, without stress or worry. Most people are accustom to eating this way, but things changed dramatically this past week, with rapid rise of COVID-19 cases. Intense emotions are swirling around buying food. Shelves are empty and people fear they won’t be able to buy the essentials, let alone their favorites. Please stop worrying, I have you covered. You see, I am a celiac. 
    Life changes with the onset of disease. Celiac disease was my game changer because it thrust me into a life of food preoccupation. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease triggered when people eat gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye and barley). Ingestion of gluten causes an immune response. In essence, the body begins an attack on its small intestine and prevents nutrients from being absorbed. If left untreated, the symptoms are terrible, but if a gluten-free diet is strictly followed, those same awful symptoms go away. Notice the word strictly. Without strict adherence, the symptoms come right back. 
    It is the strictness of the gluten-free diet in the life of a celiac that makes food so central in our lives. Running errands and grabbing quick fast food is out of the question. Grocery shopping requires an hour reading every label because gluten hides in everything. With celiac disease, food goes from a thoughtless pleasure to a chronic worry. When you leave your home, there might not be food available that you can eat.  
    Herein lies the overlap with COVID-19. You have to think strategically about food rather than relying on it being available. People with celiac cannot assume restaurants or dinner parties will have food free of gluten, nor should we. It is our responsibility to feed ourselves in a way that does not harm our bodies. I regularly bring my own food to the mall or to a potluck. Popping my own popcorn and smuggling it into the movie theater is my move. All of this gluten-free preparation takes time and necessitates the sacrifice of other activities. Sundays involve hours of food prep for the week. I think about my upcoming plans and I strategize. On the go means tuna pouches, dried fruit and protein bars. Time at home allows for fresh fruit and vegetables. I think about where I am, what I have, and how to eat in the healthiest way given the combination of the two. The point is, I think about it. 
    What I have learned as a celiac is that food is not easy and it certainly is not automatic. There are even times when it is unavailable. To cope, I am flexible and make adjustments within the confines of my dietary requirements. It seems hard at first. It is normal to be angry or despairing when what you want to eat is no longer an option. But the mind’s greatest achievement is to accept what cannot be changed. It seems we are destined to live under these strange circumstances for the foreseeable future. In this new world, restaurants might close and the grocery store might not be stocked. It’s okay. Embrace the world of canned and frozen goods, experiment with sauces and spices, and spend time thinking about how your food can be different and healthy. It’s a challenge flung your way. Treat it as such and you will learn to be grateful for what you have rather than sad about what you have lost. I coped with the loss of gluten in my delicious Chicago-style pizzas but discovered the joy of avocado on just about anything. You too will cope with what you are losing now, but maybe you will remember the deliciousness of canned peaches.


    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 03/19/2020 - The Covid-19 outbreak has people searching for answers regarding the virus, its symptoms and course, and any risk factors for certain groups. One question we are seeing a lot is: Do people with untreated celiac disease face a higher risk of developing complications with the coronavirus? Should they take extra precautions?
    The answers are not totally clear, but in the interest of keeping people with celiac disease informed, healthy and safe, here are some answers to some basic questions, along with some helpful tips for dealing with the Covid-19 outbreak. 
    We know that the coronavirus can cause extreme respiratory distress, and pneumonia, especially in the elderly and/or people with compromised immune systems. 
    According to Wikipedia, "Coronavirus disease 2019 symptoms include fever, cough and shortness of breath. Muscle pain, sputum production and sore throat are less common. While the majority of cases result in mild symptoms, some progress to severe pneumonia and multi-organ failure."
    It's true that epidemics of flu and other viruses tend to cause more severe issues for people with pre-existing health conditions. So if you are already sick from celiac disease and could Covid-19 increase the chances you have a more severe case? Could you be at higher risk for pneumonia? 
    Viral vs. Bacterial Pneumonia
    Possibly, but the answers just aren't clear. One main concern is clearly pneumonia. We know that coronavirus can cause severe respiratory distress, and can lead to pneumonia. Now, there are two types of pneumonia: Viral and Bacterial. Without getting too technical, bacterial pneumonia is treated with antibiotics. Viral pneumonia is not treated with antibiotics. People with Covid-19 are mainly coming down with viral pneumonia. That means antibiotics are not helpful. 
    Higher Pneumonia Risk for Celiac Patients
    We also know that people with celiac disease can face higher risk for bacterial pneumonia and hyposplenism. Doctors generally recommend that celiac disease patients receive pneumococcal vaccination, but little has been done to quantify risk levels.
    Young People with Celiac Disease Have a Substantially Higher Risk for Bacterial Pneumonia Celiac UK advice to celiac patients points out that up to 30 per cent of people with celiac disease suffer from reduced splenic function, or hyposplenism. This points to a weakness in the immune system that supports the adoption of stringent social distancing measures.
    Some Positive News
    Some say that people with celiac are not immunocompromised and are not at higher risk for covid-19. Celiac.com forum member LJR1989 shared this helpful link. There's also some good research to show that mucosal healing does not influence the risk of serious infection requiring hospital-based medical attention in celiac patients. There's also a reassuring message from Dr. Andrew Fasano:
     
    No Good Data on Virus Risk in Celiac Patients
    However, there just isn't much good research specific to virus risk and celiac disease, and no research specific to Covid-19 and celiac disease, so we can only go by the little we know.
    The issue of celiac disease, pneumonia risk and Covid-19 is serious enough to prompt this message from Dr. Benjamin Lebwohl, MD, MS, Director of Clinical Research, The Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University:
    Here's a Helpful Video on Symptoms and Progression of Coronavirus
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H2E1t3yMXgE
    Covid-19 Advice for People with Celiac Disease
    Take Precautions
    If you have treated celiac disease, your risk for coronavirus is probably about the same as any comparable non-celiac. Probably. But, there's just not much good evidence to say for sure. The coronavirus is serious enough, even in healthy people, to be avoided if possible. From a prevention standpoint, if you have celiac disease, even if it's treated, it's probably wise to behave as if you are in a higher risk group, and to take the precautions necessary to avoid exposure to coronavirus, which include isolating yourself from strangers for two to three weeks. 
    Consider Getting a Pneumococcal Pneumonia Vaccine
    The vaccine against pneumococcal pneumonia will help to prevent bacterial pneumonia. This may or may not help if you contract coronavirus, but it's unlikely to hurt, and will be helpful against bacterial pneumonia, which can affect people with celiac disease.  For people with celiac disease, it's probably a good idea to get a pneumonia vaccine. The vaccine is currently recommended in the UK for people with celiac disease. Read more about how the Coeliac UK Recommends Pneumonia Vaccine.
    It's probably not a bad idea to get a vaccination. It can't hurt, and might help. Check with a doctor for details.
    Don't Panic
    Celiac disease or no celiac disease, if you do come down with Covid-19, don't panic. If you have celiac disease and get Covid-19, there's no reason to assume you'll be worse off than those without celiac disease. Here's what to do if you believe you've been exposed to the coronavirus, or become sick. People who suspect infection with coronavirus should shelter at home, contact local health officials for information, and seek medical attention as directed. 
    Covid-19 Topics on Celiac.com Forums
    Keep up with the conversation or share information about coronavirus (Covid-19) and celiac disease on the Celiac.com Forum:
    Covid-19
    Coronavirus More Susceptible to Celiacs?

    Covid-19 Resources
    Center for Disease Control
    UK Health Advice on Social Distancing

    This is a developing story. Please share any information in our comments below, or on our forums above.


    Scott Adams
    Celiac.com 04/11/2020 - We know that people with celiac disease have higher risk of bacterial pneumonia, especially those who have not received a vaccine for pneumococcal pneumonia, which is recommended for everyone with celiac disease, even if you are young.
    However, we don't have any good information on whether people with celiac disease might be at higher risk for viral pneumonia, which is of special interest, given the outbreak of coronavirus. Do people with celiac disease have higher risk of getting cover? Are they at greater risk for viral pneumonia?
    Numerous people with celiac disease have sought guidance on these and related issues from clinicians, but there's been no study so far on celiac disease and viral pneumonia risk. There have also been no studies on celiac disease and coronavirus. Without data, there's only guesswork. The questions are serious enough for researchers to make a push to gather data related to celiac disease, COVID-19, and viral pneumonia risk.
    Benjamin Lebwohl, MD, MS, Director of Clinical Research, The Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University and colleagues have set up an online, confidential, de-identified secure registry for doctors worldwide to report cases of those with celiac disease who get Covid-19. The registry entry should be done by health care practitioners only, not patients.
    Dr. Lebwohl specifically mentions the increased risk for pneumococcal pneumonia in people with celiac disease as one reason to look for any elevated viral pneumonia risk in celiacs, among other risks. A recent email from Dr. Lebwohl to fellow celiac researchers reads as follows:
    Stay tuned for more developments on this and related stories. Curious about the celiac disease, COVID-19, and viral pneumonia?
    Covid-19 Topics on Celiac.com Forums
    Keep up with the conversation or share information about coronavirus (Covid-19) and celiac disease on the Celiac.com Forum:
    Covid-19
    Coronavirus More Susceptible to Celiacs?

    Covid-19 Resources
    Center for Disease Control
    UK Health Advice on Social Distancing


    Scott Adams
    Celiac.com 04/30/2020 - Patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) seem to suffer milder effects in the disease phase of COVID-19 than other patients, according to two new reports. That may be due to their treatment with immunosuppressant drugs, including salicylates. What's going on? Could people with celiac disease share a similar benefit?
    Because many patients with IBD receive immunosuppressive drugs, doctors have wondered whether those patients might be more susceptible to COVID-19, or its effects. On the other hand, immunomodulatory therapies might also suppress the hyperinflammatory cytokine response associated with the most severe presentations of COVID-19.
    Dr. Lorenzo Norsa and colleagues observed 522 IBD patients in their clinic at the Papa Giovanni XXIII Hospital in Bergamo, Italy, which was the epicenter of Italy’s outbreak, and suffered some of the highest rates of SARS-CoV-2 infection in the world. All of these patients are on some form of immunosuppressive drug, and more than 60% are being treated only with salicylates.
    During the observation period, the team saw no cases of COVID-19 in this group, and none of the 522 IBD patients were hospitalized with SARS-CoV-2 infection. However, during the same period, 479 patients with no IBD history were hospitalized for severe COVID-19 and respiratory failure.
    Based on the team’s calculations using data from the Wuhan region, however, there should have been 21 cases among their IBD patients. The team advised all of their IBD patients to continue their treatments as directed. 
    The team notes that immunosuppressive drug therapy did not emerge as a risk factor in earlier outbreaks of SARS and MERS coronavirus, and no patients with IBD as the only risk factor contracted serious SARS or MERS-related disease.
    These findings are fascinating. Could immunosuppressant drugs provide some protection against Covid-19? Could IBD itself offer some protection? If the protective effect is real, and due to the drug treatments, then it is unlikely people with celiac disease would get a similar benefit. Still, so many questions arise.
    Confirmation of these findings could provide some useful insight into the nature of the coronavirus, and may offer a useful tool for treating IBD patients during the Covid-19 pandemic. The team is calling for further study of the issue.
    Read more in Gastroenterology and bmj.com
     


  • Popular Now

×
×
  • Create New...