• Join our community!

    Do you have questions about celiac disease or the gluten-free diet?

  • Ads by Google:

    Get email alertsSubscribe to Celiac.com's FREE weekly eNewsletter
    Ads by Google:


       Get email alertsSubscribe to Celiac.com's FREE weekly eNewsletter

  • Member Statistics

    83,278
    Total Members
    4,125
    Most Online
    Miranda jane
    Newest Member
    Miranda jane
    Joined
  • 7 7

    Surmounting Social Situations Encountered by those with Celiac Disease and/or Food Allergies


    Jean Duane


    • Journal of Gluten Sensitivity Summer 2018 Issue


    Surmounting Social Situations Encountered by those with Celiac Disease and/or Food Allergies
    Image Caption: Image: CC--Christian Scheja

    Celiac.com 07/13/2018 - I went to a friend’s home for dinner.  A few days before, she called and asked me what I could eat.  I asked her what she was planning to make, and she said she was grilling meats with side dishes.  I said, “Great.  Please just grill a piece of chicken for me with salt and pepper, and I’ll be happy to bring a side.” She said, “No need to bring a side.  I’ve got this.” When I arrived, she greeted me and said, “I spent all day cooking tonight’s dinner so you can eat it. Hey would you just check this salad dressing to see if it is OK for you?” I looked at the ingredients and it contained gluten and dairy, both of which I cannot eat.  Then I glanced around the kitchen and saw evidence of wheat cross-contamination, including buns being toasted on the grill, and gluten-containing barbeque sauce spilling on the grill where my “clean” chicken was cooking. She had other guests to tend to, and I couldn’t offer instruction or read the ingredients of everything she used in the meal. 


    Ads by Google:




    ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADS
    Ads by Google:



    At social gatherings, I’ve been challenged too by those who ask if I am really “allergic,” or just eating gluten free as a “fad.” I’ve been told many times by hosts and hostesses that, “a little won’t hurt you,” or “everything in moderation,” or “if it is made with loving hands, it is good for you to eat.”  Of course, all of this is bunk for those with food allergies or celiac disease.  A little bit may kill us, and whether made with loving hands or not, it will certainly make us sick. 

    Those of us with food allergies and/or celiac disease walk a tightrope with friends and relatives. The old rules of etiquette just don’t work anymore.  We don’t want to insult anybody, we don’t want to be isolated, and we also don’t want to risk our health by eating foods that may contain ingredients we cannot tolerate.  So what do we do? 

    Etiquette books advise us to eat what is put in front of us when we are guests in someone’s home. They caution us at all costs not to insult our hostess. Rather, we are instructed to compliment the hostess on her good cooking, flavor combinations, and food choices.  But when foods are prepared in a cross-contaminated environment with ingredients we are allergic to, we cannot follow the old social constructs that do not serve us.  We need to work together to rewrite the rules, so that we can be included in social gatherings without fear of cross-contamination, and without offending anyone.

    Let’s figure out how to surmount these social situations together.  

    Each edition of this column will present a scenario, and together, we’ll determine appropriate, polite, and most importantly, safe ways to navigate this tricky gluten-free/food allergies lifestyle in a graceful way.  If someone disagrees with our new behavior patterns, we can refer them to this column and say, “Here are the new rules for those of us with food allergies or celiac disease.”  When we are guests in someone’s home, we can give them links to this column so they understand the plight we are faced with, bite after bite. Perhaps this will help those of us living with us to understand, be more compassionate, and accepting of our adaptations to keep ourselves safe. 

    This column will present a scenario such as the one above, and ask that you comment on how you would navigate it. Let’s talk about it. Let’s share ideas.  Using the example above, here’s the scenario for this issue:

    What would you do?
    Your kind-hearted friend invites you to dinner and insists on cooking for you.  You arrive and the first thing she says is, “I’ve spent all day making this for you. Oh, I bought this salad dressing for you, but you might want to read the ingredients first.”  You do, and it contains malt vinegar.  You look around the kitchen and notice evidence of cross-contamination in the rest of the meal.  What do you do? 

    Please comment below and feel free to share the tricky scenarios that you’ve encountered too.  Let’s discuss how to surmount these social situations.  What would you do?

    7 7


    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments



    For me, the best way to deal with this is to avoid it.  I tell my friends that I will eat before I come or bring a side that will be my meal (often I bring my portion in a separate container).  I tell them it is just so complex to get safe food for me, and I just want to enjoy the company and wine..... yeah they know there needs to be wine!  😃

    When I get there, sometimes there is a happy surprise I can feel safe eating - Like chips and salsa set on a table away from all the other food - or the open bag of chips on a side counter I can serve myself from.  Maybe a big fruit plate or a watermelon that I can grab before anyone else messes with it.  I went to one party where they put the fruit and the carrot sticks on one table away from everything else - the dips were with the main food.  they wanted to keep that table free of gluten and dairy and meat for people with  various health and religious reasons.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I will sometimes ask what they are cooking and make my own version that is safe. Other times I will eat before hand. BUT my most preferred thing is actually being the host and cooking foods I know are safe and inviting others to come join me.

    I always keep emergency meal bars, nuts, seeds that are safe or a MRE meal when I head out.

    -_- I do not trust anything not cooked in a 100% gluten free kitchen anymore, or even cut up....I have had knife contamination of Gluten free foods. Got to admit eating with my family this year and cooking with my mother is something I have been able to do again since I invite them over and get all the required gluten free foods for a meal.

    • Like 1

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    Guest Jenn

    Posted

    I've started suggesting that the host not worry about feeding me and to focus on the rest of the party. Then I reassure them that I appreciate all of their efforts to feed me but I'm just too paranoid by other past incidents to feel comfortable eating food that I didn't personally make. 

    If that individual is insulted by my need to keep safe I try to reassure them that it isn't about them at all but is my own burden to carry.  If they still aren't having that answer I stop accepting invitations from them.  This includes a larger portion of my family than I'd like but they seem to feel it is a personal challenge to them when I decline their lasagna, cake, or crouton laden salad.

    That leads to the isolation issue and at this point I am rocking the hermit lifestyle on a fairly regular basis.  Better that than eating poison and then having to apologize for the results.  I'm over that game in a huge way.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    Guest Meal Planning Mastermind

    Posted

    I've been glutened by well-meaning family members and friends. I have celiac disease and other allergies, and my son has different allergies than I do. Oh yeah, and my husband is a vegetarian. Whenever we are invited somewhere, I just tell the hostess that we will bring our own food. It's awkward, and I'm probably making people feel bad and/or uncomfortable, but it's honestly the best thing I've come up with. Because my son's and my allergies are so different, no one can truly comprehend the meal planning wizardry it takes to feed us all the same (or at least similar) meals regularly. I just bear that burden myself, and tell others that we just want to see them and that they shouldn't worry about feeding us.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    For the situation that started this "what would you do", being a Celiac with lactose intolerance and UC, I would take the time to read the ingredients and then kindly educate the host on all the reasons why I could not eat any of the food he/she had prepared for me. More than likely he/she will either be offended or saddened, but I have come to learn so long as I do what is right and respectful, kind and loving, I am not responsible for how others feel or react. I think it's better to lovingly educate your friend the host so they can learn something invaluable and the two of you can grow closer in friendship.

    Edited by Lifelong Celiac
    Missed a word
    • Upvote 1

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Upon an invite to any gathering where someone is preparing food, and offers to make gluten free options for me, I would thank them profusely, and then suggest that I would eat earlier, or figure out what I could safely put together once I arrive. I wouldn't educate them on the proper ways yo cook gluten free, as much as tell them it's taken me months and years to figure it out, with a lot of trial and error, so I have zero expectations of them doing so. Then I would bring a nice bottle of wine and change the subject. :)

     

    • Upvote 1

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I agree wholeheartedly, the scenario that started this proper etiquette thread here though stated we already insisted on eating earlier or bringing our own food and the host insisted on neither and that they would prepare safe food for us. Therefore with that setting posing the question what do we do in that particular situation when we see our food being prepared in a highly cross contaminated kitchen is where I suggested what I would do. I'm sure early on we all came across this scenario. After years of mastering our circumstances and exposure to situations like this of course we would never be put in a situation like this. But again, in keeping with the scenario posted and in the context of what this thread was suggested to be used as for future new comers, a reference guide to proper etiquette for us Celiac's, is why I responded and posted what I did.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    Guest Marisha

    Posted

    What one might do would be affected so much by the moment... how comfortable you are with that particular friend, how the hostess is in that moment...relaxed or stressed from her party efforts, etc.  Given the scenario as written, if I was in that situation, I would politely decline the dressing (my friend wouldn't have asked me to read the label if she didn’t want confirmation one way or the other.) I would not say anything at the party about any of the other food, unless pressed by direct relentless inquiry.  I would seek out the one safe thing I could eat (lettuce with no dressing,whole veggies, etc?) and eat that, I would allow the chicken on my plate, but pick at it and not eat it.  I would raise the topic with my friend at another nonparty time, so as to not create awkwardness for my friend in the moment. OR, I would profusely apologize (and thank her for her kindness and efforts) and tell her that it was my bad that i forgot to tell her that my chicken would have to be grilled on separate aluminum foil not touching other gluten foods.  It was my bad afterall, not to think of telling her that important detail.  I’d humbly explain that this is a learning curve for me figuring out how to communicate all the gluten-free prep details to others.  Next time, i would tell my friend that i have a new policy of bringing my own to anyone’s gathering, because it’s not really fair to put so much on them for proper gluten-free food prep, when it takes so long for a gluten-free person to learn it themselves. (This approach works for me and I do believe it’s a relief to my friends.)

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    Guest Arnette

    Posted

    I am celiac and get caught in this situation frequently at work events. I no longer trust the "We can make this gluten-free" from a restaurant or hotel caterer because they don't understand cross contamination. So I'm resigned to bringing my own food and discreetly having it put on a plate at the event. It works.

    I did missionary work in foreign countries and was always admonished to "eat what was put before me" but that was before I knew I was celiac and needed to be gluten-free. (Yikes, cobra and rice!) Today, I would have to make sure gluten-free was understood and would have to come to some understanding. People don't mean to be thoughtless about this - they just don't understand!

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    Guest DaveKD

    Posted

    I ran afoul of my own self-assurances.  I visited a friend who is fully aware of what gluten-free means as I am not her only friend eating gluten-free.  I assured myself that she would only put in front of me a version that I could eat.  Not wanting to second guess her, I ate it.  About half way through my ice cream and brownies she draws a quick breath and says that she totally forgot my gluten sensitivity.  I could have asked... it's on me... but I'd told myself I was in a safe house and that whatever was served would accomodate me.  Sigh... We can't be sure... even among friends.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    Guest Ruth

    Posted

    I always  bring my own food to any social situation; bridal showers, weddings, family reunions, etc. No one even notices me eating out of my little cooler.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Hi, being a pretty new kid on the celiac block, and the ripe young age of 63, I, with no hard feelings, realize an exercise in futility when it presents itself.

    I have but one symptom (so far!), but have had to resort to taping my hands, due to the excruciating itch of dh, and will not EVEN CONSIDER going into that situation. People are people, and it just isn't worth it to me. I'm sure this is not an origional idea, but what about local gatherings of us "gluteneers", renting a reasonably priced hall, and having a meet and greet? Sounds kind of fun to me! Just a thought.... Igiveup

                       07/16/2018--6:15pmcdt

    • Like 1
    • Upvote 1

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    All of my friends and family have been fairly educated about celiac and the dangers of CC. When I’m invited to someone’s house, I explain right then that I will be bringing my own food to eat and ask if  it would be okay to use the microwave if needed. I have never had anyone feel I was disrespectful. The only person I trust is my sister as long as it is just a few of us. She allows me to be the backseat driver, so to speak. If she is having a large group, I bring my own food. 

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    Guest Kerry

    Posted

    I thought I would add to this, as I have experienced all of these tough situations, including my dear neighbor who told me she spent 2 days preparing for my meal... no pressure there!! And of course I got very sick after the dinner. 

    I now take my restricted (yet absolutely awesome) diet and share it with my friends. I offer to bring a side dish, or a Celiac friendly version of what they are preparing and share it. I have introduced my friends and family to some amazing dishes. They can still prepare what they want, but everyone is welcome to sample what I have. It always seems to make the situation a little bit more tolerable.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    Guest Jazzman

    Posted

    I would ask if I could come early to help prepare the meal.  It's a win-win.  You understand what is being prepared and can intervene when it counts and your friend gets some help in the kitchen, no doubt needed for a large gathering.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    Guest Ian

    Posted

    I have celiac disease, and like most, frequently find myself in these situations. I should note that I don't have a strong physical reaction to cross-contamination, and generally don't notice when I've accidentally eaten small amounts of gluten (although I'm fully aware of the damage that this can still cause, and therefore still follow a strictly gluten-free diet). This changes the equation a bit when it comes to social situations, as the apparent risk for making a mistake is not immediate distress. I generally ask the host what is on the menu (in advance if possible), and question them about specific ingredients if an item is suspicious. It's probably completely transparent, but I try to cloak my prying questions about each menu item as genuine curiosity in the preparation of the dishes. If bottles or bags are left out, I like to sneak a peek at the ingredients list to confirm.  If something is questionable, I simply don't eat it. Although it took them time to learn, most friends and family whom I eat with are now aware of my restrictions, and will check items with me before serving. I make it clear to them that I appreciate it when they ask, and they are usually happy to be able to accommodate. For simple things like gluten-free buns and gluten-free beer/cider, I like offering to bring my own rather than burden them with always stocking specialty gluten-free foods. Perhaps I'm in the minority on this, but at social events, I simply don't worry about cross-contamination unless it is egregious. I know this is a luxury that some people who are very sensitive can't tolerate, but I've decided that for me, it's a risk I'm willing to take to avoid the burden of scrutinizing kitchens and trying to explain the concept of cross-contamination. It makes me feel a bit more normal to be able to say "Sure, I can eat that!" rather than asking what knife was used to cut it or what plate it was prepared on. I've come to believe that the most disruptive part of celiac disease is the angst that comes with managing the disease in social situations like this, and I cherish those moments in which I can eat something that's prepared for me without making a scene, even if I'm risking some inflammation.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Etiquette here is tricky, because each one in the situation is expected not to offend the other. Physical health trumps hurt feelings, but it is worthwhile to find a kind way to tell the host that what is being served will cause damage. After a couple of these experiences (including a Thanksgiving dinner where the only thing I could eat was the turkey, and I brought that myself!), my response to all such invitations is something along the lines of: “I never expect anyone to cook for me — it’s just too hard to do. Please let me bring my own so you don’t have to worry about it. I’m just looking forward to spending some time with you/the group/the family.” If I meet resistance, I add, “I appreciate what you’re trying to do, but this is very serious. If a mistake is made, I can be sick for up to three days and not be able to leave the house. The risk for me is just too high.” If the host is insistent, I will compromise with a warning that I still might not be able to eat what has been prepared, and then proceed with a litany of cautions about ingredients and cross-contamination risks. Then I bring my own food, discreetly, just in case I run into the situation which started this whole conversation. 

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    Guest Karen10yearCeliac

    Posted

    Going back to the question at hand, what would I do about the issues stated upon arrival at a friends house for a meal and notice cross contamination?  Number one, I agree 100% with the above comments about bringing your own food.  To me, it is better to announce that ahead of time and bring a dish that is gluten free to share.  I have never had anyone be offended by that.  That said, I always ask if the hostess would mind if I remove my portion (or bring it that way) before anyone else to avoid CC.  I have learned to never depend on someone else to look out for me.  That includes friends, family, and restaurants.  Well meaning people in your life still do not live your pain.  They do not live your fear and anxiety when you eat something you shouldn't.  My husband is the only one that I know has my back, but I still check all ingredients before I eat something prepared outside my home that he might purchase.  Living with Celiac Disease can be very isolating, but going home from a party and suffering for days with the pain, shut down of your digestive system, and brain fog is totally not worth it.  Bring your food, and again, your wine! :-)

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    Hello everyone,

    Brand new to the whole disease - just got diagnosed with DH approximately 2 months ago.  I'll be facing the 'I can't eat your food' issue with my inlaws before too long.  There's absolutely no way they will be able to prepare anything gluten free - I know that kitchen well.  :)  In this case, I'm not saying anything about my diagnosis and will bring my own food and drinks.  The cat will come out of the bag at Thanksgiving and after that I'll have to deal with the methods to keep my father-in-law from attempting to make me special dishes.  

    In the instance posited here, I would smile and thank the hostess profusely for the kind offer, but I'd stop it before it got started.  I'd cheerfully tell her that there's no way to assure the lab-quality prep areas and methods in a kitchen or home that's not gluten free without near total sterilization and that's not reasonable for her.  Then I'd give perhaps two examples such as, 20ppm of tiny grains of wheat in the counter surface or cutting board, or touching rolls/passing crumbly bread over another dish/etc, that could cause enough contamination to be dangerous to me.  As someone implied, no lecturing, just  a couple of examples to make it clear that I'm not being 'ridiculous'.  

    Since I have DH, I'm a bit lucky in this respect.  I had an outbreak on my face - right under the eye on the apple of my cheek.  Most people back off on the 'a little won't hurt' or 'I'm sure it's not that bad' when I explain that I could have permanent effects on my face from their attempt to get me to eat something.

    I do think we've been conditioned to do things at our expense rather than possibly offend someone or hurt their feelings.  This is a time where a firm refusal is warranted and I would hope a good friend/person would understand that this is not a social game - it's someone's health and life.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I was diagnosed in 2016 with Coeliac Disease, and I know well the frustrations of eating away from home. Even going to the spa was a challenge, as they often offer snacks and drinks whilst having services such as manicures. Sadly, I found that gluten is in many cosmetic items too - and I am sensitive to some of them (especially barley extract, which serves as an antioxidant). 

    Helping relatives and friends understand my needs is a challenge in some cases. Many have responded well and respect my decisions regarding what to eat - and what not to eat. Some no longer question me, and that's a great relief! Others are not so understanding - or kind. There are even those who all but ridicule me - but I no longer hang out with those folks. 😎

    Initially, I ate all my meals and snacks at home - where I had scoured the kitchen of anything gluten-contaminated including cookware. My kitchen is a safe zone, and I feel incredibly proud of myself and my husband, who has lovingly joined me in the gluten-free lifestyle. (He eats gluten-containing foods when out on his own, but always washes up on return. So sweet! ♥️)

    I've had a couple of run-ins with recalcitrant staff at restaurants, and am chagrined to tell you that I once (on my first post-diagnosis foray into eating out) actually slammed a whole plate of food down on the table, breaking it into smithereens. I then, without saying a word, left. Whilst I am NOT proud of that, it taught me something: I MATTER TO MYSELF, and my needs matter. Businesses who cater to customers ought to sort that too - and DO BETTER. (NOTE: I wrote a letter to the manager of said restaurant, enclosing a check for the bill - plus more to cover the cost of the plate and some for the waiter's possible concern. I am happy to report that I received a very nice response - and the check has gone uncashed for all this time. To boot, the restaurant now offers a gluten-free menu - and an area of the kitchen has been devoted to "allergy-free" cooking. Whilst I take no credit for that, I imagine that my outburst helped in some way to highlight the issues.)

    What I do today is this: I don't eat when I'm not sure about the ingredients, and make no apologies. I explain when asked - only. I manage my health and my happiness at no cost to anyone else. If someone is uncomfortable with that, it's on them because I am more than willing to share information, and I NEVER disparage anyone for preparing food or eating as they choose. It's none of my business unless I am involved in the preparations - in which case, I am always careful to inquire about special needs and am diligent in applying due caution. HEALTH AND WELL-BEING ARE PRIMARY.

    Thank you for this article and discussion. I truly appreciate all that each person is doing for themselves and others. KINDNESS RULES. Be well!

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    Guest Dayna

    Posted

    My number one rule on accepting invitations to other people’s homes is to say that I would LOVE to come and enjoy the company, but that I must provide my own food. I also explain that I know this is uncomfortable for some people and give them the opportunity to opt out if my bringing “outside food” would interrupt the event in some way. If they agree to this condition, no one is put out making food I won’t be able to eat and I feel confident bringing my own food to the event. 

    A note to non-celiacs reading this - the kindest expression of food hospitality I ever received was showing up to a home where I would be spending a few days to find new utensils, a new knife and a new pan along with meats, veggies and fruits all in individual packages in a separate part of the fridge. Now that was amazing. And after I left they host had a few nice new things for their kitchen. 

     

     

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    On 7/13/2018 at 9:57 PM, Guest Meal Planning Mastermind said:

    I've been glutened by well-meaning family members and friends. I have celiac disease and other allergies, and my son has different allergies than I do. Oh yeah, and my husband is a vegetarian. Whenever we are invited somewhere, I just tell the hostess that we will bring our own food. It's awkward, and I'm probably making people feel bad and/or uncomfortable, but it's honestly the best thing I've come up with. Because my son's and my allergies are so different, no one can truly comprehend the meal planning wizardry it takes to feed us all the same (or at least similar) meals regularly. I just bear that burden myself, and tell others that we just want to see them and that they shouldn't worry about feeding us.

    I agree I do same I and my children have different allergies so it's the only way I can keep us all straight and safe although people think ur nuts we r not sick so I'm good:)

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    Guest Ash

    Posted

    I am a pretty social person so I do find myself in this situation quite a bit. People always offer to make gluten free or ask what I would like and I VERY POLITELY say to them that it's very complicated as I have other allergies as well (corn for example which is in many gluten-free substitutes) and that while I REALLY APPRECIATE their offer I would never ask them to try to accommodate because it's just such a pain.  Then I will usually say something like "to make life easier, how about I help out an bring a salad?"  I will often bring a substantial side and/or large salad that I know I can eat along with a big bottle of wine and I've never heard complaints about it. But I do always communicate what I plan to bring and play it off like "this will just make your life easier" anyways!    Then I always know there is something safe for me and the host sees it as me trying to help out. 

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    Guest ourallergickids

    Posted

    I always offer to bring safe food for my kiddo. the biggest problem I face is social situations where my children feel left out. they feel a bit punished because they can't have a doughnut at church or other celebrations & functions. I would love to see comment on how to help my children when faced with unplanned "treats" at social functions. We recently found out that one is CELIAC and the other is very dairy allergic. 

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites

    I’m 28 (almost 29) and have had celiac’s for about a year and a half now and I react to both gluten and dairy. I’ve become extremely sensitive (especially after cutting dairy out), I even got sick for a couple hours today after being in a small room for 5 minutes at work today where they were holding a pizza party (pizza was EVERYWHERE).  If I was faced with this situation, as I think some people have said similar things already, I would probably say “oh no! This has some ingredients with gluten and dairy in it, I’m so sorry I know you went through so much effort so that I wouldn’t have to bring my own food. I should have been more specific about my needs for cooking without cross-contamination too, I know it’s such a pain and seems kind of silly but I get sick from very little contact with gluten or dairy. Thank you so much for trying to make a meal for me, I really appreciate it and I’m sorry for not really explaining it well before I came. Do you mind if I run to the store really quick to grab something I might be able to eat? Is there anything you need me to grab? Next time I can just bring some food so that you don’t have to worry about it!” I’d probably try to say something along those lines, acknowledge that they tried their best,  mention how you know what a pain it is to avoid everything and how crazy it is that there’s hidden gluten and dairy EVERYWHERE and how crazy it is that I’m so sensitive, and then offer a quick solution so that I won’t be awkwardly standing around without food and starving to death. At first I used to suck it up & put my best foot forward and eat the food they had bought/made me (it was especially hard with my dad), but I can’t do that any more. I just feel so ill that it’s not worth it. 

    I went to a 4th of July party a couple weeks ago and brought chips & regular Oreos to share, and brought my own gluten-free/DF Oreos & chips & kept them in a separate bag away from everyone’s food, & I brought my own hot dogs & ketchup and asked if I could borrow the hostess’ microwave and a bowl so that I could heat up my hot dogs and she was completely fine with it. I didn’t make a big show out of it, just casually asked as if it was the most normal thing in the world. She knows about my Celiacs and is nice so that helps a lot. I was able to eat along with everyone else and didn’t feel awkward or out of place.

    You kind of have to think about it like you’re a baby but you’re also your own mom. Imagine you’re a mom prepping your kid/baby that has food allergies for a trip and have to pack them a food bag so that they won’t be sad and hungry or sick, except you’re the kid/baby :). Someone has to take care of you, and since you know yourself and your needs best, it has to be you! 

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites



    Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

    Guest
    You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
    Add a comment...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

      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.


  • Popular Contributors

  • Who's Online   5 Members, 0 Anonymous, 218 Guests (See full list)

  • Related Articles

    Danna Korn
    Dealing with Denial by Danna Korn
    This article originally appeared in the Autumn 2005 edition of Celiac.com's Journal of Gluten-Sensitivity.
    You’ve all heard the joke proclaiming that “denial is not a river in Egypt.”  No, it’s not.  What it is, though, is a very real issue for many, if not most people who have been diagnosed with celiac disease or gluten sensitivity.  There are a couple of types of denial—the first type affects us—while the other type affects those around us.
    When We’re in Denial
    Many people who are diagnosed—or when their kids are—go through some type of denial.  It usually occurs at a few key times after diagnosis—and for a few different reasons, here are some examples:

    Immediate denial—the diagnosis isn’t right.  Nope.  Couldn’t be.  I don’t know anyone who has that.  I don’t even know what gluten is.  I’ve never heard of celiac disease.  I don’t have symptoms…my symptoms are mild.  It’s just lactose intolerance, I’m sure.  I don’t have diarrhea, so I couldn’t have that.  I’m overweight, and all celiacs are skinny.  My results were inconclusive.  Someone must have made a mistake.  All of these thoughts can be symptoms of denial. A few weeks into the diet—I don’t think that diagnosis was right.  This is when the reality of doing this for the rest of your life sets in.  One angel (the good one, of course) sits on one shoulder whispering, “You know you need to stay gluten-free—keep it up—you can do it! Mmmm, yummy cheese on this gluten-free toast.  The other shoulder is home to the Devil-in-Denial: “No way are you going to another happy hour and order wine and celery sticks while all the other guys are drinkin’ beer and deep-fried stuff.  You don’t have no stinkin’ intolerance.  Come on—just one beer...and one piece of pizza.  It won’t hurtcha.  No stinkin’ intolerance…”  This is really just a period of ambivalence, hoping beyond hope that you don’t really have this condition, choosing to lean toward believing you don’t. Danger zone:  I never had that.  The most dangerous type of denial occurs several months into the diet, when all of a sudden you realize you feel so good that you don’t even remember the last time you felt bad.  That’s when people often think, “I knew I just needed a little bit of time to get over that bug I had!  I feel great.  I’ll bet I never even had anything wrong with me.”
    When Others are in Denial
    Then there’s the type of denial that our family members and loved ones express.  Ask anyone who is gluten intolerant or has been diagnosed with celiac disease if they have relatives who won’t be tested, and chances are, you’ll get a surprised look as though you just guessed what color of underwear they’re wearing, and a “yeah, how did you know?”  Because we all have them.  Well, most of us do.  Why is it so hard for our relatives to believe they might have this?  It is, after all, one of the most common genetic diseases one can have—and it does run in the family.  Yet we’ve all heard comments like:
    No, I don’t have that (blunt, bold, and full-on denial). I don’t think I need to be tested (oh, really, and that would be because….?!?) I was tested once, and the tests were negative (remember, once-negative does not mean always negative—also remember there are false negatives). I was tested, and my results were inconclusive, so I don’t think I have it (inconclusive may be a euphemism for mildly positive). I don’t have any symptoms (oh, really?  There are about 250 symptoms, and you have NONE?) My symptoms really aren’t that severe; I can live with them (so you’ll just wait till you’re really sick and doing long-term damage to start trying to improve your health?). I couldn’t do the diet anyway, so I’m not going to bother being tested (now there’s a rational argument for you).
    Bottom line is they don’t want to have celiac disease, or they don’t want to give up gluten.  Some of your relatives may even refuse to believe you have it.  I’ve met many people with celiac disease who have been accused of being hypochondriacs or neurotic.The problem with denial is that it justifies eating gluten.  When you have this epiphany “realizing” that you don’t have celiac disease or don’t need to be gluten-free, it’s tempting to run, not walk, to the nearest Krispy Kreme outlet.
    Resist the temptation.  If you’ve been on the diet for awhile, then yes, you feel great, but it’s because you’re not eating wheat or gluten, not in spite of it.  The danger in testing the waters is that you may not have any reaction when you do, and then you’re likely to jump to the obvious (by which I mean “desired”) conclusion and confirmation that you never needed to eliminate wheat or gluten in the first place.
    If you still wonder whether or not you have a medical reason for cutting gluten from your diet, here are a few things you can do to help solidify things in your mind:

    Get properly tested. Get a second (or third) opinion. Talk to other people who have been diagnosed with the same condition about your symptoms and your feelings of denial (chances are they’ll grin and say, “Yep, I felt that way at one point, too”). Write it down: List your symptoms, the symptoms of the condition, and how you feel if you’ve been following the diet.  Sometimes seeing it in writing is the just the proof you need.
    Denial, by the way, is one of the most compelling arguments in support of proper testing and diagnosis.  If you’ve been confirmed with a diagnosis, you may be tempted to fall into a state of denial, but it’s going to seem pretty silly, even to you.But also keep in mind that if you’ve been tested and your results were inconclusive or negative, you may need to consider re-testing or other alternatives.  The tests have changed over the years, and maybe your tests were done long ago.  There are also false negatives; and you can be triggered at any point in your life, so just because you were negative once doesn’t mean you’ll be negative again.  And finally, there are people who are negative on all of the tests, yet their health improves dramatically on a gluten-free diet.  Go figure.
    Remember, if it looks like a duck, walks like a duck, and quacks like a duck, it’s most likely a duck, even if you wish it were a pigeon.


    Danna Korn
    Talking to Others About the Gluten-Free Diet by Danna Korn
    This article originally appeared in the Autumn 2003 edition of Celiac.com's Journal of Gluten-Sensitivity.
    Celiac.com 11/19/2010 - “To talk to someone who does not listen is enough to tense the devil.” – Pearl Bailey
    No matter what your reason for your dietary restriction, one of the hardest things about this diet is talking to people about why you must be gluten-free, and trying to explain the diet itself.  Responses range from complete understanding (sorry, this is extremely rare), to people who think they understand but don’t (“Oh, this is just like when I gave up liver for Lent!”), to those who don’t care an iota about your diet, to the other 95 percent of the population who really want to understand, but just don’t get it.
    There is an art to talking to people about your condition and the diet, but first there are a few basic ground rules you should know and follow.
    Attitudes Are Contagious
    When you’re talking with other people about your diet, especially close family members who will be “in this” with you for the rest of your life and who may also someday learn they must go gluten-free, remember that attitudes are contagious.  If you give the impression that this diagnosis has ruined your life, and that the diet is worse than astronaut food, others will feel that way, too.
    First, these things aren’t true, even if it seems that way at first.  Second, you don’t want your husband, wife, or kids to feel this way, especially if they’re the ones on the diet.  Be careful what you say. Even when they appear to be tuned out, kids and spouses hear what you’re saying.  Feelings can be hurt, and lasting impressions can be made.  Portray a positive attitude about the diet if you can; you may even find it rubs off on yourself.
    Everyone’s a Doctor
    Before you begin talking to people about your medical condition, you should know that nearly everyone, regardless of education (or lack thereof), is a doctor.  Especially when it comes to gastrointestinal distress, a subject that nearly everyone on the planet is at least vaguely familiar with.
    Once you get past the squeamish introduction, you’re likely to be cut off by people who want to tell you what you have.  “It’s lactose intolerance,” your best friend assures you.  “No, I think you have all the warning signs of colon cancer,” argues Doctor Dad.  “You just need acupuncture in your butt,” advises your eight-year-old wanna-be doctor son who just learned the word (acupuncture, not butt).
    You may have trouble getting everyone to stop with the advice and listen, but try to get through your dissertation.  Then you can look forward to one of several responses (percentages are based on personal experience, not scientific findings):

    Complete understanding (0.1%):  These people will listen intently as you discuss villi, bowel movements, gluten, and modified food starch, barely moving a muscle as they hang on your every word, taking careful notes so as not to poison you at your next get-together.  These saints have also been known to hang flyers in their kitchens, listing safe and forbidden foods in case you drop by for an unexpected visit.  Worship the ground these people walk on, because they’re few and far between. Pseudo-understanding (they think they get it but they don’t) (0.9%): These people are easily identifiable, because they nod much too quickly when you explain the situation to them.  Staccato-type nodding of the head is usually accompanied by rapid-fire successive affirmative phrases such as, “Uh-huh, sure, mm-hmm, yep, gotcha, sure, yep, of course, mm-hmm.”  Don’t burst their bubble; these people are used to knowing everything, and usually can’t be told otherwise.  I recommend that you bring your own food to get-togethers with these people. Absolute and unveiled lack of interest and concern (4.0%): Gotta hand it to ’em, these folks are honest.  Don’t try to push a rope. Desire is there, but they just don’t get it (95.0%): These people mean well, but either don’t have the ability or don’t want to take the time to understand.  Don’t be annoyed, offended, or otherwise put off.  Their attitude can’t change the fact that you feel a lot better now that you’ve eliminated wheat or gluten, and that’s what really counts.  Don’t disown them (especially because most of your friends and family will fall into this category), and don’t berate them, either.  Your diet isn’t their concern, even if you think they should care more than they appear to.
    When Those Closest to You Just Don’t Get It
    Obviously, dealing with this last (and vast) category is difficult.  Already you’re saddled with the extra responsibilities and challenges inherent to the diet, and it may not sit well with you that some of the people closest to you are those who put forth the least effort to understand.  We expect family and friends to support us, show concern, offer assistance, and make things that are important to us important to them, yet often it is exactly those people who disappoint us the most.In this situation, we have the additional challenge of dealing with the fact that we’re around them frequently, and food is often a part of social situations.  Trusting them to provide foods that are safe, or worse yet, dealing with the anger and resentment when they don’t even bother, can test the most solid of relationships.
    If they just don’t get it because they’re simply not capable, forgive them and move on. Some people are set in their ways, and others are intellectually incapable of grasping the intricacies of the diet.  Be aware and be prepared with your own foods when getting together.
    When loved ones are capable but just don’t want to bother taking the time to learn about the diet and your condition, you may experience feelings of hostility and resentment.  It’s okay to be mad, but don’t wallow in the anger; it serves no purpose, and will provide you no benefit, because they’re not going to change, and you can’t force them to want to care.
    It’s important to avoid falling into the role of the victim.  You may have some serious medical conditions, and you could be getting some sort of reinforcement from feeling victimized, both by the condition and the people around you.  It gets you nowhere, except into a rut of negativity.
    People who just don’t get it aren’t going to suddenly show interest in you, your condition, and the diet. Just as they don’t have to cater to your diet, you don’t need to cater to their insensitivity and thoughtlessness.  Forgive them for their lack of sensitivity, their narcissism, and their indifference (but unless you want to start a family feud, do it in your heart rather than out loud), and move on.  They may be sensitive, generous, caring people in many ways, or maybe they’re not.  In either case, you can’t force them to care or learn about your condition or diet, and as frustrating as it can be, your only choice is to accept that fact.  Don’t allow yourself to get mired in the negativity that their apathy can create, and don’t lower yourself to their level either by caring less about their situations.
    Need-to-Know Rating Criteria
    HIGH: Will these people prepare food for me?  If so, it’s important for them to understand which foods and ingredients are safe and which are forbidden.  If you can narrow it down for them, do so.  For instance, don’t go to a restaurant and ask them what they have that’s wheat or gluten-free and expect to get a good answer.  Instead, peruse the menu, and figure out what looks as though it is safe, or could be made wheat or gluten-free.  Then you can get into the intricacies of cooking procedures, contamination issues, and ingredients.
    Sometimes it’s easiest to explain your condition in terms of an allergy, even if your condition is celiac disease (which is not an allergy).  People understand, for instance, that peanut allergies can be severe, and even a little peanut can cause some people to have a serious reaction.  Sometimes it’s necessary to explain that you have a “severe toxic reaction” to wheat or gluten before people will take your condition seriously.  Otherwise, they may think that it’s okay just to pluck the croutons off the salad after the fact.
    MEDIUM: Are they asking out of curiosity or nosiness?  Most people who ask about your diet do so out of genuine curiosity rather than abject obnoxiousness.  Maybe they have dietary restrictions of their own, and wonder if yours are the same as theirs.  Maybe they’re nutritionists, or maybe they’re just genuinely curious.  In any case, don’t be offended, but don’t feel as though you have to give a dissertation on the advantages of a wheat or gluten-free diet either.  Offer as much information as you’re comfortable giving, and as much as it looks like they’re truly interested in hearing.
    A good response is usually generic at first, adding information as the listeners seem to want it.  “I have a condition that makes me unable to tolerate gluten, so I eat a gluten-free diet” is usually a good start. If they want to know more, they’ll ask.
    LOW: Do they warrant a response?  When the 16-year-old kid wearing a paper cap and taking your order at the drive-up window asks with a strong Valley Girl accent, “Like, what’s wrong with the bun, dude? How come you ordered, like, all your burgers without, like, the bun?” your best response is to bite your tongue.  No response is needed, unless you can muster a good, “Like, what-EVER, dude, I like ’em that way.”


    Courtney Buchanan
    Celiacs Feel Excluded from Social Life
    Celiac.com 01/21/2013 - At the end of a long day of class and meetings, Morgan Hembarsky loved to come home to her four roommates eagerly awaiting her to cook their weekly meal together. Immediately when she walked through the door the most important thing to talk about was food, conversation could wait. Was it pasta with marinara and veggies or chicken Parmesan with warm rolls night? "We try to have dinner together at least once a week to catch up," said Hembarsky, a senior at Lehigh University.
    The women sat down to a warm meal together and gossiped about their Lehigh University professors' bad jokes and the new romantic comedy in nearby Lehigh Valley theaters. Cooking and chatting: a girl's perfect way to unwind at the end of the day. But days of cooking with her roommates are gone. Early in the fall of 2011 after months of stomach pain, Hembarsky visited a doctor and received the answer to her suffering.
    The culprit, celiac disease, which is a condition in which one's body cannot digest gluten and eating it damages the small intestine. Because many of the foods Hembarsky and her friends often used to make contained gluten, like pasta and bread, that meant no more pasta nights with her friends. In October 2011 she gave up foods with gluten, the killer protein found in many grains and flours. Being diagnosed with celiac forced a change to the social calendar. "It's something you learn to live with and you learn what healthy decision you need to make," said Hembarsky. Hembarsky is not alone. For many celiacs in Bethlehem, social opportunities are hindered by dietary restrictions such as not being able to eat a hamburger bun or drink beer at a tailgate because they have gluten. Instead of going out with friends, they cook individualized meals at home. Now with more people being diagnosed as gluten-intolerant or celiac – in fact one out of 133 people in the United States is affected by celiac disease, according to the celiac disease Foundation – the choices of where to buy groceries and whether one should go to a restaurant taking the chance of feeling like a burden are at the forefront of people's minds.
    Take Tabitha Echavarria, a senior at Lehigh University, who was diagnosed with celiac last July 1. "The biggest change in my life has been taking charge of my diet," said Echavarria. "I know 100 percent of the ingredients of everything I eat because I most likely made it from scratch. I never eat anything without asking what is in it. " Echavarria said senior year of high school she experienced persistent migraines, numb feet, chest pain and stomach aches – symptoms that other celiacs often suffer as well. After constantly changing her diet hoping to find the trigger to the pain and receiving negative blood tests, she visited every doctor she could find. "The previous year I had cut out bread from my diet ‘cause I knew something was wrong," said Echavarria. "Then eventually I just really couldn't eat ever and went to like every different doctor available to figure it out. " Now on a Friday night when her rugby teammates go out to hibachi or Sal's starving for a delicious meal, Echavarria makes herself dinner beforehand so she can still tag along to the restaurant. Going to meals with friends is no longer about the eating, it's about the company. While Echavarria still goes out to restaurants for the social aspect, other celiacs avoid eating out as much as possible.
    Three weeks ago, Andrew Bench was sitting at his desk at King, Spry, Herman, Freund & Faul Law Firm in Bethlehem, Pa. , with a stomach ache when he decided to stop eating out as much as possible because of the potential cross contamination. He said many restaurants in the Lehigh Valley have cross contamination even though the waiters told him that the kitchens were being careful. Flash back to when he was diagnosed as celiac a year ago. He described the feeling as a concussion mixed with sinus pressure. Cross contamination could result in the same thing, or worse. Bench recommends Tapas on Main on North Side as a safe gluten-free option. Echavarria likes Red Robin for their protein-style burgers and La Lupita for the corn-based options while Hembarsky prefers salads at Bravo and sushi at Asian Bistro.
    While restaurants are introducing gluten-free menus, Bench said that one slip-up in the kitchen can mean hours of stomach pain. Echavarria recalled getting sick after ordering eggs, a naturally gluten-free dish, at a restaurant. Later she found out that the eggs had pancake batter in them. Restaurants may not think about the danger to celiacs by adding gluten to a naturally gluten-free food. "I think what I am most looking forward to in the future is restaurant activism," said Echavarria. "I would just like to have the option of eating with my friends knowing I'm not going to get sick or that I'm not annoying the people that work there. "The Lehigh Valley is embracing the gluten-free movement, slowly but surely.
    Wegmans, Giant Food and ShopRite have gluten-free aisles that provide a wide range of options. As he was giving granola samples at Wegmans, Calvin Virgillo, operations and sales at The Granola Factory, recognized a need for gluten-free, nut-free granola, which will be available in 2013. "It doesn't matter how good our granolas if there are people who won't buy it because they're gluten free or have a nut allergy," said Virgillo. With increasing options of places to purchase groceries and dine out, the community is recognizing the gap for this niche market of gluten-free consumers. A day will come when gluten-free diners won't have to worry about missing out on social life because of their diets. Until then, Hembarsky must deal with biting into a dry, hard piece of bread and baking her own treats when she wants to socialize with her roommates. "I think bread is the hardest to be gluten-free because it [the gluten-free version] doesn't taste like bread, but a majority of them aren't that great and they come frozen," said Hembarsky. "But everything else, I feel like you don't have to sacrifice at all. "

    Jean Duane
    The Media Encourages Negative Social Behavior Towards Gluten-Free Dieters
    Celiac.com 01/11/2018 - Gluten-free, food allergies and celiac disease have reached the media in the form of jokes and ridicule. This is a serious development because the media influences viewer's day-today reactions to various social situations. In many ways, TV becomes a role model for social interactions. DeVault (1991) says that "an enormous body of science, literature and even humor tells us how a middle-class man and woman might 'do' family life" (p. 16). This is the fundamental reason why the media jabs about gluten-free and food allergies are so impactful. What we see on TV, we emulate in life. If 'doing gluten free' is something to be ridiculed, as with the examples below, then those of us with food allergies need to unite our voices to be heard in public forums to change this practice.
    An example of food-allergy ridicule is found in a scene in The Smurfs 2 when the unctuous "Corndog King" presents every child at a birthday party with a corn-dog. A concerned parent asks if the corn-dogs contain peanuts, and he says, "No, I would never use peanuts." Meanwhile, a little boy is shown eating the corn-dog just as the Corndog King recalls that they are fried in peanut oil. The parents rush to the little boy urging him to spit it out. Here is the snippet:
    . I think the producers thought this incident was funny. Newsflash: It isn't. This scene has been criticized on various blog sites as making light of allergies, but one criticism from a parent of a child who recently died from inadvertently eating peanuts is especially poignant. The parent said scenes like this are not funny, nor entertaining. Scenes of this nature on TV undermine the consequences of food allergies.As much as I love Frankie and Grace, the game that the siblings played in Season 3, Episode 1, called "Bud's Super Needy Girlfriend Game" is offensive. It shows them eavesdropping as Allison, Bud's girlfriend, talks about her allergies to a stranger at the art show. With each statement Allison makes, such as, "it is easier to tell you what I am not allergic to," the group takes a shot of liquor. Allison says, "and that's when I realized I have celiac disease" and the siblings laugh and take another shot. This goes on for several rounds. The siblings ridicule Allison's allergies and maladies in a very uncompassionate way, setting an example for viewers on how to respond when there is a person in the crowd who has allergies. In another episode, when Allison faints, the reaction from the siblings is, "…she always has to be the center of attention. She conjures up some kind of illness. But there's a name for it, 'Fictitious disorder.'" (For a transcript of this and similar scenes, please check out: http://thewalkingallergy.com/2017/08/grace-and-frankie-i-bet-allison-has-mcas/). These responses to Allison's physical malaise are callous and may encourage copycat behavior in real life situations.
    Humans are easily influenced, starting from infancy when they imitate their parents (McCall, Parke & Kavanaugh, 1977) and continue to be guided by what they view in the media, especially on TV. Ramasubramanian (2010) conducted a study to discover how stereotypes of laziness and criminality changed as a result of reflecting on TV depictions of racial/ethnic groups by white viewers (p. 109) and concludes that the ways these scenes influence opinions and attitudes is worrisome (p. 106), perpetuating stereotypes and prejudice. A study conducted by Tan and Kinner (1982) found that interracial children who watched a TV program showing cooperative, positive behavior, yielded "pro-social" (p. 654) social interactions, when compared with a control group. The impact of what is viewed on TV and how it translates to social (or anti-social behavior) has been validated. Humans imitate what they see. Similar to how racial stereotyping is reinforced by the media, so are people with food allergies who become the butt of jokes. The media is teaching unacceptable social norms disguised as humor.
    Disney's episode of Quitting Cold Koala (edited out after parents complained, but still on YouTube in a home-video snippet) shows the character named Stuart (who has a "five page list of dietary problems" according to his nanny) sitting at the breakfast table with other children. He is a cute little boy who wears glasses cocked awkwardly on his nose. He told the cook that he couldn't eat pancakes that contained gluten only to be attacked by other children throwing gluten-containing pancakes in his face! Here it is on:
    . Stuart reacts the way anyone would who has celiac disease. He says, "That's gluten!" and frantically tries to wipe it off his face. I agree with the person who put the video of it on YouTube. This is not "remotely funny. Depending on how sensitive Stuart is, he may have had to suffer through a reaction because of those mean kids. And though this segment was deleted from the final cut of the episode, several people captured videos of it so it remains on the Internet for anyone to see. It sets a sad, and arguably violent standard for how to treat the child that has special dietary needs. Huesmann and Taylor (2006) found that violent behavior on TV poses "a threat to public health inasmuch as it leads to an increase in real-world violence and aggression" (p. 393). Violence toward someone with food allergies, such as throwing pancakes at the person who has just declared they are sensitive to gluten is an example of how behavior seen on TV could be re-enacted in real-life.How do scenes like the three examples above translate into our everyday social interactions? Does the waiter who watches a scene on a sit-com ridiculing someone with food allergies doubt the customer the next day as she orders a gluten-free meal? Does the waiter play a derivation of the "Needy Game" seen on Frankie and Grace and have a shot of liquor in the back room with his waiter-buddies for every customer that orders a special meal? Ridicule in the media completely undermines the severity of celiac disease, and other food-related illnesses.
    I experienced a situation the may have been influenced by commercial programming recently while ordering at a restaurant. I special-ordered my salad, deliberately sitting on the end of the table and explaining to the waiter that I needed to ensure it was gluten and dairy free. I spoke quietly, but since there were only two others at the table, unfortunately the conversation stopped during ordering and the others heard me. The waiter rolled his eyes when I gave him my order, and moved on to the next person who said, "I'll take the salad 'regular' with all the fixings" in a kind of a sarcastic way that belittled my order. My dinner was spoiled because I was irked with my dinner companion, and because I was skeptical of the food I was served. This kind of slight happens all the time, and is likely because of the role models depicted on TV and other media that portrays that it is it socially acceptable to mock the person with special needs.
    It is hard to understand why food sensitivities trigger so much negativity. If someone says they have heart disease, they are taken seriously. Other autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Hashimotos, and diabetes are met with seriousness, but gluten-sensitivities seem to be a charged 'trigger' reaction, that I believe has been perpetuated by the media. People ordering in a restaurant seem to be challenged by the waiter – scrutinized whether it is an 'allergy,' 'autoimmune response' or 'fad diet.' When did waiters have the prerogative to make that kind of decision? Where did this 'right' come from? I believe the media has perpetuated these attitudes.
    Nobody with special needs should endure scrutiny or ridicule. I'm frankly glad for the publicity gluten has received because it has enhanced awareness, but I am discouraged about how the media seems to think celiac disease, gluten intolerance and food allergies are a joke. Here is our call to action: When we see something offensive in the media ridiculing food allergies, we need to say something in a public forum to bring attention to this unacceptable portrayal of people with food sensitivities. Please post on social media, or on Celiac.com to create a buzz that this type of ridicule/humor is unacceptable. Perhaps by doing this, we can influence positive changes.
    And on another subject… the winners from the survey.
    A couple of months ago, a survey studying the impact of food sensitivities on adults living together offered a $25 gift card to Amazon to four lucky winners. Those are: Morgan, Angela, David and Tricia. (Winners have been notified and gift cards were sent via email.) Congratulations! And thank you for your participation in the study.
    References
    DeVault, M. L. (1991). Feeding the family: The social organization of caring as gendered work. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press. Huesmann, L. R., & Taylor, L. D. (2006). The role of media violence in violent behavior. Annual Rev. of Public Health (27), 393-415. McCall, R. B., Parke, R. D., Kavanaugh, R. D., Engstrom, R., Russell, J, and Wycoff, E. (1977). Imitation of live and televised models by children one to three years of age. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development 42(5), 1-94. Tan, A. S., Kinner, D. (1982). TV role models and anticipated social interaction. Journalism Quarterly 59(4), 654-656.

  • Recent Articles

    Jefferson Adams
    Can a Gluten-Free Diet Normalize Vitamin D Levels for Celiac Patients?
    Celiac.com 08/16/2018 - What is the significance of vitamin D serum levels in adult celiac patients? A pair of researchers recently set out to assess the value and significance of 25(OH) and 1,25(OH) vitamin D serum levels in adult celiac patients through a comprehensive review of medical literature.
    Researchers included F Zingone and C Ciacci are affiliated with the Gastroenterology Unit, Department of Surgery, Oncology and Gastroenterology, University of Padua, Padua, Italy; and the Celiac Center, AOU San Giovanni di Dio e Ruggi di Aragona, University of Salerno, Department of Medicine and Surgery, Salerno, Italy. 
    Within the wide spectrum of symptoms and alteration of systems that characterizes celiac disease, several studies indicate a low-level of vitamin D, therefore recent guidelines suggest its evaluation at the time of diagnosis. This review examines the data from existing studies in which vitamin D has been assessed in celiac patients. 
    Our review indicates that most of the studies on vitamin D in adult celiac disease report a 25 (OH) vitamin D deficiency at diagnosis that disappears when the patient goes on a gluten-free diet, independently of any supplementation. Instead, the researchers found that levels of calcitriol, the active 1,25 (OH) form of vitamin D, fell within the normal range at the time of celiac diagnosis. 
    Basically, their study strongly suggests that people with celiac disease can recover normal vitamin D levels through a gluten-free diet, without requiring any supplementation.
    Source:
    Dig Liver Dis. 2018 Aug;50(8):757-760. doi: 10.1016/j.dld.2018.04.005. Epub 2018 Apr 13.  

    Jefferson Adams
    Could Gluten-Free Food Be Hurting Your Dog?
    Celiac.com 08/15/2018 - Grain-free food has been linked to heart disease in dogs. A canine cardiovascular disease that has historically been seen in just a few breeds is becoming more common in other breeds, and one possible culprit is grain-free dog food. 
    The disease in question is called canine dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM), and often results in congestive heart failure. DCM is historically common in large dogs such as Great Danes, Newfoundlands, Irish Wolfhounds, Saint Bernards and Doberman Pinschers, though it is also affects some Cocker Spaniels.  Numerous cases of DCM have been reported in smaller dogs, whose primary source of nutrition was food containing peas, lentils, other legume seeds or potatoes as main ingredients. These reported atypical DCM cases included Golden and Labrador Retrievers, a Whippet, a Shih Tzu, a Bulldog and Miniature Schnauzers, as well as mixed breeds. 
    As a result, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's Center for Veterinary Medicine, along with a group of veterinary diagnostic laboratories, is investigating the possible link between DCM and pet foods containing seeds or potatoes as main ingredients. The good news is that in cases where the dog suffers no genetic component, and the disease is caught early, simple veterinary treatment and dietary change may improve heart function.
    According to Nutritional Outlook, an industry publication for makers of dietary supplements and healthy foods and beverages, there is a growing market for “free from” foods for dogs, especially gluten-free and grain-free formulations. In 2017, about one in five dog foods launched was gluten-free. So, do dogs really need to eat grain-free or gluten-free food? Probably not, according to PetMD, which notes that many pet owners are simply projecting their own food biases when choosing dog food.
    Genetically, dogs are well adapted to easily digest grains and other carbohydrates. Also, beef and dairy remain the most common allergens for dogs, so even dogs with allergies are unlikely to need to need grain-free food. 
    So, the take away here seems to be that most dogs don’t need grain-free or gluten-free food, and that it might actually be bad for the dog, not good, as the owner might imagine.
    Stay tuned for more on the FDA’s investigation and any findings they make.
    Read more at Bizjournals.com
     

    Jefferson Adams
    Did You Miss the Gluten-Free Fireworks This Past Fourth of July?
    Celiac.com 08/14/2018 - Occasionally, Celiac.com learns of an amusing gluten-free story after the fact. Such is the case of the “Gluten-Free Fireworks.” 
    We recently learned about a funny little event that happened leading up to Fourth of July celebrations in the town of Springdale in Northwest Arkansas. It seems that a sign advertising "Gluten Free Fireworks" popped up near a fireworks stand on interstate 49 in Springdale. 
    In case you missed the recent dose of Fourth of July humor, in an effort to attract customers and provide a bit of holiday levity, Pinnacle Fireworks put up a sign advertising "gluten-free fireworks.” 
    The small company is owned by Adam Keeley and his father. "A lot of the people that come in want to crack a joke right along with you," Keeley said. "Every now and then, you will get someone that comes in and says so fireworks are supposed to be gluten-free right? Have I been buying fireworks that have gluten? So then I say no, no they are gluten-free. It's just a little fun."
    Keeley said that their stand saw a steady flow of customers in the week leading up to the Fourth. In addition to selling “gluten-free” fireworks, each fireworks package sold by Pinnacle features a QR code. The code can be scanned with a smartphone. The link leads to a video showing what the fireworks look like.
    We at Celiac.com hope you and your family had a safe, enjoyable, and, yes, gluten-free Fourth of July. Stay tuned for more on gluten-free fireworks and other zany, tongue-in-cheek stories.
    Read more at kark.com
     

    Jefferson Adams
    Stress-Related Disorders Associated with Higher Risk for Autoimmune Disease
    Celiac.com 08/13/2018 - It’s not uncommon for people to have psychiatric reactions to stressful life events, and these reactions may trigger some immune dysfunction. Researchers don’t yet know whether such reactions increase overall risk of autoimmune disease.
    Are psychiatric reactions induced by trauma or other life stressors associated with subsequent risk of autoimmune disease? Are stress-related disorders significantly associated with risk of subsequent autoimmune disease?
    A team of researchers recently set out to determine whether there is an association between stress-related disorders and subsequent autoimmune disease. The research team included Huan Song, MD, PhD; Fang Fang, MD, PhD; Gunnar Tomasson, MD, PhD; Filip K. Arnberg, PhD; David Mataix-Cols, PhD; Lorena Fernández de la Cruz, PhD; Catarina Almqvist, MD, PhD; Katja Fall, MD, PhD; Unnur A. Valdimarsdóttir, PhD.
    They are variously affiliated with the Center of Public Health Sciences, Faculty of Medicine, University of Iceland, Reykjavík, Iceland; the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; the Department of Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Faculty of Medicine, University of Iceland, Reykjavík, Iceland; the Department of Rheumatology, University Hospital, Reykjavík, Iceland; the Centre for Rheumatology Research, University Hospital, Reykjavík, Iceland; the National Centre for Disaster Psychiatry, Department of Neuroscience, Psychiatry, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden; the Stress Research Institute, Stockholm University, Stockholm, Sweden; the Centre for Psychiatry Research, Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; the Stockholm Health Care Services, Stockholm County Council, Stockholm, Sweden; the Astrid Lindgren Children’s Hospital, Karolinska University Hospital, Stockholm, Sweden; the Clinical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, School of Medical Sciences, Örebro University, Örebro, Sweden; the Department of Medical Epidemiology and Biostatistics, Karolinska Institutet, Stockholm, Sweden; and the Department of Epidemiology, Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, Boston, Massachusetts.
    The team conducted a Swedish register-based retrospective cohort study that included 106, 464 patients with stress-related disorders, 1,064 ,640 matched unexposed individuals, and 126 ,652 full siblings to determine whether a clinical diagnosis of stress-related disorders was significantly associated with an increased risk of autoimmune disease.
    The team identified stress-related disorder and autoimmune diseases using the National Patient Register. They used Cox model to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) with 95% CIs of 41 autoimmune diseases beyond 1 year after the diagnosis of stress-related disorders, controlling for multiple risk factors.
    The data showed that being diagnosed with a stress-related disorder, such as post-traumatic stress disorder, acute stress reaction, adjustment disorder, and other stress reactions, was significantly associated with an increased risk of autoimmune disease, compared with matched unexposed individuals. The team is calling for further studies to better understand the associations and the underlying factors.
    Source:
    JAMA. 2018;319(23):2388-2400. doi:10.1001/jama.2018.7028  

    Jefferson Adams
    Gluten-Free Bacon-Wrapped Chicken Breasts
    Celiac.com 08/11/2018 - Need a quick, easy, reliable gluten-free dish that will satisfy everyone and leave the cook with plenty of time to relax? This recipe is sure to do the trick. Best of all, it's super easy. Just grab some chicken breasts, season them, hit them with a sprig of rosemary, wrap some bacon around them, and chuck them on the grill and call it dinner. Okay, you can add some rice and veggies.
    Ingredients:
    4 skinless, boneless chicken breast halves 4 thick slices bacon 4 teaspoons garlic powder 4 small sprigs fresh rosemary salt and pepper to taste Directions:
    Heat an outdoor grill to medium-high heat, and lightly oil the grate.
    Sprinkle 1 teaspoon garlic powder on a chicken breast and season with salt and pepper. 
    Place a rosemary sprig on each chicken breast. 
    Wrap the bacon around the chicken and the rosemary. 
    Hold bacon in place with a toothpick or extra rosemary stem.
    Cook the chicken breasts until no longer pink in the center and the juices run clear, about 8 minutes per side. 
    Keep an eye out for any grill flare ups from the bacon grease. 
    Remove the toothpicks and serve with steamed rice and your favorite vegetables for a winning meal.