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    Woman Calls Radio Show to Admit Lying About Gluten-Free Baked Goods

    Jefferson Adams
    • A caller to a St. Louis radio show drew ire from listeners after she claimed that she worked at a local bakery, and that she routinely lied to customers and told them that regular baked goods were gluten-free when they were not.

    Woman Calls Radio Show to Admit Lying About Gluten-Free Baked Goods
    Caption: Image: CC--adlang

    Celiac.com 10/16/2018 - Apparently, local St. Louis radio station Z1077 hosts a show called “Dirty Little Secret.” Recently, a woman caller to the show drew ire from listeners after she claimed that she worked at a local bakery, and that she routinely lied to customers about the gluten-free status of baked goods.

    The woman said she often told customers that there was no gluten in baked goods that were not gluten-free, according to local tv station KTVI.

    Apparently the woman thought this was funny. However, for people who cannot eat gluten because they have celiac disease, telling people that food is gluten-free when it is not is about as funny as telling a diabetic that food is sugar-free when it is not. Now, of course, eating gluten is not as immediately dangerous for most celiacs as sugar is for diabetics, but the basic analogy holds.

    That’s because many people with celiac disease suffer horrible symptoms when they accidentally eat gluten, including extreme intestinal pain, bloating, diarrhea, and other problems. Some people experience more extreme reactions that leave them in emergency rooms.

    As part of a story on the “joke” segment, KTVI interviewed celiac sufferer Dana Smith, who found the punchline to be less than funny. “It’s absolutely dangerous, somebody could get very sick,” said Smith. 

    KTVI also interviewed at least one doctor, Dr. Reuben Aymerich of SSM St. Clare Hospital, who pointed out that, while celiac disease is “not like diabetes where you can reduce the amount of sugar intake and make up for it later, it’s thought you need to be 100 percent compliant if you can.”

    For her part, Smith sought to use the incident as a teaching moment. She alerted the folks at Z1077 and tried to point out how serious being gluten-free is for many people. Mary Michaels, owner of Gluten Free at Last Bakery in Maryville, Illinois, says it’s time people became more respectful.

    “I wouldn’t make fun of you if you had diabetes or a heart condition it’s kind of like that,” Michals said.

    We will likely never know if the radio station caller was telling the truth, or just putting listeners on. The Z1077 morning team did post a follow-up comment, which stated that they take celiac disease seriously, and that they did not intend to offend anyone. One host said his mom has celiac disease.

    It’s good to see a positive response from the radio station. Their prank was short-sighted, and the caller deserved to be called out on her poor behavior. Hopefully, they have learned their lesson and will avoid such foolishness in the future. Let us know your thoughts below.

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    Guest Diabetic/Celiac Mom

    Posted

    My son has type 1 diabetes AND celiac disease, and to say that “eating gluten is not as immediately dangerous for most celiacs as sugar is for diabetics” is also an ignorant fallacy.  Diabetics can have sugar, and it isn’t dangerous; it’s just unhealthy (as for anyone) and causes more of a spike and drop in blood sugar (as for anyone, just a bit higher).  Also noteworthy, sugar-free foods, candies, etc. still have carbohydrates and affect blood sugar.

     I would say the immediate effect of consuming gluten produces far worse repercussions.  My son has had accidental run-ins with gluten, and his whole body hurt.  He had a terrible headache and stomach ache.  He was writhing in pain, and my normally limitlessly energetic child passed out for the day at 4:00 p.m.  He couldn’t even force water.  It was horrible to watch.  This isn’t a joke or anything to take lightly.  To lie about being gluten-free is cruel.

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    Guest Diabetic/Celiac Mom

    Posted

    Celiac disease is an auto-immune disease, not just an allergy.  It causes systemic inflammation that can affect the entire body.  Just one consumption of gluten can cause a reaction in the body that can last up to 6 months.  It can also cause permanent damage to the intestines which inhibits absorption of nutrients during digestion.  

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    It's all joke for some until someone or someone they love has this condition.

    Society is  uneducated about celiac, auto immune diseases, and allergies in general. They will get there, I am not sure when, but it certainly is necessary. 

    Many are just under educated about this topic, but this caller is either a "troll" or a cruel individual. Not funny.

    What is amazing is one of the radio hosts mother's is celiac and had to be exposed to this shenanigans for the pay check knowing the truth celiacs face . He/she certainly earned their pay check that day dealing with a sensitive issue in an insensitive world of nit wits.

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in biology, anatomy, medicine, and science. He previously served as Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and provided health and medical content for Sharecare.com.

    Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book Dangerous Grains by James Braly, MD and Ron Hoggan, MA.

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