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Merged Family of Celiacs and Non-Celiacs

Celiac.com 05/11/2016 - You just got out of your daughter's doctor's appointment and have been told: "It is confirmed, she has celiac disease." What do you do? Tell everyone else in the family they must follow a gluten-free diet? What do you do when you have a merged family of celiacs and non-celiacs?

Merged Family of Celiacs and Non-CeliacsMy mother went through this very thing. With being celiac herself, she well informed herself via the internet as to what did and didn't have gluten in it. Both my oldest brother and I were eventually diagnosed celiac. This left my other brother and my father being the only two non-celiacs. It can be difficult to wrap your head around just how important maintaining a gluten-free diet is for a celiac when you aren't celiac yourself.

So yes, sharing your toaster with both gluten and gluten-free bread can make a celiac ill. Having wheat flour in your kitchen can cross-contaminate, be ingested by a celiac resulting in an adverse reaction in either the celiac child or adult. Keeping gluten away from a celiac is extremely important. Removing those croutons from the top of that salad does not suddenly make it "safe" for any celiac.

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I am celiac and my husband is not. My 1 year old, Brixton, hasn't eaten any gluten to date. He will also have to be tested when he gets a little older as celiac disease is genetic. How do I maintain a gluten-free household that is both healthy for me and satisfying for my husband? Easy! Get two toasters, seriously! An extra pot just for those special nights my husband wants real good ol' gluten loaded fettuccini. I buy premade boxed treats and snacks that have gluten in them so he doesn't feel "deprived" and so I also don't have to make him cookies and treats with gluten in them.

I can say my husband really has taken to gluten-free baked items. I make gluten-free waffles and pancakes every weekend and he drools over them. Not to mention the delicious gluten-free cookie dough I make! Yum! He also knows that when we go out to a restaurant, anything is game for him. He goes to town on the fresh bread, pasta, etc. that the restaurants have. We do however try to maintain a healthy diet from day to day, therefore we primarily eat protein, vegetables, fruit and good (healthy) fats. For those days we want a little something extra, we always have boxed gluten snacks for him and some delicious gluten-free flours for me to whip up something tasty for my whole family.

The most important thing to remember is that a gluten-free diet isn't just a diet someone with celiac disease "can" follow if they want. It is a necessary diet and lifestyle they MUST follow for their health and wellbeing. Consider it their "medication" for the disease. With that in mind it may make the celiac and non-celiac families live in harmony.

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3 Responses:

 
Helen Vajk
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said this on
16 May 2016 12:26:49 PM PDT
Caveat: current research suggests less triggering in children of celiacs if they ARE exposed to some gluten in early childhood. Hmm, what to do? Also, if non-celiac kids eat regular non-GF mac/cheese, they have to be of an age to eat without spreading the meal around the environment.

 
Ryan
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said this on
17 May 2016 6:26:35 AM PDT
I cannot speak to the research to which you refer but when I was a toddler and gluten was first introduced into my diet I would clutch my gut in pain, curled up in a ball on the ground, crying, and of course all of the IBS symptoms that are synonymous with having celiacs and eating gluten. I cannot speak to the issue of kids sharing food, yet, but give me a few years as my girlfriend and I are almost the same severity of celiac and plan on starting a family within the year.

 
Donna
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said this on
16 May 2016 5:08:43 PM PDT
This was great! I have gluten sensitivity plus an allergy to dairy. My husband is healthy. He has gluten snacks in the house,toaster is in garage. I do still pack a lunch for him (semi retired). I cook meats,veggies and fruits. I have learned to make an awesome pie crust,my husband eats that plus GF pancakes, cookies and cakes.




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I am very interested in this too. My daughter tested negative for celiac, but has terrible primarily neurological symptoms. Because she tested positive for SIBO at the time and was having some GI symptoms, I was told it was just a Fodmap issue. I knew better and we have been gluten free for 2 years. Fast forward to this February. She had a SIBO recurrence that I treated at home with diet and herbal antibiotics because I couldn't get the insurance referral. She was doing great. Then stupid me brought in gluten containing chick feed for the new baby chicks we got. Feed dust everywhere. Total mess. Really, no GI symptoms (she was SIBO free by then)...but the neurological symptoms! my daughter couldn't walk for three days. Burning down one leg, nerve pain in the foot. Also heaviness of limbs, headache and fatigue. Better after three days. But unfortunately she had a TINY gluten exposure at that three day mark and had another severe reaction: loss of balance, loss of feeling in her back and arms, couldn't see for a few seconds, and three days of hand numbness, fatigue, concentration problems. Well, I actually contacted Dr. Hadjivassilou by email and he confirmed that the symptoms are consistent with gluten ataxia but any testing would require a gluten challenge. Even with these exposures, antibodies would not be high enough. His suggestion was maintain vigilance gluten free. I just saw my daughter's GI at U of C and she really only recognizes celiac disease and neurological complications of that. But my impression is that gluten ataxia is another branch in the autoimmune side of things (with celiac and DH being the other two). At this point, I know a diagnosis is important. But I don't know how to get there. We homeschool right now so I can give her time to heal when she is accidentally glutened, I can keep my home safe for her (ugh, that I didn't think of the chicken feed!) But at some point, she is going to be in college, needing to take exams, and totally incapacitated because of an exposure. And doctors state side that are worth seeing? Who is looking at gluten ataxia in the US?

Caro..............monitoring only the TSH to gauge thyroid function is what endo's do who don' t do a good job of managing thyroid disease. They should do the full panel and check the actual thyroid hormone numbers.........T3 and T4. The importance of the TSH comes second to hormone levels. In order to track how severely the thyroid is under attack, you need to track antibody levels.......not the TSH. I did not stay with endocrinologists because I found they did not do a very good job and found much greater help and results with a functional medicine MD. You should not have a goiter if your thyroid is functioning well and your TSH is "normal". Maybe they should do a full panel? Going gluten free can have a profound affect for the better on thyroid function and that is something that is becoming more and more accepted today. Ask most people with Celiac and thyroid disease and they will tell you that. My thyroid never functioned well or was under control under after I discovered I had Celiac and went gluten free. It was the only way I got my antibody numbers back down close to normal and they were around 1200 when it was diagnosed with Celiac. I was diagnosed with Hashi's long before the Celiac diagnosis. I am not sure Vitamin D has anything to do with thyroid antibodies but who knows? Maybe it does have an affect for the better. It is really hard to get Vitmain D levels up, depending on where you live. Mine are going up, slowly, even after 12 years gluten-free but I live in the Northeast in the US and we don't have sun levels like they do in the South. I take 5,000 IU daily and that is a safe level to take, believe it or not. I get no sun on my job so the large dose it is! Having Celiac Disease should not stop you from being able to travel, especially S. America. I travel, although I do agree that some countries might be very difficult to be gluten free in. You can be a foodie and travel with Celiac so no worries on that front. You may not be able to sample from someone else's plate, unless they are eating gluten-free too but I have had awesome experiences with food when traveling so you can too!

I don't know what you drank or where.... so here are a few thoughts. - sure, a dive bar might have dirty glasses and serve a cocktail in a beer glass? But a nice reminder place, with a dishwasher, should be fine. If it's a sketchy place, Stick to wine, then it's served in wine glasses that aren't used for beer or bottled ciders in the bottle. - ciders on tap might, just a slight chance, have an issue. Because of beer on tap, mixed up lines, etc. - you may have a problem with alcohol - you may have issues with The high sugar content of the drink. I know I have similar issues if I drink serveral ciders of extra sugary brands - are you positive it was a gluten-free drink? Not this " redds Apple" pretending to be a cider - it's beer with apple flavor. Or one of those " gluten removed " beers?

Hi Stephanie, I'm also from the UK, I've found this site more helpful than anything we have! As already mentioned above, in my experience it could depend on what and where you were drinking. Gluten free food and drink isn't always (not usually) 100% gluten free as you may know, maybe you have become more sensitive to even a trace of gluten that is probably in gluten free food/drink. Is it possible you have a problem with corn, particularly high fructose corn syrup that is in a lot of alcoholic drinks? This was a big problem for me and the only alcoholic drinks I can tolerate are William Chase vodka and gin. I contacted the company last year and all their drinks are 100% gluten and corn free, made the old fashioned way with no additives, so maybe try their products if you like the occasional drink and see how you get on. If you drink out, not many pubs sell their products but I know Wetherspoons do and smaller wine bars may too. l was never a spirit drinker but I must say their products are absolutely lovely! Very easy on a compromised gut too considering it's alcohol. I second the suggestion on seeing a natural health practitioner. I've recently started seeing a medical herbalist, as I've got nowhere with my now many food intolerances since going gluten free last year and I've noticed a difference in my health already.

Sorry for the very late reply and thanks for the replies, I didn't get a notification of any. In case anyone else comes across this and has been wondering the same as I was, I did try a vegetable broth and I did react to it in the same way as if I'd eaten the vegetables. As for the candida, I've been using coconut oil and am seeing a medical herbalist for this and leaky gut. It's only been a few weeks but I've noticed an improvement all round.