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Dealing with gluten eating house guests

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So I’m a little upset and hurt. 
 

I recently just got married and my MIL and FIL are staying at our home to watch our pets as we go on vacation. 
 

we are a strict gluten free home. 
the night before we left they were eating crackers on the counter. I didn’t say much about it.

 

i have severe celiac where I am out for 2-3 days after exposure& on medication for it. 
 

as soon as we left she texted she was making pasta and even fed it to the dogs then asked where our toaster was for their breakfast even though we explained we don’t do gluten in house. 
im now a mess thinking about going home to our kitchen and how I can’t trust anything. 
 

has anyone dealt with this?

i need some advice and comfort. 

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Well, that inhales like a vacuum!  Sounds like they are similar to most gluten eaters and not aware of the possible problems they cause for celiacs.  I live in a shared house with gluten eaters and a shared kitchen.  It works pretty well for me.  I have a separate dorm size refrig for my "special"  food.  I also keep some silverware, pots and pans separate for my use.  I avoid the kitchen when bread is being made.  I also rinse dishes frequently before using them.  I keep a few snacks in my room.  All in all it is not so bad.

Proverbs 25:16 "Hast thou found honey? eat so much as is sufficient for thee, lest thou be filled therewith, and vomit it."

Job 30:27 My bowels boiled, and rested not: the days of affliction prevented me.

Thyroid cyst and nodules, Lactose / casein intolerant. Diet positive, gene test pos, symptoms confirmed by Dr-head. My current bad list is: gluten, dairy, sulfites, coffee (the devil's brew), tea, Bug's Bunnies carrots, garbanzo beans of pain, soy- no joy, terrible turnips, tomatoes, peppers, potatoes, eggplant, celery, strawberries, pistachios, and hard work. Have a good day! 🙂 Paul

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The toaster will be the biggest issue as far as cleaning goes, but the rest should be fine with a good hand washing follow up by putting everything in the dishwasher.

I would try not to take it too personally, as some people just may never get it. My wife and I have close friends and we visit with them often at both my house and theirs, but while her husband gets it and always remembers my gluten-freeness, unfortunately his wife always forgets, and then when she remembers she nearly always has to throw in a line like "wow, that diet is such a pain, can't you eat just a little gluten? What would happen?" It's like a broken record sometimes, but because they are good friends who don't wish me ill of me, I've gotten used to it. I think she's got memory issues due to the chemo she once went through.

Unfortunately it's possible that they might not ever really get and accept it, so you may need to develop a coping strategy that won't create issues between you and them.

Scott Adams

Celiac.com - Celiac Disease Board Moderator

Founder Celiac.com

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Accept their ignorance for what it is and don't let it become a wedge that separates you from them. Your marriage will suffer if you can't get along with hubby's parents. Aside from that, when you get home, scrub the kitchen, appliances and cookware down thoroughly. Consider getting some educational material on celiac disease into in laws' hands.

Also, if you have non celiac disease people staying in your home as house sitters, it might be a bit unreasonable to expect them to cook and eat as you do, especially when you aren't even there to share it with them. 

Honestly, there are still a lot of people out there who consider those with gluten disorders to be simply following the latest health fad diet.

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I dealt with it early on by not allowing gluten into my home. Period, Full Stop.  I find the lack of respect they are showing just awful. My father in law came to live with us and found himself in a gluten-free/CF home.  Tough.  In fact within weeks his health was restored and his asthma and psoraisis were gone.  Suddenly he was telling everyone he knew about how wonderful it was!

 If someone is house sitting I shop before hand.  I put gluten-free pasta in my pasta holder and discard the box, purchase gluten-free snacks and put them in storage containers, buy gluten-free cereal and put it in my cereal containers, buy gluten-free bread for them and put it in the freezer.  The flour in my canister is gluten-free. I ask them not to bring anything containing gluten into the house. No one has violated my rules and I even had a couple of house sitters remark that after a week they actually felt better and were going to give gluten-free a try in their own homes!  

If anyone comes for dinner they get a gluten-free meal and I don't say a word about it.  After 14  years of this, I can whip up a meal indistinguishable from a gluten containing one.

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Oh gosh, that's horrible.  It will be a lot of work, but you'll have to just scrub and clean everything in your kitchen and replace any wooden spoons, pans with non-stick, and toaster or other appliances.  It is what you will just have to do, it will be fine, it is fixable. 

They do not have a clue how serious it is.  You need to tell them kindly and gently, making it clear you do not want to upset them, but it's what is necessary to keep you healthy.  Don't let the feeling "hurt" get in the way of your relationship with them or your spouse.  Take the emotion out of it and remind yourself that YOU have control.  If they come over, no gluten allowed inside your house, period.  And just never ever again leave them alone in the house or have them doggie sit.  I have found the stricter and clearer you are with what is allowed in your house, the less stress it is overall.

But I do think you need to address it now with them, take the years to educate them, because if you ever have kids, those kids will have a higher chance of a problem with gluten, so you need to start training those in-laws now to keep the possible future kids safe.

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  • 3 weeks later...
On 11/4/2020 at 5:41 PM, Beverage said:

Oh gosh, that's horrible.  It will be a lot of work, but you'll have to just scrub and clean everything in your kitchen and replace any wooden spoons, pans with non-stick, and toaster or other appliances.  It is what you will just have to do, it will be fine, it is fixable. 

They do not have a clue how serious it is.  You need to tell them kindly and gently, making it clear you do not want to upset them, but it's what is necessary to keep you healthy.  Don't let the feeling "hurt" get in the way of your relationship with them or your spouse.  Take the emotion out of it and remind yourself that YOU have control.  If they come over, no gluten allowed inside your house, period.  And just never ever again leave them alone in the house or have them doggie sit.  I have found the stricter and clearer you are with what is allowed in your house, the less stress it is overall.

But I do think you need to address it now with them, take the years to educate them, because if you ever have kids, those kids will have a higher chance of a problem with gluten, so you need to start training those in-laws now to keep the possible future kids safe.

This is such good advice thank you!

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Also, I have found that for people that really do not understand how serious it is, as the naturopath who explained it to me, put it in terms more of how people react with peanut allergies...how just the littles bit, even something they can't see, it can kill them, and this is how careful you have to be, that a littlest bit, even something you can't see can give you a reaction that although it will not kill you right then, it makes you sick for weeks or months and makes you vulnerable to other sicknesses.  People have heard the horror stories of peanut allergies in the news, and most get it when explained that way.

 

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1 minute ago, Beverage said:

Also, I have found that for people that really do not understand how serious it is, as the naturopath who explained it to me, put it in terms more of how people react with peanut allergies...how just the littles bit, even something they can't see, it can kill them, and this is how careful you have to be, that a littlest bit, even something you can't see can give you a reaction that although it will not kill you right then, it makes you sick for weeks or months and makes you vulnerable to other sicknesses.  People have heard the horror stories of peanut allergies in the news, and most get it when explained that way.

 

Great advice thank you!

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Yes, but that analogy with a peanut allergy is breaks down in that celiac disease is not an allergy and it does not cause anaphylaxis, an immediate life-threatening condition. I'm glad it worked for you. We who have celiac disease already have a very hard time trying to get friends and family to understand it's not an allergy by an autoimmune disease and the peanut allergy analogy just reinforces that misconception.

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19 hours ago, trents said:

Yes, but that analogy with a peanut allergy is breaks down in that celiac disease is not an allergy and it does not cause anaphylaxis, an immediate life-threatening condition. I'm glad it worked for you. We who have celiac disease already have a very hard time trying to get friends and family to understand it's not an allergy by an autoimmune disease and the peanut allergy analogy just reinforces that misconception.

Please reread...I made it clear that it is different, but a peanut allergy is how sensitive it is, not immediate:

" ...how just the littles bit, even something they can't see, it can kill them, and this is how careful you have to be, that a littlest bit, even something you can't see can give you a reaction that although it will not kill you right then, it makes you sick for weeks or months and makes you vulnerable to other sicknesses. "

 

As I also said, since people have been more exposed to people dying from peanut allergies from hearing horror stories on the news, they are more likely to understand HOW SENSITIVE a food can be, whether an allergy or an auto-immune disease.  

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