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

la2

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Hi there,

My sister has celiac disease (diagnosed 2 1/2 years ago) and I have two questions. This Christmas my family visited at my

home. I planned a meal that excluded any wheat and so advised my family.

My sister informed me shortly before Christmas that she would bring all her own food so

I did not have to worry about contamination.

I have another friend who has celiac and does come to my home for dinner. I avoid wheat

and she is quite fine with this arrangement. I have a number of friends that have different

diet restrictions, like diabetes, etc and always go to whatever lengths to adapt the meal

to their requirements, so we can all enjoy the meal together. So I am trying to understand why my sister took this route.

Also, she has a cat allergy and does not not want to take a antihistamine. I have been

told by a dietition there are ones without wheat.

Can anyone answer my questions?

la2

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Hi, ,I tend to bring my own food to dinners too. Everyone who has celiac has different degrees of sensitivity. It could be your sister is extremely sensitive as I am. Last night at a friends I got sick because they had been making tenpura earlier and there was still flour in the air. Nothing else could have caused it. Cross contamination is a big issue for many celiacs. Just using the wrong tongs or residue on a pan can set some people off. Other celiacs have no trouble with this but I do and perhaps your sister as well. My wife can no longer bake at our house unless it is gluten free flours and I had to throw out many old pans. It makes it really tough to eat out too.

Take care

Hi there,

My sister has celiac disease (diagnosed 2 1/2 years ago) and I have two questions. This Christmas my family visited at my

home. I planned a meal that excluded any wheat and so advised my family.

My sister informed me shortly before Christmas that she would bring all her own food so

I did not have to worry about contamination.

I have another friend who has celiac and does come to my home for dinner. I avoid wheat

and she is quite fine with this arrangement. I have a number of friends that have different

diet restrictions, like diabetes, etc and always go to whatever lengths to adapt the meal

to their requirements, so we can all enjoy the meal together. So I am trying to understand why my sister took this route.

Also, she has a cat allergy and does not not want to take a antihistamine. I have been

told by a dietition there are ones without wheat.

Can anyone answer my questions?

la2

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I'm not sure what your sister's reasons were but I can tell you why I would bring my own food:

1. gluten-free food can get pricey; I feel better saving my hosts that expense

2. cross contamination can happen so easily (wooden spoons, colanders, teeny-tiny crumbs)

3. gluten-free cooking takes a lot of research and I honestly wouldn't want my hosts to go to that much trouble (gluten is so sneaky, it ends up in everything, even things that don't list obvious wheat, oats, barley, or rye)

I don't know about the wheat in allergy meds but I do know that they make me very sleepy (even those that aren't supposed to) so I try not to take them.

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She could be worried about cross contamination on things. When you go gluten free, you usually throw out all your pots, and you have to get new things like cutting boards and wooden spoons bc they both absorb gluten. Celiac is not just "wheat." Wheat hides in everything from kethcup, sauces, package seasonings, ham, shredded cheese, and more. It may not be listed as "wheat" on the ingrediant label. Your sister could be worried that even thought you are really sweet for trying, you may not know exactly what to look for.

Or, like me, she could be embarrassed for you and the family of going to the trouble of taking care of her.

Either way, you are really sweet for trying. Good luck!

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I always bring my own food with me. I'm very sensitive, and have other food intolerances.

All of us have different levels of sensitivity. I'm sure you sister was just happy to be there with you all :)

I am also allergic to cats--and I have one :lol: Claritin is gluten-free.

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I always bring my own food with me. I'm very sensitive, and have other food intolerances.

All of us have different levels of sensitivity. I'm sure you sister was just happy to be there with you all :)

I am also allergic to cats--and I have one :lol: Claritin is gluten-free.

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Thanks to everyone for your replies.

I was curious as my sister has always been some what of a hypochondriac and obsessive compulsive....so just was curious.

I am very aware of the need to adapt one`s diet for different health requirements. Having

been diagnosed with cancer 11 months ago, I am in the midst of changing my diet.

Even though I was always very conscientious of maintaining a healthy regime, there is always

room for improvement and some illnesses do require major adjustments.

It is always one`s hope to adjust while continuing to live harmoniously in society.

La

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let me give you an example of why she may have chosen this route from my experience this holiday:

my husband and I stayed with his parents. I love them; they are wonderful people, are about as understanding as you can get for folks who don't have celiac and have never heard of it before, and try to be very accomodating. but I had to cringe as I saw my father-in-law pass the bread (in a bowl, granted) over the turkey plate, and my brother-in-law spoon out sweet potatoes onto his plate, allowing the spoon to touch his bread. (fortunately, there were more sweet potatoes just coming out of the oven I could have, so I didn't have to actually stop eating them now that the ones on the table were contaminated. ;) )

things like this make those of us with celiac very nervous. we know that you guys - the family and friends who try to accomodate us with love and great intentions in your heart - mean nothing but the best. but you don't live with it and don't think of bread and wheat and so forth as *~scary~* (said with halloween-voice). and sometimes, we just don't have it in us to take the risk, even though we *KNOW* our friends and family may mean the very best in the world.

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let me give you an example of why she may have chosen this route from my experience this holiday:

my husband and I stayed with his parents. I love them; they are wonderful people, are about as understanding as you can get for folks who don't have celiac and have never heard of it before, and try to be very accomodating. but I had to cringe as I saw my father-in-law pass the bread (in a bowl, granted) over the turkey plate, and my brother-in-law spoon out sweet potatoes onto his plate, allowing the spoon to touch his bread. (fortunately, there were more sweet potatoes just coming out of the oven I could have, so I didn't have to actually stop eating them now that the ones on the table were contaminated. ;) )

things like this make those of us with celiac very nervous. we know that you guys - the family and friends who try to accomodate us with love and great intentions in your heart - mean nothing but the best. but you don't live with it and don't think of bread and wheat and so forth as *~scary~* (said with halloween-voice). and sometimes, we just don't have it in us to take the risk, even though we *KNOW* our friends and family may mean the very best in the world.

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let me give you an example of why she may have chosen this route from my experience this holiday:

my husband and I stayed with his parents. I love them; they are wonderful people, are about as understanding as you can get for folks who don't have celiac and have never heard of it before, and try to be very accomodating. but I had to cringe as I saw my father-in-law pass the bread (in a bowl, granted) over the turkey plate, and my brother-in-law spoon out sweet potatoes onto his plate, allowing the spoon to touch his bread. (fortunately, there were more sweet potatoes just coming out of the oven I could have, so I didn't have to actually stop eating them now that the ones on the table were contaminated. ;) )

things like this make those of us with celiac very nervous. we know that you guys - the family and friends who try to accomodate us with love and great intentions in your heart - mean nothing but the best. but you don't live with it and don't think of bread and wheat and so forth as *~scary~* (said with halloween-voice). and sometimes, we just don't have it in us to take the risk, even though we *KNOW* our friends and family may mean the very best in the world.

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I get it!...won`t try again.

No...I don`t live with celiac...but trying to live with cancer, not scary, but *~very scary~*... which by the way will eventually kill me.

So, actually, sometimes friends and families do get it.

Again, with any illness, the one ill needs to find how to blend with the rest of the world.

Again, thanks to everyone for your imput...much appreciated.

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I cringed just reading about your cringe. Good to know others feel the same about things like that.

I had my culinary students do a few gluten-free meals during one of our public lunches and stayed in the kitchen to point out the cross contamination that occurred in numerous areas. They are learning and with luck this program will be adopted by all the culinary schools in Hawaii. My poor wife on the other hand continues to try hard only to forget something or add some sauce or foreign condiment with caramel coloring making it impossible for me to eat.

I've totally given up on eating at buffets.

Ken

let me give you an example of why she may have chosen this route from my experience this holiday:

my husband and I stayed with his parents. I love them; they are wonderful people, are about as understanding as you can get for folks who don't have celiac and have never heard of it before, and try to be very accomodating. but I had to cringe as I saw my father-in-law pass the bread (in a bowl, granted) over the turkey plate, and my brother-in-law spoon out sweet potatoes onto his plate, allowing the spoon to touch his bread. (fortunately, there were more sweet potatoes just coming out of the oven I could have, so I didn't have to actually stop eating them now that the ones on the table were contaminated. ;) )

things like this make those of us with celiac very nervous. we know that you guys - the family and friends who try to accomodate us with love and great intentions in your heart - mean nothing but the best. but you don't live with it and don't think of bread and wheat and so forth as *~scary~* (said with halloween-voice). and sometimes, we just don't have it in us to take the risk, even though we *KNOW* our friends and family may mean the very best in the world.

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I get it!...won`t try again.

No...I don`t live with celiac...but trying to live with cancer, not scary, but *~very scary~*... which by the way will eventually kill me.

So, actually, sometimes friends and families do get it.

Again, with any illness, the one ill needs to find how to blend with the rest of the world.

Again, thanks to everyone for your imput...much appreciated.

Your sister is very blessed to have you in her life and you are so sweet for trying. Maybe next time it will give her some peace of mind if you and she prepare the food together. I know I am very nervous about food that I don't see made. Prime example-my mom made homemade stew this holiday. She was very careful about using only vegetables and tomato sauce (which she checked), kept it in a different pot for the stew with seasoning in it even freaked my sister out with the whole spoon thing. It was perfectly safe for me to eat. I was not there when she cooked it, so I found myself later "checking myself" for gluten reactions, even though I knew it was safe. I did not get sick, so I worried myself for no reason.

The other really caring thing my mom did was safe any label or package of something she wasn't sure about and let me check it myself.

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I get it!...won`t try again.

No...I don`t live with celiac...but trying to live with cancer, not scary, but *~very scary~*... which by the way will eventually kill me.

So, actually, sometimes friends and families do get it.

Again, with any illness, the one ill needs to find how to blend with the rest of the world.

Again, thanks to everyone for your imput...much appreciated.

like zcat suggested, perhaps you guys can work together on something? I feel much better when my mother-in-law and I cook something together, and serve a totally gluten free meal. she knows to check every ingredient, but mostly knows that she doesn't have this sort of thing ingrained in her head, so it's easier - for both of us - if I help. but still fun to do it together. :)

either way, I'm pretty sure that your sister really does genuinely appreciate the thought. :)

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To be honest, sometimes it's just easier to bring my own food. Sometimes I'm not in the mood to supervise cooking, ask a ton of questions, etc. I'm very comfortable around some of my friends and will eat what they cook, but they know the rules about no dipping crackers in the dips, etc. When I'm around people who I don't hang out with much, it's a ton of extra effort on my part and I just want to hang out and have a good time and not have the stress of supervision and playing russian roulette with my health. There are just so many things to consider - it's so easy to forget and use contaminated ingredients or not realize that a certain company has problems with contamination of their products even if the ingredient list doesn't say gluten. Or how about this one - I was at my friend's house and she has a cat that uses wheat-based kitty litter. The cat managed to jump up on the kitchen counter. Now the counter needs to be scrubbed.

Some things your sister might appreciate: purchasing a NEW cutting board and labeling it with her name, having NEW jam, butter, etc in your fridge with her name on them, having lots of fruit around because it's so easy to wash, having things like individually wrapped string cheese and eggs (wait, I can't remember if you said dairy free, too :)) This is all safe stuff that she can eat and not have to worry about it being contaminated.

About the antihistamine - some people don't like to take drugs if they don't have to, so that might be why. Did you ask her why?

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My FIL is a vegitarian and my hubby is a celiac so I always make dishes for the two of them when we do family dinners. That way they have items that are special just for them. My husband is not so sensitive that he has to worry about a spoon or something bumping into a gluten product. I have gotten used to making sure his dad's food doesn't touch the meat that it has become fairly easy to do his foods too. Each year for Christmas we do a snack food buffet. So this year I made two dips, I did the philly cheesy chili dip and made one regular and one vegitarian/gluten-free. They ate the whole thing and were so happy to have something that looked just like everyone elses. Plus I took my own chips that we knew were ok.

I don't think it has anything to do with the person but it is a pain in the butt to do a special diet. I would feel bad if everyone else had to give up some of their favorite things because of me. I don't have a problem cooking for a certain diet because my dad had a heart attack and quad bypass when I was 5, I grew up on a cardiac diet. My mother later got cancer and so there was another special diet. Then I grew up and spent a couple of years being able to eat whatever my little heart wanted only to get a hyatial (sp?) hernia. Then a few years after that I married my gluten free husband. So special diets is all I've ever dealt with.

Congrats to you for taking the step and try to make your sis happy and for those who do have the extereme reactions, if you are taking your own food, espically after being told that the host would/is doing a gluten-free menu, explain to them why you are still bringing your own food. I know my feelings would have been hurt too.

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My FIL is a vegitarian and my hubby is a celiac so I always make dishes for the two of them when we do family dinners. That way they have items that are special just for them. My husband is not so sensitive that he has to worry about a spoon or something bumping into a gluten product. I have gotten used to making sure his dad's food doesn't touch the meat that it has become fairly easy to do his foods too. Each year for Christmas we do a snack food buffet. So this year I made two dips, I did the philly cheesy chili dip and made one regular and one vegitarian/gluten-free. They ate the whole thing and were so happy to have something that looked just like everyone elses. Plus I took my own chips that we knew were ok.

I don't think it has anything to do with the person but it is a pain in the butt to do a special diet. I would feel bad if everyone else had to give up some of their favorite things because of me. I don't have a problem cooking for a certain diet because my dad had a heart attack and quad bypass when I was 5, I grew up on a cardiac diet. My mother later got cancer and so there was another special diet. Then I grew up and spent a couple of years being able to eat whatever my little heart wanted only to get a hyatial (sp?) hernia. Then a few years after that I married my gluten free husband. So special diets is all I've ever dealt with.

Congrats to you for taking the step and try to make your sis happy and for those who do have the extereme reactions, if you are taking your own food, espically after being told that the host would/is doing a gluten-free menu, explain to them why you are still bringing your own food. I know my feelings would have been hurt too.

My understanding is that if a person has Celiac Disease and eats gluten, it does damage even if they don't have symptoms. So the person with Celiac, along with their loved ones, should in fact be concerned about gluten-containing crumbs falling on to a gluten free dish, or a utensil being used for both, even if there are no outward reactions.

It is difficult to make different dishes, and it is nice that you go to the effort for your husband and FIH. People who can eat anything have sooo many more choices, it is not usually the case of someone having to go without their favorite dish just because someone else brings a gluten-free or vegetarian dish. At my husband's family dinners, there is literally nothing I can eat except for what I bring myself. No one even attempts to ask me what I can or can't eat, and they offer me items made with wheat flour despite having known for years that I can't eat gluten. One person made 3 different homemade desserts and said to me "I guess I made something for everyone." Yes, everyone who can eat gluten! I sat there eating a few M & Ms while my husband ate a piece of everyone of those deserts. I had brought a salad that I and everyone else could eat, and someone used the salad tongs for something else then put them back in the salad. Lesson there: take my own food and desert! At my own family dinners people do try to make something that everyone, including gluten-free and veggie can eat, such as rice pasta noodles with marinara sauce. I try to make the best gluten-free dessert I can.

I'm sure your relatives appreciate the effort you make making food that they can eat so they are not left out! :D

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I think almost everyone here can agree that none of us want to, or intend to tick off our family or friends. We do the best we can to be as accommodating as we can so that we can join in at social functions without fear. Celiacs can be extremely isolating for us. We don't take our own food or question someone's preparation of food because we want to be different special or difficult, we do it because we want to be and stay healthy so that we can enjoy our time with you. We've chosen to make our health a priority and risk having the ones we love not understand our intentions. We hate having to make that choice but we do it in the interests of self preservation.

Staying gluten free is your sisters best bet for avoiding cancer. Those of us who are Celiac run a significantly increased risk of cancer, particularly of the digestive tract. That risk is significantly lower if we go off gluten and stay off it.

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