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Treen Bean

Frustrated By My Sisters

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I have been gluten free for 2 years. Before I got sick, my older sister became ill with severe Celiac-like symptoms. She went on a gluten free diet, gained the weight back, stopped having symptoms, and basically returned to normal. She then began incorporating gluten back into her diet. Now, she just eats low gluten. When she starts having symptoms again, she cuts out gluten for a few weeks, then eats it again when she begins to feel better.

I began having symptoms and have been gluten free ever since. I've never felt better. However, I still get sick even from the slightest amount of CC.

From everything I've read, my sister, though seemingly able to eat gluten, is probably still causing severe internal damage. I have expressed my concerns to her many times. She always says, "Well, I guess I'm just not as strong as you. I can't stay on a gluten free diet. It's too hard. Besides I don't ALWAYS get sick, and I don't eat THAT much gluten." I get so frustrated. Doesn't she care about her health. She is very skinny and always struggling to gain weight even though she eats like a trucker. She also has bad skin and under eye circles. Even more devastating to me is watching the struggles she and her husband are going through trying to conceive. I know one of the possible side effects of undiagnosed Celiac's is infertility. I just wish she would listen to me.

To make matters even worse, my little sister has started to show Celiac-like symptoms. She also refuses to go gluten free. She insists she doesn't like the way gluten-free food tastes and it's too difficult of a diet to follow. I love my sisters so much. I am terrified they will develop an awful disease brought on by undiagnosed/untreated Celiac's Disease.

Any ideas of how to better communicate my concerns with them would be greatly appreciated. I am just so worried about them.

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Maybe you could bake them some yummy gluten free goodies or invite them over for a delicious gluten free meal that you have prepared. That way they could see that gluten free can be tasty. Print informational material from the internet and give it to them. I also suffered from infertility due to un-dx gluten issues. It took me 5 years to get pregnant with my daughter. There are 7 1/2 years between my two children because I could not get pregnant for a second time and I am convinced it was my gluten intolerance. My body was really messed up. I hope your sisters see the light soon.

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I have been gluten free for 2 years. Before I got sick, my older sister became ill with severe Celiac-like symptoms. She went on a gluten free diet, gained the weight back, stopped having symptoms, and basically returned to normal. She then began incorporating gluten back into her diet. Now, she just eats low gluten. When she starts having symptoms again, she cuts out gluten for a few weeks, then eats it again when she begins to feel better.

I began having symptoms and have been gluten free ever since. I've never felt better. However, I still get sick even from the slightest amount of CC.

From everything I've read, my sister, though seemingly able to eat gluten, is probably still causing severe internal damage. I have expressed my concerns to her many times. She always says, "Well, I guess I'm just not as strong as you. I can't stay on a gluten free diet. It's too hard. Besides I don't ALWAYS get sick, and I don't eat THAT much gluten." I get so frustrated. Doesn't she care about her health. She is very skinny and always struggling to gain weight even though she eats like a trucker. She also has bad skin and under eye circles. Even more devastating to me is watching the struggles she and her husband are going through trying to conceive. I know one of the possible side effects of undiagnosed Celiac's is infertility. I just wish she would listen to me.

To make matters even worse, my little sister has started to show Celiac-like symptoms. She also refuses to go gluten free. She insists she doesn't like the way gluten-free food tastes and it's too difficult of a diet to follow. I love my sisters so much. I am terrified they will develop an awful disease brought on by undiagnosed/untreated Celiac's Disease.

Any ideas of how to better communicate my concerns with them would be greatly appreciated. I am just so worried about them.

I know exactly how you feel because I have 2 sisters myself who are strong possible Celiacs/GS also. My younger sister sort of gets it and has tried following the gluten-free diet because her teen daughter definitely has a problem with gluten. Her daughter is better at it than my sister and she's only 14! The problem my sister has is she is basically a lazy person and when the going gets a little tough, she caves and cheats. Then her symptoms flare up to the point where she recently went to a rheumatologist and is now showing thyroid antibodies, indicating Hashimoto's thyroid disease and possibly Lupus.

The older sister has bad asthma, which I strongly suspect is triggered by food, but she prefers to take loads of medication because it's easier. I was pleasantly surprised when she recently told me she was doing a trial gluten-free diet but, again, she is kind of lazy like my other sister and isn't into food prep or all the other things that are necessary to get this diet correct. That's the biggest hurdle, I find.....you have to be a motivated person and one that was extremely sick from celiac disease, like I was. When you cannot leave the house and work and are fading away to nothing, weight-wise, it's very easy to follow a gluten-free diet. My sisters have different symptoms and are not as sick as I was. They have also not been tested, as far as I know.

I would disagree about the diet being too hard to follow or that the food doesn't taste good. I am eating as well as I was before I was diagnosed and I have very high standards when it comes to food. Yes, you have to put way more effort into eating and food prep but a good Celiac eats better than most of the American population and the benefit is I am on no cholesterol, blood pressure or other meds they force on people because my diet is so good. Like I said, it takes a motivated person and we are not all motivated, are we? :P

I know it's very hard to see it in family members and have to bite your tongue most of the time. Almost my whole family have symptoms (it's on both sides!) and many have serious autoimmune problems but gluten wins out every time. I can sort of understand it because I used to smoke a little bit and we all know how the world treats smokers. There is a difference though.....there is NO substitute for cigarettes at all but there is plenty of great tasting gluten-free food and mixes out there so it's a no brainer as far as I am concerned. gluten-free brownies are better than gluten filled brownies.....you get the picture! Like myself, you will have to learn to let them make their own bad choices and say nothing or they will avoid you like my family sometimes does with me. My mother won't even talk to me about health issues anymore and she is the picture postcard of a Celiac. I just gave up! :(

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I feel your pain. I too have closed ear sister. She more than likely has some of it going on but even when she describes a yucky symptom to me, no reaction to "it could be celiac". She's really in denial. But I long ago stopped trying to help her with issues. She will listen but, you know, Angie couldn't possibly know anything, she's a tree hugger type. OK, She's never actually said that to me but I sure get that vibe. She doesn't mind that I eat that way but she won't even entertain the idea. I just have to sit by and let her make her own health choices. It's a very hard thing to do but you can drive them away if they think all you do is lecture them. Just love your sisters, be the great example you have already shown yourself to be, and welcome them without crtitsism if they turn to you. :)

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I'm sorry Treen Bean- it's so difficult to watch loved ones suffer when they know what would make them feel better. It's also hard knowing what could potentially happen to them if they continue on that path. :(

I agree with much of what people have suggested here- show your older sister the evidence about untreated celiac and fertility.

I think it really comes down to quality of life (when the big arguments like cancer, infertility don't work). Next time she's sick and can't do something, ask her if she really wants to live this way? She's probably scared and in denial. maybe her husband can help (like a gluten intervention?).

Keep us posted.

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Thanks for all of your words and advice. As of now, neither of my sisters have listened to me. I am going to continue loving them and being patient. My one passive aggressive form of action, is baking/cooking them delicious gluten free treats/meals. They both LOVE my cooking and beg me to cook for them. In fact, my older sister requested my gluten free Frosted Banana Spice cupcakes for her birthday "cake". They both claim to "feel so good" after they eat my cooking. It's no wonder, huh?! Maybe one day they will come around. I will continue to hope and pray for that day.

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Sometimes you just can't get through to people. I have a relative with food allergies (not life threatening) who continues to eat the allergens, avoiding them seemingly only when it suits her. She is always baffled as to why she is sick all the time and insists it can't be the food.

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In fact, my older sister requested my gluten free Frosted Banana Spice cupcakes for her birthday "cake".

Could you post a recipe? Those cupcakes sound delicious.

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I found this post to be really interesting. I was recently diagnosed, and I am still amazed with how many symptoms this illness encompasses. I can spot down the line all the symptoms that not only have applied to me, but also my sister and mother. My eldest sister was diagnosed with IBS, and Bi-polar disorder. Neither diagnosis has ever sat well with me. It just didnt seem correct. She never had the high "mania" needed for a bi-polar diagnosis. Anyway, she has been having trouble conceiving, though the doctors can not find anything physically that would prevent a pregnancy. I sent her a email, and copied my mother. I listed all the symptoms that they've had for years, and attached websites on Celiac for them to reference to. Seeing how we are related, and I have it, you'd think they'd listen. Neither did. Its so frustrating. I completely understand where you are coming from. I feel so much better staying gluten-free, and I just know that it would be the same for them. They refuse to even be tested. What else can you do?

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My husband's sister is the same way. She has already said that she'd kill

herself first before going on a gluten free diet like her brother. She admits

that she probably has celiac but says she'll never stop eating wheat

pasta (she goes out to eat all the time), and she has a lot of celiac

symptoms

1) Indigestion/bloating/gas

2) Dental/bone problems

3) can't gain weight

4) frequent bowel movements without eating fiber, etc.

5) "fainting" spells (I am thinking gluten seizures)

6) arthritis and joint pain

7) vision problems (unknown if there's a connection)

8) brain fog

9) attention issues (unknown if there's a connection)

It's like the old expression "You can lead a horse to water, but you can't

make him drink."

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Could you post a recipe? Those cupcakes sound delicious.

Okay here is the recipe:

http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com/2006...anana-cake.html

I used a simple cream cheese icing. They are amazing and so moist.

Enjoy!

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I have an update on my sisters. My older sister and her husband have gone completely gluten free and have maintained the diet for 2 months now! They are both feeling great. My sister has started gaining some much needed weight and her husband has lost 15 pounds! I am so proud of them for finally taking a proactive approach to their health! Now, if my little sister would get on board the gluten free train! Thanks again for all of your comments and advice.

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I'm so happy for you!! What a weight off your shoulders. If they've gone this long on the diet, they will probably stick with it. And you never know about little sister, with you two double teaming her, she might just cave and get with it!

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I have an update on my sisters. My older sister and her husband have gone completely gluten free and have maintained the diet for 2 months now! They are both feeling great. My sister has started gaining some much needed weight and her husband has lost 15 pounds! I am so proud of them for finally taking a proactive approach to their health! Now, if my little sister would get on board the gluten free train! Thanks again for all of your comments and advice.

Whoohoo!!!

Maybe next time they say gluten-free food doesn't taste good, you can remind them of the cupcakes!

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