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MitziG

Just A Vent- In Laws Are Making Fun Of Celiac

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My mother in law was really upset this weekend and finally admitted to me the reason for her annoyance. My husbands brother and his wife have been MAKING FUN of our family when we aren't around because of our all being gluten free!

I am so steamed. I kind of knew it anyway, because they had made a few remarks in my presence like "people have been eating wheat for thousands of years without any problem" and calling us the "gluten-free" people.

I am so irritated. Prior to being dx'd with Celiac, via biopsy, myself, and my two kids suffered a myriad of health problems. We were always sick, and I am pretty sure they actually thought we were just hypochondriacs.

But now we are better, and they SHOULD be happy for us! They should see what gluten did to us. My daughter developed shingles in her ear drum after being glutened and LOST HER HEARING! My son was in constant pain for 2 years and had every test under the sun before being diagnosed. They have watched me miss out on so many family functions due to "the flu"...again.

I have tried to educate these people, and my attempts are met with eye rolls and sarcasm. Frankly, they aren't a bright bunch and wouldn't do a lick of research if their life depended on it.

So...not really looking for a solution here, just ranting. At least my sweet mother in law gets it, and she is very supportive. And my mom is another biopsy proven celiac, my dad is self-dx'd either celiac or gluten intolerant. My aunt on my mom's side, as well of all three of her kids are all celiac as well. So it is just hubby's side of the family that are morons. Ok, my sister and brother are too. Sister got tested but since it was negative thinks that gluten has nothign to do with her constant migraines, malfunctioning gallbladder, thyroid, adult acne and OCD. Brother wont get tested even though he spent his first 20 years in a state of chronic emaciation and now is obese and has terrible allergies and asthma.

Argh...family is so frustrating! You would think people would WANT to feel better?!!

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OMG......I feel for ya!!!! Your in-laws are a bunch of morans with no empathy. Obviously your husband must take after his sweet mama. At least you have her on that side of the family, the matriarch.

My mother in law recently said to me, and I quote "Maybe you will resolve these allergy issues soon and be able to eat wheat again and your kids won't have to suffer without it and be deprived of wearing perfume and using hair spray" SOooooooo rude. My husband told her I would never "get over it" that it was for life and that I was actually doing the kids a favor by not having them exposed to all the chemicals of perfume and hairspray, that it was a good thing. My husband rocks. And the kids hope that by being gluten free most of the time they may be preventing the development of a wheat allergy in themselves, they know they are at risk. They eat school lunches, so they are not totally gluten-free, and do not need to be, but they eat a whole lot less wheat than most people. So, my kids rock too. My family understands. But, my brother thinks I am faking it, and was making fun of me until my sister sat him down and explained it to him. I'm hoping he believes now.

I do not know what it is about the gluten free diet that irritates people so much. Maybe it's because wheat is considered "the staff of life" BLAh Blah BlaH! :blink:

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You sound strong and well-rooted in your own conviction and to what your own household's systems are reacting, and best of all, to what they are responding well. I'm so glad to pick up on that, because it's the most important concept here. I feel badly that your mother-in-law is having to endure the ignorance of others, but she sounds like an understanding and empathetic person. Your fearlessness will come in handy here for her.

It's an ignorant assertion, as you know, that people have historically eaten wheat with "no problems", but unless the notion of a gluten epidemic is heard on the 6:00 news, read off a teleprompter by someone not personally known, well, it would appear not to be within the realm of acceptance by many. But I'm always intrigued by numerous stories like this, where someone would go out of their way to actually make fun of someone when it comes to gluten. I can only peg it as their own intense fear of some sort and that's the real sad part of all this.

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I will never get why people are so opiniated about things they don't know anything about. My mom knows first hand about the impact of diet in how one feels (she has sugar intolerance issues) but when I told her we were going to do a gluten-free trial with my daughter to see if she's affected, she said Why would you want to do that to her? Um, what?? I told her, why would I want to potentially ply her with foods that might be making her sick?? It's so tiresome. You have my sympathies in dealing with them!

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I totally understand. I've only been gluten free for a little over 2 months and I haven't told my in-laws for this very reason (I was sick over Christmas, so I escaped that awkwardness). I've never been their favorite person so pretty much everything I do is grist for the gossip mill. Like a lot of people I had IBS symptoms for years. One time my husband's aunt cornered me and would not stop with the IBS questions and she pretty much implied I was faking it. Really, if I were going to fake a disease, wouldn't it be something a little more "glamourous" then something that's main symptom is raging diarrhea?

What was funny was that I had never even mentioned it or looked for any attention from it. The only reason it came up at all was because SIL was having a gathering where she was having pizza and I just ate breadsticks (I thought they were "safe" since I was lactose intolerant! LOL). DH's aunt asked my why I wasn't eating pizza and that started a discussion about my digestive issues. I'm actually super private about my health and only discussed it because she was so insistent. Learned my lesson!

Anyway, I don't even understand why our in-laws care what we do or do not eat. It effects them not at all.

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My mother in law was really upset this weekend and finally admitted to me the reason for her annoyance. My husbands brother and his wife have been MAKING FUN of our family when we aren't around because of our all being gluten free!

I am so steamed. I kind of knew it anyway, because they had made a few remarks in my presence like "people have been eating wheat for thousands of years without any problem" and calling us the "gluten-free" people.

I am so irritated. Prior to being dx'd with Celiac, via biopsy, myself, and my two kids suffered a myriad of health problems. We were always sick, and I am pretty sure they actually thought we were just hypochondriacs.

But now we are better, and they SHOULD be happy for us! They should see what gluten did to us. My daughter developed shingles in her ear drum after being glutened and LOST HER HEARING! My son was in constant pain for 2 years and had every test under the sun before being diagnosed. They have watched me miss out on so many family functions due to "the flu"...again.

I have tried to educate these people, and my attempts are met with eye rolls and sarcasm. Frankly, they aren't a bright bunch and wouldn't do a lick of research if their life depended on it.

So...not really looking for a solution here, just ranting. At least my sweet mother in law gets it, and she is very supportive. And my mom is another biopsy proven celiac, my dad is self-dx'd either celiac or gluten intolerant. My aunt on my mom's side, as well of all three of her kids are all celiac as well. So it is just hubby's side of the family that are morons. Ok, my sister and brother are too. Sister got tested but since it was negative thinks that gluten has nothign to do with her constant migraines, malfunctioning gallbladder, thyroid, adult acne and OCD. Brother wont get tested even though he spent his first 20 years in a state of chronic emaciation and now is obese and has terrible allergies and asthma.

Argh...family is so frustrating! You would think people would WANT to feel better?!!

First, let me set this up by admitting I've had a holiday meltdown of sorts and decided I hated 80% of my family... And the ones I didn't hate I didn't want to speak to... To understand how odd that is you'd have to know me BEFORE the meltdown.

But anyhow, here's my take on the stupid people. Screw 'em. And it wouldn't hurt them to hear it.

I'm not normally that crass but if the shoe fits...

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toss this at them next time you see them

When was celiac disease born?: the Italian case from the archeologic site of Cosa.

Gasbarrini G, Miele L, Corazza GR, Gasbarrini A.

Source

Institute of Internal Medicine, Catholic University of Rome, Italy. ggasbarrini@rm.unicatt.it

Abstract

A case of a young woman died in Italy during the first century AD is presented. She had short height (140 cm), clinical history of anemia, and a decreased bone mass with evidence of osteoporosis and bone fragility. The archeologic artifacts from the tomb and with the quality of burial architecture suggest that the tomb was built for a rich person in an area with extensive culture of wheat. The wellness of the area is supported by the lack of other bodies found with signs of malnutrition. Clinical presentation and the possible continuous exposure to wheat seem to suggest a case of celiac disease. This case could be the first case of this condition since that one described by Areteus of Cappadocia in 250 BC and could be helpful to clarify the phylogenetic tree of celiac disease.

source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20631553

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I don't understand what it is about celiac that brings out this attitude in people. It's like they think we did it on purpose. So stupid. I am fortunate to have a super supportive husband in bil & sil (not much other family) and it makes me angry to read what so many of you deal with. It's really unbelievable. Healthier Without Wheat: A New Understanding of Wheat Allergies, Celiac Disease and Non-Celiac Gluten Intolerance by Dr. Stephen Wangen explains why wheat is a problem now and not all those thousands of years ago, if you can get the morons to read it.

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Diane, Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis is another excellent book that describes the changes in wheat over the years and why more people have problems with it now. But like you said, they wouldn't be interested in it anyway.

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I'm not sure, but I'm guessing the reason so many people are uncomfortable with our disease, (and I think that's why they make fun of it - because it makes them uncomfortable), is because they feel guilty. Yes, guilty. Before I went gluten free I knew people who were really into eating healthy. I have many friends who are vegetarian, and I know others who eat only organic foods. They made ME uncomfortable because I knew I was poisoning myself with junk food, but I was too lazy, and had not enough will power to start taking care of myself. I kept rationalizing my diet, telling myself I was getting plenty of nutrition because all of the crap I was eating was vitamin fortified. I thought, hey, if I'm not dead yet, this junk food can't be hurting me too badly.

Think about it. If you have friends who go to the gym all the time, and if you're like me and DON'Tget enough exercise, you might find yourself rolling your eyes at them when they start talking about how many pounds they can lift, or how many sit ups they did this morning. Is it because we think they are crazy or wrong? Heck no. We all know we should exercise more. But we don't want to hear about people who do because we feel guilty.

Just a theory and I could be wrong. Maybe they're just jerks. :)

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What pathetic small people. They are obviously projecting their annoyance at their own mundane, boring lives onto you guys. I'm not sure why- but sounds like jealousy - not about the Celiac - about other things - but this is the way that they deal with it. :rolleyes: So pathetic. I think it interesting that they say 'people have been eating wheat for 1000's of years without problems', Do they say that about peanuts?? I mean - I am fine with peanuts - but it doesn't mean I think nobody has a problem with them. :angry: I wouldn't even bother talking to them anymore.

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If you start making fun of someone with cancer or Alzheimers, watch how fast they correct you and then ask what the difference is between what you did and what they keep doing.

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I think part of it is that gluten-free is kind of becoming a fad diet for people who don't need it or just want to seem more "natural". And that kind of downplays the people whoa re truly affected by it.

Not that this is any reason for words like that. I probably would be going crazy if I heard things like that on a regular basis. This is definitely the place to vent about it.

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Diane, Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis is another excellent book that describes the changes in wheat over the years and why more people have problems with it now. But like you said, they wouldn't be interested in it anyway.

excellent book! I have told a couple members of my family about it, they have a glazed look on their face & change the subject. Celiac or not i think if you were to read that book you would Never touch wheat again.

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Small-minded, closed-minded people deserve to be ignored. Period. Remember the old adage about sticks and stones.... what they are saying tells more about them than it does about you. I assume your MIL sets them straight??? I took my parents to task once, when I was about 16, about what hypocrites they were. My dad's sister would come to visit, and they would start talking about her in a mean way while she was still backing out of the driveway :angry: Can't stand that stuff.

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To my great surprise, my family has been highly supportive of my diet and my elderly parents even went to the library and read books on celiac. I thought Wow, this is great that I have so much support from my family. Unfortunately they live far away. My friends whose problems I have listened to and been supportive of them for years are another story. Most of them dont seem to care, and they never ask how I am doing. My very best friend told me last week that celiac was just "the flavor of the month" and what was going to happen when something else took over that spot. I just said that whether or not it was in the spotlight, I would still have it for the rest of my life. I decided right then that my New Years resolution is going to be to make new friends. And I think I need to give a few of these people a good old "smackdown".

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I agree with the fad diet comment, before diagnosis my mother was wasting away and lost half of her body weight- the GI suspected cancer and all our family were so worried. Then she got the Celiac diag - started a gluten-free diet and looked and felt so much better, but my aunt did not believe it!! Even though you could see how much better it was, she kept going on about fad diets etc.

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Sometimes I think if I wrote what I actually wanted to say when I respond to posts like this that I'd get kicked off.

Oh my...

They are idiots and morons.

I have a friend right now who is so sick and tired all the time. She has horrible migraines. She's married to an Italian man and the bulk of their diet is pasta and bread. Another mutual friend (who is not gluten free, but very health conscious and eats very little gluten) was over to dinner and commented on the amount of gluten they were eating. The husband had the same argument...people have eaten wheat for thousands of years with no problem, and there is no scientific proof that wheat hurts people (according to him...he's a scientist btw). In the meantime is wife is crashing...I see my old self in her, and she'll never even try the diet because of that attitude.

I don't know why gluten free is so offensive or threatening to people. I cannot figure it out. I just know I need to keep my family safe...so screw em!

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Goodness, family situations are hard enough and then your inlaws start this stuff? That's enough fuel to add to the fire, unfortunate. Reality may come knocking on her door one day. If she would stop for a moment and relaize that maybe she isn't right about evreything, and actually took the time to read about wheat, maybe then she would understand the destruction it can do to the body. Unfortunately you will never be able ot get thru to people like this. What she has done shows alot about her character, do not take it personally. Sorry you are having to deal with such frustration!

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I agree with bart about making people uncomfortable. We all have wanted to roll our eyes at the person with 5% body fat saying that they better not have dessert because they don't want to run an extra mile that day. You know deep down you shouldn't be eating it either but you feel better when everyone else joins you. It also doesn't help that people seem to think this is a fad weight loss plan or the new trendy disease. My parents are great and I only had one issue with my Dad when I was first diagnosed when he said, "you can't have dessert on vacation one time?" I didn't get angry I just sat him down and told him all the symptoms I have been having and how this was making me feel better. I know that most people don't care what I eat and I never bring it up unless someone asks because I do also know people that talk about being gluten intolerent all the time and I could see how that would get old. I honestly just tell people if they ask that I am intolerent but it's not that bad honestly to eat this way. I also say if I am at their house to not worry about me, I will find something to eat. One thing I don't get is people acting like food is their reason for being. Saying how could you live not eating this or that and in my mind food is food. I don't really like sweets anyways and don't really miss anything. enjoying life isn't about eating cake and brownies.

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Thanks so much for all of the comments. Like I said, it was a vent. I know dealing with ignorant people is just part of life, but it sures feels good to rant a bit to those who know EXACTLY what I am talking about! I don't post alot because I usually check the forum on my phone which doesnt allow me to sign in, but I get SO much support from this group! Thank you all!

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Well that definitely makes the family gatherings more difficult, huh?

I think it's great that at least some of the family members support you. I never thought about how my family reacted to my daughter's diagnosis, but after thinking about it I realized that the ones who mattered to me most were the ones who supported me. Any of the others I wouldn't give a second thought to.

You are doing your entire family a favor by making them healthy. No one's opinion matters otherwise.

Personally, I wouldn't necessarily take a negative attitude toward them, but that's just because it's the type of person I am. Besides, it just works to make you bitter, and when you have celiac disease, who the heck needs that?

I keep pictures. Some of a healthy digestive tract, then my daughter's endoscopy pictures. When anyone asks what the heck they're for, I show them. This is mostly for the doubters who are simply uneducated. They may ask a few more questions, but after that I won't hear anything negative again.

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Well that definitely makes the family gatherings more difficult, huh?

I think it's great that at least some of the family members support you. I never thought about how my family reacted to my daughter's diagnosis, but after thinking about it I realized that the ones who mattered to me most were the ones who supported me. Any of the others I wouldn't give a second thought to.

You are doing your entire family a favor by making them healthy. No one's opinion matters otherwise.

Personally, I wouldn't necessarily take a negative attitude toward them, but that's just because it's the type of person I am. Besides, it just works to make you bitter, and when you have celiac disease, who the heck needs that?

I keep pictures. Some of a healthy digestive tract, then my daughter's endoscopy pictures. When anyone asks what the heck they're for, I show them. This is mostly for the doubters who are simply uneducated. They may ask a few more questions, but after that I won't hear anything negative again.

Cool idea, I wish I had pictures!

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People feel uncomfortable with Celaics because they don't understand.

I have always said it would almost be easier if I broke out in a rash when I ate gluten so I could show people what happens to me.

Don't explain yourself to anyone, you don't have to. Let them laugh, who cares what they think! Let them think you are a freak or a hypochondriac or completely crazy, whatever. You are healthy and that's all that matters.

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Hi all,

Yeah, I've not been able to figure out why people get so upset about it. After all, I'm the one who can't eat certain things. My son is a wonderful cook and "wishes he could ask us for dinner again". Not in a mean way, certainly, but still implies that if I tried a little harder not to have food issues life could go back to some sort of "normal." Actually, my ally in all this is my step daughter, who, on her own, decided that she was gluten intolerant and went on a gluten free diet (not just wheat). She has done lots of research and keeps me posted on the latest! In all honesty, food really was a big part of our large family gatherings and I love to cook, too, so coping with such a change is tough. None of my family is mean about it, though, just wistful for the "old days!" It is hard for me, though, because although I'm not having migraines anymore and I've been able to lose the pounds I needed to, I already lost my thyroid to a goiter (probably the celiac disease) several years ago. And, now I've developed arthritic symptoms in my hands, fingers, wrists and arms so they can point to that and say "why aren't you better off than you were before?" It's hard for me to stay positive and rebuff that question when I'm still not feeling really good. I'm hoping it will eventually sort itself out because I am on a strict gluten-free elimination diet and have been for months! I don't miss the foods as much as I just want to be "all" better!!

Luddie

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