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AnnieInItaly

Non-Supportive Husband While Going gluten-free

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I don't know if I'm Celiac or gluten-intolerant yet, I have to wait until the test results come back next week. I do know that when I eat gluten, I get horribly sick, and when I don't, I am fine (by sick I mean many GI problems, excessive fatigue, fuzzy brain,nausea, dizziness, migraines, blood sugar issues, numbness/paralysis in extremities, skin rash, etc). I'm trying to cut out all traces right now so that I can let my body heal, and then later I can figure out exactly how sensitive I am.

Unfortunately, my husband isn't taking this at all seriously. I'm trying to cut all traces out, and he keeps insisting that a little bit of gluten surely can't hurt me. Like if there are cookies in ice cream, bread crumbs on the counter where I'm preparing my food, or even an occasional slice of pizza. I keep telling him that I need to cut it all out so that I can feel better, and he's just not on board and keeps contaminating my food. His sister has a friend who was diagnosed as Celiac, but she doesn't have many symptoms and still eats whatever she wants, so he is using that as proof that I can eat whatever I want, too. My mother-in-law and sister-in-law insist the same things as him.... that surely having some pizza every now and then is ok (we are in Italy, so pizza is important to most people). I guess it's his family, they all have a habit of continuing to eat things that they know they are allergic/intolerant to

He seems to think that once my body heals itself some, I can eat gluten and be fine. And that a little bit of gluten now won't hurt anything, especially if it turns out I'm not Celiac but just sensitive. Does anyone have any advice as to how I can make him see that this is something that needs to be taken seriously? Apparently me being too sick to move,much less work, isn't enough.

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One thing that will prove to him just how intolerant you are and how sick it makes you, will be after you've been gluten free for awhile and then get accidentally glutened. Sadly, if that doesn't prove to him just how bad off you are, then nothing will. My husband is very supportive of me doing whatever it takes to get well. He had doubts about if the diet was helping me until last Friday. I was making him a loaf of regular bread and accidentally glutened myself. I was sick as a dog and he felt horrible for even remotely doubting that I needed to be gluten free. Maybe as time goes on he will start to see positive changes in your health and get on board, and start to support you. Just stick to your guns and do not allow him to sway you from what your body needs.

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It sounds like he doesn't really understand what gluten does to your body, and needs some education. Let him know that even a small amount of gluten every now and then can cause a chain reaction in your body that leaves damage for many months. If your body never heals, because you keep eating occasional gluten, then you could end up seriously ill.

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Going gluten-free is hard on our spouses. We have the incentive because we feel the results of consuming it..they don't.

It was really hard for my hubby to wrap his head around and we had quite a few "discussions" about his careless, sloppy use of gluten not only in the kitchen..but wherever he took his food.

He rolled his eyes at me a lot.

As long as gluten enters your system it will keep your immune system flared up..causing bad symptoms(even inhaling wheat flour can get you). You can't fully heal with gluten in your system, no matter how small the amount may be, or how seldom you consume it. The only amount that is safe for you is...NONE!

I know it doesn't make sense to others that you used to eat gluten items and now you can't tolerate even trace amounts. It doesn't really make sense to me either..but it's real. If you continue to consume gluten you will be opening the door to additional health problems, including additional autoimmune illnesses and some cancers. I'm sure he woulsn't want that for you?

Truth is..it's an inconvenience that you will have to live with..both of you. You will have to both learn about cc. You will have to correct him if he fails to be safe with his use of gluten. Tell him ahead of time (choose a nice calm time..like snuggle time)to tell him you really need him to be on board. Tell him it's life or death for you so you are going to have to correct him if he makes a mistake. Maybe you can come up with a funny phase to keep some humor in it like.."you don't want me to wake up dead tomorrow do you?"..or something like that. It worked for us.

We still had times where there was tension..but once you both learn how to handle things it all works out.

Never let someone bully you into doing something that could harm you. If you have a friend or relative that has Celiac and eats things they shouldn't they'll surely pay for it later? Stand up for yourself. If someone tries to put you on the spot..again..humor works best. Maybe try that old saying our Moms used on us.."if (insert name here) jumped off a bridge..would you do that too"?

Best wishes to you. This is an additional struggle that many of us face. If your hubby doubts CC can hurt you..maybe have him read some literature or visit us here?

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Thanks, y'all. I'll give it more time and hopefully he will eventually 'get it'. I think it's possible that he doesn't want to be inconvenienced, and wants me to keep baking normal bread, pies, and cakes! And eating out and with others at their houses is a huge part of the culture where we live, so this is having an impact on our social lives, which he isn't happy about.

He is really wonderful most of the time, he just doesn't understand this yet. To be fair, I hardly ever complained about my symptoms to him (they've been going on for much longer than I've known him, and I began to think that was what 'normal' felt like), so I guess there's no way for him to understand how much better I feel now in comparison.

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I wonder if it's Italian thing...

I say that because an ex-coworker of mine is Italian (born and raised and still a citizen) and when I started my Celiac stuff she told me how much she knew about it because so many Italians are Celiac and the kids are routinely tested.

Well, she's so knowledgeable that she knows her son has a problem with gluten (was unclear if he tested +) and she allows him to have it "on special occasions" or at a birthday party, and keeps it in the house (I assume no cc precautions because she didn't mention it). Basically, she treats it like a bad junk food that he should eat on a limited basis.

And no, I'm not generalizing a whole population based on her behavior, just suggesting there may be a cultural difference in how Celiac is viewed (like everything else).

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"I wonder if it's Italian thing..."

Except that Italy is one of the most celiac conscious places in the world because they have one of the highest rates of celiac. I think it's in Italy that ALL children get tested for celiac.

Annie, it might take your husband seeing you get really sick from crumbs to bring him around. It shouldn't take that but it might. My main advantage was that my whole family saw how ill I was and how long I spent in the hospital and off work, and then they saw it all go away simply because I quit gluten, so they never questioned the damage it can do to me.

richard

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"I wonder if it's Italian thing..."

Except that Italy is one of the most celiac conscious places in the world because they have one of the highest rates of celiac. I think it's in Italy that ALL children get tested for celiac.

richard

See, they are conscious and not conscious of it at the same time. They all know what it is, but they don't realize that there exist non-celiac gluten intolerances... even my doctor told me she doesn't believe in it, which is a bunch of bull (I don't have much faith in the Italian healthcare system, because the doctors don't seem to be well trained. They still teach many things that were disproven by the medical community decades ago). They also don't realize how sick someone can get from gluten...it is because they test everyone, so it seems that everyone knows someone who is celiac but not symptomatic, and then they don't take it seriously. They also all seem to think that Kamut is gluten free, and an acquaintance was telling me last week about how she fed Kamut to a Celiac kid she knew, and his mother said it was ok. Friends keep trying to give me Kamut, and no one seems to understand that it has gluten.

I think it might be more dangerous here in Italy because people THINK they understand a gluten-free diet, but they really don't at all. There is a lot of misinformation here.

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My husband didn't get it until I drank a supposedly gluten-free beer that was started with barley but they processed it until it was gluten-free to 3 parts per million and I balloned up like I was pregnant.

The symptoms get more obvious (for me) as I go along. I didn't realize how bloated I was until I lost the bloat. My stomach has totally flattened out and I've lost 10-15 lbs in the last two months (without trying) so when I do bloat you can really see it. Neither of us had realized that my normal state was "sick". LOL

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The best gluten-free food I've ever had was in Italy. The Italians know how to do gluten-free right! If your husband and his family are insistent that you can "sneak pizza" once in awhile, go to a place that does gluten-free pizza and eat that. Where are you located in Italy? I might be able to help suggest some restaurants.

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The best gluten-free food I've ever had was in Italy. The Italians know how to do gluten-free right! If your husband and his family are insistent that you can "sneak pizza" once in awhile, go to a place that does gluten-free pizza and eat that. Where are you located in Italy? I might be able to help suggest some restaurants.

I'm in Aosta, which is in the far NW of Italy, and pretty soon I'll be going down to Torino on a weekly basis. There is a pizzeria nearby that does gluten-free pizza, but I can't help but wonder how they deal with cross contamination. A 2 minute walk away there is a pastry shop that does gluten-free cookies that are pretty good, and I've found some pretty great pasta in local grocery stores. With restaurants, at least I can still eat polenta! I'm also a vegetarian, and polenta was usually the only thing I could eat anyways, so not much has changed (they eat LOTS of meat in my part of Italy).

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My husband didn't get it until I drank a supposedly gluten-free beer that was started with barley but they processed it until it was gluten-free to 3 parts per million and I balloned up like I was pregnant.

The symptoms get more obvious (for me) as I go along. I didn't realize how bloated I was until I lost the bloat. My stomach has totally flattened out and I've lost 10-15 lbs in the last two months (without trying) so when I do bloat you can really see it. Neither of us had realized that my normal state was "sick". LOL

I'm only a month in and I look like I've lost 20 pounds, even though it's really been less than 5. I think I've just been insanely bloated for the past 10 years and didn't realize it, because there's no way I could go from having my belly stick way out like I'm pregnant to having my hips and ribs stick out in just a month. I was always confused as to why my belly stuck out, when I never weighed so much, and have always eaten healthy and exercised.... guess I know now!

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It took my husband seeing how sick I got when he kissed me after ingesting gluten and didn't brush his teeth....he felt horrible that he had made me so sick and very seldom screws up anymore!!

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Annie, I am sorry that you are going through that. I wish that I knew what to tell you. Remember that it is not your fault that you are trying to do what is necessary for your health. Even if your husband is unhappy about what you are doing, you are trying to do the right thing, so don't allow yourself to feel guilty. (By the way, I'm so glad you are now feeling better after years of problems!)

My husband also does not understand the importance of CC. He was just this morning talking about a celiac friend who was very sick and who he thinks is not worried about CC. And I was not deathly ill nor did I get conclusive bloodwork nor a definitive diagnosis. So he does not think that I am celiac. Thankfully he buys gluten-free things for me, which is really nice, but he makes fun of my concern about CC. Because I'll probably not have an earth-shattering reaction if I get trace gluten (probably bathroom trouble and fatigue), it is hard to make a case to another person that some little bit of something probably affected me. Thankfully my husband does very little in the kitchen, but I still haven't been doing too well with the CC, as I have little children and they too are eating gluten.

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