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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to FREE Celiac.com email alerts What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic) Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

How Do You Deal With The "haters"?
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39 posts in this topic

I have been 100% gluten-free for three years.  Most of the time I am met with kindness and understanding in restaurants, party's or other "food" gatherings.  I have noticed lately more and more angry responses from other people.  I am a not expecting anyone to go to any trouble, just tell me what is safe....even if that is just a plain salad.  Recently I have had three people (a server, a random lady at a fundraiser and a relative) all say quite abrasively "You just can't expect other people to work around your allergy's.  There is no way to guarantee it's 100% safe.  You should eat at home."  I paraphrased but essentially they were really angry at me for asking and said almost the same thing.  In all three cases I calmly said "I'm not asking for anyone to go to any trouble and make me something special.  I'm just asking if there is something safe for me to eat."   I then sheepishly backed away.  

 

Has anyone else noticed this?  I am wondering that with more enlightenment to the general public if there is more resentment?  How do you handle "the haters"?

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I think it's a side effect of the "fad". There are so many people now who choose to eat "gluten-free" because they think it will make them lose weight or look cool or whatever it is that motivates them.

 

But back in the old days (1980's) when my Mom was diagnosed, she got the same reaction. I will NEVER forget that horrible woman at a potluck Mom and I attended who said to Mom, "What's the matter, our food isn't good enough for you?" When Mom tried to explain that she had celiac and that anything with wheat would make her really ill, the woman replied, "That's ridiculous!" I wanted to hit her. I mean I REALLY wanted to hit her.

 

I don't know what the answer is. I guess just keep in mind that there are people who are like that. No matter WHAT the issue is, some people will have a nasty attitude about it. Then come here and we will commiserate with you.

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"What's the matter, our food isn't good enough for you?"

A really good answer for that is...." No, actually, it isn't. It contains wheat!"  And say it with a smile on your face....that always gets them.  ;)

 

I always just use the opportunity, when dealing with snarky people, to turn it around on them. And if I can make their head explode with my answer, I know I have done a good job.

I don't think they are "haters", their attitude comes from ignorance. Unresolved anger and ignorance are a bad combination.

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I think it IS frustrating when you don't understand how/when to provide "safe" (translate to "good enough") food to your guests.

And let's face it, for every polite or reasonable request for gluten-free options or info there is a rude or ridiculous one.

I ordered gluten-free sushi and asked additional questions (because I got hit the time before after many previous good experiences) and found out the staff was frustrated by people requesting gluten-free (and staff going through the menu, etcetera) and then ordering glutinous items. Yeah, frustration. We talked a bit and my waiter was happy to explain to the chefs that I was serious, and I got a safe meal.

All that aside, there's the thing about food being a personal expression of hospitality...and when you question or opt out, well, it's difficult to get past the perceived rudeness. People aren't used to so many questions about their cooking skills, I think.

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Thanks to this forum, I've started saying, "This is a medical thing, not just a diet thing. I get very sick. It's poison to me." It seems to work. The word "poison" at least gets their attention.

 

I admit that I feel like a special case at parties and the like and just laugh it off and make a lot of "not a huge deal..I PROMISE!!" comments. I think some people are uncomfortable watching me not eat. Oh well! Too bad!

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A really good answer for that is...." No, actually, it isn't. It contains wheat!"  And say it with a smile on your face....that always gets them.  ;)

 

I always just use the opportunity, when dealing with snarky people, to turn it around on them. And if I can make their head explode with my answer, I know I have done a good job.

I don't think they are "haters", their attitude comes from ignorance. Unresolved anger and ignorance are a bad combination.

i'm with you, gem. 

it doesn't help that most people don't know what gluten is.........  <_<

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Thanks everyone!  At least it's not just me.  The funny part was in two of the situations they didn't even have to feed me (I had come prepared).  One of them was so venomous! I had been having a sweet conversation with another woman and she just pounced!  It got me thinking....this never used to happen...hum.  I think the fad is a big part of it.  I have been adding "this is a serious allergy, not a food preference" when ordering at restaurants lately too.  

 

Just gotta keep educating the masses. ..one conversation at a time :)

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A well-known gluten-free blogger just posted about this subject today! She calls it a form of bullying: http://glutenfreegirl.com/2013/12/time-leave-7th-grade/

 

I don't have any good answers for you about how to deal with it, besides what the others have already said. It's a real conundrum. My Dad went gluten free after my dx and he is feeling great (more energy, no more edema in his legs, no more apnea, no more reflux). He told a colleague - a doctor, mind you - that he wasn't eating gluten and this colleague scoffed, asked my dad if he actually believed that stuff and told him that gluten-free was a hoax. Oy.

 

So, it's a big problem all around - ignorance, is a big part of it, yes, but I think people are also scared and extremely resistant. They don't like the idea that something so beloved (and frankly, addictive) to them is being ridiculed/cast aside/what-have-you.

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It  is  a  sad  & hurtful  problem  that  I  don't think will go  away  anytime soon.... I have been  gluten-free for over ten years  & I still get  that  from a  few  family close  family  members.... I once  called  wheat  "  it's  for  me  like  eating  rat  poison" & boy  do  they get  on me about that... One  is  a  nurse  &  she  thinks  I'm just  selfish  &  crazy......

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Unfortunately the whole "gluten-free thing" is not the only thing that people do not understand and take issues with.  Many members of the general population take issue with anything that is not like they are - regardless of what it is.  So for me, I don't see this as anything special.  People get their panties in a bunch if you drive faster than they do, have a bigger house, wear a different style of clothes than them, hold a different opinion about just about anything... the list is endless.  Some people will take any opportunity to ridicule or try to bully you.  I see their issue with being gluten-free as just one more thing to add to the list.

Until it happens to them.

 

Also... remember... they eat gluten.  So they probably have brain fog and can't think clearly.  ;)

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Also... remember... they eat gluten.  So they probably have brain fog and can't think clearly.  ;)

 

Sitting at work and literally laughed out loud!!! 

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The random person and the family member are one thing.  But a server?  You should have complained to the manager about that one.

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Unfortunately the whole "gluten-free thing" is not the only thing that people do not understand and take issues with.  Many members of the general population take issue with anything that is not like they are - regardless of what it is.  So for me, I don't see this as anything special.  People get their panties in a bunch if you drive faster than they do, have a bigger house, wear a different style of clothes than them, hold a different opinion about just about anything... the list is endless.  Some people will take any opportunity to ridicule or try to bully you.  I see their issue with being gluten-free as just one more thing to add to the list.

Until it happens to them.

 

Also... remember... they eat gluten.  So they probably have brain fog and can't think clearly.  ;)

Good post, NGC!  Especially the last line..... :lol:

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Good post, NGC!  Especially the last line..... :lol:

 

:D

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Also... remember... they eat gluten.  So they probably have brain fog and can't think clearly   ;) <---- OMg Love it! LOL 

 

But really I think alot of people just have Noooo idea what Celiac is and if they did hear of it.. They have NOOOOOOO idea that soups stews, potato chips , and every thing eles has it! So I say : Don't blame them! It is a learning experience for us, how can we expect some unsuspecting server , or anyone eles to know? And really I do not expect any one to work around my problem. There is so much CC I have learned from here , nope! Don't do it. But they do not have to be rude!! That is just crazy! So I have no idea what answer is good here. Except they should try and answer your questions as well as possible. They do not have to be rude about your diet.

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I agree with W8in4dave. People just don't know. It doesn't make it okay that they react like ***hats, but normally when people act like that, I choose to feel sorry for them. I'm sorry that they have so much anger inside that MY diet is somehow offensive to them. I'm sorry that they are so reactionary that they let something small like that get them in a tizzy. It has really been occurring to me a lot lately that negativity gets us nowhere (Which is not to say that the OP was being negative! Not at all.) Just that hanging onto it and making it a part of me, rather than just choosing to let it go, isn't GOOD for me. I've actually recently stopped following a few of the gluten-free blogs that I was really into for a while because I feel that they are just too negative, with too much focus on anger. They aren't uplifting.

 

So for the OP, as cheesy as it sounds, when people act like jerks to you, I think it's good to practice just letting it go. Send them love and light and good vibes. They're probably hurting inside in some way, ya know? =-) In the end, the only thing that we can control is how WE react to a situation. And like Gemini said, a big, kind smile always throws them for a loop.  

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You can always tell them you'll pray for them.  "Dear God, please help that witch, thank you!" 

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You can always tell them you'll pray for them.  "Dear God, please help that witch, thank you!" 

:D  lmao....made me spit coffee this morning. thanks. for that. 

 

I just had this convo with others on another celiac site and my answer was similar to Gem's.

It comes down to ignorance, They just do not know enough about gluten intolerance and what happens

when you eat it. (heck, I had no clue what it was all about 6 years ago either)

 

Ignorance is usually why people make asshatty comments. They simply do not understand

why a single crumb will spark inflammation in someone with AI disease or they would never make such foolish comments.

 

I have never met a "hater" I could not convert. Talk, laugh, educate.

Or just ignore.

 

I'm with BelleVie....anger is not the answer. Too stressful and gets us nowhere.

(But a good snarky comeback can be very effective in some cases.) ;)

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It doesn't make it okay that they react like ***hats, but normally when people act like that, I choose to feel sorry for them. I'm sorry that they have so much anger inside that MY diet is somehow offensive to them. I'm sorry that they are so reactionary that they let something small like that get them in a tizzy. It has really been occurring to me a lot lately that negativity gets us nowhere (Which is not to say that the OP was being negative! Not at all.)

I just want to say that this line is true for so many things...

 

My son is not circumsized and every once in a while it comes up in conversation.  Some people get totally weird and nearly obsessed about it.  My standard answer is "Wow, you sure are putting a lot of thought into my son's penis."  Shuts 'em up every. single. time.  Once it's pointed out that they have all this weird energy on something that doesn't concern them they stop.  Maybe you celiacs could snark right back at them! :)

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I just want to say that this line is true for so many things...

 

My son is not circumsized and every once in a while it comes up in conversation.  Some people get totally weird and nearly obsessed about it.  My standard answer is "Wow, you sure are putting a lot of thought into my son's penis."  Shuts 'em up every. single. time.  Once it's pointed out that they have all this weird energy on something that doesn't concern them they stop.  

 

 

Good on you. Momma! . I have never understood why so many people concern themselves with other people's personal decisions anyway.

Not much else to do perhaps?  :D

 

When someone asks any personal info , a good response is "Why do you want to know?"

Makes the person pause to think about why they are being so intrusive and downright nosy.

Most people realize they really have no good reason for prying in the first place.

 

Unfortunately, we live in a judgmental society.  People judge other people's choices of clothes, houses, cars, jobs, religions, politics and food choices...They judge people's skin color, size, ethnicity...and for what?

I have no clue. It's none of their dang business.

 

One of the perks of getting older is....you stop giving a rat's patootie what others think about you.

:lol:

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I would love to say to a hater, "you know, I was like you once. I loved bread, beer and cake. Then one day, 'bam!' I had celiac disease. It could happen to you. Think about that."

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I would love to say to a hater, "you know, I was like you once. I loved bread, beer and cake. Then one day, 'bam!' I had celiac disease. It could happen to you. Think about that."

i like that, too :)

 

here's the thing - it's hard not to talk about, in normal life.  if you're eating out, you *have* to discuss it at length, because you have to make sure you can eat safely.  if you're bringing your own, somebody is going to ask you why you're brown bagging it at a cocktail party.  kid's penis?  not so much (no offense - not something that is really any of my business and i probably would only know/ask if i was babysitting him and had to change his diaper)  but eating?  that's 3x per day every day.  a whole lot of discussion.  at thanxgiving family gathering, i swore my head was going to explode if one more person said "gluten" or "gluten free"  :o   i find myself constantly talking about it, whether i want to or not. 

 

on the up side, though, my pastor's wife asked me to teach a gluten free cooking class, because there are some people she knows whose grandkids have been diagnosed.  which i will be happy to do and hope it helps somebody.  i guess if i didn't talk about it so much, i wouldn't be able to help them.  so.  there's that.  -_-

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on the up side, though, my pastor's wife asked me to teach a gluten free cooking class, because there are some people she knows whose grandkids have been diagnosed.  which i will be happy to do and hope it helps somebody.  i guess if i didn't talk about it so much, i wouldn't be able to help them.  so.  there's that.  -_-

 

Amen, dear Arleneeee!  You ARE helping. ALL the time!!

This is also why I never, ever shut up.

My goal? Bust ignorance..yup..and ...some call me "the celiac whisperer"

^_^

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I admit, I've felt particularly angry before, and did a good job of convincing someone she had Celiac Disease. Because she'd just DIE without bread.

It was like talking about the monster in the closet to a kid.

Cruel, but I did it. I admit it. She'd move on to another problem soon...I don't worry about it. Gave her something to talk about. One of those who has every problem but does nothing about it.

And oh, if you ever have the opportunity, I advise making the analogy between magnanimous vampires who don't eat humans because they are endearing and fragile - and a Celiac seated at a table full of people eating Popeyes. Do it in a particular voice and a drink (preferably alcohol) in your hand and on an empty stomach. Adds to the effect.

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I thought I'd get more warning notices about that post, hope you're loving Fla.

 

Sorry, off topic.

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