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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 Celiac.com's FREE weekly eNewsletter   What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease?  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 What if my doctor won't listen to me? An Open Letter to Skeptical Health Care Practitioners Gluten-Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes

Calling In Sick To Work

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Hi everyone!


So I wanted to see if anyone else runs in to this, but when I "get glutened" and become sick, the symptoms can last for a while (and even come and go without warning. one day, it's doable, and the next, it's not). On the not-so-doable days, I have had to call out of work. Nobody wants to be in a bunch of pain and/or going to the bathroom a bunch during work. I got in trouble the other day for calling out, though, which was quite frustrating. I was wondering if anyone else has ever dealt with something similar to this? And how do the rest of you cope with managing your day to day tasks. Mind you, I am very strict about maintaining a gluten free diet, but there's times you ingest gluten without meaning to :(

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Hi Alex, and welcome


The problem seems to be the times "you ingest gluten without meaning to".  Not being able to eat 100% gluten free will keep your autoimmune system attacking your body.  The only way to stop needing sick days is to eat cleanly.  Stick with meat, fruit, vegitables and nuts...whole foods.  Then you will find you won't need any sick days and feel so much better.


Good Luck



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Collen is right.  You'll never feel well if you don't stop glutening yourself.  That's rule #1 for living well gluten-free.


I used to not eat during the day so I wouldn't get sick at work.  Better to be sick at home at night IMHO.


But the best thing is to not get sick in the first place.  And that requires taking control of the situation and making sure you are eating right all the time, not just when it's convenient.  There's nobody else in charge of what you eat but you.  So it's all on you to get it right.  It gets easier after a while and you start getting used to eating differently.  Until you get there you'll need to be vigilant about making good choices in your diet.


Some starting the gluten-free diet tips for the first 6 months:

Get tested before starting the gluten-free diet.
Get your vitamin/mineral levels tested also.
Don't eat in restaurants
Eat only whole foods not processed foods.
Eat only food you cook yourself, think simple foods, not gourmet meals.
Take probiotics.
Take gluten-free vitamins.
Take digestive enzymes.
Avoid dairy if it causes symptoms.
Avoid sugars and starchy foods. They can cause bloating.
Avoid alcohol.
Watch out for cross contamination.

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I remember my daughter couldn't race one day when she was on the cross country team at school.  When she tried to explain it to the coach he asked her why she had eaten gluten.  As if she would make herself sick on purpose!  Sometime it happens despite every precaution.  We are continually learning how to manage this condition.  You can try explaining again.  I hope that you can be understood.

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We all get glutened from time to time, it happens. It isn't anyone's fault (usually) and as long as it isn't happening often I doubt you need to change anything at home. Maybe it's happened at restaurants or with well meaning friends or something else, but it happens. I don't think any of us should jump to the conclusion that the OP isn't doing something right. Although if it is happening on a regular basis, it is a good reminder to go visit the newbie thread and look it over and make sure you've taken every precaution.


That covered, if you live in the US there is something you can do. If you have been at your job for at least a year and are full time, you can apply for FMLA flex leave. This will allow you to take a day off here and there as your "medical condition" requires without having to get into weird details or worry about losing your job. There is a buttload of paperwork, but it will be well worth it for the job security. I have an aunt who does FMLA flex leave for lupus with seizures and I've done the paperwork for FMLA leave so I know what a stack it is. (The paperwork is the same, just a matter of explaining what you need. You'll understand when you see it.)


If that's not an option, I really have no idea other than trying to explain with great patience to your boss exactly what your medical condition is. Explain how celiac is an auto-immune condition, what that means, what symptoms it causes for you and for how long. How they can change suddenly over that time period. Also explain that you are as absolutely careful as you can be, but just like someone with a nut allergy carries an epi-pen because accidents happen, accidents can happen to us. Only we don't have anything we can do about it except ride it out. Also explain that you can't do your job (and they don't want you on the clock) if you'll be spending as much time in the bathroom as you are at your desk (or whatever).

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I ended up getting family medical leave. It came in handy when I was first diagnosed . I missed a lot of work the first couple months after my diagnosis . I believe it's a law everywhere in the US. My doctor kinda gave me a hard time about filling out the paper work but once I explained how the company I work for has a newer we don't care policy , I have no choice but to get the FMLA . Like I said it came in handy for the learning what I could not eat stage, I haven't used it for a long time and don't abuse it . Good luck to you !

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Sorry to hear you got sick, I had something similar happen.

My co-workers don't know I have celiac, and I became very sick after an accidental glutening which caused me to have diarrhea for an entire month. I became very run down and dropped to 117 pounds, which is underweight for my height. It got to the point where I could barely function and had to call in sick. It was very annoying when I showed up for work the next day and people jokingly made comments that I wasn't really sick, and even that I must have been partying the night before. This was all based on the observation that I didn't 'seem sick' to them since I didn't have a cold or seem congested. It made me wonder if my bosses were thinking the same thing.

If you live in the U.S. celiac does fall under the Americans With Disabilities Act. I've never had to bring up the topic at work with HR, but it's good to know if I became sick again.

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