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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
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tammy

Coping With People

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Hi,

I know that there are many different aspects to how non-celiac adults and children view people with gluten sensitivity. Some want to help, others are just curious, and still others just shrug their shoulders. But I must say that it is quite upsetting or at least annoying to be in the company of friends who just want to be curious. I feel like either they have just wanted to acquire information for the sole purpose of learning something new or they say, I don't have that problem." Either way I don't like to hear it. I tend to avoid non-celiacs now but this isn't always possible.

I had one co-worker who watched me eat one of my gluten-free snacks. She proceeded to walk over to me and pick-up my package and say, "I am curious about the ingredients." Not a crime by any means, but I would rather she have stopped and realized that there is no gluten in the product. Another episode left me stunned. I was newly diagnosed and my friend and her son were visiting. I just made a gluten-free pizza crust for myself and ordered a regular pizza for them. She proceeded to use this as an object lesson for her son and asked if she could taste the crust. It tasted like mashed potatoes. Both of them shrugged their shoulders and said how it didn't taste that great. OUCH!!!!!!!!!!!!! I know there is nothing like wheat!!!

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Guest PastorDave

Hi Tammy. I know that you were just venting, but I felt like posting something about this. I sometimes feel the same way, or at least I used to. I love to study human naure (I really am a pastor, and it comes with the job) and people tend to be curious about things that don't really effect them. We actually all tend to be that way. Think about when you see an accident at the side of the road, 90% of people are rubberneckers (all though not all would admit it) and are just curious about what is going on.

When it comes to a celiac diet, people are curious about how you can eat certain things that they KNOW has wheat in it. Personally I feel honored when someone asks me what is in something, or wants to taste it. It means that they have heard that you have a different diet and want to know more about it. I don't expect them to do any more than that, after all the whole world does not need to be gluten free for us any more than it should be sugar free for diabetics.

Why is it that when someone is using a crutch to get around, everyone wants to try it, or when they get new eyeglasses, everyone tries it on...when I got my new hearing aid, no one wanted to try it... :lol:

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Dave that is just too funny! A hearing aid nobody wants to wear! I am frustrated with the people that "assume" it is just a wheat allergy, I wish!

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I've had lots of experience with my friends and admittedly with total strangers asking me about celiac disease. The only question I don't like to answer is the "so what happens when you eat wheat?"

The other day I gave the answer I'm going to stick with. "My body tries to get rid of the wheat as quickly as possible and in any way possible."

This is especially effective at a restaurant.

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I don't mind people asking me about what I am eating, and I don't mind giving them a taste and hearing them say "eeww!" What I do mind is when people ask me what do I eat, and how do I get enough food to stay alive. My niece actually asked how I managed to get fat if I can't eat wheat. I tried to explain to her that part of my weight problem is because I was eating foods that my body could not handle, and that she might have celiac too, but she just said that she would rather die than go without wheat. Sadly, she just might!

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I don't like to talk about it at all.....with family I don't mind what people say or ask, but with friends or strangers, I'd rather it doesn't come up at all--unless I need to mention celiac for some reason.

If it has to come up, I don't mind if people ask about symptoms or what the disease is (although it gets tiring once you explain it so often). I don't really like it when people make comments about my special food being weird or tasting gross--it makes me feel self-conscious and it seems insensitive...

Like I said, I prefer not to mention celiac unless it's necessary, such as at a restaurant. What I mean is that if I need to bring my own food somewhere, I don't bring it out and announce that I have gluten intolerance :lol:. Thus, unless it's important to explain it correctly, I usually just say it's like an allergy...rather than explain the whole thing....

Dessa -- sorry to hear that she said that--that's hurtful :(

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LOL! Monica!

That's a good one that I have to use in a restaurant!!! I can actually envision the look on the waitress's face when she clues into just what you mean!!! That is enough to make her extra careful, isn't it?

Karen

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I think that people who ask, actually care about what I am eating, they want to know more about me and what i can have

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I don't know, maybe it's having had 3 kids, or maybe it's the having 3 kids, but where I once was shy and reluctant to step into the spotlight (for whatever reason) I'm now perfectly willing to talk about anything. :lol: If someone voices an interest in knowing more about celiac disease or gluten intolerance/sensitivity/whatever! I'll start off with the ultra condensed version, note their reaction, and either end it there or go on until they seem satisfied. Some people who might seem insensitive and prying may be genuinely (and maybe also subconsiously) interested. I had a woman speak to me at my daughter's school (a woman I prefer not to speak with because she's not the nicest person I've ever met.) When she first asked me about my daughter's strange eating habits (in front of my daughter) I gave the her ultra condensed version. She brought it up three more times at later dates (until I stared giving her the more technical, put friends and loved ones to sleep version.) A month ago (this is since June) she called and told me she had herself, her husband and two children tested because of what I'd said. Turns out she is the only one without it! She told me she's not hoping it's the miracle cure for all the annoying problems plaguing her family, but she has her fingers crossed.

I really think that people hear something new and especially if you mention something that they too have problems with (undiagnosable stomach problems?) they start wondering and thinking. Maybe at first they're brusque because they're afraid that they DO have it. But then they think "maybe giving up wheat won't be so bad if I don't have all this pain anymore!"

If you help one person, that person will always be grateful to you. The rest...no harm done. :)

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I can actually envision the look on the waitress's face when she clues into just what you mean!!! That is enough to make her extra careful, isn't it?

How true, How true.

I was just at a le Peep. I brought in my own bread to have made into french toast since I was really in the mood for that. The waiter made sure that the cooks were extra careful!

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Hi all,

It is so refreshing to hear other people's perspectives on this!

I can sympathize with Tammy a bit, however. My family initially took some convincing to even accept that I have celiac disease--and that it was a "real" disease. I'm amazed at the level of support so many folks on this list have had. My sweetie is my rock and lends me strength, but not everyone simply accepts celiac disease as a serious problem, especially when they first hear about it.

I appreciate when people ask questions about my food--absolutely. But I don't like when they interrogate or go on about how much they would miss pasta! As if I'm asking them to! But what bothers me most is that many people assume that a gluten-free diet is a fad diet or some Atkins spin-off. Ok, I'm taking a deep breath now!

And, yes, I hope people don't mind my venting also!! Thanks,

Seosamh

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But what bothers me most is that many people assume that a gluten-free diet is a fad diet or some Atkins spin-off.  Ok, I'm taking a deep breath now!

I'm afraid I take advantage of the Atkins fad. So many restaurants have low carb menus that are basically just bread free meals. If I know a restaurant has one, I'll ask for it and not even bother offering gluten-free information. I've learned a few key things to stay away from and have had pretty good luck at most restaurants. (Unchecked I never order: Barbacue sauce, fries, ranch dressing, teriyaki or asian flavored anything, cream sauces, wine sauces, etc. Staying with grilled or broiled rather than sauted foods.)

The stupid thing is, when I had that 25 pounds to lose, I never wanted anyone to know I was dieting. Now that I don't want to lose anything, I could care less if people think I'm dieting. (There must be something majorly subconscious going on here. LOL! :P )

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