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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.

Christmas Gatherings
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9 posts in this topic

Im sure this has probably been discussed before, but with all the social gatherings coming up for the holidays..... How do you all handle them.This is my first xmas since dxed..

You know the parties, and the house drop ins....... Where everyone is eating junk.

Im not sure why but it is all making me very nervous to the point I may not go to any.

I dont want to stand there with a room full of mostly strangers and explain celiac. If I dont eat I get the -- Oh my you need to eat- And the people behind my back saying oh she is anerexic.

Even a lot of the drinks served I cant have.

Im vegan and have celiac, so pretty much if they dont have celery I cant eat anything.

Sorry, think Im just really nervous, I dont like people discussing my weight and eating habit in a public place.

So, are there any quick easy ways to get out of looking odd? Besides the Im not hungry.......Cause when I say that people say. Look at you you have to be hungry.

okay im rambling sorry- but tonight is the first event.

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Well I'm new to this... so I'm sure I haven't figured it all out yet. But here are two things that came to mind....

If you know the host really well you could speak to her before hand and explain that you have celiac or "food allergies" (people seem to understand that term better even though I know its not right explaining celiac) and ask if you could bring a "dish" to the party for everyone to enjoy, then you could bring something veggie, with marinated olives, and mushrooms, rice crackers, or whatever sort of things you eat.

If you don't know them well, then you can always say that you went out to dinner prior to the party or something like that, then when people say aren't you eating, you can just say I had a previous engagement and ate there already.. (and be sure you do eat so you don't get hungry).

At least where I'm from (East coast) it seems that everyone has so many different diet issues or preferences that no one bats an eye with them anymore... I use to have a Christmas party every year and even without asking people just brought stuff, I thought it was nice, but I'm sure some wouldn't like it (depends on the sort of party of course).

I have to tell you I know people like to talk and many are just plain gossipy but I've never been to a party where we stood around and talked about what people at the party are eating... who cares? Anyhow I have such a healthy diet (and ego) that I feel good when I tell people I don't eat junk, I don't usually go into the celiac issue, I just say I closely watch what I eat. its why I'm 5'8 and weight 119 lbs (and I'm pushing 50). They can talk all they want but I'm healthy, lean, full of energy, in good shape... let them eat cake!

Good Luck, susan

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I am still debating on whether or not to call ahead for our small department holiday party where it will be very noticed when I don't eat. If I call and let the boss's wife know, I know she will insist on cooking something special for me and with all my food issues, I am still afraid that there will be contamination and I will get sick later. She is wonderful and I don't want to put her to any additional trouble either. However, I also don't want her to be upset when I don't eat. I have one more week to debate and make that decision.

My current plan is: don't call, don't tell, take a dish I can eat, take a fruit basket that I can eat something from for desert, and eat real food before I go so I am not starved throughout the meal. I will also be taking my own drinks since I cannot drink her eggnog, wine, or beer. I have taken food over to her house for dinners before, just not the holiday dinner.

My boss told me that she will want to know and I should call her (his wife) but I am pretty sure it has slipped his mind - men...

It all depends on the situation and how you feel...

-Kate

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Ah, yes, the wonderful time of Christmas gatherings, that should bring us all closer together and celebrate a warm fuzzy Christmas. HA! :)

Yes, people like to talk and its unfortunate. I think the previous suggestions posted here are EXCELLENT ideas, in fact, I had some similar ones so I won't repost those.

I would definately eat before you go, since the liklihood of acceptable food there is not high. At least you avoid one misery of suffering hunger pains watching everyone else what you're forbidden to have.

Its tough I realize, but thickening your skin prior to this event might be your only choice if you chose to go. Just accept that people may inquire, and people may talk. Reality is, if they were polite they wouldn't be doing that in the first place. How would you react, if they were say talking about your attire vs. your eating habits?

I had my better half's staff Christmas gathering to attend a short while back and this is how I responded to all of those inquiries. When people asked, or suggested food to me. I simply stated, I had already eaten prior to coming, (now luckily this is usually accepted as ALL the catered food is devoured with in the few first hours..) but, when others persisted, I explained to them I had "food allergies" I was still trying to determine what was allowed in my diet and did not want to risk it. And the response I got, were a very sympathetiic "Oh, ok" at the most. And the rest didn't blink an eye at the fact I hadn't eaten, they were too busy eating themselves.

Honestly, those that did inquire I knew were sincerely concerned that I wouldn't get enough to eat, because of the crowd. I realize gluten-intolernace and saying "food allergy" are not one in the same. But Food Allergies are commonly known to people. Many know those with say peanut allergies can have severe fatal reactions, so they aren't bound to argue wtih that label. It saves you from explaining the entire Celiac Disease and drawing more attention to yourself.

Last but not least, I think ultimately I recommend sitting down and weighing the pros and cons of the scenario. Is the enjoyment you will have at these gatherings going to out weigh the "possible" encounter you will ha ve with someone regarding your eating habits? I would hope it does. Good luck and have a wonderfful holiday season whatever you chose to do!

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My solution is to go, and bring my own food. A simple "I have a dietary intolerance, and I really don't have the time to risk getting sick from food of which I can't be certain of the ingredients, so I'm just playing it safe." is usually enough to keep people from asking more questions. They may think I'm anal-retentive, but they go away. :-)

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Your friends (and many of your co-workers, I hope) invite you to Christmas parties because they want you to be there. Bring carrot sticks or cheese, pick up a buffet plate, and you're good to go. You can't spend your life avoiding places with lots of food. My husband has a "standard" reply to the question of "what can we make you" because that is something they WANT to do (otherwise why ask?) He always says, oh if there's soda, I'll be fine, and maybe if you had some fruit that would be nice too, or some carrots.

For Christmas dinner-style things, I call the hostess, say my son and husband have celiac disease "which is like a complicated allergy". I want people to realize how prevalent celiac disease is; I don't want to bore them with the details. Then I say it would be so difficult for her to prepare something safe for them, but we'd love to come -- so why don't I prepare something and we'll bring it with us, and they'll eat too. Inevitably they ask, but can't they help, and I say they can keep a couple plates empty and warm up the food we bring and that would be wonderful.

If I'm not comfortable doing THAT, we don't know these people well enough to be eating with them. I'm not going to be apologetic about their medical problems, nor are we going to stay in for the rest of their lives!

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Its funny how saying allergy convinces people that its more important and real then food intolerances. If I say allergy everyone is very careful and understanding, if i say food intolerance they say, "oh you can eat it this once". So generally I stick with allergy, its easier and I prefer to talk about more interesting things then what I eat.

Someone a few posts back that polite people wouldn't discuss this sort of thing and added how would you feel if they were talking about your attire vs eating habits. I'm not sure how you meant that..... exactly... but it made me laugh, people always talk about my attire AND my eating habits!! I hear a different drummer and I don't really mind. I know that some of us are more sensitive then others and I am too in certain areas... but mostly I'm pretty happy with myself so I don't care if they talk.

But overall the, "I ate already" answer should keep most of them quiet.

Susan

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I also use the intolerance/allergy quote (mine actually are intolerances) but it is the "allergy" that sticks out. Resturaunts are much more careful and I don't mind the little difference, so long as I don't have to eat that food. Most people don't seem to mind when I go out for a family gathering that I am chosing NOT to eat where they are...depending on the croud and place, sometimes I even take some of my own food.

I'm not really there for the food but for the visiting...that attitude really has helped me this year with all the events which of course all have food that I can't eat.

-Kate

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Hi,

It is the day after Christmas and I just have to say that I am so happy. My sister provided a baked potato and turkey especially for me at her Chrismas Eve celebration, and my daughter cooked a prime rib roast, which I can eat! We are making progress here--it is the first year that I have had a 100 percent stress-free response to the Christmas parties I attended.

I think that just being matter-of-fact about our food intolerances or "allergies" is the way to go. I'm probably one of the healthiest people around since I always stick to my gluten-free, milk & dairy free, egg white & yeast free diet, and only eat high carbohydrate foods within a one-hour a day timeframe (The Carbohydrate Addict's Diet, for those from families who have diabetes).

It does get so much easier once we become committed to taking care of ourselves, and to letting go of the self-pity and anger so often connected with a diagnosis of Celiac or some other serious condition.

Hope you all had happy holidays! Welda

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