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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.

Hoping To Meet People Like Me
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16 posts in this topic

Hi,

I thought my friends were nice people until I became too sick to work or pay for a dinner out or in general be fun. It was an eye-opening experience. I haven't yet figured out whether my friends were especially superficial or disloyal or if this is what people are like and I just never noticed. I lost my boyfriend to the complications as well...

I'm sort of in limbo. I'm extremely philosophical and artistically-minded. My friends are the few people I did get along with because I'm a total nerd. I like discussing literature, poetry and philosophy. It's a core part of my personality. Even when I was working overtime I devoured novels like War and Peace in only a few days. Now that I have lost all of my friends, I have no one to talk to but my younger brother who likes to talk about video games and such.

I am a social person. I want to meet people who share my interests, but unfortunately, I am currently housebound and haven't left my home since July. I am so bored that all I do all day long is design and write blogs. They are partly intended as a way for me to meet people, but I also find creative expression to be very therapeutic. (I have links to my blogs in my profile if you are interested in seeing them. I don't think I have any readers yet, but I've actually put a lot of work in to them--for no one but myself so far).

Anyway, I would love to meet some people like me.

Thanks, and I hope for some replies...

C.S.

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Welcome to the forum, C.S. Blogsmith. I feel your pain.

While I have no claim to special artistry or to philosophical brilliance, there is no doubt that celiac disease does change one's relationship to one's friends and to life in general. It is said but true, not matter how much we deny it or wish it were not so. Even those who stick by us are afraid to invite us to dinner unless we bring our own food because they are unsure if they can accommodate our special needs. It is very intimidating to be told, yes, I would love you to cook a meal for me, but please don't put in any gluten, soy, corn, nightshades or lactose. They look at their recipes and none of them match those specifications. So what do you do? Give them some recipes; tell them which restaurants you can eat at, or invite them to your house. Often, because of what gluten has done to us, we do not feel that we can make the effort to have them come to our house. So yes, because so much social interaction revolves around food, it can be isolating.

But we just try to get on with it and make the best of what we have to work with.

Before I self-diagnosed myself as celiac, I was stricken by rheumatoid arthritis which later turned in to psoriatic arthritis. At that time we had just moved from California to New Zealand (I am a Kiwi), so I did what you did, and (pre-blogging) wrote a daily journal to all my friends describing our experiences, the joys and pains of building a new house--entertaining them with all the ups and downs--and interspersing them with daily observations of what was happening outside my living room window where I was confined much of the time. I was enchanted to rediscover our native birds and flora, and watch things pop up outside that window seasonally. It is a very therapeutic thing to do. Of course, I had a captive audience on my email list. I have not had time to explore your blogs, but I will.

I hope you are soon able to move outside your house and relate more to the outside world. My bridge friends have been very good to me and make special efforts to provide suitable food for me at our traditional "British" afternoon teas halfway through our afternoon bridge games, bless their hearts. One even came and borrowed some buckweat flour to make buckwheat pikelets for me (we live about an hour from the nearest place where such can be purchased).

So do not give up. Those who will abandon you do not deserve you, and you will find others who will relate to you in ways other than food.

I send you <<<hugs>>> and good cheer.

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There are many good people here who support each other. Have a look around, and join in the discussions that interest you.

For some really funny stuff, there is an ongoing thread now in its third year. You don't have to read the whole thing (although I actually have), just jump in on the current page <click here>. It is little online community where we share laughs and life experiences. Just watch out for the phunny fone-ett-ick spellings that we are given to. :)

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I was a whole lot less pleasant on gluten. :(

You'll find a new community, both online and in person. Just hang in there.

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For some really funny stuff, there is an ongoing thread now in its third year. You don't have to read the whole thing (although I actually have), just jump in on the current page <click here>. It is little online community where we share laughs and life experiences. Just watch out for the phunny fone-ett-ick spellings that we are given to. :)

.....and we discuss literature.........write poetry <snigger> :P .......... . . ... .we can even get philosophical about things..... :rolleyes:.....like expensive paintings that look like poop!

ooh......and we also have bird watchers and avid gardeners :D

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I was a whole lot less pleasant on gluten. :(

Well ya can't tell that now! :P

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Hi C.S.--I'm glad you found us. :)

Tis true, there are lots of great folks here--I hope you will feel free to jump in anywhere. There is a ton of valuable information to be found, from recipes to stories on how others cope with just what you are going through.

I also hope you take Peter up on his suggestion--sometimes it just nice to "escape" for a little bit ;)

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I know I was unpleasant, but I tried so hard to be pleasant. I guess I had always had the theory that the great destroyer of my friendships was my Multiple Chemical Sensitivity. Most people can't even get near me without me becoming too sick to function (due to chemicals including fragrance from personal care products they use). I practically go into a coma. My boyfriend took it personally, and I have not yet been able to get anyone to understand that my impairments are not behavioral--that they are not to be taken personally because they are not my chosen behavior, but the result of a limitation--the intention of a bad disease that I did not invent and cannot control. For example, if I stop speaking when people are around (which happens) it is because I'm so impaired I can't think, much less communicate. It is not because I suddenly lost interest in them (as my boyfriend always assumed).

I know these complications are not their fault, but nevertheless they did not stick by me like I stuck by them. I guess I want support so that I would not be the only one who carries the weight of it. I used to help my friends carry the weight of their struggles. I guess I thought it's what friends do.

(MY CURRENT STATUS: I've been off of gluten for a year and a half and I have been de-toxing off and on for 2 years--for the MCS).

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When you get sick you find out real quick who your real friends are. The good thing is you end up making better ones. My wife divorced me but I ended up dating her best friend (now ex-best friend) for three years. B)

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Any disease can do this to people. It totally happened to me when my Narcolepsy got bad. I couldn't go out, I was a zombie when I did, and after turning invitations down, people stopped asking, even when I was fine. But eventually I was able to make new friends and find a new boyfriend who is understanding. It's easier to filter out the baddies when you know what you're dealing with health-wise. When it hits you and you find out the people around you are jerks who can't deal, it's devastating. Especially when it's loved ones who are supposed to support you no matter what.

After dealing with that 10 years ago, this Celiac thing doesn't seem so bad. I've been hesitant to eat out with people, but I'm starting to get the hang of it, and even the people I work with are making the extra effort to make sure I can be included, too. I'm really grateful for that after all I went through years ago.

Obviously being house-bound makes it harder to socialize, but you're always welcome to chat with me online if you want. :) My YahooIM ID is in my profile.

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I was an awful pre-celiac! I was always in pain. My legs would hurt so bad, that I needed to stay home from work on many occasions. My friends were awful pre celiac too. They thought that I was making things up just to go home. They often ignored me when the pain was so bad that I would cry. I was diagnosed in 2006, and my friends actually educated themselves on the disease. I think that they realized that they were treating me badly. When we have a girls night out, we go to a place where I can eat. It has turned out pretty nice for me. I hope that things get better for you and that you can connect with people with the same interests. Shame on the people who were too shallow to stick with you through this. You deserve better.

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Hi,

I thought my friends were nice people until I became too sick to work or pay for a dinner out or in general be fun. It was an eye-opening experience. I haven't yet figured out whether my friends were especially superficial or disloyal or if this is what people are like and I just never noticed. I lost my boyfriend to the complications as well...

Hi,

First of all, any "friend" who has no tolerance for a friend-in-need is no friend at all. Good riddance to them!

Second of all, once you are on a gluten-free diet long enough you will not be sick, you will be able to go back to work and resume your life.

It will not take long for you to get back into the swing of it....Good luck and don't feel sorry for yourself...its counter productive.

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Dear Blogsmith,

My husband had the same experience when he first became sick in 1977 - but he did not know

he had celiac disease; thought it was colitis. When he was 26 years old his boy-hood friends left him flat one by one. To this day none of them keep in touch with him. He is better off without them.

We married after he got sick and pretty much it's just the two of us though the "thick and thin." People have come and gone from our lives - not understanding even the colitis during those early years. But when the celiac disease diagnosis came along, that pretty much put the whammy on it. Now it's my husband who is avoiding people.

As long as you are willing to get out there and develop new relationships, it'll happen; but only when YOU are ready for it.

Best wishes

DM

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I haven't really lost any of my friends, but I do feel as if my friends and family get tired of hearing about my health issues and Celiac Disesase. I also have chronic muscle pain. I feel as if nobody I know can relate to how I am feeling on a day to day basis. I keep hoping that I am going to find that perfect person to talk to. I would love to have someone to tell my crazy gluten stories to every night, and know that they could laugh right along with me. I love to laugh and have fun - and I never act my age - but this whole gluten thing is really cramping my style.

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As I have not been on here in a long time it is still nice to see some of the oldsters like me on here. Jersey Angel, you are looking quite furry today.

Anyway, I am a writer, artist, photographer and I can relate to how you feel. They certainly were not much as friends go, were they? I didn't lose my friends, we still talk by phone. The thing is about this disease you will feel cheated. Where I am there is very little places to go eat for us folks. So my friends go out and have fun and I, stay home and paint and write. Although I consider what I am doing a much more admirable pursuit than swilling alcohol, there are some days I wish I could have dinner with my friends.

I never eat at their places because of cross contamination issues. I also don't want to put them out to attempt to make anything special for me, so I don't go. The thing is until someone has the disease they just don't get it about the disease and I wouldn't expect them to. So in the meantime you have us, we are not the same and as we live in different places and countries it makes it difficult to hang out. We just have to make our own world.

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I think the disease is starting to gain a foothold in the non gluten-free world. I just had a survey where celiac was on the list of diseases they were asking about. This was a regular question, on a "normal" survey of basic health issues! Also, supposingly Betty Crocker mixes are going gluten-free, that is encouraging.

When you do feel like going out-google the celiac group for your area. I went for my 1st meeting last month and met some real nice people here in Charlotte, NC.

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