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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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Family Troubles

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Hey!

I am having some trouble with my family. None of them have Celiac, and so they want to go out to eat more often. That is fine with me..... except that they want me to come. It is a huge problem on this coming up vacation to Idaho especially, and they keep saying that the hotel we are staying at is a very nice one. The chef will come out and all of that, but I DO NOT want to get sick on vacation! I would be happier if I just had a hot dog and chips or something up in the hotel room. I keep telling them that, but its like they have their ears turned off or something. What should I do/say? Should I just go to the hotel restaurant and face the consequences? :unsure:

Lisa

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:huh: Oh wow. I've been there. How long will you be there? I would call the hotel and tell the chef. Also, try to get a microwave in your room. You can do the cold cereal / milk for breakfast or I can send you my microwave breakfast polenta recipe. Alternatively you can do the omelette in a clean pan request at the restaurant. Hmm......lunches. The salad bar gets a bit thin after a while, eh? Don't want you to starve. Grilled fish? Baked potatoes are safe. See if they'll send you an advance copy of the menu. Isn't it lovely to order straight from the menu? You can ask for any pasta sauce (if you think it's safe) over mashed potatoes or over rice. If you can (and if you're a hermit like me) ask for the chef's e-mail address and e-mail back and forth a few times until you know what you can order. Good luck! Sandra in Toronto

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I'd have a real frank convo with your family about it. If they are still unwilling to compromise at times and you have to go out there are a few things you can do. When the restaurant I have to go to seems like it will difficult, I will eat something before and then bring something to snack on at the restaurant or get a drink. Sometimes I will bring my own gluten-free sauce and put it over plain grilled meat or steamed veggies/rice. Read this post below for other tips for eating out:

http://www.glutenfreeforum.com/index.php?showtopic=8851

I do not eat out as often as I once did...but I don't think it would be a good idea to "never go out and eat again..." However, I think it is a wise to take it slow on eating out if you are newly diagnosed... Knowing how to make safe choices will get easier for you in time... Good luck!

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You could eat what you want to eat and then go to dinner with them ans just not eat.

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I agree with suicidal turtle. Since I'm new to celiac disease, I've eaten at home a few times and then I'll just get something to drink at the restaurant. That way I don't risk being glutenized, but I also spend time with my family/friends. My family said that they enjoy my company at the restaurant even though I don't always eat with them.

:) Jen

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How about another perspective?? :D I think you sound fearful and like you're withdrawing. :( Now don't get mad at me for saying this... but I think your family is looking out for best interests -- as they see them-- not as you see them. Celiac Disease has never kept our family from going out to eat, going cross country, vacationing, etc. We've never glutened the celiac disease kid on any trip either... or at a restaurant. At the school's christmas bake sale...well, dad bought him a rice krispy treat made with regular MALT filled rice krisyps. :o Anyway, if you were not a social person who enjoyed going out to meals with friends and family BEFORE your dx, then fine. Stay in your hotel room and be safe from every opportunistic gluten crumb out there. If you were a social person who enjoyed the company of friends and family prior to your dx and going out for meals with them was a joy... Then you need to think about that and maybe consider that you're in those bluesie justbeendx stages of a life changes disease. Depression is sneaky. Could you be showing signs and symptoms of that that your family is trying to counter? :unsure:

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I would bring stuff along and eat before you go out with them. You could always just order a drink then and not eat because of cross contamination. They may not understand but don't let them pressure you because you will be the one who pays if you get glutened and that just would not be good.

If you do want to eat there I would definitely make a call ahead of time to see if they can accomodate you and have a good policy.

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Thanks for the help, guys! I'll try your suggestions!! It sucks though because I do WANT to eat with them. I would be happy if I could just heat something up before and then just have a drink at dinner, but we will not have a microwave. <_< Do you think that the hotel will let me use their kitchen???? I guess it can't hurt to ask! :D

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I think that it's entirely understandable that you wouldn't want to eat out--I didn't either. Now I have everything under control and no gluten in my regular, everyday life. Three months in, you're still learning, cutting, etc. It is often suggested (by support groups, others) that you not eat out until you've completely healed and such. This way you'll know if you mess up and you'll feel more comfortable. I would eat out now, but not two-three months into the diet.

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I think that it's entirely understandable that you wouldn't want to eat out--I didn't either.  Now I have everything under control and no gluten in my regular, everyday life.  Three months in, you're still learning, cutting, etc.  It is often suggested (by support groups, others) that you not eat out until you've completely healed and such.  This way you'll know if you mess up and you'll feel more comfortable.  I would eat out now, but not two-three months into the diet.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Wait.. do you mean two-three months into feeling better.. or actually having the diet?

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I meant the diet, but it could be either. Seven months in I didn't want to eat out, either, because I still felt just as sick. So at least a few months, maybe more if you don't feel well yet.

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I'm not a teenager but I thought I'd throw my 2 cents in.

I don't think you need to be so scared of eating out. I've been gluten-free for less than 2 months and I eat out in one form or another every day. Part of my job is being social and going out for lunches. The people I work the closest with are all aware of my situation so while they have started to jokingly refer to me as Meg Ryan I just make sure to ask plenty of questions before ordering and go with what is most likely the safest items. For instance if we are just grabbing something from a deli I make sure we go to a deli that has Boar's Head cold cuts and have them wrapped in lettuce (making sure they prepare it on paper rather than just the counter). Or if we go to a restaurant I'll order a burger with no bun (and make sure they don't add breadcrumbs).

Ofcourse you need to be careful, but in my experience so far most restaurants are very accomodating and very careful once you tell them that you have a food allergy and are not just being a pain in the butt. (I know it's an intolerance but I find people understand better if you describe it as an allergy).

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Really? Every time I tried describing it as an allergy they were afraid they'd kill me and closed up. If I tell them it's a digestive disorder they were less afraid and more willing to help.

Has anyone out there got tips on carrying food in the backpack or purse? i.e. spill proof bottles for gluten-free soy sauce or salad dressing?

Also, just a comment re: the bread basket. It's getting easier to say "no bread for me thanks". Wait staff seem to hear it all the time from the low-carb crowd.

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Ofcourse you need to be careful, but in my experience so far most restaurants are very accomodating and very careful once you tell them that you have a food allergy and are not just being a pain in the butt. (I know it's an intolerance but I find people understand better if you describe it as an allergy).

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Yes, in my experience people take it more seriously if you describe it as an allergy.However, I learned that saying an autoimmune disorder will get their attention too. Alot of times I will say that gluten will tear up my intestines and can put me at high risk for cancer and other things and that I will die prematurely. That pretty much gets their attention if I say that and some have questions about it and some don't

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