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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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rgarton

Anyone Else Lose All The Friends?

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Hello again,

I'm in tears and this is the only place i can think of to ask and relieve myself.

I got diagnosed just over a year ago and have been battling ever since. I'm still not well. But enough of that.

I had a best friend and quite a few close friends before i got ill, then i got diagnosed and my new partner was my rock. I could barely function at all you all know what it;s like. And all my friends, or who i thought were my friends fell off the map.

I've tried on several occasions to get back in touch but nobody gets back to me. When i fell ill, i wasn't mean or emotional or anything. Just could barely leave the house. I always text, call email all of them but they replies slowly came to a halt.

I like to think if one of them had got diagnosed with severe celiac disease, or anything I'd make more of an effort to stay in touch, to make sure they were okay... But nothing. Not even a 'hope your okay' Nothing. Nada.

I have my partner and that's it. He is amazing. But i actually have no other friends anymore. Its horrible realizing this.

Did anyone else experience this? I'm sorry to moan and rant!

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I'm sorry to hear you've experienced this, that is awful. A similar thing happened to a friend of mine when she had cancer, some of her lifelong friends completely dropped off the map. I think it has something to do with them feeling uncomfortable, not knowing what to say or how to act or just deciding that it's "too difficult" for them to deal with. You don't need those kinds of friends. Have you tried joining a local support group -perhaps you could meet new people that way? I'm glad you have a supportive partner, hang in there!

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I totally understand! It's wonderful that your partner is your rock...don't worry about the others it's their loss.....sometimes even family walks away..It is just very hard for some to understand that simple food can make us sick..They just can't understand that because we all need food to survive& they don't see or understand why for hundreds of years people have consumed wheat & now all of a sudden we can't....it just doesn't make sense to them. Then they figure you cannot join them for social occasions because you can't eat...Just not true but it is easy for them to go with this...

I have not been to anyone's home to eat in nine years....except for people who are gluten-free...

Sorry but we all understand.... keep your guy!!!!!

mamaw

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I can relate to your anguish here. I wrote a similar post last year when it happened to me, too. :(

For the life of me, I cannot understand how anyone would desert someone when they need them the most!! :rolleyes: I have always "been there" for my family and friends--through thick and thin---and yet, when I fell so ill and in horrible pain and did not know why (pre-DX for 3 YEARS), many people dropped off the map. Made me very sad. I feel like a pariah. Yet, I was always the one throwing dinner parties and planning gatherings. So when I got sick, they just disappeared..."Where did they all go?" I cried to my husband. I kept emailing, calling and trying to be "normal"-- even though I was very ill and in terrible pain and gluten- headed.

One was even "mad" at me for getting sick. :blink: I inconvenienced her, apparently.

If it were not for my amazingly loving husband, who is my rock and my heartbeat, I do not know if I would have fought so hard to be diagnosed and to recover my life. I did have my Mom, sister and a few loyal friends stay in my life, but they all live so far away. (Thank God for Skype)

Know what my sweetie says? "It's all right. We have each other, babe!" :)

I have made NEW friends recently as I have become healthier and started socializing again.

And the IRONY is? I see that many of my friends and family members exhibit gluten-induced behavior (anxiety, moodiness, fatigue, etc.) and that could well be why they were unable to give of themselves when I was so desperately ill.

And I am especially grateful for the wonderful people on this site! :)

So many of these people have been better friends to me during this last year of healing than most people I have known for most of my life.

Celiacs have a special bond. :)

Is there a support group near you? You might benefit from attending one.

I hope you can find someone of better character to spend time with you and your partner. No one deserves to be treated so cruelly by "so-called friends".

I have come to the realization that perhaps, I am better off without them-- if that is how they view how friendship works. But it still stings.

Human nature may make others think of our situation as "man, I am glad that is not me!" They simply may not be capable of empathy. Who knows?

True empathy is a gift.

Not everyone has it.

Some of us possess it innately

and those of us who have suffered-- become masters of it.

I wish you all the best,

IH

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Yes, some people just don't seem to know what to do with us. :P

I entertain a lot. Everything I serve is gluten free, although sometimes my southern husband insists on gluten french bread on the table. Eventually, I guilt them into inviting me to their home ;) . Only a few close friends even remember my intolerance. But, I always enjoy the company and eat whatever I'm able too. Generally, I don't go home hungry. And wine always works. :D

After you give it some time you will find a comfortable place among better friends. :) We all understand.

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I'm also someone who can relate. I didn't lose ALL my friends, but most of the ones I had pre-celiac diagnosed kind of fell away. You see, everything was different--I couldn't really socialize with them because they preferred Japanese restaurants and places where they could drink beer. Every time they suggested that we all go to lunch at work, they'd invariably choose a restaurant where I couldn't eat....and I didn't want to be a drag and say anything. I mean, my celiac is not THEIR problem. Even so, it hurt my feelings that they would never ask me where I might be able to eat. Sometimes we'd go to a restaurant were I COULD eat, but what I had to order was so much more expensive than theirs (since they could have soups or sandwiches), it was embarrassing when they'd insist that we split the bill evenly. I began to feel like a burden on the group. Eventually, they stopped asking me to join them for lunch or for drinks after work. I have since made a lot of new friends who eat gluten free and others who are from my cancer support group (because they understand illness). I sometimes miss my old friends, but, hey, if I was an inconvenience to them, then they're really not the friends I want to have around me anyway.

Life is constantly changing....and if you look for gluten-intolerance support groups (through the Gluten Intolerance Group, meetup.com, etc.), you'll end up with new friends who will understand you and with whom you can relate. Reach out--there are a lot of people just like you!

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Yes, I've experienced the loss of friends. I was so sick for so long, and they kept calling me and I kept saying no. I'm pretty sure they got sick of being turned down. I felt guilty about saying "No" so often.

When I started feeling better, I didn't want to risk going to restaurants or bars to socialize with my old friends, and on my first few social occassions I know I was awkward.

I met some neighbors while walking our dog. They introduced me to other neighbrs and I introduced them to some too. (Granted, I've lived in this neighborhood for 11 years.) My new friends don't have an issue with me being gluten-free, it's what it is. They know the person I am now and not who I was then. I still love to have fun, but I have a few parameters.

We've saved money by not meeting (old) friends in restaurants or bars. A typical Friday night three years ago was about $40 at the bar (a couple of appetizers, a few drinks), then a stop at the pizza parlor for a $15 pie.

A typical Friday night now is a visit with the folks in the neighborhood and an $8 frozen gluten-free pizza, doctored up a bit. I'm happier now, feel more mentally adjusted, sleep better, and appreciate my dp and dear dog so much.

It really hurt to lose my best friend Annette, but I understand why I'm not a fun person for her to be around anymore. We just don't share the same interests.

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Another one here.

I lost most of my so called "friends" when I got sick. The only ones who have stayed are a couple of very old friends. It wasn't just my friends that left. My boyfriend did too. He couldn't accept my illness (even though his brother and step father have the same thing) and he kept making me sick and then blaming me for being sick.

The "friends" that I lost, are the ones I didn't need. They were the ones who used to weigh me down. The ones who expected everybody else to accommodate them. They were just friends with me because it was convenient for them and / or I had something they wanted. A girl to go for a girls night out, some who just wanted someone to listen to their problems although they would never listen to mine (but they had no interest in doing anything about those problems). You get the picture.

When you make it further along and have cleared your head you will see these people for exactly what they are. It hurts now, but long term you are better off without them. If they couldn't handle you being sick, it just would have been a matter of time until another life changing event would have happened and they would have disappeared then anyway.

You will make new friends. You have a lot more space for new friends now, and you have an automatic bullcrap test (the celiac). When you make new friends this time, I suspect more of them will be the stick-by-you kind because of this.

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Hi there, I'm writing this, not as any kind of advice to you - it's a really really tough situation - but to add to the general discussion about celiac and changing friendships.

I also went through the process in which some of my friends who didn't have the patience for me when I was sick drifted away. Especially a I used to like going out and partying, when I could no longer drink or stay up late because I was too sick, they didn't make the effort to see me and do different things. However, there were a few wonderful people who stuck around, and I made some new friends.

Now something new is happening - since I decided to be SUPER-strict with my diet (after a very long process of investigating and learning what was going on with my body, which involved other health problems too) and I am feeling much much better, stronger, clearer, calmer, and my life is much more "together", my friendships are shifting again. For years I was very tired, irritable, easily upset, co-dependant, and I was naturally drawn to similar people. In the past, if a friend was mean I would have stuck around as I needed them. Now that I'm much better I don't want to take anyone's s***! As I am less easily upset and less clingy, mean and aggressive people are just falling out of my life. It's kind of sad to see old friends go, but it's happening naturally and I'm not shaken up as I would have been before. I find myself getting closer to more together and calmer people, who in the past were on the periphery of my life.

The only thing I can say is keep on looking after yourself 100%, don't compromise on this just because the people around you don't understand, and I'm totally sure things will get better socially in time, even if it means building new friendships. And it's awesome that your man is such a gem.

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You will make new friends. You have a lot more space for new friends now, and you have an automatic bullcrap test (the celiac). When you make new friends this time, I suspect more of them will be the stick-by-you kind because of this.

I loved this!! An automatic bullcrap test. :lol:

A built-in bullcrap barometer.

Priceless. :)

You know what I say?

I am like Popeye who says: "I yam what I yam."

also a big fan of "it IS what it is."

In any case, NONE of us should have to apologize for having Celiac (yet I found myself doing that early on after DX) and one day, I realized I should stop saying sorry. I did not bring it on myself. It just "is".

But, it is not who we ARE. :)

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