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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.

Does Anyone Else Just Not Join In?
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17 posts in this topic

My office does a "food day" quite often, where everyone brings a dish and we are all supposed to eat lunch together. I decided that I am no longer partaking in these days.

Today's was a goodbye to a worker that is gluten free and lactose free, so I figured there would surely be something that I could eat. I spent $20 yesterday on ingrediants to make my dish, and when lunch time rolled around, there was not one safe thing there other than mine! Not even a veggie tray for heavens sake. (What a nice send off for the person that the lunch was supposed to be for, huh?) For $20 I could have fed myself all week. Every month the same thing happens, and I just decided that I am done. From now on I am not going to bother with shopping, preparing, etc., just to be starving, like I am now.

This was probably more of a vent than anything, but I am kind of curious if everyone else keeps trying or if they have finally just said forget it!

Thanks for listening.....

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I do so understand! Here's a thought though....rather than begrudge the potluck and feel almost excluded because there is no food you can eat but your own, how about asking if your fee could be waved and explain the situation for the next get-together. That way you could still participate without the expense of food you won't be able to consume.

Last summer my daughter who are adults now, and I went to a family reunion. My daughters are also gluten-free and we knew before hand we had to prepare out own food. My kids love this cilantro shrimp that I make so I made that and an artichoke olive salad so we could have somrthing to eat while the rest of the family pigged out on their pasta and bread. We arrived a little late so we missed the huge line and the big pig feat over the gluten dishes. My family ate the shrimp and artichoke dishes but we put the dishes with the rest of the food. One of my aunts came along and just started dumping food shortly after we got there and yep, there went my expensive shrimp right into the trash. We at least got one serving.

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My group of friends has potlucks often twice a week, and while I am the only person I know of that if gluten free, there is usually a number of things I can eat. And if it's something I have a question about, I can always ask. But my general potluck rule is to always bring a main dish that I can eat, and then I won't be starving. I don't spend a lot of money on it either. The potluck last week I brought a rice and bean dish, the leftovers of which I froze, and then am bringing again to a party Friday night. I would hate to miss out on the social aspect of these gatherings, but I also don't expect other people to bring stuff I can eat. The vegetarians always bring vegetarian main dishes, and I always bring something that my partner (who is hypoglycemic and literally passes out if he eats anything with sugar in it) can eat, and if there's anything else to eat, it's a plus.

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My department has a weekly staff meeting and we take turns bringing a snack to the meeting. When it's my turn I bring something gluten-free. Every other week I bring my own snack. For a potluck I try to contribute something that is hearty enough that it could be a stand alone meal for myself assuming that I can't eat anything else. So I try not to bring fruit or a dessert but bring a main dish item. That way I contribute, I participate, and I leave well fed.

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I thinkbits the luck of the draw. Some workplaces (and potlucks) are just more "friendly" than others. You got the short stick, apparently.

I remember in college when I was on a fitness/workout regimen, looking at a potluck for an event in our office, and thinking "heck no"-and that was Pre gluten-free!

I think you should find a way to mingle - even if you bring a drink concoction like punch and paper bag your lunch. You don't want to be the proverbial outsider in the office.

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I usually bring something I can eat brownies, salad, coleslaw, or dip with gluten free tostitos. these are relatively inexpensive, about $5 or less for the dish, the brownies is really one of the more expensive items because I use a mix....and usually either eat before hand, or bring my lunch along with me. I hate not to participate though! Just because we are gluten free doesn't mean we can't be social!

I have stopped guessing at what might be gluten free though, I did that at first it was too dangerous, unless its fresh fruit or veggies then I don't refrain from eating them.

Coworkers often go out to lunch. I was going along and just getting salads, but I was recently glutened somehow from a salad, so the last two times I go along and buy a pop. Eat my lunch before I go, I still enjoy talking with them and getting a pop! I usually overdo it and drink way too much pop too. lol.

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Yes, potlucks are from the devil. :P (I'm in the religion business, so this is the gluten free ministers' joke, lol). Anyway, I do several different things depending on what the occasion is.

I sing in a choir that rehearses from 7-9 once a week. For some reason this group of people thinks we need a snack at 8:00 when we take a short break. I don't understand that since presumably everyone has eaten dinner before they came. If they've come straight from work then surely they grabbed something in the car, because 8:00 would be awfully late to wait to eat something after working all day.

Anyway, we all take turns signing up to bring some part of the snack. But I've just opted out. I'm not eating, so I don't contribute. First of all, if I eat at 8:00 then I can't sing because my stomach is full. And second, I've eaten dinner and don't need a snack. And third, it's always things like cookies and pretzels and crackers.

For real potlucks -- which churches are known for -- I always just bring something I can eat. Usually some sort of salad -- like black bean salad, or something like that. Or I might bring hummos and chips. Or drinks. I always bring along something to eat to supplement whatever I brought, plus usually someone brings fruit.

At the moment I'm working at a hospital where we have regular events catered by the food service. I have just chosen not to eat anything they offer. They never post ingredients and based on what I've seen I do not trust them. I just bring my own. Really it does not bother me at all. It bothers my supervisor -- he says "no, you have to talk to Food Service, you need to have something you can eat." I reply "I will have something I can eat, it will come from my own kitchen." He persists, until I go along and go talk to food service, and then bring my own anyway. ;) We're having one next week and if he insists again this time I'm going to ask "why does it bother you so much when I've said I'm fine with it?"

Truly I am fine with it. In any situation I don't care who's providing the food, me or them. It's the company that's important not what's going into my mouth.

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I agree with Monklady - potlucks are from the devil! I used to try to take something and participate, but then there's the issue with cross-contamination. That meant that I had to be first in line (looking like a total piggy) or skip eating, even what I brought. Now I either bring my own food or eat before I go. I focus on the socializing, not the food. If others have issues with it, I'm happy to educate. Beyond that, it's their issue.

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Two groups I belong to (where food seems to be a primary focus) have this nasty habit at fingerfood potlucks of not wanting to take their food home, so they take their plate and dump their food they brought on the plate someone else brought (usually mine) :blink: so their plate is empty to carry home. So there's my EXPENSIVE food I spent much time preparing and was planning on taking home with me, all contaminated with glutinous stuff. So I then takes it all and dumps it all on someone else's plate and goes home :(

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Life just isn't fair for us. But let me ask you this, even if everyone at your office prepared gluten-free dishes, would you still eat them knowing that they were made in a not-gluten-free environment? All the people at the potluck have no reason to decontaminate their kitchens.. so this doesn't really work for you, and it's kindof unrealistic to expect everyone to be an expert on gluten CC.

The best for you to do is agree with them that in such occasions you're the exception.. You'll be bringing your own lunch for one, as you can't really have any of the other dishes.

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I actually prefer potlucks! That way I know I can bring something that is completely safe. I usually make something that's mostly a meal in itself and serve myself first, or make up a plate beforehand. It's pretty rare that I trust anyone else to make gluten-free food. I just find it easier to know I can take care of myself ahead of time and not worry about the food once I get there.

The hardest situations for me are big family events that are at a restaurant, typically a buffet. At those I never really feel safe, and if I order off the menu I feel too "special".

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i used to skip the food-focused gatherings in the beginning - too much temptation and i was still 'grieving' - but now i go and i bring something gluten-free. i take out MORE THAN i think i'm going to eat and put it into a separate container. once that dish hits the buffet table, i won't touch it. i do not eat *anything* anyone else makes even if they carry on about it being gluten-free. TRY IT TRY IT - ok, i will in a minute ;) i eat what i bring, and if i don't eat it all, i have leftovers to take home. i make sandwiches for the youth fundraiser lunches (reg. bread) and i will make the same kind of sandwiches for me, just on gluten-free bread. i just make what i feel like eating. if $ is an issue that week, we all get pb&j lols the only thing i haven't mastered is the ladies group meetings - they are right after sunday morning service and they serve a light lunch. if i forget my lunch i just go home. i have tried going home and slapping a sandwich together and going back, but by that time, the meeting is usually over and i have missed it anyway.......

shroomie - you crack me up! :D

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I sometimes don't join in, and sometimes I'll bring something. It goes situation by situation. I definitely see not joining in as a possibility. For instance, snack after soccer games. Do I really need to feed 30 kids when it is my turn, yet my kids can't ever eat it when it is everyone else's turn? Would it be fair for me to ask everyone else to provide gluten free snacks for the sack of my children? Could I trust them to provide safe snacks for my children? Sometimes it is just easier to opt out.

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We don't have potlucks per se, but my whole community does get together (there's only about 400-500 of us, and we all know one another very good), and bring food to the Church hall, and we have a traditional meal, i.e....blood pudding, rarebit, soda bread, scones, corned beef, cabbage, roast beef, sandwiches, biscuits, cookies, and a cuppa. Everyone makes the food at home, and brings it to the hall.

I go, but I won't eat anything. It does bother me that some people will come over and say "Why aren't you eating anything! Sure, you're goin away to nothing at all!". Some people even think I am REALLY sick, because I've lost so much weight. But I explain to them what's happening with me, and now everyone knows, so people understand.

When I learn a bit more, I will bring gluten-free alternatives to this, others will eat them too!

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I will join in when people get together at restaurants because the vast majority of my friends and family will double check with me and pick a restaurant I can eat at safely.

Potlucks? Nope. I loathe potlucks. Last one I went to all I had was a cup of tea and a handful of tortilla chips straight from the bag and I somehow still managed to get glutened. Who knows how, there was gluteny food EVERYWHERE and I was helping my kids with their food etc etc. That was 6 months ago and I have opted out of a few potlucks since then.

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I know.......some people even manage to get gluten in cabbage.

I don't know why, I don't want to know how :P

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I know.......some people even manage to get gluten in cabbage.

I don't know why, I don't want to know how :P

They go to the supermarket and buy those specially marked little packages labelled GLUTEN FILLER ((a very popular product, and ubiquitous to boot) and stuff them in the cabbage leves and roll them up. :lol: Gluten stuffed cabbage, yum yum!

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