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.
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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
What if my doctor won't listen to me?
An Open Letter to Skeptical Health Care Practitioners
Where can I buy gluten-free stuff?
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You are a mom with a child who has an autoimmune disease that fortunately can be managed with diet. It is your family's job to protect your son. Most of that responsibility falls to you, your husband and your child. It is very hard to completely understand the gluten free diet unless you are living it every single day. But there are things that you can do.
Send them some information via email about celiac disease and the diet prior to your arrival. Hit the ground running the very first day to obtain food and the necessary tools to prevent cross contamination. Keep those items in a storage bin located out of the kitchen. Have a family meeting on the first day. Tell them nicely and with love that you need to do all of these things to keep your son safe.
If they are not supportive, well, for me, it would be our last visit home. It is that simple.
Luckily, my family has been supportive. We go home for weeks at a time. I have a bin, systems in place and hubby and I are kept safe. I watch all food preparation and we hit the buffet first and only once. We manage well at my parent's house and even at the family lake house where there are tons of gluten eaters. We have a few others in the extended family who have allergies as well. So everyone is careful. Do they think I go over board? Of course. But I am an adult and my health and hubby's comes first. it has taken some time, but they now feel comfortable with us just ordering a drink if they occasionally choose a restaurant that is not safe us. After all, it is all about relationships and not food.
Start taking to them now about the seriousness of him staying gluten free. You have to get them past that point of thinking you are being irrational. Send them articles talking about what it's like to be glutened. You've got to make this normal and you have the time now to do it. Be firm. I've had too many dinners in the past with my husbands family that doesn't care or care to even understand about my issues where they actually told me things were made without flour, but I reacted. Badly. They still don't care but now I just don't believe them, lol. But with a child hopefully they do care and do want to understand. You have to make them realize he is going to SUFFER if he gets glutened. And you don't want your son to hear little snide comments either. You've done a good job normalizing it for him in your environment. Hopefully you will be able to prepare them now so you aren't walking into a war zone then.
You can keep down the clutter by bringing a set of Nordicware microwave cook ware, r roll of butcher/freezer paper (makes gluten-free safe prep area on top of counters, tables, and a nice eating mat) spatula, plastic utensils, and perhaps a small griddle. I normally just do stuff that way and bring at home made muffins, cookies, etc to make myself feel good. I tend to stick to whole food omelettes and the premade stuff I bring to keep it simple and easy. PS the nordic ware has steamer dishes, rice cookers and microwave grill plates so you can cook salmon, rice, steamed veggies chicken all in a microwave. I did a huge post a few years ago about me hosting my families thanksgiving. I even had instructions on how to make the turkey, and dressing.
Good to hear you tapered with your doctors assistance. Many drugs are very dangerous to stop suddenly and not just in terms of the withdrawl. I tapered off all meds also at diagnosis and have only had to add back in my 'as needed' Alprazolam. I take that for something not celiac related though.
Things can be up and down for a bit when we go gluten free. Hang in there.
My 13yo son was diagnosed by biopsy in August of this year. We have not had to travel since he has been diagnosed. I am concerned with holiday travel coming up. My husband wants to visit his parents this year for our kids Christmas break but, I'm concerned about my son getting "glutened" while we stay at my in-laws. I already know that they will think I'm being irrational if I insist on bringing a toaster and cookware for my son's meal prep. They won't understand about him not being able to use the communal butter dish or serving utensils. Fortunately, my sister-in-law says that there are gluten-free options at their small grocery store. But, I'm worried about what to do, say and generally how to handle this. I don't want to ruin my family's vacation. I want to show my son that his life doesn't have to stop because he has Celiac. I want him to still be able to travel and visit his friends and family!
Any good advice out there as to how to handle this with my in-laws and how best to ensure my son doesn't get glutened without offending anyone?