Living Gluten-free: Top 20 Things Celiacs are Tired of Hearing
Living with celiac disease can be challenging, to say the least. Every time you sit down for a meal or go out to eat with others, there’s always that nagging feeling in the back of your mind wondering if what you’re about to eat will cause a flare-up of symptoms. Moreover, you still have to answer multiple comments, which is even worse.
While most people mean well, a few comments and questions pop up repeatedly that can be tiring, confusing, and even downright offensive. Of course, we appreciate people taking an interest in our health. It’s just that some questions can leave us feeling frustrated or misunderstood.
Here are 22 celiac comments every celiac is tired of hearing.
So it back, and get ready to nod in agreement, and learn a thing or two about what it’s like to live with this condition.
Let’s dive in!
- “Can’t you just have a little bit?”
This is one of the most frustrating things celiacs hear, as even a tiny amount of gluten can cause damage to the small intestine and trigger symptoms like abdominal pain, diarrhea, and fatigue.
2. “Is it like a food allergy?”
While both celiac disease and food allergies involve an immune system response but differ, Celiac disease is an autoimmune condition in which the immune system mistakenly attacks the small intestine in reaction to gluten. On the other hand, food allergies involve an immune system response to a specific food protein, such as peanuts or shellfish.
3. “You’re so lucky! You get to eat gluten-free food!”
It’s important to remember that being forced to follow a gluten-free diet is not a matter of luck but a necessary medical requirement for those with celiac disease. Unfortunately, gluten-free foods can also be expensive and hard to find, adding an extra burden to the daily lives of those with celiac disease.
4. “Oh, I could never give up bread/pasta/beer, etc.”
This comment can be hurtful to celiacs who have no choice but to give up gluten-containing foods to manage their condition. It’s essential to show empathy and support for those with celiac disease rather than making light of the challenges they face.
5. “Gluten-free diets are just a fad.”
While it’s true that some people choose to follow a gluten-free diet for reasons other than medical necessity, celiac disease is a real and serious condition that requires a gluten-free diet for life. Therefore, gluten-free diets should never be taken lightly or as a trend.
6. “Are you sure you can’t just take a pill or something?”
Currently, no cure for celiac disease or medication allows people to eat gluten safely. Therefore, a strict gluten-free diet is the only way to manage celiac disease.
7. “You’re just being difficult.”
It’s important to remember that people with celiac disease are not being difficult on purpose – they simply have a medical condition that requires them to avoid gluten. However, it can be frustrating for celiacs when others don’t understand the severity of their condition.
8. “You don’t look sick.”
Celiac disease can manifest itself in many different ways, and just because someone doesn’t look sick on the outside doesn’t mean they’re not struggling on the inside. Symptoms include abdominal pain, bloating, fatigue, depression, and anxiety.
9. “Can’t you just cheat a little bit?”
Cheating on a gluten-free diet can have severe consequences for those with celiac disease, including an increased risk of long-term complications like osteoporosis and intestinal cancers.
10. “But gluten-free food tastes so bad!”
While some gluten-free foods may not taste as good as their gluten-containing counterparts, many delicious gluten-free options are available.
11. “I know someone with celiac disease and can eat gluten just fine.”
Celiac disease affects each person differently, and some people may be able to tolerate small amounts of gluten without experiencing symptoms. However, it’s important to remember that even a small amount of gluten can cause damage to the small intestine and that those with celiac disease should still avoid gluten as much as possible.
12. “I heard that going gluten-free can actually be bad for you.”
While a gluten-free diet can lack certain nutrients if not appropriately managed, it is not inherently bad for you. However, those with celiac disease must work with a healthcare provider and a registered dietitian to ensure they get all the necessary nutrients.
13. “Can’t you just pick the croutons off your salad?”
Even a small amount of gluten can cause a reaction in those with celiac disease, so it’s important to avoid any food that has come into contact with gluten.
14. “You’re just doing this for attention.”
Celiac disease is a serious medical condition that requires strict adherence to a gluten-free diet. So show empathy and support for those with the condition rather than accusing them of seeking attention.
15. “But you ate gluten before, and you were fine!”
Celiac disease can develop at any time in a person’s life, and just because someone could tolerate gluten in the past doesn’t mean they can now.
16. “I don’t understand why you can’t just eat what everyone else eats.”
It can be hard for people without celiac disease to understand the challenges those with the condition face. So show empathy and support, ask questions, and learn more about the condition to understand better what those with celiac disease are going through.
17. “Can’t you just deal with the consequences?”
The consequences of consuming gluten for those with celiac disease can be serious and long-lasting, including an increased risk of complications like osteoporosis and intestinal cancers.
18. “I heard that celiac disease isn’t even a real thing.”
Celiac disease is a real and serious medical condition affecting millions of people worldwide. Therefore, take the situation seriously and show empathy and support for those with it.
19. “I don’t see why you must make such a big deal out of it.”
Celiac disease is a severe medical condition requiring strict adherence to a gluten-free diet. So understand people with this disease are not trying to get attention; they are just trying to live a healthy life.
20. “Can you even eat something?”
Almost everything you eat except wheat.
Many people mistakenly believe that gluten-free people must starve to death because they can’t eat anything. Foods they can eat include:
• Dairy products
• Hershey’s bars
• Peanut butter
• Almond butter
Now you see what I mean. Gluten is found in foods containing wheat, rye, barley, or similar grains. So it’s not hiding in every food on earth, although I’ll admit it feels like it is when you first go gluten-free.
It’s not the end of the world
Living with celiac disease can be challenging, but it doesn’t have to be a burden. By being mindful of the needs of those with this condition, we can create a more supportive and inclusive community. Remember, if you have celiac disease, you’re not alone. Millions of people around the world are living with this condition, and many resources are available to help you navigate it. And if you don’t have celiac disease, we encourage you to educate yourself about it and be mindful of the needs of those who do.