Living Gluten Free

Living gluten-free is not something that I picked up over the last couple years as a diet. Many people think that though, especially with the increase of those eating gluten-free as a diet fad. I have Celiac disease and have been diagnosed with it for 11 years now. Celiac Disease, if you did not know, is an autoimmune disease, in which my small intestine attacks itself, damaging the villi in my small intestine. Long term, the effects can cause malnutrition, bone loss, and even cancer.

 

Celiac disease is something that is very serious, and though the recent fad has drawn attention to what eating gluten-free is, there are still many negative effects from that. Many people are ignorant to the fact that eating gluten-free is not just dieting, and that sometimes it isn’t a choice at all. I am often told that I do not need to diet or people scrunch their noses up at me. Some people just say that they prefer their food with gluten thank you very much. I realize that people don’t understand or realize that there are underlying reasons why most people choose to eat gluten free, but it affects me, as I am sure it does with others, on a personal and emotional level in addition to the physical.

Truth be told, in my experience, the physical is the easiest part of having Celiac Disease. Many restaurants and cafes now carry gluten-free options, and cooking is always an option. However, on a personal level, eating gluten-free is very isolating. People tend not to realize how much their lives, especially their social lives, surround meeting people at cafes and restaurants. Even though many chain restaurants have gluten-free menus, fast food joints and family owned restaurants are usually not. I can’t have that pizza you ordered for Johnny’s Birthday party. I can’t go to the bar for a beer with friends. And people, friends, family, business partners, etc. don’t understand that. One extra step can go a long way. Research what celiac disease or gluten intolerances are. Ask what restaurants might be good for people who need to eat gluten free before suggesting places. Cook something gluten free instead of ordering out. A small effort can create a huge impact.