How do you do deal with family and friends and their lack of understanding Celiac Disease?

To my fellow celiacs, how do you deal with those around you who just don't understand CD and the implicatios it has on your life? I was just diagnosed last month and am now on the gluten free diet. My friends say it's not a big deal (and they truly believe that) but that's easy for them to say when they are not the ones who it is happening to. I go to potlucks and am stuck only being able to eat what I bring because no one thinks to make something I can eat, or going out ot restaurants is a nightmare because no one can go where they want to because they need to eat where i can, and than I feel guilty! And my family seems to think I'm exaggerating on not being able to eat gluten containing foods! They'll make comments like "It would just have a little but of malt in it, it shouldn't hurt you" or that I'm being rediculous in my constant lable reading of foods I'm not so sure on. How did you make those around you understand? Everyone's making me feel sooooo bad!

Update:

I don't need to supplement my diet or lose weight! I've lost a tonne of weight because I'm not absorbing any nutients or vitamins that I eat.... what I need is to not eat gluten foods!

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  • sailor
    Lv 6
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    Congratulations on dealing with going gluten free and following the gluten free diet strictly. I found out I had to be gluten free 7 years ago and have been gluten free since then. You are in the hardest part of a gluten free diet!!!! The first six months as you adapt to what foods you can eat and figure out how to find gluten free foods was a very hard transition.

    Stick to your guns on not accepting a little bit of malt or a little bit of this-- it will make a big difference in your health.

    All you can do is know that as you get more used to reading labels, it will become less obvious because you will know more about what the things are and what hides gluten. It will be worth it when someone goes out of there way to make you something gluten free or asks if you can have something they make. But it won't happen overnight, so just keep doing what you are doing.

    As far as eating out. A lot of restaurants are aware of gluten issues along with other intolerances and allergies. So when your friends are picking a restaurant, do some research ahead of time online or call and talk to the manager and see what they can do to accomodate you. You will be surprised but sometimes you will get better food than the other people (not always). Stay away from things like bread, pastas etc and stick to foods that are naturally gluten free when eating out. If I don't know anything about where we are eating, I eat a good snack ahead of time and stick to a salad as a last resort. When you get to the restaurant, tell the waitress that you need her to make sure what you order is gluten free. If you get a blank look, be very careful.

    Restaurants that are chains with gluten free menus are Carrabbas, Outback, Bonefish Grill, Olive Garden, Unos, PF Changs. There are more so if you are at a chain, be sure to ask for the gluten free menu and when you get one, read all the comments, it will help you order at other places.

    When you go to a potluck, once again eat a snack ahead of time and stick to what you know is gluten free and don't worry about what you can't have. Enjoy the rest of the party and make sure that what you take is so good that everyone comments on it and asks whats in it. That gives you a chance to say that it is gluten free and that you have to live without wheat, rye and barley because of celiac disease. We go to a family gathering at Thanksgiving and have learned to make a gluten free stuffing and gravy that has the gluten eaters abandoning theirs and eating the gluten free. But don't worry if people don't bring gluten free stuff, take something good you will enjoy if you get nothing else.

    Source(s): personal experience www.celiac.com www.celiac.org www.csaceliacs.org
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