I am writing this today because it has been awhile since I ranted or have been ‘glutened’. Now I have been glutened twice in the past month and I am ready to spew.
One of the biggest problems we are facing as a community is dealing with the masses thinking that gluten free is a fad; for people like me with Celiac disease or others with serious gluten intolerance, I can assure you that it is not. I have said it before and I will say it again, Celiac Disease is real! Safe Gluten Free food is the only cure for this autoimmune disease that is NOT an allergy.
When people with Celiac disease eat gluten, their immune system receives mixed messages and instead of attacking the gluten invader, it attacks the human body… ANY PART of the human body. The attack is not just limited to the intestinal tract, it can attack the brain, organs, cells, muscles, etc; which is one of the reasons there are so many symptoms.
With some people, like myself, the effects of gluten hit me right away. The first symptom to happen within the first few minutes from cross contamination is a bloating stomach and I look 3 months pregnant, (picture here).
This is caused by using the same spatula to flip gluten pancakes and then using the same unwashed utensil to flip my GF pancakes; Yes, it only takes a teensy amount of a few crumbs to get me sick. Or preparing my GF food in the same area as gluten food, or taking the croutons off my salad in the kitchen and then handing it back to me thinking I wouldn’t notice because you weren’t taking me seriously when I asked for it in the first place.
Some of the annoying gluten-freeisms I have been asked or told:
just one noodle won’t hurt
yes it will.
oh there is just a little flour in the gravy, not a big deal.
yes, for me it is!
the food is made in a wheat facility but is naturally gluten free (like corn) so it should be fine.
no, actually it is not fine.
the crumbs from the wheat buns have burned off on the grill so it shouldn’t be an issue.
and you know this because…? Because you are wrong.
Touching wheat flour and then making my food will affect me. With the advent of so many people jumping on the fad wagon of glutenfree, the seriousness of CD, gluten exposure and cross contamination has been dummied down to serve the masses and the people who sell to them.
My issue is with the companies profiting irresponsibly off questionable gluten free food that I cannot eat, restaurants enticing new customers with gluten free food they have no idea how to prepare and the ‘fadwagoners’ joining the crowd because they believe it is healthier or can lose weight. These entities have instilled this fad idea into the general public’s mind taking ‘gluten free’ away from the people who truly need it, me!
You know why you initially lose weight on a gluten free diet? Because you have stopped eating all the bread, pastries and other processed food on a daily basis that you normally eat. There is no miracle cure here if you do not NEED to eat gluten free; you have just stopped eating most of the garbage you are used to because of it.
For all those non-believers out there, Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity are NOT A FAD, they are real and have real harmful effects on MY body. So please stop minimizing it or rolling your eyes when I order or assure me there is no gluten in something when there is because you think a little won’t hurt or are to lazy to go and find out.
And for gosh sake, PLEASE STOP ADDING THE LITTLE ‘GF’ TO YOUR MENU IF YOU DO NOT KNOW ALL THAT ENCOMPASSES PREPARING THAT TYPE OF FOOD; because next time I get glutened from your establishment, myself and at least 10 of my closest friends will be standing outside the front door with big signs saying your food poisoned me.
This might seem a little passionately crazy, but I am ok with that if it gets the point across. This is not a choice for me and you are poisoning my body. I need to eat gluten free to live disease free. If there was even a spec of peanut in someone’s food with a peanut allergy they would go into anaphylactic shock; my shock is inside me, damaging my body silently and taking years off my life. Not to mention the 300 other auto immune and diseases continued gluten damage can cause the body.
This article in the Huffington Post is a great example of the media putting stuff out there and not adding all the pertinent info needed. The name of the article is, A Guide to Gluten Free Etiquette and the strange thing is, this article doesn’t mention Celiac disease at all, but instead mentions Intolerance & Wheat Allergy, which is VERY RARE. It’s NOT an allergy Huffington Post, it’s an AUTOIMMUNE DISEASE!
If you are one of those people out there bashing the fad, WHY is it so difficult for you to add this very easy disclaimer, ‘except those with Celiac disease, whose only option is a gluten free lifestyle and surely NOT a fad for them’. Celiac disease and eating is a challenge everyday; do you really need to make it harder on the 3 million of us who are just trying to take OUR gluten-free food back from the people you are bashing?
You are halfway there anyway just talking about it; educate yourselves and throw us some much needed support; but feel free to keep making fun of the people who are ruining it for us.