Are you a lone celiac in a family of gluten lovers? Are you the only one in your group of friends who has a restrictive diet? Despite the research which tells us that our close relatives have a one in ten chance of developing the disease, many of the celiacs I’ve spoken with are the only (diagnosed) celiac in their family. Living with celiac disease can be difficult in a household where everyone else is eating gluten but it is even more challenging if our nearest and dearest do not take our disease seriously.
One of the reasons why I adjusted to my gluten free diet so well was the support and understanding I received from my family and friends. At home it’s just me and my hubby. He can eat gluten (and loves to especially when it comes to Pizza!) but in our home he doesn’t. There is nothing gluten containing in our apartment. This was his decision. He doesn’t want to risk me getting sick. (He’s very handsome too so I’m very lucky!) For breakfast he eats gluten free cereal and most evenings we eat gluten free dinner together. Lunch time at work is his gluten time.
On visiting my family in Scotland they stock up on my favourite cereal and other products they know to be safe. They won’t cook something without first allowing me to double check each ingredient and they are very cross contamination aware. Similarly, when I meet friends for lunch or dinner they always let me choose the restaurant and they don’t get mad if I decide to walk out because I don’t feel safe eating there. I appreciate all of these lovely people but I didn’t realise just how lucky I am until I began speaking to other celiacs whose nearest and dearest are not quite as accommodating when it comes to their gluten free diet.Â It is probably much easier to have a completely gluten free household if there are only two of you. When you have a bunch of gluten loving kids sharing your space I have no doubt that it makes keeping gluten out of your home much more challenging. I’d love to hear how you deal with this.
How understanding/accommodating are your close friends and family? Has everyone gone gluten free to keep your home life cross contamination free or do you have your own little section of the kitchen? Do you wish your family were more considerate about your disease?
If you are the loved one of a celiac, what have you done to ensure the celiac in your household is kept safe? Have you made any changes to your diet since they were diagnosed? Please share your stories here. Who knows, your story may help a fellow celiac to stay safe as a lone celiac in a family of gluten eaters. For any family member of a newly diagnosed celiac who isn’t too sure what they could be doing to help, you may find my next article interesting and helpful. ‘How to support someone with celiac disease.’