Monday, January 16, 2012

On gluten intolerance

I am a rare North American celiac/coeliac/gluten-intolerant individual because I grew up in a family with others who had also been diagnosed and so was never "alone" the way many people who come to realize they "have this" are. There are so many of us in my extended family that we have tables of gluten-free food at family events (including weddings and funerals.) Yet even coming from a family of (medically diagnosed) celiacs many of my relatives had difficulty persuading doctors to administer the appropriate diagnostic tests.

I have recently come to realize just how isolated other individuals are who come to suspect they are, or are diagnosed as, gluten intolerant.

Over the next few days I am going to update this post with links to various resources for other celiacs. Anyone who has questions or suggestions is invited to post them as comments and I'll try to either answer or provide links to others who can. Update the first: What are the symptoms/signs that you might be a celiac? If there is any chance you have celiac disease you need to immediately get all gluten out of your diet. Gluten may be places/foods you won't immediately suspect. The first thing you need is a good list of safe foods and a good list of foods that are not (or may not) be safe.


  1. I can't wait to see your links. I don't entertain often, but it hit me recently when I was ensuring a "vegetarian option" at a Book Club I was hosting that any number of other food allergies were NOT represented. I wasn't even sure how to begin to root out gluten, so I've been reading up on what I can do for guests.

    Open question: Is there a better way to say "Please everyone let me know if you have any food allergies and how I can help make sure accommodations are available"?

  2. I actually avoid vegetarian restaurants because I'm allergic to peanuts, nuts, and soy, and (as mmy is probably already aware) those foods are very prevalent in vegetarian cooking because of their protein content. I don't know of a better way to ask about food allergies, although I would say "food allergies/intolerances" to cover stuff like celiac disease and lactose intolerance.


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