This week's gluten free soapbox comes from the personal archives. I'm absolutely certain that I'm not the only one who has encountered this, but it doesn't seem to get talked about much...
Often times, it seems that people who are on strict gluten free diets get viewed as high maintenance, or picky. The constant need to check and double check ingredients tends to bother some people. The reports of contamination and reactions go unbelieved, and people give that knowing look when “gluten free” is mentioned.
I even had a doctor say that the worst that could happen with Celiac Disease is diarrhea, so not to worry too much. He told my daughter that the list of symptoms I had given him looked “made up” and suggested I was over reacting. (Really, even if that were true, should I intentionally give my daughter diarrhea?)
People like this make life so hard for the rest of us! The members of the gluten free elite deserve the same respect (at least the benefit of the doubt) as the rest of the population! Just because the food is different does not mean we are all crazy.
What really cinches it is the fact that not all special diets get these kinds of reactions. When was the last time you saw someone react sarcastically to a peanut allergy? Why is it that gluten intolerance is so hard to believe in? Let's just lay this to rest, shall we?
I assure you, we did not invent the gluten free diet for the attention. We do not go to CSA meetings to study acting in order to perfect the look of fear we show when handed a cookie. I have never met a member of the gluten free elite who enjoys having to scrutinize every bite of food, and be the odd one out in social situations. We are not crazy!
Celiac disease and Gluten Intolerance are very real conditions with very real consequences. Not only does research report the increased likelihood of cancer and many many bowel issues, but more and more research is finding links from Celiac Disease to neurological disorders and mental symptoms.
This seems logical to me. If the human body is not getting the nutrients it needs from food because something is blocking the absorption, then the body will not work properly. For years we have been hearing how stress (another “imaginary” condition) affects the entire body. How an infection in a tooth can cause numbing of the fingers. Is it so hard to believe that continually consuming a substance that is reacting badly with your body could be a bad thing all around?
For all the non-believers out there, I say, “Shame on you!” Seriously, take a look around and get a clue. For every member of the gluten free elite who has ever gotten “that look” or been told that they were just an over protective parent, I say this:
You are not crazy! I applaud your efforts to protect yourself and your children against all odds. It takes courage and determination to fight the gluten free fight every day and you deserve a medal.
The voice from my childhood that says, “But, you don't have to take my word for it...” offers up these links to professionals who feel the same way.
- Mayo Clinic Discovers Potential Link Between Celiac Disease And Cognitive Decline
- Gluten and the Brain
- Celiac Disease (according to Google Health)
- Celiac Disease (according to the Mayo Clinic)
And now the other voice from my childhood says, “Ha! So there!”
---------------------------- Author Information: Marissa Carter, Kansas City Marissa Carter Website: www.lostscribe.webs.com Gluten Free Product Reviews: www.glutenfreeproductreviews.blogspot.com Kansas City Gluten-Free Food Examiner: http://www.examiner.com/x-19097-Kansas-City-GlutenFree-Food-Examiner Blog: www.marissacarter.blogspot.com Suite 101: www.suite101.com/profile.cfm/mmrcarter Twitter: LostScribe AIM: lostscribe79