A gluten-free diet can help you maintain a healthy diet, as you will need to avoid most pre-prepared foods. For people with celiac disease, though, it can be exhausting.
Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease that occurs when the lining of the small intestine is damaged by gluten. The only treatment is to go on a gluten-free diet.
This means that extremely common foods that contain wheat, rye and barley, such as pizza, bread and pasta are off the table. People with type 1 diabetes are more at risk of developing celiac disease, and this can cause further problems with what you can eat.
The symptoms of celiac disease vary from person to person, but can include diarrhoea, abdominal pain and vomiting for those who are especially sensitive to gluten.
Numerous supermarkets and restaurants now offer a range of gluten-free products, but the life of someone with celiac disease is far from easy.
Here are some moments that can be significant for someone who has to stick to a gluten-free diet.
1. When your slice of gluten-free bread falls apart in the toaster before you’ve clicked down the lever
2. When your stomach starts to hurt, and you wonder if you could have accidentally eaten gluten
3. When you’re scrolling through a menu and you realise: “I can have at least five of these meals!”
4. When you ask a waiter if the restaurant have a gluten-free option, and they haven’t got a clue what you’re talking about
5. When the Free From section in the supermarket is absolutely massive
6. When the supermarket you order from stops doing your favourite gluten-free pizza
7. When a gluten-free menu, or option, is listed anywhere on a restaurant’s menu
8. When the price of a gluten-free item is double that of the non gluten-free item
9. When a gluten-free item is substituted in your online food shop for a gluten containing product
10. When people ask what gluten is, you tell them, and they ask you again two weeks later
11. When the Gluten Free menu includes items, such as burgers or fajitas, which would otherwise be crammed with gluten
12. When someone says: “Surely a little bit of gluten won’t hurt you?”
13. When you go to someone’s house for a meal, who knows about your celiac disease, and after asking if the food is gluten-free, they respond: “Oh yeah, sorry I forgot.”
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