Gluten is hidden in every kind of food you can imagine. When you look at it, the list is gigantic. Not just food, but beauty products and deodorants and even in glue for the crafts with the kids.
Gluten, gluten gluten. Saying those words and people get caught up in the ‘fad’ that is the gluten-free diet. Individuals that are on the gluten-free diet for non-medical reasons never have to worry about cross contamination. And that’s where it is.
The cross contamination of ONE crumb of gluten. One speck; the size of a pencil point, of an average type wheat based bread can send the body of a diagnosed celiac into a frenzy and trigger over 200 symptoms (ranging from mad poops, brain fog and even acne). Cross contamination is the second thing that diagnosed celiacs have to worry about, the first being whether the food we’re eating is actually gluten-free. If celiac’s aren’t worried about the food in front of them, they’re usually worrying about the food around them. It can be a vicious cycle.
That mentality is something that a lot of people don’t understand. That’s why celiac awareness is so important. Educating the public about celiac disease and informing those who live with us about the harmful effects of cross contamination and intentional/accidental gluten ingestion.
It’s a fact that some diagnosed celiacs live in shared food households. Situations like that can’t be avoided for reasons that aren’t anyone’s business, but when issues of cross contamination and constantly dodging bread crumbs on the kitchen counter become a daily problem; switching to an ALL gluten-free household might be the next logical step.
‘Never having to say you’re sorry’ is a great little saying to throw around when it comes to the people that you live with. But, have you ever considered saying ‘never having to ask someone to use a separate utensil to spread the sour cream’?
A simple and effective way to avoid gluten cross contamination is by using different utensils every time you dip into the peanut butter or the mayonnaise. When one person in the house has celiac disease, a very serious illness, that can only be treated with gluten-free food, this path to maintain a healthy life is very easy too do. After laying out the rules and the ground work for this procedure the percentage of gluten cross contamination diminishes.
By being a diagnosed celiac in a shared food house hold, you become your own mega-advocate and spout off what should be done about gluten-free food, your symptoms and the dire effects of ingesting gluten is like due to cross contamination. It’s when this simple rule isn’t followed that the blood boils. Witnessing someone across the table use the same spoon to spread sour cream on a flour based tortilla shell and place the spoon back in the container like there was no care in the world. Ignoring the ONE SIMPLE RULE in place to protect you.
In these types of homes celiac advocacy is important as much as it is in the public. Start locally and move on to the world. A diagnosed adult can speak for them selves, but a child with celiac might not be able to stand up and say that kind of behaviour isn’t right. A simple rule like using a different spoon can mean the difference between having a great day, or spending the next few hours in the washroom with mega-poops and the next week feeling weak, sore and tired, possibly missing work or school or social gatherings or family functions.
Is it ignorance? Forgetfulness? Sometimes, the truth is never known.
Shared food households are common and they do work. Sometimes they need a little work. No one is perfect and what works well for one family might not work for the next. As long as there is someone in the home who supports and aides in the food rules like a wife, husband, sister or mother then the ride with celiac disease and shared food households goes a lot smoother.
Everything takes time, patience and practice. Even with celiac disease. Especially with celiac disease.