We have a saying in my house:
“What works well for our family, doesn’t work well for another.”
The same mentality and ideals can be applied to Celiac Disease and the people diagnosed with it. Not every one has the same symptoms and not everyone treats the disease with the same scope of reference. Some hide it, some wear it and some are all up in your face about it. The one thing that can be said for Celiac Disease and all the people affected by it is that:
No two Celiacs are alike when it comes to diagnosis, treatment and symptoms.
There is never a right or wrong way to talk about Celiac Disease, there is only an individual with it and how they talk about it. We all have varying options and opinions on how to deal and treat our gluten-free lifestyle. Though, the one common truth is that Celiac Disease is misunderstood. It’s misunderstood by the person standing opposite of you. The person who also has the disease and handles it in a differing fashion.
The mystery of Celiac is still out there. It’s best to ask questions and it’s best to be honest with how you answer them. Those questions don’t just have to be within the Celiac community, it can be asked by the outside world too. I get asked at least once a week about why I’m gluten-free and what Celiac is.
Somedays celiac disease sucks and somedays having Celiac is an amazing experience. Our daily thoughts are governed by the way food is presented to us and with Celiacs the only ones we can usually trust is ourselves, with our choice of food and the people who handle our food. We read food labels when we walk into a strange kitchen we hammer out questions to the chef at our friend’s house. Celiac is a special kind of beast that forces you to interact.
Maintaining a gluten-free diet and lifestyle is the key importance to a Celiac’s health and sometimes not everybody gets that. That one simple rule really gets lost in transition to those who. Just. Don’t. Get. Celiac. Disease. When presenting Celiac to an outsider, or a rookie on the matter the big picture isn’t seen and we can be labelled as ‘whiners’.
We’re not whiners. Individuals diagnosed with Celiac are just people with options on their food and how they like it and how Celiac has affected their lives. We discuss it, we don’t whine about it.
Which leads me back to how we all handle our Celiac differently and that is the culmination of how NO two diagnosed Celiacs are alike. Both in terms of how they talk about their food and how they care about their food. How the disease affects them personally and how it affects their family and friends.
Forward this article to someone who doesn’t understand that.