People with Celiac Disease do not need to eat a regular donut or slice of pizza to feel sick for weeks. A lot of people don’t understand this.
FACT: An amount smaller than a bread crumb can make many Celiacs feel sick for weeks.
The University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center posted a picture on their Facebook page recently, which I will share as a reminder.
Needless to say, it’s VERY easy to get glutened if you eat at a restaurant that isn’t 100% gluten-free. Some people have the mistaken belief that restaurants with gluten-free menus are always safer than restaurants without. This isn’t true and it gives you a false sense of security. If there is gluten in a restaurant, it is possible to get cross-contaminated regardless of whether or not a gluten-free menu exists. Gluten-free menus are GENERALLY just marketing tools, not necessarily a sign of knowledgeable staff or an inherent ability to avoid cross-contamination.
A while back, Gluten Dude made this awesome infographic of Celiac Disease symptoms.
When we accidentally ingest gluten through cross-contamination, many of these symptoms can and do come back! As you can see, they’re not just GI-related symptoms like many people believe.
I’ve been living in hotels for 41 DAYS now. I have been eating out a lot. Last week, I ate at a restaurant, which had a gluten-free menu. They asked if I had Celiac Disease. They told me what they do to prevent cross-contamination. But, within an hour, I was sick. That was on the 4th of July and I’m still sick almost 10 days later. I personally am still able to function (but every Celiac is different), but my stomach has been in immense pain, I’ve been irritable and I’ve been exhausted to the point of taking naps (which I haven’t done since going gluten-free). Even my emergency kit for getting glutened hasn’t helped much.
I’m sure the fact that I’ve been eating out so frequently certain doesn’t help resolve my symptoms any quicker. Luckily, we should be closing on our house on Monday, so hopefully by then, I’ll be feeling better and will be able to start cooking at home again.
How long do your symptoms last when you get glutened? How sensitive are you to cross-contamination?