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How to Tell People You Have Celiac Disease

By Lana Bandoim

It can be hard for some people to understand celiac disease if they are not familiar with the condition. Although many people are aware of the gluten-free diet, they may not know all the details. If you are struggling to tell people about celiac disease, consider these tips.  

Telling Doctors and Other Medical Staff

Whether you are getting an annual exam or seeing a new doctor, it is important to make all medical staff aware of your diagnosis. People with celiac disease must avoid gluten in all of its forms, and it can appear in some medications. Make sure that all doctors and other medical staff are aware of celiac disease and the strict gluten-free diet.

Telling Friends and Family

It is important to tell friends and family members about the diagnosis. They need to understand why you have to avoid gluten and change diets. They cannot offer gluten-filled food or prepare it in your home. In addition, family and friends can be a vital source of support for people who have been recently diagnosed with celiac disease.

Telling Others

Although other people may be curious about your switch to a gluten-free diet, it is not always necessary to explain the change. People with celiac disease can choose who hears the details. Not everyone understands celiac disease, and it can be difficult to explain it to some people.

What to Say

Some people who have celiac disease try to explain that it is an autoimmune disorder. However, others choose to describe it is an allergy because more people are familiar with food allergies. Technically, celiac disease is an immune reaction, so it is more accurate to say it is an autoimmune disease.

Consider explaining celiac disease in simpler terms. Tell people that it means you cannot process gluten properly and must avoid it. Share that gluten is a common protein in food such as wheat bread or pasta. You can describe the gluten-free diet in more detail. People with celiac disease can still eat fresh fruit, meat, dairy and vegetables. They can also eat gluten-free grains and flours such as rice, corn, amaranth, tapioca and quinoa.

It is important to share your health status with some people. However, it may not be necessary to discuss celiac disease with everyone. Remember that you can choose who knows about this disease. Celiac disease is not contagious and cannot spread to other people.

To learn more about your health and wellness, see your local chiropractor at The Joint Chiropractic in Pinole, Calif.

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