As I was writing this story I learned that May is actually Celiac Disease Awareness Month. Perfect timing! You can find out more about Celiac here.
At this point if you’ve been a regular reader of my posts you know that I have a long list of food allergies. I have been gluten free for 5 years and while I don’t carry a celiac disease diagnosis (because I didn’t have a small intestine biopsy with my blood test) I think it’s safe to say that such a diagnosis would be accurate given my long history of problems prior to my discovery. In addition, thanks to a very difficult pregnancy with my youngest I also developed allergies to many other foods. However, despite the challenge that eating safely poses for me I have never been healthier. Eliminating foods that react negatively with my body has improved my life in unimaginable ways. To say I never realized how unhealthy I actually was is a VAST understatement. I know there are skeptics and cynics out there who think that food allergies and naturopathy are a bunch of hooey and to you I say: whatever. Think what you want to think, but I was a skeptic too until a naturopath changed my life and resolved a lifetime of problems in 5 minutes.
In any case, I do have a point here, allow me to step off my food allergy soap box for a hot minute.
I am healthy, I feel good, I eat a well-balanced diet and while it might be inconvenient, am I happy with the choice I’ve made to eliminate these offenders from my life. Which is why I’m imploring you to stop saying these things to me. I get that you don’t understand it, I get that you might not support it, but just because you don’t understand something doesn’t mean it’s not okay. (I’m looking at you Indiana Religious Freedom Law, sorry-another soap box) Stop judging me for my choices and I promise you, I won’t judge you for yours. Unless you are choosing to wear leggings as pants-I’ll judge you all day for that one. #sorrynotsorry
Moving forward, can we all agree that we are going to stop saying these things to people living with food allergies?
OMG! I could never do that!
Seriously, I doubt highly that you would never alter your eating to save your life. It’s not about willpower or lifestyle choice, it’s about being healthy. Actually, I don’t think I’ve ever explained it that succinctly before. I’m gonna have to tuck that one way for the next time tomorrow that gets asked.
So, what CAN you eat?
Just because I can’t eat the same bread and pasta you eat doesn’t mean I can’t bread or pasta. And while my list of foods I’m allergic to is quite long there are far more foods I can eat than those that I can’t. And please, for the love of Pete, please stop asking me about what I eat when I’m eating. It’s rude. And annoying. I understand you are curious but let’s agree that there are better ways to ask this question that don’t end up making you sound stupid. If you’re really annoying I will end up giving you a laundry list of everything I’ve eaten recently just to shut you up.
Do you ever cheat just to see what would happen?
Okay. Let’s say you have a friend who is an insulin dependent diabetic. Would you ever dare to ask that person if they would ever not take their insulin, just to see what would happen? No, you wouldn’t. This really isn’t that much different. I have accidentally been exposed to food allergens enough times to know that I would never do it intentionally. Do you ever stab yourself in the foot just to see what would happen? Nope, you don’t. Same thing. Untreated celiac disease can result in slow growth in young children as well as anemia, osteoporosis, small intestine ulcers, and increased cancer risk in adults. So, no, I don’t want to see what would happen.
As for what you can say to me, please ask questions because you want to be better informed about food allergies, not to be nosy. There’s a big difference. I don’t need your sympathy or your pity, I’m pretty happy with where I am right now. If you are curious and want to learn more, I’d be happy to talk to you. You might want to try saying simply, “Tell me more about that”.