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Yes, Eating Gluten If You Have Celiac Disease Really Feels That Bad

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According to Coeliac Australia, the disease affects roughly one in 70 Australians. Many people — including a lot of celebrities — love the idea of a “gluten-free diet.” Many people adapt to it unnecessarily, thinking it is a healthier way of living.

However — perhaps due to the trend that’s been accelerated by celebrities — many people are ignorant about the seriousness of the disease.

For example, I’ve often had people dismiss me.

“Are you sure you’re a real celiac?”

“There are a lot of people that say they’re allergic to gluten and wheat, but they’re not.”

No, I’m not sure at all. I just woke up one day and thought that my life would be easier if I didn’t eat gluten.

“But it’s not like you’ll have an anaphylactic reaction. Surely you can just eat a small piece of cake?”

Yes, you’re right. I won’t have an anaphylactic reaction. What will happen, however, if I even eat a tiny crumb of said cake, is not pleasant. For anyone. I will be in unbearable pain for at least two days, maybe three.

My stomach will bloat excessively — which makes it hard to walk — and I will not be able to stop going to the toilet and bleeding.

And increase my chances of bowel and stomach cancer because my body can’t handle wheat and gluten because it’s allergic to it.

But sure, at least it’s not an anaphylactic reaction — that’s when it gets real, right?

“It can’t be that bad, though.”

No, it really can. Once, at a party I was hosting, I’d organized that everything was gluten-free (so there would be no risk of contamination).

A friend brought her own crackers. Not realizing this, I ate some of the same dip as her.

That’s all it took.

Not a biscuit.

Not even a noticeable crumb of a biscuit.

Just the contamination.

That was enough to keep me up all night and put a damper on my party spirit.

I honestly have no problem if you want to go gluten-free. This “gluten-free trend” has meant there’s more awareness surrounding a gluten-free diet, more food options, and (most importantly), better tasting food options.

But, for celiacs, it really is that bad.

They are really sure they have celiac disease.

It is hugely painful.

It is not worth it for a small piece of cake — or anything, really.

And while it might not be as serious as an immediate anaphylactic reaction, that doesn’t mean there aren’t serious, long-term consequences as a result.

So no, thank you, I will not eat cake.

(And yes, I’m well aware that there are gluten-free cakes. I’m actually quite good at making them myself. But that’s not my point.)

This blog was originally published on The Melodramatic Confessions of Carla Louise

Originally published: August 31, 2016
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