This is a letter for those with Celiac disease to give to their friends and loved ones so that they understand your disease and what you need from them.
Please feel free to copy this letter and pass it on to others. If you would like to publish it in your blog or newsletter etc. go ahead! All I ask in return is that you add a link to http://celiacandwhat.wordpress.com (it would be nice if you tweeted about it too)
Dear friend/loved one:
I have been diagnosed with Celiac disease, an autoimmune disease of the small intestine caused by a reaction to gliadin, a gluten protein found in wheat, rye and barley.
The symptoms vary from person to person but the most common visible symptoms are bloating, flatulence, diarrhea, and brain fog (inability to think clearly)
Children with Celiac disease will display a failure to thrive and in some cases behavioural issues.
The hidden symptom, that every Celiac suffers is a truncating of the villi lining in the small intestine (villous atrophy) The villi are responsible for the absorbtion of nutrients in the body, and when they are damaged, as in Celiac disease, the body suffers from malnutrition and in rare cases, death.
Celiac is also considered a neurological disorder.
Celiac disease is not the same as a wheat allergy.
Because I have this disease, I must live gluten free. This is not a diet. I cannot “cheat” ever.
It is important to note that it takes only a minuscule amount of gluten to make me sick, therefore gluten free foods that are exposed to wheat, rye or barley are not acceptable.
I don’t expect anyone to live gluten free because I do but please don’t be offended if I bring my own food to informal gathering or decline an invitation to go to a restaurant that does not have a gluten free menu.
My grocery bill is going to increase by a lot, even if I make my own foods from scratch.
I will also might need to take extra supplements such as iron, B-12, multivitamin, magnesium, and probiotics.
If I tell you that I cannot eat something, understand that I am not being picky – I am looking after my health.
What I need from you, more than anything, is understanding and support.
If you require more information, check out any or all of the following web sites:
Thank you for your understanding.
Take care of you,