Selling gluten-free diet water and telling us to lighten up? F*ck off.

celiac disease

I know. I know. I can already hear the comments I’ll be getting on this post. So I’ll save some of you the time and energy and say them myself:

  • “Dude…lighten up. It’s a joke.”
  • “You are what’s wrong with this country.”
  • “You’re so weak and pathetic.”
  • “Such a whiny butt crybaby.”
  • “Grow a pair and quit being so sensitive.”
  • “Get over it you crybaby. It is a freakin joke!”
  • “Dude you are soft. So people make fun of gluten free living. Get over it.”
  • “I’m gluten-free. And you’re a pansy. Put your big boy pants on and eat at the adults’ table.”
  • “Two words…freedom of speech.”

The comments you just read are only a small sampling of the real ones I’ve really gotten over the years when I call these stupid corporations out. However, the majority of them include spelling and grammatical mistakes because the authors never advanced above the third grade.

What’s it about this time? A fellow celiac sent me a link to this new product: Gluten-free Diet Water. Yes, it’s a real product. And yes, the owners think it’s hysterical. But I’ve been down this road so many times over the years and I didn’t want to give them any attention, so I was just going to ignore it. But then a few things happened.

First, it was picked up by major media companies: I have seen it on the Today Show, AOL, Yahoo and more.

And then, I saw some of the products besides water they were selling, including shirts and mugs with the slogan “Allergic to Humor”.

So not only are they making fun of the only treatment for celiac disease, they are calling us out by saying because we don’t like shit like this, we don’t have a sense of humor. I actually find humor in most things in life, but here is what is not funny:

  • Celiac disease is a genetic autoimmune disease that damages the villi of the small intestine and interferes with absorption of nutrients from food.
  • Celiac disease affects over 3 million Americans, making it the most common autoimmune disease in the world.
  • Celiac disease affects men and women across all ages and races.
  • 83% of those celiacs are undiagnosed or misdiagnosed.
  • The longer a person is not properly diagnosed and continues to eat gluten, the greater their risk of developing other autoimmune disorders, neurological problems, osteoporosis and cancer.
  • Untreated celiac disease increases the risk of cancer 200-300%.
  • Untreated celiac disease increases the risk of miscarriage 800-900%.
  • There are NO pharmaceutical cures for celiac disease.
  • A 100% gluten-free diet is the only existing treatment for celiac today.
  • The total US healthcare cost for all untreated celiacs: $14.5 – $34.8 billion annually.

A real knee-slapper, right?

I was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2007 when the words “gluten free” were not in the public vernacular. Hell, I had never heard of the words “celiac” or “gluten” until my diagnosis. I can’t have gluten? It can’t be that bad. I mean what has gluten in it? You wanna know what has gluten in it? Tell ’em John.

See? Now THAT’S funny. It’s clever humor. Slapping a label on a water bottle for profit isn’t funny. It’s just f*cking stupid.

But around 2010, when some celebrities started to jump on the gluten-free bandwagon to lose weight, we became a punch line (thanks Kim Kardashian) and it went on and on and on. The silver lining here is that the jokes have seriously gone way down and this water company actually thinks they’re being clever when in reality they are about 5 years too late to the party. They think they are going to cash in on this when in reality their company will go down in flames.

Want another example celiac humor done right? Here you go:

Again…funny. Selling coffee mugs telling us we take our disease too seriously? It says a lot more about their ignorance than anything else.

Feel free to let them know how you feel. I won’t be linking to them but they are on social media. Have at it.

And hopefully, this will be the last time I have to do this.

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2 thoughts on “Selling gluten-free diet water and telling us to lighten up? F*ck off.”

  1. I don’t even think this “joke” would be legal in Canada, where making gluten free claims on naturally gluten free items is against regulations (for good reason). They can have their t-shirts and mugs but labeling on consumable items shouldn’t be available for (attempted) jokes.

  2. It doesn’t affend me personally, but I can see how it might affend some people. I have celiac disease, chronic pancreatitis, sever pancreas insufficiency, brittle type 1 diabetes with insulin resistance, gastroparesis, IBS, acute episodes of diverticulitis, failing liver and a few other things.
    Needless to say my digestive & billiary systems are in bad shape. I eat strictly gluten free, but I was an undiagnosed celiac for who knows how many years. I am now on disability for all those things combined plus more. I often suffer a lot with abdominal pain both upper and lower. I can’t go due much of anything due to my health issues. I’m stuck at home near the bathroom.

    The things I have to plan around when it comes to eating. The things I have to try not eating at all or much of:
    -Eating gluten free foods for the celiacs (I’m strict about not eating gluten.)
    -Eating low carb foods due to the diabetes.
    -Eating non-fatty, non-greasy, non-spicy foods with other foods like meat and dairy due to the Chronic Pancreatitis.
    -Eating low fiber due to the gastroparesis.
    -Eating nuts & seeds due to the diverticulitis.
    There is basically almost nothing I can eat. So I have to eat whatever I can or feel like at the moment just as long as it is gluten free.
    I have to take large does of a prescription enzymes with my food even if it is something small like a peach.
    I have to wear an insulin pump that is connected to a Dexcom. It acts some what like a pancreas should.
    I’m not complaining. I’m just trying to show that some people have very serious issues and can still find humor in things, evan the things that they have to suffer and deal with. We are all differant though and that is ok..

    Insulting people’s intelligence levels and degrading them for grammer and punctuation issues is more of an insult IMO. There are people with dyslexia or people who did not grow up with English as their 1st language. I used to work at a group home with people diagnosed with high functioning mental retardation. Some of them had cell phones. They would respond using the speaker button which messes things all up, sometimes they responded via text which isn’t easy for many.
    Insulting people for having reading and grammer issues because of their mental diagnosis seems to be very rude and aggressive.
    I laughed at the gluten free diet water because it is soo goofy.

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Who I am. And who I'm not.

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I AM someone who's been gluten-free since 2007 due to a diagnosis of severe celiac disease. I'm someone who can steer you in the right direction when it comes to going gluten-free. And I'm someone who will always give you the naked truth about going gluten free.

I AM NOT someone who embraces this gluten-free craziness. I didn’t find freedom, a better life or any of that other crap when I got diagnosed. With all due respect to Hunter S. Thompson, I found fear and loathing of an unknown world. But if I can share my wisdom, tell my stories and make the transition easier on you, I’ve done my job.

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