My Daddy has Celiac Disease

Dude Note: To honor Celiac Awareness Month and to help raise awareness of our disease, I will be attempting 31 blog posts in 31 days. My goal is simple: to make most of them not suck. If you’ve got ideas for a good post or if you’d like to guest blog, by all means, contact me. Your input is more than welcome. And if you know anybody with celiac disease, give them some extra lovin’ this month. They deserve it.

Today’s special guest blogger is none other than one of the Dudettes…my 13 year old daughter. Mrs. Dude suggested she write a post and I thought the idea was pretty cool. And since it freed me from a day of blogging, I jumped at the opportunity.

So what’s it like when your dad has celiac disease? Read on to find out.


From a kid’s perspective, nothing is worse than seeing your parents upset. For me specifically, seeing my dad stand in front of the fridge, not knowing what to eat is the worst. You want to help him and cure everything, but come on, really? A cure? There’s no way.

So there he is, standing in front of the fridge, staring. I glance onto the gluten free shelf, and I see five things, at the most. Most people would start whining (me) and complaining that their life sucks. Not him.

He doesn’t complain that he can’t eat most food out there.

He doesn’t complain on family pizza night, when we are enjoying nice cheesy pizza and he is sitting there eating chicken.

He just doesn’t. I don’t know how it does it, but he does.

So what is it like living with a Celiac daddy, you may ask?

Well, when it comes to being active and playing outside, Celiac (for the most part) doesn’t come into play. For that, I am very fortunate. My dad did not stop his active life because of this disease. He did not let Celiac ruin his life and how he did it leaves me speechless. So for this, I’m incredibly fortunate.

Then there’s the food part. The part where he can’t eat what we are eating.

Now, I should just say it right off the bat that I am NOT gluten free. Although I have tried to take a week, I find it literally impossible. No pizza? No bread? Oh my god… NO BAGELS?

I didn’t last a day.

But don’t let this trick you. Don’t be fooled into thinking I don’t care. Because believe me, that isn’t the case.  I think the fact that I couldn’t go gluten free boosted my respect for my dad. Here is he eating 100% gluten free and I’m sitting next to him eating a bagel. Oops.


The worst part is the guilt. When he gets glutened, you never know what caused it. Was it that new restaurant we went to on Friday? Did the ketchup have hidden gluten in it? Or was it my glutened hand touching the ice. We don’t know. You can’t blame me for feeling terrible. I just put my dad in two months of misery and there is nothing I can do. Ugh. Celiac sucks. Level of respect for my dad just boosted 100%.

Altogether, I am just extremely grateful that I have a dad who cares so much about the gluten free community and his health. He is truly inspiring and without a doubt, my role model. I don’t know what I would do without him, really. He brightens my mood every day with his charismatic personality.  He never fails to make me smile, despite his rough disease.

Celiac has made quite a few bumps in the road. It is not been easy, nor has it been fun. Yet each day he wakes up, ready to start over. He is ready to make a change in the gluten free world.

My dad believes that his blog is small and not many people follow it.

What he doesn’t know is that he is changing lives. Newly diagnosed Celiacs are looking for a voice to guide them; a voice to lead them on the right track. As soon as they find him, they have begun on the road to recovery.

Daddy… you are incredible and you amaze me every day.

You mean the absolute world to me.

Stay strong and keep on going.

I love you daddy.

I can’t even say that enough.

I love you.

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63 thoughts on “My Daddy has Celiac Disease”

  1. I have to admit, I am a very proud mommy!!!
    As I have said before, celiac affects the whole family. When you get glutened, trust me, we ALL get glutened. It is not an easy journey, but it is one I wouldn’t trade for the world.
    I am proud of you everyday! You have inspired me, our family and now our extended celiac community. And by the way, I am extremely grateful for the celiac commuity. It has been the support group I always encouraged you to join.
    We never know what life will bring, but I guess that is half the fun. Thanks for ALL the fun…maybe a little less fun would be nice 😉

    Looking forward to our sushi date night tonight.

    xoxo Mrs. Dude

    1. Mrs. Dude, lil miss dude
      I already am felling better reading your Duder’s blogs, it means so much to me that someone knows what I go through , I really do feel so alone even though my wife is 200% involved and watches out for me . I wish there was a support group in the area to whine to :0) but thanks to all of you for making me feel better, like there IS a tomorrow.

  2. David Zaritsky

    Wow…just wow…I am speechless. Dudette, this was amazing and you are wise beyond your years…and quite the talented writer. You truly moved me in reading this…your emotion around the disease but your admiration for your father’s strength and selfless acts around educating the world of this plight is inspiring. I will tell you this though – I know for a fact that your father’s unshakable resolve and spirit springs from YOU and your love for him.

    Thank you for sharing….

  3. Oh my gosh! I love Mrs. Dude and Dudette. What an awesome family you have. That’s what this is all about, GD. I have an amazing support system as well. And your little Dudette (is there more than one Dudette?) probably has a sweet little HLA DQ2 or DQ8 gene, so you are all in this together in more ways than one. =) She’s learning the art of peaceful living under “difficult” circumstances from watching you navigate this GF world with grace and humor (and feistiness, I must add).

    Great post and, Dudette — you rock! Plus, you’re smart and cute. Great combo all the way around. =)


    1. The Gluten Dude

      Very sweet Melissa…thank you. And yes, there is indeed another Dudette who is 16 and just as wonderful.

      1. Hi Dude
        Teach the lil dudettes well, dude , it IS genetic and may come into their lives at a later date like it did with me , I was blindsided , if they know before , maybe it won’t hit so hard.

  4. Dudette you are so kind, loving, and understanding! You may not be eating gluten free but at least you are aware of the needs of others, especially your Dad’s!

    This post made me get teary eyed! It takes a lot to make me feel that way! I hope one day, if I ever do have children, they are just as intelligent and compassionate of others as you are. Your parents are raising you well!

    Thanks Dudette and Mr. and Mrs. Dude! You sharing your life helps us all and makes us see what true support is all about. Thanks again!

  5. What a thoughtful, compassionate and caring child you’ve raised. Great job and so good to hear from family members because it does have an impact on the whole unit. Thanks for a glimpse into your very cool family. I hope we get to hear more from the Dudette.

  6. To Mrs. Dude and Dudette,

    You are amazing and Gluten Dude is so lucky to have the both of you in his life. While the support of this community is fantastic, there is nothing like support from those you love. Not everyone has that.


  7. Such a beautiful post from your daughter. You should be a proud dad!

    Side note: We must be thinking on the same wavelength, because I just did a perspective post from the view point of my friends.

    Have a wonderful day.

  8. Little dudette, I hope when I have kids they are just like you! Your dad is a very lucky man to have you, and your mom! You might eat bagels around him, but nothing is more supportive than your attitude and love for your dad. The fact that you even tried to go gluten-free says a whole lot about what a wonderful person you are. I loved reading this post, thank you so much for sharing with us.

    You go, girl!

  9. Dear little Dudette,

    I have a grandson who is exactly your age. Up until last fall he and his mom lived with his grandpa and me. He knows that when I feel sick is isn’t because he’s done anything wrong. It’s just what is. Most of my family eat gluten….I don’t. I haven’t been able to have gluten for about 25 years now.

    I don’t keep a gluten free kitchen…it isn’t necessary for me. When I was diagnosed, there was no internet or even any support groups. I was on my own. No one scared me into believing I had been chronically glutened. In fact, I know I’m not… blood work to check for dietary compliance is very good. My iga and igg antibodies are 0…..meaning I am not getting gluten at all. My ttg is 3…I don’t know what that indicates..I do know that is has to be over 20 to indicate a problem.

    Little Dudette….I do still have problems. it’s from all the years I did eat gluten! It damaged my digestive system permanently! It’s not anyone’s fault! It’s just the way it is…. I’ve had surgery to remove the damaged parts of my colon. I do feel a lot better…not as many sick days. So I hope you see that the reason I don’t feel well sometimes isn’t because someone forgot to wash their hands or gave me a little kiss….it’s because of everything gluten did to me BEFORE I was gluten free.

    The gf food can be a bummer. In the early days, I would not eat if I couldn’t have what everyone else was having….childish…huh? lol…but yes, it’s difficult to eat different than anyone else. It’s a lot easier now….There are so many new gluten free options that I just didn’t have 25 years ago. We do have pizza and bread and bagels. They’re different than regular gluten foods…but they are still good.
    Overall though…everyone should eat healthy foods…not so much junk! Even non celiacs need to eat a healthy diet.

    My husband has type 2 diabetes…..I feel sorrier for him than I feel for myself. He has blood sugar highs and lows that leave him shaking and sweating and very weak. he follows a diet too…supposed to be low carbohydrate. It’s not easy for him. When his sugar gets low, he needs something to eat to boost it up fast. Sometimes he over does it and an hour later his sugar is too high. I know what diabetes is capable of doing to a person….my mom had type 1. She died. Nothing we did could make her blood suger normal….the highs and lows eventually wore out her body.

    There is one good thing about having celiac….I don’t eat gluten at all. My husband still needs to eat some of the very food that makes his sugar high or low. We have to try to figure out every day, just how much of something he should eat and how much exercise he should get to burn up the calories he has taken in….it’s confusing at times. Gluten free is so much easier than that!

    I know your dad is sad and sometimes doesn’t feel well. Hopefully, he will become more comfortable with the diet as the years go by. I don’t much think about what to eat anymore…it’s as automatic to me to grab something gf as it is to you to eat what you need. It’s not a big deal to me anymore. I haven’t cried about food in a very long time! Someday he will make peace with being gluten free too 🙂

    Oh and a closing thought…when my GI doctor told me what was wrong with me, he told me I would live to be very old as long as I followed the gf diet. I will probably die from old age…. That was reassuring to hear when I was so very sick.

    My family loves me very much and they all do their best to see that I stay gluten free. If I even hint it cheating they tell me off big time! LOL…it’s good to be loved!

  10. I just need a minute to get a tissue and wipe my eyes and blow my nose. Okay. Now I need to take a deep breath. This was truly amazing Dudette! I don’t know if you remember me because it’s been way too long since I’ve seen you – and your mom and Dad. But, I have the same first name as your Mom and we grew up together. Not only do you look EXACTLY like her but you are obviously just as an amazing and caring person as she is. This is an awesome and inspirational blog! Thank you for sharing your life and your thoughts.

  11. Wonderful post about your Dad and understanding how he and others need to stay gfree and the obstacles we have overcome.

    I think my kids get tired of me reminding them to wash their hands before getting ice. 😉

    1. The Gluten Dude

      As do my kids Wendy. The problem is we may get sick but we usually don’t know where or how. So washing hands to a non-celiac may seem like overkill. We know better.

  12. Miss Dudette, I always read your dad’s blog, and the post you wrote today is going to keep me coming back! Tell us more, sometime, about your family’s ability to turn lemons (celiac) into lemonade (a super wonderful family support system)! And the lemonade is gluten free!! Thank you. Your smiles are the best.

  13. OK, so I didn’t think I’d be having tears with my coffee this mornng! Darling Dudette, thanks for sharing your story of living with a dad with celiac. I have non-celiac twin boys living with me too 🙂 I’m sure having you and your sister around makes your dad think less about what he cannot have to eat, and more about how lucky he is to have you two in his life (and Mrs. Mom Dude as well!)

  14. Miriam Nunes Vieira Pereira

    Muito bonito o cuidado de sua filha com você. Eu tenho uma filha celíaca e também passamos pelos mesmos problemas de vocês. Vou compartilhar seu blog em nossa comunidade do facebook.

  15. Wow, this brought tears to my eyes! What a wonderful, touching post. Their is something special between a daddy and daughter. In our family it is my daughter with celiac disease but we help her understand by comparing her “I can’t have gluten” to “Daddy can’t be around horses, dogs or cats” because of allergies and asthma. I think it helps her understand “everyone has something” going on in their life and its more about the positive attitude and approach that makes a difference. Love your blog. Thanks for the great post, Dudette!

    1. The Gluten Dude

      Thanks Megan. I always tell me kids “everybody’s got something”. Nobody gets a free ride.

  16. I am new to your blog, G-Dude, so I am going back and reading some older entries and I have to say….your daughter is a fabulous writer (believe me, I was an English Prof. and she writes better than most college students) :>)

    What a wonderful, loving and intuitive girl.
    I was so touched by her words, maybe because my daddy and I shared a special bond, too.

    You are such a sweet family.
    Someday, she may choose to go GF herself for various reasons, and you are her inspiration. I am sure you have had your girls tested, so I won’t nag. LOL

    Thanks for sharing your family with us.

      1. Hi, I was just diagnosed with this disease & was reading your daughters story about you, I am very bummed about this & scared, But I found this story & it was very inspiring to me, So I just want to say thank you!

  17. and no sooner did I hit send, when I realized I had made a glaring typo hahahaha (Eng. Prof, indeed) LOL

    edit me, willya? should be better than— not then

    I blame it on gluten flashbacks. ha!

  18. That kind of support from family is priceless. One day when you graduate from college, get a good career, or the day he walks you to get married, you will remember how wonderful it is to have him as your dad..

  19. Has your family considered making your house totally GF? We have food with gluten in it in the house, but it’s food my kids take to school for lunch. It rarely gets opened or eaten in the house. Gluten Free on a Shoestring has amazing recipes for almost anything in the baked goods category your family could want. I have adapted all my old recipes to be GF. We have found some awesome GF pastas (Bionaturae and BiAglut) the whole family will eat, and I finally made an easy, and amazingly delicious GF pizza (made with Chebe), that everyone enjoys. My husband takes my girls to get bagels or croissants at least once a week, but they don’t come into my kitchen. Even though I don’t have any symptoms from being glutened, I don’t like being paranoid in my own house. We eat better now than we used to because I cook and bake way more than I ever did in my gluten eating life. No one is feeling deprived. I love when we go to GF bakeries and my family tells me I make better food than they do! 🙂
    Love your daughter’s post.

  20. In reading your “favorite guest post” I came upon this one! I am in awe of your little Dudette! What a wonderful, inspiring, loving (shall I continue?) post this is! You are indeed one lucky man Dude!!!!!!!

  21. Wow. I am struggling to wipe the tears away. Only a celiac could truly understand the power in this piece. Maybe I’m wrong.

    I am working my way through some older content on this site, and finding some gems. This one tops it all off. All your great stuff pales in comparison to this Mr. Dude. The real writer in the family just stood up!

    Like it or not, our families do share our burden. I am most saddened when I see the impact of my disease on my loved ones. I try to hide it as best I can, but sometimes it is impossible.

    Touching piece. Go tell lil’ Dudette she just made a rock hard, super tough, enemy-killing Soldier cry…

    Celiac Soldier

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Who I am. And who I'm not.

Who I am. And who I'm not.

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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