Why is Celiac Disease Funny?

celiac is funny

Did you hear the joke about the girl with cancer who may have to have one of her breasts removed?

Or how about the one about the guy with MS who lost his vision in one eye?

And of course there is always the classic joke about the woman with dementia who doesn’t even recognize her own family.

I mean…c’mon…these are serious knee-slappers. Where is your sense of humor??

What’s that? You’ve never heard these jokes before.

Oh…ok…I think I know why. Because they don’t exist.

Why don’t they exist? Because while it’s totally ok to laugh at your own misfortune (and lord knows I do often), making jokes about other people’s diseases is just plain cruel and idiotic and the most seasoned comedians know where to draw the line.

But alas, the world is not filled with seasoned comedians. It’s filled with people who think they are funny, but in reality, they’re just jerks.

A good sense of humor is the key to a happy life. But where do you draw the line when “gluten-free” has become a punchline?

Cases in point:

  • Pat Sajak opened up the 31st season of Wheel of Fortune by saying “starting this year for the 1st time, every episode of Wheel of Fortune is gluten-free.” (Note to Pat: Anybody that hosts a ridiculous game show for more than three decades is off the table for making fun of ANYTHING else.)
  • There was a very popular Huff Post article a few days ago called “Surviving Whole Foods”. It was actually good stuff. But one of her stingers was “Next I see the gluten-free section filled with crackers and bread made from various wheat-substitutes such as cardboard and sawdust. I skip this aisle because I’m not rich enough to have dietary restrictions. Ever notice that you don’t meet poor people with special diet needs? A gluten intolerant house cleaner?”
  • There is a GEICO commercial out now that says “We have a special discount for people who are gluten free. Just kidding.”
  • And don’t get me started on Twitter, where the lame gluten-free and celiac jokes are flying all over the place.

But here’s the deal. I get it. I get why people are making jokes.

For the most part, it’s not because they think celiac disease is funny. Sure…there are the few uneducated trolls who think celiac is some made-up fad disease du jour. But for the most part, those are few and far between.

What they’re making fun of is “being gluten-free”. Because of the Gwyneths, the Kims and the Mileys of the world, gluten-free is indeed a joke.

And yes, while I got railed at for slamming gluten-free Twinkies, don’t you see that the food companies, many of whom have totally jumped on the bandwagon not because they give a rats ass about our health but because they have visions of dollar signs dancing in their heads, have added to the joke that is gluten-free as well?

Look…I joke about our disease and being gluten-free all the time. It’s therapy for me. But I HAVE the disease.

But if you aren’t gluten-free for medical reasons, your jokes are making it that much more difficult for us to be taken seriously.

You want to make fun of the fad dieters? Have at ’em.

You want to make fun of the people who just can’t stop telling everyone about their gluten free diet? Fair game.

You want to make fun of the companies charging $10 for a loaf of gluten-free bread the size of my cell phone? I’m all for it.

But please, I’m begging you; lay off the generic gluten-free jokes. And absolutely no jokes about celiac being a rich person’s disease.

Being a celiac and eatng gluten-free as a medical necessity sucks…plain and simple…and there’s just nothing that funny about it.

You want to make a joke about something worthwhile? There is a new Hollywood diet called the M-Plan. You swap out your regular lunch or dinner with a mushroom-focused dish for 14 days and you magically lose weight.

Now that’s funny!!!

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79 thoughts on “Why is Celiac Disease Funny?”

  1. Thanks for posting this. I was trying to explain to a fellow Celiac why Pat’s comment was just ignorant and couldn’t put it into words.
    Keep up the fight gluten dude!

      1. I know this is old, but it still is something which I have to deal with on a daily basis if I’m out with people.

        How would you deal with people using gluten as a punchline? Thinking they are super clever and it’s a fun sport.

  2. Yes. We’re funny. I told a room full of people that I wasn’t eating because nothing was gluten-free–they all laughed. I think you just explained why.

    (I’m a stocky Germanic/Welsh hybrid who looks really strong. I couldn’t possibly have celiac, could I?)


        1. I hope they were laughing because they thought she was *joking,* not that her disease was funny. Also, the way GF is being treated culturally nowadays (as something that’s sorta vaguely good-for-you in a priggish, hipster way) puts non-reactors in a double bind: be an unhealthy slob, or be a priggish hipster. Easier to just laugh the whole thing off.

  3. I was interviewed yesterday and shared my similar thoughts about this because there’s just so many darn jokes out there anymore. My health decline isn’t funny and I don’t get why non-gluten-free people care so much about what everyone else eats.

    There was another terrible article posted on Gawker.com the other day and the comments posted on a friend’s feed were awful. Everyone seems to feel like they know better about how I feel and what I experience more so than myself. But god forbid I “claim” to have a problem… Then I’m playing doctor on myself. Come on… That’s just not fair.

    Quit with the jokes and the ridicule and the uneducated and at times idiotic articles that are so blatantly wrong that the author should be fired for incompetence. These are very real and serious issues that deserve more respect than to end up constantly at the butt of a joke.

    Will you laugh at the nearly 100 personal accounts of gluten issues people contributed to my article “Gluten Sensitivity is Real”(http://www.glutenfreeschool.com/2013/08/26/gluten-sensitivity-is-real/)? Yeah, I didn’t think so.

  4. I didn’t catch the Sajak comment, but I did see the HuffPost article, it was actually funny until that. Yeah, I do ok, but I’m never going to be rich. More so now that my food budget is through the roof.

    And I have made the same complaint about the bread. WTF? Slider buns are bigger.

    1. That’s the thing that bugs me about the Huff Post article. It was a great article and even the cardboard comment was funny. But then to call it a rich person’s disease was just…lazy and unnecessary.

      1. As much as I agree that celiac is not a rich person disease I do believe economics play a role and this could be what leads to the misconception. I had been diagnosed with all kinds of things with little to no testing while I had little to no insurance. Doctors refused to run any tests because they said I could not afford them (at that time I had never heard of celiac). Now I have better insurance, when I saw Esposito on the today show talking about celiac and the light bulb went off in my head I called my doctor and he agreed that it would be a good idea to get tested and when that came back positive sending me to a GI celiac specialist in the area was the first thing he did. if you have poor coverage getting a proper diagnosis can be a real struggle.

  5. I saw the Whole Foods article on many I my friends’ Facebook walls and it irritated me too. I agree we can crack jokes because we have to live it everyday and its a means of survival (for me) but if you don’t need gf food, then skip that aisle in whole foods and be glad you don’t have to rely on overpriced, cardboard-esque food. I’m not privileged because I have celiac.

  6. I read the Huff Post article too. Granted, I found most of it humorous but she obviously knows nothing about celiac and who it affects. Non-wealthy celiacs eat beans and rice and cancel their cable tv and other non-necessary conveniences to expand their food budget. God knows that’s what I’ve done.

  7. I met a homeless guy with celiac once. My buddy bought an extra donut and tried to give it to him, and he politely declined. “I have celiac disease. I’ll be up all night in pain if I eat that”.
    I gave him my coffee, since he was a little too smelly to hug.
    Certainly not exclusive to the rich.

    1. Wow. What an impact that must have.

      (I’ll preface this next part by saying it might not come out right and I’m trying, so please read kindly!)
      I often wonder if people who contribute goods to food assistance programs realize that there are people with celiac, lactose/casein intolerance, peanut allergies, etc. using those services. How hard it must be for the people, especially if so much of the food would seriously compromise their health. And especially with so much insensitivity and inhumanity and a lack of understanding of the disease. Things like that article, spreading the horrid misconception that celiac is a fad, or a disease for rich people (like the Huff Post article says!), make it worse. Contributors (or even some program coordinators themselves) might think that people who face these health issues and are limited in the items they can eat are just being too picky.

      Either they say no, like the man you met, or perhaps eat it anyway, because there are no other options. And even items that are not gluten-ingredient containing face the problem we face here so often: cross contamination. Does anyone know of a way to change that so people who use food assistance programs can at least have some safe, non-cross-contaminated options?

      1. At first this article that all my friends posted on Facebook bothered me so much that I actually obsessed a bit over it. My sister is as poor as a church mouse and on food stamps and has celiac disease. I am not some wealthy person and we’re trying to feed our family of four in a safe fashion as I have celiac and my babies genetic tests were a scary indication of what could come. I took offense. I don’t have any grand comment or words of wisdom, really, I’m just irked.

  8. I am so blessed to have a thoughtful family. (Especially my mother in law). I did have to explain why I brought my own everything to a bbq. But I think helping people with tolerance is important. My bro in law after a few months after having to go gluten free said ” she is still doing that?” When my husband explained how I would not be helping cook the pancake breakfast. I replied. Yes will have eat this way for the rest of my life. At least you only have to worry about letting me cook my food first one trip a year.” He didn’t bother me about it again.

  9. I know a number of food scientists and companies who would find the statement below just as offensive as I do. It is not accurate to lump all companies making gluten-free products into one category when the vast majority of these companies do it safely and with our health in mind.

    There is always going to be a segment of people who eat gluten free for whatever reason who are going to consume gluten-free junk food. As long as there is an audience for it, companies will produce it, so why not move on from this topic and get to something more positive.

    Many companies are adding more fiber and protein to their products and they are removing additives, but you don’t talk about that here, why not? Why focus on Twinkies?

    This was a solid article until I saw this statement.

    “the food companies, most of who have totally jumped on the bandwagon not because they give a rats ass about our health but because they have visions of dollar signs dancing in their heads, have added to the joke that is gluten-free as well?”

    1. Jennifer,

      I totally agree with your opinion. My opinion is below yours.

      I just think we should all be nicer and listen to each other. It’s like with this bob’s thing. I totally get that it’s scary that the food you trust can get some kind of contamination. I totally do. But mistakes happen. How many products are recalled on a daily basis? A lot. This is a good thing that these recalls happen as it keeps us safe.

      But on the other hand we forget that the company it self is run by humans. Humans make mistakes. No one is perfect even the people who run these companies so anyone expecting perfection from these companies is not thinking realistically.

      I love the gluten/allergen free communities but Sometimes I just wish we could take a step back, be logical and nicer about things.

      We should keep companies accountable for their actions and ask for questions. However we need to stop with the fear tactics and the pitchforks and fire on sticks. That gets some people all worked up and mean when we can ask the questions and keep asking them until we get an answer. A great model for this is the Dietitians for Professional integrity. They united and are backing up what they believe in with facts and being classy about it.

      Of course, we are human and we get frustrated but we just gotta find a better way to be productive and further our cause because it’s quite I bison that our current model isn’t working.

      Sons of guns just be nicer gosh darn it.

      1. Oops I found a typo. Meant to say:

        Of course, we are human and we get frustrated but we just gotta find a better way to be productive and further our cause because it’s quite obvious that our current model isn’t working.

        1. P.S. If anyone is interested in working on a way to create a more unifying and fact based organization to further positivity in regards allergen/gluten free etc, I am more than welcoming and open to working with others to do so.

          We gotta do something different.

          1. I am in on that idea. I am vetting over 800 products to see if a celiac patient would have a good chance of eating without getting so sick.
            I am not sure what I will do with the info once I have it completed. A bunch of the companies are celiac owned. I would love to have an on line store selling them or a blog promoting them. They are safe all through the farming, manufacturing, packaging and finally the environment they are sold in or shipped from. If we somehow together find many ways to support each other we then don’t have to rely on so many who have no idea. I read a note a chef wrote saying he is sick to death of this fad diet, calling it the popular disease of the day. In his rant he admitted he is not careful and has never had a complaint from a customer. I am 8 weeks into recovering from a major gluten mistake at a national chain restaurant. I seriously will never go anywhere and eat any food that I have not purchased and prepared myself.
            Come to my little town in Nevada, Las Vegas, I will make sure we are safe and we can figure out how to survive in a world full of something that we dodge like bullets every single moment of every single day.

            1. Yes, Vicki!!

              I’m in San Antonio and have my first AirBnB guest in my spare room. I am in Southtown, and I offer all food with the stay. This is 1) so that no one messes up my dedicated kitchen and 2) people can relax. I use all tested ingredients made in dedicated facilities like Spicely, and I buy local/organic produce and ethically raised meats. I also do gum free, soy free, low casein, and dairy free. I even provide to go food if they will be out all day and a not-crazy cab driver. I’m enjoying this!

              My question is … what should I charge, and would anyone want to have a network of vacation locations like this?

              This week:

              Breakfasts – vegan GF waffles with Texas pecans and maple syrup. Blueberry and hemp power shake, hot banana bread quinoa cereal, fresh squeezed Texas grapefruit juice

              Lunches – Vegan butternut chili, prosciutto and boucheron panini, chevre and cucumber salad on baby power greens with a honey and Dijon dressing

              Dinners – Tabouleh and chicken tagine with figs, braised lamb chops with roasted fennel and thyme, five spice pork loin skewers and veggie sushi rolls with wasabi

              Treats – Fleur du Sel brownies with Texas pecans, smores,

            2. That’s a very nice idea. I’d be extra careful with salad dressings because some Celiac people like me cannot have distilled vinegar. Something else to consider is that some (including me) cannot have quinoa, oats, or corn products because the proteins are too similar to gluten. I use Bob’s Redmill brand GF flour. If it is not sold in your area, Amazon sells it. Also “natural flavor” as an ingredients messes with me because it is usually made from a malt barley extract to bring out the natural flavor of a food. It is a dumb chemistry innovation. Artificial flavoring is made from corn too. Not all organic food exclude natural & artificial flavoring from their ingredients. The FDA says 20ppm or less, but that should be ignored because most Celiac people can’t have any ppm. Good luck and I hope too that a network like yours can be set up.

    2. Jennifer…many big food companies (and big companies in general) put profit before anything else. And if you asking me to put my health in their hands…well, let’s just say I’m a wary consumer. I understand where you’re coming from and yes there are some great food companies out there.

      1. I’m quite seriously thinking of opening a grocery shop exclusively for celiac and other food allergies. However, what I’d like to do is make companies accountable for their high GF prices.

        The hard cost, retail ingredients for me to make 1 loaf of French crusty bread, (soft and no holes, crusty, is 2.73 retail priced ingredients. Now, once bulk pricing comes into play, the cost on average goes down 4 – 6 x. Meaning, their actual ingredient costs should average about .55 to .65 a loaf…remember ingredients only.

        In order to pay for advertising, delivery, sales, packaging and manufacturing facilities, the price would have to be increased by double and then double again, bringing the wholesale price to around 2.40 a loaf. Any retailer, ie Whole Foods, should be able to sell this same loaf at 4.80 to 5.00.

        Now of course, this is basic white bread. All additions like nuts or exchanges of flours – usually make for crappier breads, but we recognize the pricing would increase – slightly.

        Now because shelf life on these breads is short, they either have to be frozen, or a limited number purchased at any given time.

        Here’s my problem. When a retailer can make 2.40 clean on a loaf of GF bread after purchase price, then what’s up with the entire industry?

        I think it’s about time that there be a massive education site put up as well as these retailers to start couponing, so people who don’t have the money to buy, can get at least a loaf or two a month free some way. Pay it forward, if I can get my shop up and running, is part of the plan.

        1. If you do that, you can make it a Co-Op where everyone can become a part owner with a one time member fee and then offer on site classes about Celiac issues and cooking. There is a organic store like that in my area and they mark on shelf labels which foods are gluten free. You could use coded such as “GCF” which could stand for Gluten & Corn Free.

  10. Totally understand your post and it’s wrong that people make jokes. I get made fun of because of my cerebral palsy and then on top of that because I’m gluten free, short, a woman, a minority, and because I hold various degrees.

    However after reading your post all I can think of is this:

    Why can’t we all gluten free, non-gluten free, paleo, vegan, disablity, etc, etc., just be respectful of one another?

    Why do we need to continue making fun of one another not to be funny but to be cruel?

    It all boils down to respect. As a society it seems like we don’t have respect anymore. Everyone has a pitchfork and fire ready to go. Everyone is so quick to blame and no longer listens to each other.

    And even as I am saying all this some may be disagreeing with me without really getting the real essence of what I am saying.

    Here it is:

    Let’s be nicer. Enough already.

    1. “It all boils down to respect. As a society it seems like we don’t have respect anymore. Everyone has a pitchfork and fire ready to go. Everyone is so quick to blame and no longer listens to each other..Let’s be nicer. Enough already.”

      This… a thousand times. In general, for everything.

      1. Yes, this, absolutely. Whatever situation or needs there are, let’s just be decent and respectful and humane towards each other. I really wish it could be so.

    2. Hi J…about respect??? take a look at Miley Cyrus’ video…Wrecking Ball. This is completely disrespectful from another aspect. The fact is, people do these things, make distasteful jokes, be disrespectful on many levels. It increases their numbers, which is the only way they think they can stay relevant. And it doesn’t matter who they hurt along the way.

      Very sad and unethical…but is a daily occurrence.

      People have forgotten what respect means.

  11. The whole foods comment about only rich people on the diet really gets to me. I support myself 100% at a mid level job while paying nearly $1000/mo in student loans. Do people really think that leaves room for me to be the “rich dieter?” NO, because I’m on the diet for MEDICAL reasons! When I can’t afford bread and pasta, guess what! I don’t buy them! I make do with meats, fruits, veggies, potatoes and rice. My boyfriend bought me gluten free brownies last night (and tulips) as a gift – a TREAT! Sorry to rant. I’m just SO over these people who like to group all dieters together. When are they going to understand that most of us don’t have a choice?

    1. I agree. as a dietitian I have helped may people go GF that were on strict budgets. The hardest was a mom that worked a full time mimimum wage job and on food stamps. Two of her three children were diagnosed celiac.She shops at Aldis for beans, rice, corn veggies etc. If more higher income people are diagnosed celiac, it’s only because they can afford to go to the Dr!

    2. Thank you. I’m not at the upper end of the income bracket, yet. Far from it, but I have NCGI. I have to follow this diet, or I’ll literally spend half of my day inside of a restroom, sick. I can immediately tell when I ingest a small amount of gluten, because I’ll get a scratchy, sore throat, and the next day, panic attacks and anxiety, and the digestive symptoms soon follow, along with the blisters.

      I was so angry the other day when I ordered a gluten-free salad from a restaurant (Outback). I don’t get to eat out that often, because I make the majority of my food from scratch. I was pissed to find a crouton in the salad. I had already eaten most of the salad when I found the crouton. I called the restaurant and let them have a piece of my mind. I told the manager, maybe someone thought it was a joke to slip that one crouton into the salad, but I told them it wasn’t a joke to me. I said if they could end up — not only making someone sick, but killing someone.

      I told them I would not be back to their restaurant. It’s ridiculous that people with celiac or NCGI have to go through this.

  12. We are the Rodney Dangerfields of the disease world–we get no respect I tell ya! We could start a troupe called “F–k You We Are Celiac”. We could do Lewis Black type of rants coupled with Rodney Dangerfield type of comedy. I hate having Celiac disease, but knowing I am healthier. I would not wish this disease on my ex-husband. That’s saying something. I don’t eat out much because of how people roll their eyes. I did go to Red Robin with a friend and the server was very nice. She asked me if I had allergies so she could tell the chef. Now that was cool. I enjoyed a burger and did not get sick. But that’s the exception not the rule. I am a tough old broad who has had 5 children—naturally without anesthetic and 2 of those born at home with a midwife. But I digress Celiac sucks because not the food, but how people treat us. Nuff said, I am going to enjoy my day. Thanks Gluten Dude for being a true advocate and letting us sound off.

  13. Preach! Amen!

    I’d also like to see a stop to the use of terms like ‘glutard’ and ‘gut gimp.’ They are hurtful, undermining hate speech that reduces our status, and as a learning scientist, really bug me for continuing to put down those with developmental differences.

    THANK YOU for opening up this dialog. I’m so over this crap.

  14. I worked for a top company in the Silicon Valley as a mid level and senior professional for 5 years and couldn’t buy a house because my food bill was $1200 just for myself. Oh, and everyone else I worked with ate for free!

    I support food banks who keep certified food aside for Celiacs, and I encourage us all to do the same.

    Zest Bakery in San Carlos, CA is really affordable for a hUGE loaf of bread – $6 fresh, $3 day-old.

    1. I’m trying to understand why your food bill would be that much higher than someone who is not gluten-free. I buy the same vegetables, fruits, legumes, rice, meat, dairy, eggs, and most condiments etc. that I did prior to having to be gluten-free. I could see where it would be higher if I ate the gluten-free bread, cakes, cookies, frozen entrees and processed “snack” foods each and every day, but I never ate much of that prior to going gluten-free so I mostly pass it up now except for an occasional splurge. My food bill is really no higher than my friends/family who are not gluten-free. What do you eat that would cause you to have a $1200 monthly food bill for one person?

      1. For a while, I was eating 3500 calories a day to gain back 15 lbs I lost from getting gluten bombed.

        I only buy ingredients from dedicated facilities, etc., and I have to go high calorie. I usually find a pound of flour is about $10. Plus, I have things like Vit D supplements that are GFCO, etc. It adds up fast!

        1. I can relate to the weight loss issue. I went from 100 lbs to 82 before finding out gluten was killing me. I eventually gained the weight back and then had gallbladder issues a few years later that set me back again. That kind of weight loss is particularly bad on we older ones because the skin kind of hangs like a shar pei. There is a reason why nature puts fat on older people..plumps out the wrinkles.;)

          I have also had dangerously low levels of Vitamin D and have to supplement daily. I buy the Vitafusion 2000 IU Vitamin D3 gummies as well at the multi-vitamins. They are gluten-free and relatively inexpensive. (You can find them at Walgreens and CVS.) They do contain sugar, but the only allergen produced in the same facility is soy. This brand was also recommended by Consumer Reports for actually containing the amount of vitamin that they advertise. My doctor keeps close tabs on my D levels in case I need to go back on prescription doses, but so far these have kept my levels within the normal range. I know they are safe because I am the proverbial gluten-free canary in the coal mine. It only takes one little bit of cross-contamination to put me out for a couple of weeks.

  15. Just to set the record straight, I AM a house cleaner and I have to eat gluten-free. It’s not my day job, but I now have a second job, on the weekends, cleaning houses.

    Anyone care to know why? Those medical bills don’t pay themselves, honey, and my home care (aka, the safe food) was breaking my bank.

    Laugh away, bullies, and pray the day never comes when…*gasp*…something “funny” happens to you.

  16. I agree that we have the “arm pit” of all inborn errors of metabolism. No one would dare make fun of persons with diabetes, cystic fibrosis or phenylketonuria because of their food restrictions. Maybe we should look at the larger picture. People who avoid sugar by using artificial sweeteners aren’t lumped into being sugar free freaks. With today’s products almost every chewing gum has a warning for PKU siufferers, yet gum chewers aren’t harassed for being phenylaliine free. I often wonder why we seem to catch the brunt??? Maybe ignorance? I’m astounding each time I purchase foods at the health food stores at the ignorance of the employees there, assuming that they would at least understand marginally. Oh well, as long as there is a dietary fad to jump on there will be those who do. My question is how did we get to this place in our food chain where almost every good is adulterated? Why is wheat and its derivatives (partially hydrogenated food protein) added to things that would be just wonderful without it’s addition? I am really about as far away from the patchouli smelling, bean curd eaters as you can get (no offense intended there guys this is tongue in cheek) thank God I could easily never have to eat a piece of bread again, being the meat loving, seafood munching, vegetable gobbler that I am. But, with that said, I would love to be able to grab fast food (other than the occasional French fry or ice cream), I would revel in being able to order at a restaurant without having to discuss a disease process that has less than pleasant signs and symptoms. So tonwrapnup this rambling diatribe, where and when do we get our “label” like the diabetics have had for decades and like PKU sufferers have had for quite awhile? Unknown it’s on the horizon, but come on FDA! Validate us! Vindicate us! Help US become seen as a legitimate disease process and remove the “fad” from our diet! Voluntary labeling just isn’t enough! Put the requirements in place and require testing on all products that are not in their natural skin!

  17. Yep! After a recent accidental expose I had a knee slapping good time in my bathroom. Followed by a week of mouth sores, joint pain, intestinal meltdown and emotional turmoil. It was hysterical! Y’all should have been there!

  18. I totally agree! Celiac SUCKS and is REAL, so the jokes should end. On to more important things – have GF twinkies gone to market yet!?! If so, WHERE CAN I GET THEM!!!????!!!????!!!???

    I mostly eat whole, natural, even paleo food, but if I am going to eat something processed and GF grain substituted – I want it to be 100% processed, sweet, icing filled bliss that is a twinkie! πŸ™‚

  19. It’s unreal the nasty , hurtful and stupid things people say about GF/CD.. Ah well.. What can we do.. But try and educate them and keep ourselves and our family safe.. More than mean comments I tend to get ..”Oh you are so dedicated. I could never eat that way”.. I always think ” Never say never..You really could if a tiny bit of the wrong food had you making good friends with your toilet for over a week, and lying in the fetal position the rest of the time in complete agony.”. But I smile and usually say nothing.. or They will say.. I am going to eat just like you- you eat so healthy and I need to loose weight.. hahaha Where do I start on that one? First this is not a diet I have chosen to do to drop a few lbs that I can easily discard as soon as I reach my target weight. I have to eat this way to live!- I have no other choice!.. I do eat ridiculously healthy but incase these people have not noticed.. I am a plus sized girl- that has been stuck at size 18 for over 2 years. ( yeah this “diet” is working so well for me hee hee). What they don’t understand is I am not a health nut because it’s a hobby, or because it’s the cool way to eat or whatever other reasons they think I do what I do. I have no choice in the matter. I am sick and trying to heal my body from the damage CD has done – What ever I put in my mouth not only has be free of the long list of foods I can’t tolerate but it has to be nutritionally dense if I am going to be able to function at all.

  20. As a 20 year celiac, it makes me with for the “good only days” when we just joked among ourselves about gas and diarrhea!
    Some time back a lady posted on glutenfreeworks that she was “demanding” Twinkies and had written to Hostess and every other bakery in the country. She said everyone who knows me understands that I love Twinkies and ate them everyday. People are addicted. Companies will respond. For some people, just because you were diagnosed with celiac doesn’t mean you are going to eat healthier.

  21. A Gecko talking about gluten…I mean really?!?!?! As I posted on your FB page I am SO glad I don’t have Geico cuz I wouldn’t have it toay!!!!!!!!!!

  22. Thank you for posting this. I am so tired of this when I speak to people about food allergies & celiac. There is so much misinformation out their and people have no idea about any of the food allergies, gluten intolerance or celiac. I have a service to train people in restaurants and restaurants think they are doing a good job and the customers ( us say totally the opposite) The fad diet thing is making it difficult for people to get that these are serious and should be treated as such. I would like to connect on linked in with you. I am working to create a huge conversation so that we can eat out with freedom and ease. Thank you for being so straight on your blog.

  23. Huff Post Comedy is like the rest of the Huffington Post. You go there to read something good, but you leave bored, annoyed, and with the newfound knowledge that the end of quality journalism is even nearer than you’d previously imagined. NAMASTE.

  24. My 9 yr daughter has celiac. Try being a child and having to explain to adults why you can’t eat whatever they offer. Teachers, coaches, and other leaders don’t take it seriously. That’s even after my husband and I explain it to them. It is not a joke!! Thank you gluten dude for posting this.

    1. I’m a teacher who had a celiac high schooler in one of my classes. Occasionally I would ask him questions about it out of curiosity and to teach the other kids about it as well. The others asked him good questions and were truly interested in learning about it. I kept gf snacks for him in case someone brought treats for their birthday or something. The next year I was diagnosed celiac! He is no longer in my class but stops by for snacks and we chat about foods and restaurants. Our school provides gf lunches for those who need it. Please be careful when lumping whole groups together. Some teachers do get it and care.

    1. Science 2.0 is a bogus science site. H.C. is a nasty character who is best buddies with Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck. He has a new article up now, and keeps insisting that he really cares about celiac patients and is only making fun of people who are gluten sensitive or intolerant, a condition he insists only exists in the minds of quack doctors and rich white women (he is also a weird misogynist and never passes up an opportunity to mock white women and post unflattering sexualised photos of them). I repeatedly posted in the thread that I agreed that a lot of the product advertising may be misleading but that is capitalism at work which he normally advocates. I linked to an article in the WSJ that discussed all the recent evidence for widespread occurrence of gluten insensitivity/intolerance. The comment posted but was then removed each time. After removing it he kept repeating that there was no evidence and mocking and dismissing everyone who disagreed, including an MD. He is definitely on someone’s payroll. I complained that a science site, which claims to be exposing anti-science, should not be suppressing evidence (that he keeps asking for and insisting does not exist!) in perfectly polite posts. That comment was removed also. That site needs to be taken down, for other reasons as well.

  25. Wendy - Palm Trees Gluten Free

    I do believe that there are a lot of people not getting diagnosed due to education level and $ .. I’m not lumping everyone in this box. Thankfully there are many diagnosed. Some don’t have the knowledge to search out what is really making them sick and maybe doctors don’t think they can afford or would ever consider changing their diet from fast food and sodas to whole foods. I hate to think a doctor would think this, but since I have lost so much trust in them .. I would not doubt it. And of course there are all the doctors who haven’t a clue. Meds are the answer to all their ailments.

    In my job, I see all the meds dished out to the elderly daily .. 10-20 meds .. Loads of autoimmune issues, stomach issues, anxiety and depression, arthritis, constipation, GERD as well as osteoporosis … and the doctors pump them with more meds. No gastroenterologist and no real look at their diet. They are served hotdogs, chicken fried steak, dessert at every meal .. Dairy to drink at every meal. Never water on their trays at meal time. And they are supposed to get “better” with more meds and some exercise until they have peaked in one months time.

    None of it is funny. And seriously maybe they all should be gluten free.

    1. Great comment. My mother died recently and for her last years had deformed hands and terrible stomach issues. The whole reason I now avoid gluten, dairy, soy, corn and nightshades is so I don’t go any further down that road and have had great success so far. Unfortunately I can’t convince my siblings to do the same, even though they are already suffering and I am a scientist and provide plenty of scientific evidence that it is at least worth trying to experiment with their diets. They defer to their MDs, who can be really useless in this regard.

  26. Yeah, Celiac is hilarious. This thing tried to kill me, exhausted our bank account as we searched for answers for 3 years and caused great pain and anguish until I was diagnosed and stopped the madness. It has taken me nearly 3 years to recover to the point where I can fully function, have my muscles work again and I happily tolerate the pain I still have because at least, I am not living in hell anymore.
    However, I am not angry when someone says something stupid about celiac. I just live each day grateful for the healing that has happened thus far and think maybe I can continue to educate and enlighten.

    J wrote:

    “It all boils down to respect. As a society it seems like we don’t have respect anymore. Everyone has a pitchfork and fire ready to go. Everyone is so quick to blame and no longer listens to each other.”
    I am afraid she has summed up our society so well. πŸ™


    I also believe in “keeping my head when all around me are losing theirs” (to paraphrase Kipling) and I think we all need to take a good look at what is getting our collective panties in a bunch.

    Do I care what a game show host thinks? not one bit.
    Do I care what some obviously ill-informed writer thinks? not really.
    Do I care that people do not really understand celiac or that we need to be on a gluten free diet so we do not die? hell, yes!..
    Here is what I care about. MISINFORMATION.
    All we can do is educate others when they say something that is incorrect about gluten/celiac, remain calm at all times (because what is the point about getting all rabid about it?) and know that some people will always have caustic remarks about EVERYTHING.
    eh, what can you do? Laugh. Just laugh it off, people. There are far more important things to be upset about like poverty, hunger, governments that persecute their own people, and people who do not get the medical attention they need in this country, just for starters.
    Put it in perspective.


    How many celiacs does it take to change a light bulb?
    Just 1.
    We’re not idiots.

    1. Understood Irish…and welcome back…we missed you πŸ™‚

      Do I care what Pat Sajak says about me personally? Not one iota. But jokes like that can just permeate, especially when they are said over and over again by multiple outlets. They reach millions of people. And they also mis-educate. So although I agree with “laughing things off”, to me it only goes up to a certain point and then there is the need to defend our community and try to set thing straight.

      1. I agree, education is key. Advocacy is essential.
        You know this about me by now.

        I just choose my battles more wisely now. Just IMHO

        I am afraid that some people just won’t “get it” no matter how hard we try.

        And traveling 1300 miles in a car with a cat is possible as long as someone is sedated….:) just FYI

        And I missed you too, my friend. πŸ˜‰

  27. Part of our problem is that we lack taboo and leverage. We could organize as a broad community to work on things like rights, yet we don’t. So we are seen as political no-bodies.

    I’m very, very proud of the university students who stood up for and won rights for us in the past year and a half or so. I hope we can all be that brave. Maybe we could get that &@%^^! new FDA regulation updated to something that is actually useful!

  28. Thanks for posting this. I remember watching an episode of Two Broke Girls on a plane (hey, don’t judge!) and the opening ‘gag’ was something along the lines of…

    “Hey, this person wants to know if we serve anything gluten-free, what shall I tell them?”

    “Tell them they’re not really allergic to gluten.”

    Somehow it didn’t tickle my funny bone, especially since it came after awkward negotiation to remind flight attendants about my gluten-free in-flight meal. It’s all so very hilarious having to follow a special diet, right? Sigh.

  29. Because it bears the word “disease”, which is the concatenated form of “dis” “ease” or “dis-ease”.

    As Dr. Fasano rightly emphasises celiac is condition, not a disease.

    We need to stop calling it a disease immediately. πŸ˜‰

  30. The Cancer comparison is a poor one because it is not a case where 95% of the people are faking that disease.

    Clearly the jokes are meant for people who don’t have Celiac and think gluten-free has some benefit for them. This article even said that.

    No one with Celiac should be offended by a joke obviously targeting people who don’t have a disease.

  31. Having had one child with ADHD believe me I have heard my fair share of jokes. Usually aimed at blaming lazy bad parents.

  32. Thank you for spreading the word and all you do. I had no idea about Geicos attempt at humor at our expense. I just sent them a message letting them know myself and my family as well as the celiac community would like an apology. I know I would..Otherwise I’ll gladly switch to another provider.
    Thanks again Dude!

  33. So glad to have read this! I’ve just been the butt of my families’ jokes because the hotel we are staying at have no desserts I can eat. It must be the disease people are most unsympathetic about. Of course, I understand it’s by no means comparible with other diseases, my brother died from type 1 diabetes, but to have your parents smugly joke about their choice of food and laugh at my lack of options (next to nothing in a 4* hotel praised for their food) is quite the kick in the teeth..!

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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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