Have you ever fallen off the gluten free wagon?

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I know that this is a Celiac website and we write about living gluten free and all that entails. However for this moment I need to speak about specifically both Type 1 diabetes and Celiac disease - as you may already know I am one of many many people who have both.

*Warning: complete honesty ahead and please remember that I am not a Doctor nor am I a specialist, I am simply a regular person like everyone else.

What I want to discuss today is that I am noticing in the DOC (diabetes online community) that a lot of people have been writing lately about "falling off the wagon", or "putting diabetes management on the back burner" or "cutting corners" etc etc. You might be thinking to yourself "wow, those people are hurting themselves", but I think it's important to realize that diabetes management is a full time job. Diabetes is a 24/7 operation. No matter what you do, it's always there and demands so much of your daily energy and attention. There's no avoiding it, it's there and never going to leave. As you can see, while I do completely understand what these fellow type 1 diabetics are talking about, I wonder have you ever felt this way about your celiac disease?

I admit the thought has crossed my mind and I have considered "cheating" and eating something completely laden with gluten and therefore completely off limits to me. I even admit that once (just once) I ate a Lindor chocolate ball because I needed to try it. I was fully aware that this tiny ball of chocolate would harm me. I was prepared that it was a stupid decision, but I just needed to do it. I can honestly say as well, that the lovely taste was NOT worth the pain I felt very shortly afterwards. Not to mention the sheer guilt I felt for having knowingly put myself in danger. I knew what I was doing and I did it anyways. I know that even when the urge comes, I will not do that again.

Eek, imagine if I would have eaten something bigger and more gluten filled; like a sandwich or regular (not gluten free) pasta. The pain I experienced from a tini tiny Lindor chocolate ball multiplied by a billion probably based only on size...I would have been in T-R-O-U-B-L-E.

So you see, there are some other similarities between type 1 diabetes management and celiac disease. Not only the fact that there's often a relationship between the two medical issues (aka they often reside in the same body), but also in the commitment it takes to truly follow the necessary precautions required to ensure ones safety.

To all of you out there who follow the gluten free diet and live the gluten free lifestyle (and to those who also have type 1 diabetes) I salute you! We all know there will be ups and downs, but such is life. It's how you deal with the issues at hand that say a lot about you.

Celiac disease, just like type 1 diabetes (and I'm certain many more autoimmune diseases out there) takes a tremendous amount of dedication, energy and strength to live with day in and day out. Give yourselves a pat on the back for a job well done! And remember "When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hold on" ---Franklin D. Roosevelt


Gluten Free Edmonton - A Celiac guide and resource for gluten free information in Edmonton, Alberta

3 comments :

  1. Oh, wow, thanks for letting me know that Lindor chocolates are out! I did cheat once, too, and like you, I regretted it almost immediately. I was even sillier, though, I ate KD. Even as I was eating it, I really wasn't enjoying it, but it was fairly early in my gluten free journey and I was really feeling deprived. Still am, actually, especially when it comes to missing pizza!

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  2. Don't totally count it Pizza. Lots of great gluten free Pizza's you can make, and even eat at a restaurant.

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  3. I have *seriously* considered it. What I had really wanted was a Mary Browns "Big Mary". I got so close as to actually drive there and sit in my car in the parking lot. It would have been bad. It would have hurt, a lot.
    In the end I wound up forgoing the deliciously deep-fried, gluten-laden food...but I still think about that sandwich.
    It is difficult. Really difficult, especially when the people you are around are eating exactly the thing you're craving. So far I've managed to stay strong and not give in, but its only been 5 months since my diagnosis and journey began. Still lots of time to fall off the gluten-free wagon.

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