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As if having coeliac disease wasn't bad enough, you have to put up with people saying some pretty stupid things. I get it - the population isn't as clued up on coeliac disease and a gluten free diet as it should be, which is probably why diagnosis rates are still far too low.
But it can get tiring being asked the same old questions and hearing the same blanket statements. Sometimes you wonder, is it just me? Don't worry folks, you're not alone!
I asked members of The Gluten Free Blogger Facebook group to tell me the most annoying things anyone has said to them about being gluten free. I’ve mixed these up with some of my own personal favourites. Get the popcorn out kids, there’s some gooduns in here! How many can you tick off the list?
First there are the stupid questions...
'What's a co-liac/celeriac/co-e-liac?'
Pointing at every single bit of food you go to eat and saying ‘has that got gluten in it?’
Being asked what exactly happens when you eat gluten. (See earlier blog post here)
‘Are you sure it’s not all in your mind?’
'Oh you can't eat potatoes can you?'
Me: ‘I’m gluten free.’ Friend: ‘Oh, so you can’t eat yeast?’
Then the stupid things said to us by servers
Me: 'Does the (whatever) contain gluten?' Waiter: 'Yes I think so, it’s got butter in.'
Being told there is a vegetarian menu in response to asking a restaurant if they have any gluten free food.
Being served chicken skewers on top of a pitta bread and being told ‘it’s ok, you can leave the bread’.
Ordering gluten free starters in a restaurant - and then being asked if you want a gluten free main too.
Me: ‘Is that gluten free?’ Server: ‘It should be?’
Me: ‘Is this dish gluten free?’ Server: "There is no gluten in this. It is gluten free. But if you're really allergic I wouldn't eat it."
'The chips are safe because the high temperature in the fryer will kill the gluten particles.'
The condescending remarks
'I went on a gluten free diet once... I lost so much weight.'
'Oh so you’ve just got a bit of IBS.'
‘I don’t know how you do it’ - errr, I don’t have much choice mate!
And of course, the downright 'WTF' moments
‘I spent hours looking for some glucose free biscuits for you, but I couldn’t find any.’
‘I wish I was coeliac too because it would stop me eating so much cake’
Once I tried to use a language card in a restaurant in Paris to explain I had coeliac disease and they asked if I needed a hospital.
'We bought some of your gluten free sausages by mistake. We thought they were going to be vile as full of your gluten free stuff but they were amazing.'
‘What is this gluten free rubbish? Can’t you just take the gluten out?’
And my personal favourite...
‘A little bit won’t hurt you’
Have I missed any out?
I know there are probably a lot more things people have said to you about being gluten free which have made you want to #facepalm to the max! I'd love to know anything I've missed in the comments below - vent your fury!
If you want a giggle, give these other posts a read!
- 12 things everyone with coeliac disease has done (but may not admit)
- 19 things you’ll only understand if you have coeliac disease
- 13 things every coeliac feels about gluten free chocolate brownies
- 18 things that happen when you eat out on a gluten free diet