19 things you’ll only understand if you have coeliac disease

Sarah Howells the gluten free blogger thyroid surgery experience

It’s not easy being gluten free. Yes, gluten free food is readily available in the free from aisle and there’s never been so much knowledge about coeliac disease.

But there are some struggles that only people with coeliac disease will understand. Let me sum them up with the help of my favourite ever internet invention – the humble GIF.


Everything is half the size…

gluten free food tiny

Er, where is the rest of my loaf of bread? And why is my gluten free pizza half the size of everyone elses?

…and twice the price!gluten free food expensive

Please, just take my money. It’s not like I need it, I’ll just eat potatoes for the rest of my life. Problem solved.

Don’t get me started on paying more for gluten free in restaurants

gluten free coeliac food

An extra charge for a burger bun that’s half the size and falls apart in my hands. Oh lovely, shall I just write a blank cheque or do you want my PIN code instead?

You’re either going to miss out at office parties…

gluten free coeliac office party

At least the wine is gluten free!

…or get really fat because everyone brings in a pack of cakes just for you

gluten free cake coeliac

I mean, this isn’t the worst thing in the world. Is it? I’ll just wear elasticated trousers all the time.

You get way too defensive about food

gluten free coeliac

Why would you even touch my chips with your filthy gluten hands!? You could eat anything and you want mine? NO THANK YOU.

You panic when you have to leave the house over a mealtime and don’t have a contingency plan

gluten free coeliac panic

But what if I can’t eat? What if there’s no gluten free bread? WHAT IF I CAN’T EVEN FIND A GLUTEN FREE BROWNIE!? 

You keep snacks everywhere

gluten free snacks

And I mean everywhere. Handbag? Snack. Desk drawer? Snack. Glove box? Snack. Coat pockets? Snack. You get the idea…

You get irrationally hangry

gluten free coeliac hangry

I haven’t eaten in one hour and there’s no gluten free food in sight which is making me very hungry. And irritated.  

You get way too excited when you find new gluten free products and end up dancing around the supermarket aisles

gluten free dance

Surely it can’t be just me who does this? It’s just too exciting! 

When you see someone else in the free from aisle you feel an overwhelming urge to hug them…

gluten free free from aisle

Would that be inappropriate? I mean, I just want to make new gluten free friends – someone who UNDERSTANDS! 

… but instead you just give them the knowing look and nod

gluten free coeliac

When you know, you know. Although I do think Coeliac UK should invest in developing a secret handshake.

If one more person jokes about you being a ‘celeriac’ you might crack

gluten free coeliac struggles

Seriously, like I haven’t heard that one before. Yes, it’s a vegetable and it sounds like coeliac. My God it’s the funniest thing I’ve ever heard. 

You get irrationally annoyed when people try and feed you things like barley and then claim ‘but it’s wheat free?’

gluten free coeliac

No I can’t eat wheat. No wheat free doesn’t mean gluten free. Oh, I give up.

You’re absolutely sick to death of gluten free brownies

gluten free brownie

Coffee shops seem to think this is the only cake that can be made gluten free. Sometimes even the only food item too.

You’re also sick of the gluten free lifestylers…

gluten free fad diet

Oh, you don’t feel like being gluten free tonight? That’s nice. At least you won’t spend the next three days on the toilet and risk life-long health complications if you eat that bread roll.

…and the claims of gluten free health benefits

gluten free healthy

Have you SEEN how much crap they but in some of these free from foods to make them edible? Good luck losing weight on that.

You have to grit your teeth when people ask what happens when you eat gluten

gluten free reaction

Do we really need to discuss toilet habits at the dinner table? What happens if you eat chicken that’s three weeks past it’s use-by date? No, don’t wanna answer that, do you.

But the online gluten free community is THE BEST

gluten free friends

Yea, real life people might be annoying, but the online support you’ll get through blogs and social networks is something else. You guys are the best.

Have I missed any out?

Are there any quirks about being a coeliac you could add to this list? Comment below with your coeliac disease jokes and irks! 

If you want a giggle, give these other posts a read!

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  1. Cathy
    April 22, 2018 / 20:05

    This is so true

  2. Katie
    April 22, 2018 / 22:04

    I love this! It’s all so true!!

  3. Wafa
    April 22, 2018 / 23:45

    πŸ˜‚ love it and the gifs from my favourite tv shows πŸ‘πŸ½

  4. April 23, 2018 / 00:12

    Love this πŸ™ŒπŸ»
    It is so true.. you could have also added forever checking the labels on food packages x

  5. Angela Budai
    April 23, 2018 / 06:27

    My favourite is when people go out of their way to get you GF crackers, only to serve them up on a tray of crumbed food and then get upset when you don’t eat it… or you get gf crackers but everyone else has regular crackers that they then use to eat the communal dips. Not cool!

    April 23, 2018 / 22:32

    Excellent and very funny and can emoathise with the frustration. A few comments that realky annoy me, “So you’re gluten intolerant” and “is that a lifestyle choice?”.

  7. Rebecca
    May 1, 2018 / 18:41

    Love this and I completely understand. I have not been diagnosed as coeliac however when I eat anything at all with gluten, oats or any kind of lentils for that matter it makes me very ill and gives me a whole number of stomach problems. So some of those GIF’s really do resinate especially eating away from home and not knowing exactly whats in something. The best question I have been asked is……. so if you cant eat bread and pasta does that mean you cant eat potatoes as well?! Ermmmm nope I can still eat carbs just not gluten. It’s like a scene out of Mean Girls (I shy!!)

  8. Linda Vast
    September 11, 2018 / 10:31

    Being given gf edible presents for Christmas and birthdays. Just looking at them makes me put on weight x

  9. Di Hayward
    April 29, 2019 / 10:07

    It won’t hurt you to eat it just the once…….. is a mother in law favourite 🀬

  10. Tanya
    August 12, 2019 / 12:16

    This is so funny and true. I’m only gluten intolerant, lactose aswell. I theoretically could consume these demons and not die but never again would I. After feeling ill, terribly ill, the toilet troubles, say no more. I’m trying to educate my other half. He is trying his best but the penny isn’t completely dropping. Like when he comes in with my fav choc and says it’s gluten free… Yes honey but it’s made if milk and I’m lactose free lol. He’s only trying to help I know, but it infuriates me. Anyway this blog did cheer me up xx

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