15 Things NOT to say to someone with celiac or gluten intolerance….

For those of us with celiac disease or a gluten intolerance, we’ve all heard comments that make our skin crawl. I compiled a list of the top 15 things you should never say to someone about gluten or celiac!!

  1. Can you eat anything….?
  2. Are you sure you can’t just have a little bite to try it? This is really good, you’re missing out.
  3. Well, if you can’t go there to eat, where can you go?
  4. It’s not like eating a little gluten will kill you…
  5. I would just die if I had that allergy. I would probably just keep eating gluten. I could never give up….
  6. Any statement that starts with “My doctor told me…”
  7. Any statement that starts with “I read on the internet…”
  8. How can a food allergy cause that many symptoms for that long? That doesn’t seem right.
  9. Can’t you just drink a lot of water and flush it out when you eat gluten?
  10. Can’t you just take a Benadryl after you eat bread and then not have a reaction?
  11. Maybe I’ll try going on a gluten free diet. I heard you lose a lot of weight.
  12. I just heard Miley Cyrus got really skinny going gluten free, is that why you aren’t eating gluten?
  13. You’re spouse must really hate the fact that you can’t eat gluten.
  14. Seems like you have to give up a lot for a minor food allergy.
  15. So, will you ever be able to eat gluten again?

Do you have a comment that is made to you frequently about gluten or celiac?

Post it below so we can all have a laugh and know we aren’t the only ones!

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  1. You never USED to react that way to it…

  2. “Seizures from WHEAT? No way…wheat is HEALTHY.”

  3. I love this one! I forgot about the “wheat is healthy” thing!!

  4. “Wow, I guess you can never go to restaurants again.” This is customarily followed by social exclusion, even though I tell them there are many restaurants that do offer gluten-free options and that more recipes than they realise are actually gluten-free.

  5. “It is probably that you eat processed Wheat. Get some healthy wheat bread and I am sure it won’t hurt you. You probably just need more of the right fiber.” (skin crawling……teeth grinding….)

  6. Number 6, 7, and 11 definitely grind my gears.

    Here’s another: “Have you read Wheat Belly?”

    Sighhhh ;)

  7. I so get this. My child has life threatening food allergies to milk and nuts and has to carry an epi pen and we hear these kinds of comments all the time, even the “a little bit won’t kill you.” Um, yes, it very well might. I have heard all of these comments and more and it gets so tiring after a while, doesn’t it? It’s especially bad when family members say this stuff.

  8. “Isn’t that a fad diet? Everyone is all of a sudden got this *disease*”
    Im so glad I found your blog… I had my own for a while but it is nice to see it isn’t just me. Has anyone ever had someone “gluten” then on purpose? My family doesn’t get it so they will tell me things are GF when they aren’t, I think it is just so they can see what happens like I am their own personal experiment… or they might like just seeing me suffer. I’m not sure. I haven’t told them why but I don’t go to their gatherings anymore.

  9. You hear this with other disorders as well…my spouse has anaphylactic reactions to some substance that we have not yet identified, but my true belief is BHA, BHT…in other words, anything processed has the risk of causing a life threatening reaction. The first time, was a “mcrib”, most subsequent times, have been with precooked and cured sausage product, precooked bacon, hotdogs, bratwurst, pizza sausage. We can’t even eat sausage pizza from most restaurants anymore, because the sausage comes already fully cooked—-

    • Yeah, my boyfriend’s mother sends him home with bread and baked goods for both of us even though I have an allergy and he chooses not to eat gluten for his health. When he tells her that we can’t eat that stuff, she tells him to just take it anyway and “see”. Which I suppose means she thinks that one of these days I’ll stop being silly and knock-it-off with the gluten-free stuff and that her “gifts” might tempt me in that direction. Ridiculous.

  10. You can’t have wheat, but you can have cake right?

  11. Harvey Dent says:

    “haha you can’t eat gluten”

  12. Marilyn Merrill says:

    From a doctor at Cleveland Clinic. Nothing wrong with you. It’s just mental anxiety

  13. Brandi Bayer says:

    Haha, I have heard most of those lines! Numbers 3, 5, 11, 13, and 14, really strike me the most! I love the “wheat is healthy” comment!! I can relate a little to all of the above replies! Thanks ladies!

  14. Angela Harper says:

    “it must really suck for you” and “oh yea, that fad will pass soon, it’s the latest bandwagon all the celebrities are doing”

  15. For some reason I always get asked ” well can you still have meat and veggies…oh what about fruit?”. I just think are you people serious. You guys think I am super human and just do not eat anything.

  16. Sometimes I feel like people think I live off my vitamins!

  17. The fad thing is really getting on my nerves for sure!

  18. “Oh gluten? Does that mean you can’t eat certain parts of some animals?” I laughed because I thought he was joking…But ohh he was serious. Haha

  19. When my own mother, who was with me through all the joints hurting so bad I couldn’t walk, and my legs swelling due to very low protein, and everything else that I went through before I was diagnosed, tells me,”I have some Oreos in the pantry. Have one. You don’t stick to your diet anyway.” I haven’t intentionally had gluten for 7 years. That’s the one I love.

  20. donaestrella says:

    “That doesn’t have gluten in it, it’s made from flour.”

    • Oh my word, I get this one all the freaking time!!! Or, something similar like, “Oh, it’s not WHEAT bread. It’s WHITE bread. So, you should be fine.”
      I am constantly amazed by the reactions and comments you get when you say you can’t eat “wheat”.
      It’s like “wait a minute! FLOUR IS MADE FROM WHEAT? Since when?” lol I just have to laugh at the stupid comments after awhile and wonder at their IQ level.

  21. “Wait, so you can’t drink beer?!”

  22. I like – Oh, I think this drink is gluten free – try it and let me know!

  23. It is normal that people do above comments, as they do not know about gluten intolerance. We just have to reply, with the smile, and explain.

    • Michelle says:

      Thank you Ani for bring some sanity…we don’t know about it because we don’t have it..not that we want to be inconsiderate..more like you should be honored that we want to learn about your condition and be aware so we don’t offer something you can’t have.

  24. Marcia K in Chicago says:

    They tell me all about their bowel movements while we’re eating together.

  25. Social exclusion happens very quickly voluntarily or involuntarily. 9 times out of 10, the conversation is done at the table where the people at your table suddenly stop talking to each other & listen to your conversation with the waitress. “Sorry, but you can’t have the mashed potatoes, chili, ….because they aren’t gluten free. Yes, we do add flour to our mashed potatoes and chili. So sorry. The chef is trying to see what you can eat.”

  26. “We are having a breakfast potluck – can you bring some bread?” Yes, this happened. :)

  27. When I told a physician I have Celiac disease, he said “oh, you are a food fuss.” Imagine and he is an allergist. I left the office.

  28. My 12 yr old was recently diagnosed. Middle school, youth group, he is constantly surrounded by food he can’t have. My husband’s sister & her husband came to visit, and the first thing she said was, “Hey! How are you liking the gluten free diet?!”. He was polite, smiled, & nodded, but we were all discreetly looking for a shoe to throw.

  29. When grocery shopping earlier today, my mom pointed to a cake and asked me if I ever just say ‘screw it’ and eat cake anyways. When I told her no, and that eating that much gluten would probably put me in the emergency room, she acted like I was crazy and reminded me that I used to eat gluten all the time.

    Later in the day, I tried a new recipe for gluten free chocolate chip cookies in a mug in the microwave. I’ll admit- they were not as good as fresh out of the oven cookies- but she acted like they were terrible. She told me that if she was going to eat the calories, she’d rather it be on ‘something real,’ but that I probably LOVED the cookies since I never get to have real treats.

    She could not understand why I found either of these comments upsetting.

  30. Janine Myers says:

    When I said I missed bread. My sister-in-law said bread’s not so great your children could have been shot thats worse. Yeh dah

  31. How about “celiac is what they diagnose when can’t find anything wrong”

  32. My little girl has Type 1 Diabetes and recently diagnosed as Coeliac….having had to inform others of this, I was told that ‘things could be worse’…… Hmmm, thanks for the insight!

  33. Jennifer Carson says:

    My least favorite question- Is there anything your not allergic to?
    I have just stumbled across your blog and being a fellow buckeye I would like to say it is nice to read informative information & your personal testimony thank you!

  34. I’ll tell you what, I don’t really know much of anything about celiac or gluten intolerance and it would never occur to me to say any or those things! The thing to do when someone tells you they have a food allergy (or many other issues for that matter) is to ask, “Really? Tell me about that if you feel like it. I’d like to know/learn/understand” It is absurd to assume you can know about every health condition or more than the person who has it!

  35. Can’t you just eat it now and deal with the consequences later!

    Couldn’t even give a reaction. I was flabbergasted.

  36. Some of those are even worse for those of us who are not Celiac, even though our intolerance may be *very* severe. Then people feel even MORE like I’m “just following a fad” or “diet”, or “couldn’t I just say ‘what the heck’ just for this”…

    Tiffany (As For My House) recently posted…WalMart Price FiascoMy Profile

  37. (after i’ve eaten their GF pizza) *dripping with sarcasm* “yeah we didn’t touch any of the ingredients with flour covered hands or let the GF crust touch any flour covered counter or anything!” … gee thank you for respecting my dietary restrictions…

  38. “Oh I forgot – you can’t have gluten.” I don’t really expect everyone to remember, but it stings a little when people close to me offer me pasta or sandwiches or cake. I miss those things, it’s not that I don’t, but the effects of gluten (i’m intolerant, not celiac) aren’t worth it anymore.

  39. Kristina says:

    “You probably gave it to yourself because you ate so many carbs before.” Really? I did this to myself?

  40. Kristina says:

    “Did you get it because you used to eat so many carbs? I heard if you over indulge and binge on carbs, your body will start to reject them.” Really? As if I did this to myself?

  41. “Maybe you should move somewhere that doesnt have wheat”

  42. “You’re such a picky eater.” Really????

  43. Something a certain member of my family says all the time when planning gatherings:

    “We’ll just give you lettuce.”

  44. Shannon Davis says:

    much like #1…”God, that sucks! Soooooo, what CAN you eat?!”

  45. “It’s all in your head! Just eat it and get over it” … oh my word. My sister in law said this to me when I was first diagnosed, and a few people have said it over the years when I get exposed to gluten. Yes, my abdominal pain and plethora of other symptoms are “all in my head”. Yes, you’re right, how foolish of me.

    or, “I’m SO over the gluten free thing, whatever, it’s all a bunch of bull anyway” – ha ha. ha.

  46. Oh you are going on the diet because you are fat……or…..why don’t you just get off your butt and exercise. —BTW- i am not anywhere near being fat!

  47. HAHA! Love it…

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