I often get emails from people all over the world asking for my advice. This is one of the great things about writing a blog about gluten free living. I feel confident that I have been gluten and dairy free long enough to help others overcome their struggle. But there is one aspect of this give and take that puzzles me.
People often tell me they have signs of celiac disease. Yet when I tell them is they need to get tested, they brush me off. Celiac disease is an immune disease. It’s not just gluten intolerance. It can destroy your intestines if not treated. I tell people not to do an elimination diet before getting tested, or it will skew the results. Yet I go ignored.
I have been at this for a long time. I do my research and my due diligence. When I try to advise people to do the same, they want a quick fix. Just give me the recipes. Just tell me what to eat and what not to eat. It just boggles my mind.
There is a local group that goes to “gluten-free” restaurants in Nashville. I thought about joining them. Wouldn’t it be great to go out to dinner with people in a similar situation? Then I thought about it. How careful are they really? Are they taking the restaurant’s word for it? Do they know enough how to read menus and what to look for? I highly doubt it. Knowing it would just frustrate me, I gave up on the idea.
I was once a member of a couple of Facebook groups on being gluten free. One lady kept posting that she was having shortness of breath and chest pain. Everyone put their two cents in, saying that she had “gluten intolerance” or “gluten allergies”. I said she might be having a heart attack. Turns out I was right. Luckily she survived. People can’t see the forest for the trees. I no longer belong to any of those groups.
Everyone is an expert. Everyone thinks they know better. But they often don’t. And it can end badly.
Don’t get me wrong; I am happy to help in any way I can. But why ask me if you are just going to do what you want anyway?
I have some tips for those who have gluten intolerance symptoms and need help:
- Consider your source
- Do your homework
- learn how to read labels
- Don’t rely on just one opinion
- Work with a nutritionist or your doctor
- get tested for celiac disease
- No one is right all of the time
- You don’t know better than the person you are asking for advice
I will continue to help those who ask me. But I hope that they will go beyond asking for recipes and perhaps take the advice that is given to them into consideration. It comes from the heart.