Gluten-free fad hurts celiacs

The current “fad” of gluten-free products is both beneficial and harmful to those of us who must follow a gluten-free diet because of celiac disease. On one hand, it’s easier to find gluten-free foods.

Dear Annie: The current “fad” of gluten-free products is both beneficial and harmful to those of us who must follow a gluten-free diet because of celiac disease.

On one hand, it’s easier to find gluten-free foods.

But on the other hand, those of us with celiac disease are looked upon as if we are simply food faddists.

Here are some of the problems we face:

Restaurants are more aware of the need to serve gluten-free meals, but are often sloppy in their attempts to avoid cross-contamination, not being aware of the extreme importance of “not even a crumb.”

When a hostess declares a dish to be gluten-free, does she understand the restrictions of wheat, rye and barley?

Will she be kind to us if we question her recipes?

Will she be offended if we decline to partake?

When we are at a dinner, we often hear such ignorant comments as, “Are you trying to improve your athletic performance?” or “Go ahead, a little won’t hurt you. Don’t be so fussy.”

Can you help educate the public about the difference between celiac disease, which necessitates a gluten-free diet for medical reasons, and those who are simply making a personal choice? — Cheryl in Pennsylvania

Dear Cheryl: No one should treat eating restrictions as a “fad,” because you never know who truly has a serious problem.

In people with celiac disease, eating anything with gluten triggers an immune response.

It can damage the small intestine and make it difficult to absorb nutrients from food.

Left untreated, celiac disease can lead to anemia, osteoporosis and lymphoma.

In children, celiac disease can slow growth and weaken bones.

There is often a genetic component. On the other hand, some folks are simply gluten sensitive.

Eating gluten may make them uncomfortable or tired, and when they cut gluten out of their diet, they feel more energetic.

“Cheating,” however, will not cause the severe symptoms of celiac disease for those people..

Dear Annie: I read your response to “Not a Christian,” who objected to a breakfast gathering that started with the blessing “in Jesus’ name.”

You said it was inappropriate.

I suspect the majority of the people in that room find comfort in this blessing, and the rest probably don’t care. Why offend many to make a very few happy?

People like this are intolerant and selfish.

If this person finds this blessing so offensive, he should move to another community.

Or keep his mouth closed for the duration of the blessing. — Karen from Wyoming

Dear Wyoming: We know many find these blessings comforting, but others do not.

Why offend anyone? This is not a religious gathering.

It does not require a public prayer from any denomination, and it’s certainly not for the majority religion to impose its beliefs on the rest, no matter how few.

Those who wish to give a blessing of any kind can do so at their own table instead of insisting on offering a prayer on behalf of others who would rather you didn’t.

Here’s a truly tolerant solution:

Dear Annie: Many years ago, when I was a member of an international service organization, we began each of our meetings with a prayer.

I, too, felt the same as “Not a Christian.”

So when I became president, I went to a bookstore and purchased a book that included prayers and readings from all denominations.

Including atheism and non-traditional religions.

At each meeting, I chose a different prayer or inspirational message to read.

The members felt that this was very informative and learned a little bit each week about different religions. Perhaps this would be a solution to others. — Betsy in N.J.

Annie’s Mailbox is written by Kathy Mitchell and Marcy Sugar, longtime editors of the Ann Landers column. Please email your questions to anniesmailbox@comcast.net, or write to: Annie’s Mailbox, c/o Creators Syndicate, 737 3rd Street, Hermosa Beach, CA 90254.

Just Posted

Bystanders help Innisfail Mountie make arrest

A 35-year-old Ottawa man is facing a number of charges including resisting arrest

More supports for homeless needed for Red Deer

Provincial funding recently announced for Lethbridge

Second Central Alberta born jaguar dies

Mia’s brother Magnum dead at Discovery Wildlife Park

High profile individual delays UCP vote for Red Deer-South

Nomination vote to be held early in 2019

Police back mandatory alcohol screening

New legislation taking effect on Dec. 18 allows alcohol testing of all drivers legally stopped

Orlando SC acquires Canadian Tesho Akindele in trade with FC Dallas for cash

ORLANDO, Fla. — Canadian forward Tesho Akindele was traded to Orlando City… Continue reading

Koskinen notches third shutout, McDavid gets winner as Oilers blank Flames 1-0

EDMONTON — The Edmonton Oilers appear to have shored up their defence… Continue reading

Beyonce performs at pre-wedding party in India

Beyonce brought her star power to a pre-wedding party for the daughter… Continue reading

Kirk Douglas celebrates 102nd birthday

LOS ANGELES — Actor Kirk Douglas got to celebrate his 102nd birthday… Continue reading

Ellen Page steps up attack on Nova Scotia pulp mill’s effluent pipeline

HALIFAX — Hollywood actor Ellen Page is doubling down on her criticism… Continue reading

Pence aide out of running to be Trump’s next chief of staff

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump’s top pick to replace chief of staff… Continue reading

Swath of South faces wintry mess: Snow, sleet, freezing rain

CHARLOTTE, N.C. — A massive storm brought snow, sleet, and freezing rain… Continue reading

‘I killed my best friend’: Opioids’ fatal grip on mayor, pal

MOUNT CARBON, Pa. — Janel Firestone found her son — the 24-year-old,… Continue reading

Most Read