Rather be GF than deal with “A New Montezuma”

The New York Times Magazine has an article this week, “A New Montezuma” where a woman is misdiagnosed as having celiac disease.  Spoiler alert, it was her blood pressure medication which caused celiac like symptoms, right down to small intestinal damage.

Doctors put her on a gluten-free diet and this is what the article goes on to say about her experience on the diet:

What was really strange, though, was that almost five years earlier, she had the exact same problem. She ended up in the hospital that time too. They told her then that she had celiac disease — an intolerance to gluten, a protein found in many types of grains. She started on a gluten-free diet while she was in the hospital, and the symptoms disappeared. She stuck with that awful diet for a couple of years. It wasn’t easy. She wasn’t allowed to eat the breads and pastas she loved. The past year or so, she had moved away from the diet and fared fine; so it was hard for her to believe that food had caused all this.”

My first reaction, how rude.  That “awful” diet made her symptoms of dozen rushed trips to the bathroom, stomach gurgling and major discomfort disappear.  If you go on to read this article…this is not a healthy person and is on a plethora of medicines.

Is it so awful to have the cure to a major illness be a diet?  Is eating processed snacks, bread and pasta that important AND has she not seen the selection of  gluten-free food these days?

I once had an acquaintance drop off a bag of gluten-free products.  Her daughter had been misdiagnosed with celiac disease so they had tried the gluten-free diet.  After they figured out it wasn’t celiac, she said to me “Oh, I am so glad she doesn’t have celiac disease because that gluten-free food is awful, even my dog won’t eat those bagels.”  Gee, thanks.

People with celiac disease get frustrated with celeb wheat bashers and trendy posers on the gluten-free diet.  But the people who say to a celiac’s face, “Oh thank God I don’t have to eat that awful food” are TRULY THE WORST.

So it’s not a baguette or a croissant, it suffices and has improved so much over the past twenty years.  Some of the pizzas are fantastic and some of the pastas are even better than a wheat pasta.

Plus, it keeps me healthy.  My cholesterol and blood pressure are in check.  My vitamin levels are good and by not eating gluten, I hope to stay off medicines for as long as possible.  I plan to stay out of emergency rooms and don’t make a dozen uncomfortable trips to the bathroom every day.

So for all of you who think the gluten-free diet is just awful, just keep you mouth shut when talking to a celiac.

Kendall Egan

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One thought on “Rather be GF than deal with “A New Montezuma”

  1. Thanks Kendall, I’m a celiac that totally agrees with you, I take offense to her words too… how bloody rude! I’ve been GF for over six years and while I do miss the ease of just making a quick sandwich for lunch sometimes, that does not mean that the food I cook, eat and serve my non-GF family is aweful. Maybe her problem stemmed more from her attitude to food than the fact that she had to eat GF foods!

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