7 Frustrations People Who Are Gluten-Free For Medical Reasons Constantly Encounter

Paul Swansen
Paul Swansen

1. Being another diet trend joke

On one hand, whenever something dietary becomes ~*~trendy~*~ it can make it a thousand times easier to find food that fits your medical restrictions. Gluten is almost a buzzword now, something you hear in conjunction with kale and hot yoga. People are becoming more familiar with what exactly it is, which makes eating out not as terrifying. But because it’s so in right now, people are always doubting the severity of WHY you are asking if something is gluten-free. Please don’t roll your eyes at our medical need, thanks.

2. “You’re actually lucky because you probably eat a lot healthier.”

…What? Don’t ever tell someone who has a condition, disease, allergy, etc. they are lucky. That’s just a dick move, bro.

3. Not taking your request seriously

Whether it’s Celiac Disease, an intolerance, or other various autoimmune diseases that require cutting that pesky protein, different people can handle different levels of what will or won’t upset their system. For example, I can eat food that has been prepared in the same pan as something else. But for many, many others, even the slightest cross-contamination can make them incredibly sick. So when someone asks, “Is this gluten-free?” and the response is an uneducated “Yeah, I think”, it can be potentially very damaging.

4. “But you look great!”

Is there anything more condescending than assuming because you look okay, there’s nothing actually wrong? And hmmm, maybe they look healthy because they, get this, avoid gluten?? CRAZY, I KNOW.

5. Food paranoia

To all my fellow humans out there with food allergies/restrictions, I salute you. It can be really tough. Food is such a social activity. We don’t get the luxury of just being chill and eating whatever. We have to obsessively read ingredients, ask questions, and at times, just come with our own meals prepped already. It can be really taxing. In college, I couldn’t ever bring myself to trust our dining hall because I was glutened once after being assured that it was fine (the chicken had soy sauce — soy sauce contains wheat). Eating requires serious thought, and sometimes, it feels like such a buzz kill.

6. Worrying you’re being a burden

It can be uncomfortable feeling like people are scheduling things around *your* dietary restrictions. Even though it comes from a beautiful place, people caring about you and wanting to make sure you’re okay, it feels like you’re the annoying “Can’t Eat That” kid. It sucks to be the one who has to quietly mumble, “Guys…could we get something other than pizza?”

7. Bringing your own drinks to parties

“Who’s that weird chick sipping from a brown paper bag in the corner?”

“Oh, that’s just Ari. She’s gluten-free.”

¯\_(ツ)_/¯ TC mark

Ari Eastman

✨ real(ly not) chill. poet. writer. mental health activist. mama shark. ✨

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