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Would you take a pill?

Posted Nov 09 2010 11:33pm

… My mind is swirling with the tidbits I’ve read…. would *you* take a pill to “cure” yourself of Celiac Sprue or your Gluten Intolerance?

I honestly think that I would not.  Eating fresh food and being mindful of what I put into my body – and the bodies of my family members – has been a GREAT thing.  I wasn’t Ms. Junk-Food Queen before diagnosis, but I thought little about stopping for sandwiches (not burgers… but grilled sandwiches) after my night/Master’s classes on the way home.

I had little interest in figuring out how long I could get the fresh produce to last (and timing my shopping trips each week based on produce and milk selections).  Now I meal plan according to these items and the ones I can find in season.  I know the flavors will be sweeter and more delectable – thereby tempting my fruit-tofu eating midge to taste test a few more veggies.

I don’t doubt that I am a more wise food consumer – financially and physically.

I acknowledge that there are moments when I wish I could find foods as easily and quickly as I could if I were not gluten-free.  Times like when my family is in town (not meal planners, lemme just say that… LOL) and everyone grabs a sandwich from a chain or picks up a pizza to bake at home, etc.  Even the roasted chicken meals from the grocer are questionable.  (As I’m sure you all know.)

As an adult (and not a svelte one at that), I don’t mind turning down the birthday cakes, random cookies, etc that cycle at work or with family/friends.  I have never been a fan of chocolate cake (or ice cream, for that matter) and it seems to be the ONLY choice among my colleagues anyway so maybe that is why I can refuse it without a blink?  My sweet colleagues even make a flourless chocolate torte for my birthday which I pretend is a giant super rich brownie before taking part.  (Really… I don’t like chocolate cake.  Can you tell?)

But when I think about my kids, I start to stumble in my no-pill approach to gluten-free living.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I don’t think a pill is the solution.  Nor do I think it would become a choice for us.  It just made it easier for me to see why someone would want a pill in lieu of dietary changes.  After all, kids face the land mines of social eating just like we do (or maybe even moreso) but they possess LESS skills in navigating sticky situations than do I.  (Amazingly true, actually, even though I consider myself a bit of a social-etiquette moron.  Just ask my sisters.  I am 41 years old and still call my mom and sisters for tips.  Yeap.  True fact.)

Why wouldn’t I give my daughter(s) a pill?  Well, that falls in the “don’t-drug-’em” box.  I am a firm believer in avoiding medications unless absolutely necessary.  If I or they were insulin-dependent diabetics, I wouldn’t for a moment hesitate to administer or take the insulin required.  However, being gluten free is something that CAN (and IS) be controlled with diet and food.  A natural approach.

And I really think that it is a great lesson to know what your body can or cannot tolerate.  Food is no exception to that.  If *only* I would have known about my Celiac ages ago.  I could have avoided the millions of occasions during which (or shortly after eating) I felt out-of-sorts, ill, bloated, unable to focus, anxious, etc.  I really developed a kind of hyper-sensitive mindset to things that I now know are related to gluten-ingestion.  It’s sad, really.

I am happy I was finally diagnosed with Celiac Sprue.  Sure, there have been (and I’m sure there still will be) moments along this journey that make it tough.  The social/food factor is the biggest one.  But being and feeling healthy are no longer “options” for me.  Those qualities give me the energy and stamina I need to work, chase after my toddler all day, and keep up with the baby, etc all night.  And those are the things in my life that I will truly treasure.

I really believe that my being gluten-free may actually give my kids a leg-up in the land of food awareness and knowledge too.  I see quite a few of my colleagues and students who have little/no knowledge of cooking or food because they eat out nightly (yes, you read that right:  NIGHTLY) or pick up ready-made meals constantly.

Living in a house where food is made every night together for our family dinners will surely pay off in the end.  I’ll get time with my girls, and they will know how to eat and cook with a great amount of love for life.

What about you?
Would you take a pill to stop all this gluten-free madness in your life?

~Just some random gluten-free thoughts late at night.

-Kate

PS.  EDITED TO ADD THE FOLLOWING which also appears as a comment from me below:

Thanks for your input, everyone.
I really do understand why the idea or usefulness of taking a pill would work.  I find going to friend’s houses for dinners, etc to be a hurdle…. but have always been accomodated by loving friends and family.  I know that is not true for everyone – and I KNOW that being invited over by a new friend who doesn’t “know” (like I have a secret…) is awfully uncomfortable.  I really am a social-dork sometimes and I don’t know how to best approach the subject with new friends/new invitations.
I really just want to start a discussion.  The research is there – so there is obviously a group who has asked for this.
I wonder if “the pill” would be taken daily?  after symptoms?  as a prevention (like when going out to eat?) or how it would work as well.
Thanks for the discussion/comments – keep feeding my brain! :)


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