If you were to ask my Dad, he might tell you that I don’t know shit or that I have shit for brains, but you are shit out of luck! He’s not here, and shit rolls downhill, so I’m gonna continue on with the show – let’s start talking some shit, shall we? More specifically, I want to talk to you about the shit show Celiac disease is.
*Find one of Natasha’s favorite gluten free recipes at the end of this article!
Celiac disease is an auto-immune disease that affects the digestive system. When a person with celiac disease, like myself, consumes gluten (a compound found naturally in wheat), antibodies are formed and attack the lining of the small intestines called the villi. Sounds villi fun right? Ha. Wrong. Damage to the villi affects vital nutrient absorption, increases risks of digestive cancers, can stunt growth, contribute to birth defects, and cause impotence. (That last one was a test to make sure the boys in the house were still listening). Although celiac disease hasn’t been found to cause impotence, it does affect fertility. For celiacs, consumption of gluten has real shitty consequences. Within hours of consuming gluten, we develop mouth soars, skin rashes, diarrhea, gas, and bloating. This is followed by days of subsequent constipation, brain fog, moodiness, and extreme fatigue. So sexy, right?! Maybe it actually does cause indirect impotence after all…
Apparently, despite real medical evidence, there is a group of MF’s out there who don’t believe celiac disease is real. This is something I’ve never really understood – people who denounce the existence of stuff they find inconvenient. My apologies to these deniers if, when they’ve invited people with food allergies over to dinner, they’ve found serving rice rather than pasta a nuisance. Celiac disease is real, yo! And all the denouncing in the world isn’t going to change it. So listen up waitress at every restaurant I’ve been to in the last 5 years – when I ask you if a dish is “Gluten Free”, it’s not because I’m cutting carbs and using a gluten free diet to get a thigh gap going. It’s actually because if you serve me a dish that is in fact NOT Gluten Free, I will shit my pants in your booth. This is not only bad for the future of the relationship I was hoping to get out of said dinner date, but also for the sanctity of your section for the evening. Because NO one, and trust me when I say “NO one”, is going to tip you after I do what I like to call “getting glutened” in your booth. So yeah, that blanket scarf you were saving your tips for tonight? Kiss it goodbye.
Over recent years, rates of celiac disease have increased along with medical understanding of this auto-immune condition. As with all things that trend in the media, some folks tried to profit from it, obvi. We know eating less carbs leads to weight loss, so eating less wheat/grain products would then also lead to weight loss. This in the information the weight loss industry took straight to the bank. Then pop culture sold the idea that going gluten free would help the world get a thigh gap. The result, unbelievable amounts of people starting to adopt the latest fad diet and going gluten free.
The Good: Food manufacturers got in on the hype and began creating many more GF food products, increasing their accessibility and price points.
The Bad: Every time I have to disclose my intolerance at a dinner party or restaurant, everyone automatically just thinks I’m a #whitegirl on a diet.
The Ugly: Some Mf’s (as I like to call them) are taking it so far as to not believe in celiac disease at all. Which is not only frustrating, but it’s also dangerous for the overall health of me and my celiac posse.
For those of you denying the actuality of celiac and for those of you going GF to get thigh gaps, eff you – because you’ve ruined it for all of us. Every time a waitress asks me Are you, like, actually Gluten Free? Or just, like, “intolerant” (yep – with air quotes), I curse an actual intolerance on your children so you can clean their shit and stop with yours.
*Stock photo in banner from Unsplash.com