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Linda E. Meckler

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Celiac Disease The Horrors Of Eating In A Restaurant
by Linda E. Meckler   
Not "rated" by the Author.
Last edited: Sunday, November 02, 2008
Posted: Friday, June 20, 2008

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Do you like to eat in restaurants? Do you have Celiac Sprue? If you find your eating problems unbearable read on.

When you order your dinner in a restaurant this is the time to unwind, relax enjoy the moment. You are not doing the shopping, food preparation, serving or the cleanup. This is your time to be wined and dined, savor the moment.

But what if when you walked into a restaurant and felt you were entering a mental war combat zone? When you know without looking that you can not eat anything on the menu. The next step is a conference with the chef or the manager or both in order for you to order your ordinary dinner just like everybody else, and hope when your plates is presented to you it is correct.

When you are on a special diet and you explain, what you can not eat even to the point of food contamination - when your food would touch the foods you are not allowed to eat and become contaminated, it is frustrating and you want to scream. I am hungry! I want to eat but you must understand, you must prepare my food fresh and the way I can eat it or I will get SICK!

My sister has had Celiac Sprue for over ten years. When it comes to traveling she is absolutely horrified when it comes to walking into a restaurant and ordering. Communication between her, the waitress, the manger and the chef is terrifying.

 She has to worry about the food and how it was cooked, what it was cooked on and if the utensils were clean when they touched her food. This also means eating in cheap restaurants is out. The more expensive to moderate priced restaurant is the only place she can eat to have her food modified for her diet.

I just spent four days with her on a trip. I was a witness to every meal we ate out together. I watched her face as she was explaining how her food had to be prepared. She was literally terrified of this ongoing ordeal, and with the final result of receiving her food on her plate correct or incorrectly.

This is a disease which at one time was considered so rare it virtually went undetected for years. Now the medical field has found out that Celiac Sprue is not that rare and people are being diagnosed every day.

Celiac Sprue is often confused with lactose intolerance, irritable bowel syndrome, cystic fibrosis and other diseases. This disease can start in infancy. It is also a disease which can be carried and passed on in your family for generations.


There is now a blood test available to test for Celiac Disease called an antigluten antibodies test. The next step would be a biopsy of the small intestine.


(1) Abdominal Cramping, bloating, distention

(2) Appetite increased

(3) Back pain collapsed lumbar vertebrae

(4) Constipation

(5) Blood clotting - decreased

(6) Dehydration

(7) Mouth Sores

(8) Diarrhea, vomiting

(9) Passing Gas (flatus)

(10) Cramping in hands and legs

(11) Extremely dry skin

(12) Night Blindness

(13) Weakness, energy loss, fatigue,

(14) Weight Loss

(15) Depression

(16) Iron Deficiency

Celiac Disease, Celiac Sprue and Nontropical Spruce and are the names this disease is affiliated with.

Celiac Spruce is a digestive disease which damages the villi of the small intestine. Without healthy villi, a person becomes malnourished; regardless of the quantity of food eaten. This means you can not absorb your food.

Celiac Spruce is triggered by the protein called Gluten. This is a term which means the storage proteins found in grains of wheat, rye and barley.

Important: The Gluten found in corn and rice are not harmful to the people who have Celiac Spruce. When shopping for Gluten free food always read the labels on the cans and boxes. Never assume this particular food is Gluten free.


The cure for this disease is eliminating Gluten from your diet. This may sound easy but it is not. Gluten is present in most processed foods. Cooking your own foods is the best way to make sure your food is safe and uncontaminated from other foods you can not eat. Take Vitamins daily.


Always have your Chef Daniel's restaurant paper with you in your wallet plus a list of the foods you can eat.

Cross contamination is the biggest risk when eating in a restaurant. A knife or fork which was used to cut bread and the same fork was used to dish out your vegetables.

This can cause you to become ill for many days. Everyday is an adventure. When eating out with Celiac Sprue the adventure becomes a drama for each time you venture into a restaurant and want to eat.

This is some of the foods you can order in a restaurant:

(1) Steak, fish, chicken without anything but salt and pepper - Have the food placed on aluminum foil so it does not touch the grill.

(2) Salad with fresh vegetables - You can use a lemon wedge for dressing.

(3) Fresh fruit salad

(4) Fruit an apple

(5) Baked potato without oil or butter

(6) Steamed vegetables without anything but salt and pepper

The problem with ordering in a restaurant is that most of the food is prepared early in the morning. At this time it is oiled, or sauces are combined to give the food a great flavor.

The food is full of preservatives. This is what a person with Celiac Sprue can not eat. Everything has to be made fresh without sauces or oils or whatever, or however the food is prepared. Oils and various other liquids can be used on the food but when ordering in a restaurant you do not know what is used and it is best to be on the safe side and leave it off, and eat your food plain.

For further information contact: Digestive Disease information, Clearing House, P.O. Box NDDIC, Bethesda, MD 20892, 301-468-6344.

The Celiac Sprue Association, 2313 Rocklyn Drive, Des Moines, IA, 50322, 515-270-9689.

There are cookbooks to be purchased and websites to browse. Take advantage of the information available to you.

My sister says connect with other people who have Celiac Spruce. The numbers are increasing daily. We must educate restaurants, grocery stores, and the world about this disease.

Thank you for reading my article. Please feel free to read any of my numerous articles on various subjects.

Copyright 2008, Linda E. Meckler

Linda is the author of her first published book, "Ghost Kids Trilogy. "Christy, 12 and her Brother Brad, 16 moves into an old house on top of a mountain and meet two Ghost Kids.

Adventures keep you mystified until the hunt for Pirates' Treasure.

Love, Family Values and Charity burst off the pages.

e books

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TTY Communication Book

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on my website

Web Site: Linda Meckler

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Reviewed by Michelle Kidwell Power In The Pen 7/14/2008
This is a very informative write, I have heard of the symptoms did not connect the name to the disease, thank you again for sharing...
In Christs Love
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