10 things not to say to a coeliac

Recently I’ve loved BBC Three’s ‘things not to say’ series on Facebook – a series of videos where they come up with things not to say to a group of people i.e cancer patients, tall people, vegans, gay people etc. So I thought I would do my own for the one in one hundred of us that have to politely decline your offer of a biscuit.Hold-the-Gluten1

  1. “Are you just gluten free because it’s a trendy diet?” 
    – Oh yeah, I spend £4 on a packet of hobnobs just for the crack. I love thinking ‘can I actually afford to eat decent-ish food?’
  2. “But bread is so good!”
    – Yeah mate, I know. I friggen love bread, but I actually could die.
  3. “Oh my God, that is so awful, I could NEVER live with that, if I had that I would seriously kill myself.”
    – Go on then, wow thanks for the support there.
  4. “I’m sure you can eat just a little bit. One little bite can’t hurt you. I cheat on my diet all the time.”
    – No, I’d rather not live in my bathroom for the next few days, in agonising pain – I don’t think people realise any amount of gluten intake can make us ill. You wouldn’t ask someone with a peanut allergy to just ‘go on’ and try the new Snickers bar, would you?
  5. “But gluten free bread doesn’t taste very nice.”
    – Oh, I know. But I am willing to spend £3 on tiny loaf of bread for a sense of normality in my eating.
  6. “I’ve heard gluten free diets are good for you.”
    – They are for me and other coeliacs and people with some bowl conditions – but people generally just mistake a gluten free diet for a carb free diet, which can be good for you.
  7. “Oh I have that, I can only eat bread and pizza sometimes. Like I’m mostly gluten free.”
    – Sorry, but you’re not coeliac then, you likely just want attention. Like what does ‘mostly’ gluten free mean?
  8. “Oh I know how hard that is – I’m vegetarian/vegan.”
    – Stop right there – being veggie is a choice I didn’t wake up one day and go: ‘oh I don’t want cut down and kill those poor wheat stalks’ – if you eat meat you won’t die. If I eat wheat I perhaps could.
  9. In a restaurant “Do you have to be so fussy?”
    – Oh, I’m sorry my food problem is being such an inconvenience on your life. Trying to find food that’s safe and making sure it isn’t picky, it’s human nature to not want to die.
  10. “What happens if you actually eat gluten?”
    – I don’t mind answering this one sometimes, but I won’t sugar coat it. I’ll say: ‘what happens when you don’t make it to the toilet in time?’ basically because  you are asking someone to describe something really personal and potentially TMI. If you find yourself tempted to ask this question, first decide whether you actually need to know.

BONUS QUESTION: When does it go away?
– It doesn’t, this is my life now – however long or short it has to be gluten free…

Do you have any questions or phrases you’d add to this list?

Ciao for now,


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