Gluten-free lifestyle support is important. Whether you have non-celiac gluten sensitivity or you have been diagnosed with celiac disease (or another condition that requires living gluten-free), support is instrumental in staying sane.
A gluten-free lifestyle can be extremely isolating and restrictive.
In fact, studies show that sticking to a gluten-free diet (or living gluten-free) can feel more burdensome than lifestyle treatments for other common conditions. A gluten-free lifestyle can be so burdensome that researchers found that non-adherence can be a serious problem in those diagnosed with celiac disease.
Not following a gluten-free lifestyle when diagnosed with celiac disease can lead to a variety of very serious health complications.
These health complications include:
These health complications and the struggle many people living gluten-free face with staying gluten-free, are why support is so important.
Support can improve adherence rates of a gluten-free diet, overall feelings of burden, feelings of isolation, stress, etc. Support essentially can improve their overall quality of life. And we have research to support this. Studies show that when people are supported they are more likely to have higher quality of life scores.
Meaning, when you follow a gluten-free lifestyle, accessing and utilizing support is vital to improving your quality of life.
Support is important for maintaining a gluten-free lifestyle successfully and happily but where can you find it? From online spaces to in-person, there are a variety of ways for people following a gluten-free lifestyle to find support. I’m going to share some resources below:
There are a variety of places and ways to seek support for your gluten-free lifestyle online.
While online gluten-free support is important, nothing beats an in-person connection.
Finding people who are similar to you to meet-up with can be helpful not to mention makes socializing easier. Some general things I’d recommend:
Support doesn’t have to be as direct as joining a group and making friends with people who are also gluten-free. It can also come in indirect forms, such as boundaries, self-support, and more.
Some forms of indirect support to consider:
Setting boundaries and having your loved ones respect them can be powerful. It shows that there is a mutual understanding of your needs and that can be helpful and beneficial.
Some boundaries you might consider setting:
In my 3 Lessons on Dating with Celiac Disease post, I talk a lot about boundaries to consider setting with significant others. Check it out if you want more suggestions!
Hopefully this discussion on the importance of support for a gluten-free lifestyle and where to find it was helpful. Whatever form of support you use, remember, the more obvious you make your needs are the more people will remember them.
And remember, if you need more support, all gluten-free folk are welcome in my Virtual Celiac Support Group!