Celiac disease impacts many aspects of life, even still, you are more than celiac disease.
Tag: celiac lifestyle
Tips on Living Gluten-Free in a Shared Household
Living in an entirely gluten-free home isn’t always feasible (and not always necessary). That being said, living
in a shared household can be overwhelming and stressful. I have some tips on living gluten-free in a shared household that I think could benefit anyone considering or living in this situation.
Hopefully, these tips not only help limit cross-contact but also give insights on how someone might limit stress in this kind of environment.
Please note that these tips are to help guide people with celiac by building their own safe space in their home. Everyone’s shared household “procedures” will look different depending on their needs. If you’re
looking to share a space with someone with celiac, have that person involved to make sure they feel safe in the space.
Feeling safe is vital because even if the space is safe, feeling stressed in it could cause the very symptoms people with celiac are trying to avoid.
If you want more help, the Cross-Contact Workbook has more information and worksheets that guide this process step-by-step. Or consider signing up for my Celiac Crash Course which dedicates an entire module to this topic.
Tips on living gluten-free in a shared household:
Consider a Dedicated Kitchen / Pantry Space
This is not required, by any means, but it can be helpful. Having a dedicated kitchen or pantry space can help bring peace of mind to someone with celiac disease.
Like I mentioned previously, it is important for someone living gluten-free in a shared household to feel safe. Being stressed about cross-contact can bring about the very symptoms someone with celiac might be trying to avoid, without them ever ingesting gluten.
Having these dedicated spaces can not only bring peace of mind, but it can make it easier for housemates to keep their celiac friend safe too.
It lessens the overall burden on everyone in the house.
Consider Dedicated Cookware / Cleaning Supplies / Eating Materials
Another tip for living in a shared household with gluten is to consider separating certain kitchen appliances, utensils, and other supplies.
This is also not necessary to an extent but again, it can help provide peace of mind for a lot of the same reasons as having your own dedicated space can.
I cover the things you might consider having separate in the Cross-Contact Guide (along with some research on the topic). However, a general rule of thumb is, if it’s difficult to clean thoroughly, consider having it separate.
A pro-tip: if it’s hard to clean, you might also ask if you can simply create barrier with foil or parchment paper to prevent any cross-contact that may occur as opposed to having an entirely separate version of the item.
For example, maybe you have a George Foreman grill with plates that are not removable, instead of getting a separate grill you might consider placing down foil on the grill plates, or grabbing a George Foreman with removable grill plates (like this one! This is an affiliate link).
Educate the Household / Set Boundaries
This is my last but arguably most important tip. Like I mentioned before, educating the household on celiac needs can be a lot.
Expecting everyone in the home to remember and understand is also a lot. It’s important to determine the level of understanding and trust in order to decide how to set up your home for gluten-free safety.
I told my roommates something along the lines of:
“I have celiac disease, which is basically like an allergy to gluten, this means I have to have my own separate stuff and space. You know it’s mine if it’s blue. Please try your best to prepare gluten foods on the other side of the kitchen and if you unsure about anything, please ask me. If you slip up on accident, just let me know so I can make sure I take the proper precautions to stay safe. I won’t be made – accidents happen”
That being said, what you tell your roommates or family is entirely up to you and how you set up your household.
Other Tips for Living in a Shared Household with Celiac
- Wipe down countertops using paper towels (not Eco-friendly but definitely trustworthy)
- Label products that you have two of (ex. label the gluten-free and non-gluten-free peanut butter as such to limit cross-contact of double-dippers)
- Prepare and serve gluten-free food before the non-gluten-free food
- Consider color coding gluten-free items
Want more help? Check out the Cross-Contact Workbook has more information and worksheets that guide this process step-by-step. Or consider signing up for my Celiac Crash Course which dedicates an entire module to this topic + a ton of other modules related to celiac living.
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Celiac Disease and Constipation (and how to relieve it)
Celiac disease constipation is a celiac symptom that seems to fly under the radar. So many of us complain of being married to the toilet after gluten exposure. Yet others experience shall I say a temporary “break” in our relationship with the bathroom.
While it’s not as widely known as other digestive issues associated with celiac disease, constipation can be a symptom of celiac.
In this post I will answer the following questions:
- Can celiac disease cause constipation?
- What causes constipation?
- How can you relieve constipation?
Can celiac disease cause constipation?
Per the Mayo Clinic, constipation is defined as having fewer than 3 bowel movements a week. Basically, if you poop less than 3 times a week, you’re constipated.
And celiac disease can cause constipation. In fact, constipation is one of the 300 known symptoms associated with celiac disease. Other symptoms of celiac include bloating, diarrhea, vomiting, nausea, sour stomach, and others.
What causes celiac disease constipation?
There are a few things that could cause celiac disease constipation. It could be your diet, lifestyle, or potential exposure to gluten.
Can Eating Gluten-Free Cause Constipation?
While a gluten-free diet can be rich in fiber, it also be low in it. If your diet is low in fiber, well things can get… get backed up.
A gluten-free diet can be low in fiber because gluten-free alternatives aren’t as rich in fiber as their gluten-filled versions. Thus, if you’re struggling with constipation, you may want to look at your eating habits.
For example, are you eating a balance of fruits, vegetables, a whole grains? These foods provide essential sources of fiber that help keep you bowel movements regular.
Constipation and Routine Changes
Your overall lifestyle and routine changes could impact your pooping scheduled.
Not getting enough movement for example, can slow down your digestive tract. Movement is essential to GI health because it helps keep blood circulating to your digestive system. As a result, it helps keep your digestive system moving appropriately to prevent anything from backing up.
The same goes for water and fiber, these two essential nutrients are important to add bulk to and lubricate your poop. Thus, if you’re not getting enough fiber or water, you might find yourself constipated.
Also, any sudden change in your typical eating pattern can upset things. Are you on vacation? Did you just get back from a weekend on the beach? Have you been extra stressed lately? These things can impact your bowel movements too.
Can Gluten Cause Celiac Constipation?
Were you exposed to gluten recently? Gluten can cause constipation with celiac disease. Focus on eating normally and drinking enough water to help encourage things to go back to normal. (I’ll sometimes even drink coffee to help encourage things).
You might also consider building a Gluten-Exposure Recovery Kit that features things you can easily access when you’re glutened. You can find a list of items that I have in mine here if you need inspiration.
Relieving Celiac Constipation
There a few things you can try in order to find relief from celiac disease constipation. Things like:
- Drink enough water: Water is very important when it comes to healthy poop. It helps keeps things…lubricated. The general recommendation for healthy adults is 8 cups a day.
- Eat fiber rich foods: If you’re looking to improve celiac constipation via your diet, consider slowly adding in more fiber-rich food. Examples of fiber-rich gluten-free foods include: fruit, vegetables, nuts, seeds, beans, and whole gluten-free grains are all gluten-free fiber-rich options. Make sure you add these foods in slowly. Your body will need time to adjust to the increase in fiber. Also, remember that when you increase your fiber intake, you also need to increase your water intake.
- Consider supplements and laxatives: If you’re really struggling with keeping things moving, consider supplements and laxatives. If you choose to go this route, make sure to consult your doctor to make sure your selections are safe for you.
- Relax: Stress can wreak havoc on your health and bowel movements. Whether you endured a stressful food situation, or you’re just generally stressed, relaxing can help encourage things to move along.
- Heating pad/compress: A heating pad or compress held to your lower back might help relieve any discomfort you might have there from the back-up. A hot bath or standing in a hot shower could provide similar relief as well.
- Stomach massage: to relax tension in the abdomen.
- Get enough sleep and movement: Take a step back and look at your current sleep and movement habits. Are you getting 7-8 hours of sleep? Are you engaging in routine enjoyable activity? Might there be some things you can do to help cope with stressors? These things could help with constipation.
Hopefully, this post has provided you some insight on celiac disease constipation. Let me know your favorite form of relief when things get stuck in the comments below.
If you’re concerned about the symptoms you’re experiencing (including constipation), speak with your doctor (or dietitian) who specializes in GI disorders like celiac disease. This post, nor any post on my website (Tayler.Silfverduk.us) is meant to take the place of individualized medical care.
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We’ve all been there, we made a list, checked it twice, though we got everyone and then realized someone was missing. For the times where you need a quick gift to grab and go for your loved ones, here are my top gluten-free last minute gift ideas! These last minute gift ideas are perfect for your gluten-intolerant and celiac friends!
From the Gluten-Free Experts
Sarah from endlessdistances.com says “I could always use GF chocolates!! Specifically, love the GF Chocolate chip cookies from Trader Joe’s”.
Jenna Farmer www.abalancedbelly.co.uk “I always enjoy something personal-my mom puts together a hamper of my fave gluten-free biscuits, crisp, and snacks. It’s simple but usually so expensive so feels like a treat!”
Tayler Recommended Gluten-Free Last Minute Gifts
Pajamas / Comfy Clothes
Everyone likes to sleep comfortably. Why not treat your loved ones to comfy sleeping clothes? Alternatively, buy your loved one some comfy clothes to wear while running errands or just around the house (or whenever because defying social norms is where it’s at nowadays!)
Heating Pads & Blankets
Talk about helping your loved ones stay cozy, a high-quality heating pad for when their muscles are sore or they need extra warmth can be a nice gift.
Not only that, but cozy throw blankets make nice gifts too! It helps not your loved ones be comfy but it helps their space feel cozy too.
Let’s be real, sometimes getting gluten-free can be frustrating when it comes to finding delicious meals to make. Gifting an awesome gluten-free cookbook (like Well Fed, Well Fed 2, and this No-Fuss Gluten-Free Cookbook) can make your gluten-free friend’s lives that much easier.
Even better, you can personalize your cookbook gift with pantry ingredients from your favorite recipe from the cookbook!
Candles always make an awesome gift for anyone. Cozy and warming scents can really elevate a space.
Notebooks / Notepads
Bullet journaling is all of the rage these days. Gift your loved one who is a planner fanatic a bullet journal. It’s essentially a highly customizable planner that will let them express their creativity and stay on track.
Have a friend who is always journaling and taking notes? Gift the gift of a high-quality notebook for them to keep their ideas organized in!
I never realized the value of a nice notepad until I started my job that requires me to take notes all of the time. Whether I’m counseling, or planning a session, planning a video, or even taking notes on my next blog post, having a nice notepad is soooo helpful!
Mint tea is known to help soothe an upset stomach. It’s also known to reduce bloating and gas. All of these things are common symptoms of gluten-exposure and gifting your gluten-free friend mint tea can help show that you understand and want to help them when it comes to their restrictive diet.
Tools for Keys
Survival tools for keychains can be so useful. Not only that but they can give both you and the gift recipient peace of mind.
Some awesome keychain tools I’ve gotten in the past include this window breaker/seat belt cutter (in case you’re in a car and need to get out), and this Multitool Keychain!
Comment below your favorite last minute gifts!