I feel there are two methods of “getting glutened” I think most everyone will agree takes place. One method is the conscious, blatent cheating and the other is the accidental ingestion of gluten.
Let’s take a closer look at conscious, blatent cheating. I feel there are a few reasons for taking this stance in regard to celiac disease. The most obvious one for me is denial – especially if you find you have no “obvious” symptoms once gluten is ingested. Another reason for cheating could be a lack of discipline. Maybe some fear the gluten-free diet will be “too hard or too inconvenient” to follow? Another excuse could possibly be “a gluten-free diet is too expensive.” In regard to all four reasons listed previously, all should be out-weighed with one simple counter-argument: your Life. Research has clearly shown celiac disease is an auto-immune disorder which affects many organs and systems within your body. From digestive system to skin to brain to internal organs – gluten affects a lot within you. Once systems and organs are continually compromised over time, they give out. Yes, you know the end result.
In regard to the occasional accidental “glutening,” this is an issue as well. While I know it happens to the best of us, it should give us all pause to be more diligent in how we treat our bodies. An old adage comes to mind in regard to this – “two steps forward, one step back.”
Now for the “Good News!” We are in the 21st Century and the Information Age. We have the Internet. Search ‘search engines (such as Bing, Dogpile, Google)’ like this: “gluten free barbeque sauce.” Result? http://glutenfreecooking.about.com/b/2008/06/22/gluten-free-bbq-sauce.htm. You can do searches like this all day long and be gluten-free successfully. You can also search for specific gluten-free recipes and menus. You can follow gluten-free people on Twitter and request advice and ask questions. You can look up restaurants to see if they have gluten-free menus on-line and print, if necessary. There is no end in sight in regard to the gluten-free information you can pull off the Internet and use to your benefit. Consume and absorb the information available to you.
At the end of the day, please know you all have many people who love and cherish each and everyone of you. Therefore, love yourself as much as they do and take care of yourself. Noone can take care of you better than you. My mantra continues to be “Research and Educate.” Peace be with you.