What never to say to somebody with coeliac disease!
1. “I’m sure a little bit won’t hurt…”
“Even miniscule amounts of gluten – a protein found in wheat, barley and rye – from a stray breadcrumb can cause the lining of the small intestine to become damaged, which may lead to other parts of the body becoming affected too,” says Norma McGough from Coeliac UK. “So following an entirely gluten free diet is essential for people with coeliac disease, as is taking sensible steps to avoid cross contamination. This includes keeping cooking utensils separate during food preparation and cooking, using separate grills, pans, toasters and chopping boards, using separate condiments like jam and butter, and washing surfaces frequently and thoroughly.”
At home we dedicated a kitchen cupboard to newly purchased pots, pans and chopping boards that had never seen a drop of gluten, and store all our gluten free foods in there too.
And with good reason: studies show if people with coeliac disease are regularly exposed to gluten their risk of type 1 diabetes, thyroid disease, osteoporosis, small bowel cancer and infertility increases. So yes, a little bit will hurt…