More About That Celiac Pill

One of the most popular — and controversial — columns I’ve ever written on this site was just a few weeks ago: “Would You Pop a Pill to Eat Gluten Again?” The responses from readers were passionate and divided. To get a sense of this, take a look at the comments under that post. There were also many people who wrote to me directly to share their feelings on the matter. Here’s what some of them had to say:

“Going gluten-free has opened my heart and mind to a healthier lifestyle both in food and in exercise. I would not take a pill or a vaccine just to eat gluten again. I am healthy and happy, why mess with that?!”

“I would like to have the option to take a pill OCCASIONALLY but probably not on a regular basis, as I am quite pleased with my new diet and the many gluten-free products available.”

“I would NOT go off my GF diet and use a pill. The only exception might be when traveling to locations that are not familiar with this kind of restriction. The other exception might be a wedding or special event where having a piece of cake would be part of the celebration.”

“Since we dine out almost every weekend, I order GF foods (mostly broiled) as much as possible, but I am not always 100% sure it is GF, so it would be nice to have a pill to take for just in case purposes; otherwise, eating GF during the rest of the week is something I would continue.”

There was a response on the comment thread that I found very poignant:

“I’m actually shocked that I am the only [one] that responded saying that I would definitely take a pill to enjoy a meal and not have to ask a million questions about what is in it and how it was prepared. I’m in my late 20’s and having celiac has really taken a toll on my social life. I attend meetings and events almost every night for work and am not able to eat anything. Food is the center of our social get-togethers and it really sucks to ‘be different.’ Even when I do go out to dinner, while everyone else is enjoying warm French bread, I have to sit there and watch. When I go out with family and friends we can only honour where I can eat and I hate putting that burden on everyone else. Yes the diet can be a healthier choice but I would trade in the diet for a ‘normal’ diet that can still be healthy.”

That column was prompted by a story I was interviewed for in Allergic Living. The piece “The Future of Celiac Disease: Celiac’s Next Act,” written by Lisa Fitterman, has just been published in the magazine’s Spring 2010 issue. Unfortunately the story isn’t currently available online (though it may eventually be archived on the Allergic Living website). It’s a terrific, well-researched piece, and I’d encourage you to read it. I was already familiar with the research into the celiac vaccine in Australia and the celiac pill in Baltimore, but I had no idea that researchers at Leiden University in the Netherlands were also working on a pill. It feels like it’s just a matter of time until one is on the market.

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If you’re interested in my crime fiction, I have a couple of new short stories that have just been published. “Fetish” appears in Beat to a Pulp, and can be read online for free. “The Black Widow Club” is in the newly launched Needle: A Magazine of Noir, which is in print only, but can be ordered online.

6 thoughts on “More About That Celiac Pill

  1. Yes! I would be overjoyed to take a pill. I find this gluten free diet a total pain! Good luck

  2. That last post you quoted… did I write that? Because it sounds exactly like my experiences from start to finish. I hear you cluck’n big chicken! I am so eager to pop the celiac pill, I have attempted to join the lab tests.

  3. I am 21 years old and though being diagnosed as a Celiac has introduced me to a healthier diet that has me feeling healthy and energetic, I would love to be able to go on trips and vacations without having to hear “We’ll have to check with the chef to see if the kitchen can accomodate your dietary needs.” I am all for the pill.

  4. I’m 12 years old, and i was diagnosed when i was 5. it was always super hard an parties, because i couldn’t eat anything. i would love to take a pill and eat gluten again, because at school my friends sometime forget and they offer me a cookie, or brownie. :*(

    IT IS TORTURE!!!!!!!!!!!!

  5. I would absolutely love to have a Celiac Pill!! Like the second and third posts, I would not use it every day, every meal but it would be nice to have the convenience of it. That is the one thing I missed from being diagnosed with Celiac. Tha convenience of just grabbing some pizza with your friends is gone and I hate being a burden on them.
    I’m about to be a freshman in college and I know it will have a large effect on the social things I will be able to do and that is quite saddening. I would love to enjoy pizza or just chicken nuggets again!
    I’m all for a pill!!

  6. I would definately take the pill if given the chance. I am tired of having to explain the diet to my father who continues to offer me pizza or some other form of food with wheat in it. Mind you he is bodering on dementia. While those around me have the occasional slip and will offer me the forbiden gluten filled food too. I have to hear how delicious the cake or pasta taste. I have been on the GF diet for seven years now and can’t say it gets any easier to cope with. Food is such a big part of socializing and I feel that I am somehow disconected from the family/professional functions I attend.

    I realize that it has allowed me other healthy options and I have been forced to “look outside the bun”, but I feel somehow cheated and will overcompensate on the “unhealthy” snacks that I can eat. I think that having a pill would help to create a healthy eating balance. I was never really much of a cake or donut lover in the first place…but its been a long time since I have had a fresh taste of a warm french roll…as nothing can replace fluffy wheat flour. sigh…

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