We talk a lot about living with diabetes around here (Celiac & Diabeteshey, we're a D-blog after all!), but we're keenly aware that other ailments affect many of our D-brethren.

This is Diabetes Blog Week and the prompt for today encourages us all to think about what it might be like living with another chronic condition... Turns out May is also Celiac Awareness Month, so it seemed like a doubly-good time to take another look at this condition + diabetes. I've written about my own experiences living with this combination in the past, and we've brought you some educational resources including videos and tidbits.


Since we also just marked Mother's Day this past Sunday, we thought it would be apropos to broach this topic from a D-Mom's POV.


All that said: we're excited to host California-based D-Mom Wendy Rose, who blogs at Candy Hearts and whose 9-year-old daughter Addy lives with both type 1 diabetes and celiac disease. Wendy has some great practical advice for any parent dealing with this combo (hint: it's all about planning ahead).



A Guest Post by Wendy Rose


JulyWendy Rose - Mommy and Addy 2005 — Daughter #1 diagnosed with Type 1 Diabetes



November 2005 — Informed we would lose our health insurance after 12/31.



December 14, 2005 — (10 a.m.-ish) Husband's official job offer for a position across country to maintain access to health insurance. (Also - Put house on market).



December 14, 2005 — (2 p.m.-ish) In early labor with our second child. (Also — 3 p.m. haircut. Yes, I did.)



December 15, 2005 — (2 a.m.-ish) Daughter #2 arrives.



January 2006 — Husband leaves.


And the list keeps going... new job, figuring out childcare for a child with diabetes, Daughter #3, new home build, insulin pump transition, sending diabetes to school...

By the time my type 1 daughter was diagnosed with celiac disease in 2008, I was pretty sure it was going to be the proverbial straw that would break this camel's back. I didn't know where to begin or how we'd ever attain anything that resembled a sense of normalcy again. It took me a few months to find my groove, but I'm pleased to report that we were able to successfully tackle this gluten-free thing... just in time for my own celiac diagnosis in 2009.

During the past few years, I've learned that managing my daughter's celiac and T1 in social settings can be a challenge, but it doesn't have to ruin all the fun.

Here are a few examples of some common situations, and how we manage them:

Classroom and Birthday Parties: I make a batch of gluten-free cupcakes using a modified GF Betty Crocker recipe. After they've cooled completely, I frost, decorate, and freeze them overnight in a single layer before putting them into freezer bags the next day. Then I keep half in the freezer at home and send the other half to be stored in a freezer at school. When it's party time, just pull one out and... WALA!!!... a pre-carb-counted gluten-free treat will be thawed in about 15 minutes!

Whenever it's our turn to provide a class snack, I always send something gluten-free for everyone. Treats in the "Fruit Roll Up" category tend to be my standard choice. These snacks are easy for the teacher to pass out, because they come nicely pre-packaged... and BONUS -- the carbohydrate amount is listed.

For birthdays at pizza joints, I bring along our own pizza. At one of the most popular places in our area, I actually bring an uncooked pizza on a cookie sheet lined with foil, they run it through the oven, and then I slice it using our own pizza cutter from home.

A1c CookiesAlso, decorating sugar cookies tends to be a pretty popular activity for kids. Between Halloween and Valentine's Day, I can't even count the number of cookies my girls have decorated at various parties over the years. To be ready, I keep a batch of this gluten-free sugar cookie dough in the freezer. Just slice off a chunk, thaw, roll out, cut, and bake. With the help of an assortment of cookie cutters, we're always ready! I call these: our A1C cookies!

Potlucks: I generally bring the same kid-friendly dishes whenever we participate in a potluck: Baked macaroni-and-cheese using THIS recipe (minus the breadcrumbs, using a gluten-free flour blend instead of regular flour, and substituting gluten-free pasta), along with a pan of Coconut Chocolate Nirvana Bars (HELLO DELICIOUS!!). By bringing both a main dish and a dessert, I am able to relax knowing that my daughter will enjoy the fun with some of her favorite foods! {On a side note, I NEVER have leftovers to bring home. Everyone raves over these dishes... it's a win-win! Who needs gluten?!}

I also try to arrive a little early for potluck-style gatherings, and bring along some GF corn chips and/or a box of GF crackers. I like to see the spread and peek at labels ahead of time. I also tend to start perusing the various dips and whatnot before the line forms and, unashamedly, scoop out some of the dips I deem to be gluten-free so I can set them aside before the rest of the party begins contaminating them with gluten-containing crackers and such.

Sleepovers: So, here's the thing. Sending Type 1 Diabetes to a sleepover can be a drag. Sending type 1 diabetes AND celiac to a sleepover, well, it isn't easy. Separately, each diagnosis presents its own challenges. Combine the two, and it can be downright overwhelming.

Regarding celiac, I call the host-mom ahead of time to find out her plan for what food she'll be offering and then pack the same gluten-free options for my daughter. Everything from dinner to popcorn to drinks to breakfast. It's perfectly normal for my daughter to bounce through the door with her gluten-free designated toaster and a frozen gluten-free waffle in tow. {What? Not all kids bring their own toaster to the party?}

Regarding T1, well, that's another post in and of itself.

No matter what social situation you're child is headed to, gluten shouldn't stop them. By creatively preparing ahead of time, you're sure to make some awesome memories while enjoying your favorite foods! Who says you can't have your cake and eat it too?



Love it, Wendy! You are on top of your game -- and the image of your daughter toting along her own toaster made us smile. Celiac and type 1 may be double the punch, but you're handling it all with a great practical approach and some levity, so more power to you!

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This content is created for Diabetes Mine, a consumer health blog focused on the diabetes community. The content is not medically reviewed and doesn't adhere to Healthline's editorial guidelines. For more information about Healthline's partnership with Diabetes Mine, please click here.