May 6, 2020

How Can I Follow My Celiac Disease Dietary Restrictions During COVID-19?


May is Celiac Awareness Month. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease triggered by the consumption of gluten, which is found in wheat, barley and rye. Those who suffer from celiac disease have to be cautious about what they eat, and this can be especially challenging during the COVID-19 pandemic, when restaurants are closed and people are relying more on the delivery of food and groceries. 

Gluten-free food may be harder to access during this time. Here are five tips to help ensure your access to gluten-free foods.

1.    Call ahead to grocery stores. To follow social distancing measures and reduce the number of times you need to leave the house, call stores ahead of time to ensure they have the products you need.
2.    Find a gluten-free pantry. Use this tool to locate a gluten-free pantry near you. 
3.    Stock your pantry as soon as possible. This can help you ensure you have enough gluten-free products and decrease your need to leave the house.
4.    Communicate with restaurants before ordering. Make your dietary needs clear when ordering food for delivery and ensure restaurants can still make the necessary substitutions. 

Those with celiac disease are not at a higher risk for COVID-19, but they may have a more challenging time finding dietary replacements during this time. Talk with your health care provider, such as a nurse practitioner, if you are concerned about dietary restrictions.