A photograph taken at a restaurant at dusk. There are people sitting at the tables, but there is also a table in the middle that is empty - awaiting the next guests to arrive. It reminds me of the buzzy energy before sitting down to a meal to share with people.

Watch // Glutened: short film captures the experiences of Celiac disease

 

A person is standing in their kitchen. The image is slightly blurred, and so it looks like they are in motion, preparing a meal. The image feels a bit dark, lonely. The kitchen is located near the living room, in what looks like a studio apartment.The Gluten-free diet is no joke. Especially not to someone who has been diagnosed with Celiac disease. A diagnosis comes with a steep learning curve, where individuals are left scrambling to quickly learn as much as they can about food items that surround them—items they likely previously took for granted.

Suddenly, all your usual go-to meals are thrown into question, as meal planning and prep becomes a lot more complicated.

Things become further problematic when it comes to eating out: will there be any gluten-free menu items, and what is the likelihood of cross-contamination in the kitchen?

Any and all social scenarios where food is at play can be stressful and uncomfortable for someone living with Celiac disease.

From Hayley Repton, this short film captures the experiences of Celiac disease, moving through different stages: navigating diagnosis, the changing nature of their social lives, the sense of frustration when reading ingredients, the work it takes to plan and prepare meals in advance, and the havoc exposure to gluten from cross-contamination can wreck on it all. It also touches on social stigma, and the important role social networks can play in helping to ease tensions.

The emotional experience of all of this, and more, are well captured in Glutened. Give this short film a watch, and share it with a friends and family to help explain what it can sometimes feel like.

 

Glutened from Hayley Repton on Vimeo.

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