You thought the food in the cafeteria, in the restaurant or at your friends apartment was gluten free…
No matter how hard we try, we all have those times when we accidentally ingest gluten. When you are away at college this will be no different; you will need to be prepared to take care of yourself if you have a gluten attack.
- Stay calm and give yourself time to get better. While this is uncomfortable and no doubt inconvenient, you will get better
- Colleges have provisions for being sick and making up work. A gluten attack falls into this category and your professors should work with you to ensure you do not miss a beat. If you have problems making up work, see your school’s office of disability services or dean of students for assistance.
- We all have our comfort foods, movies, books and such that we turn to when we are ill. Make sure you have them with you when to pack for school. Having these items will help make you feel better.
- We also all have our favorite medicine when we have a gluten attack. It may be pain medicine or a heating pad for cramping, anti-nausea or anti-diarrhea medicine, etc. You know what works for you. Again, make sure you pack it and take it to college with you. Your roommate is unlikely to make a 3 am run to the drug store for you. You want to have what you need in the room before you get sick.
- Think about where you were exposed to gluten. If you suspect it may have resulted from contamination in the school kitchen, advocate for yourself. Talk to the dietitian and/or the dining hall manager to ensure this does not happen again.
- Don’t be afraid to call or text home. We all need a hug from our parents/loved ones when we are sick. Reaching out for comfort when you are away at school is totally acceptable.