People with Coeliac’s disease have to avoid all gluten. Coeliac’s disease isn’t an allergy – it’s an intollerance and does affect people in different ways. (note: there is a difference between having Coeliac’s and just ‘not reacting well to gluten’ which I’ll explain now).
For those with Coeliac’s, gluten destroys the villi in the intestines, and thus makes it difficult/impossible for the body to absorb the nutrients. It can be difficult for someone to realise they have the disease as it’s symptoms can vary.
My dad was diagnosed with Coeliac’s when he was 30. His reactions got worse as he got older and he started losing a lot of weight due to vomiting and diarreah.
I was diagnosed when I was 23. My symptoms were different. I had headaches, joint problems, healing problems etc. My symptoms definitely fell into the ‘mal-nutrition’ camp.
Since cutting gluten out of my diet, if I ever have any it now becomes obvious. I now have stomach issues (vomiting, diarreah etc) and I can have abdominal pain for days.
So it sounds like the kid who would be sick genuinely has this disease and it’s really important that they keep away from it.
But then there are people who don’t eat gluten not because of Coeliac’s, but because of nutritional and health reasons. Gluten isn’t really that good for you, but if you don’t HAVE to avoid it, I’d recommend eating whole wheat instead of white as the white flour/breads/pasta has all its nutrients stripped away an isn’t good for you at all.
When I first got diagnosed I became hooked on nutritional books and was vegan for quite a long time. I’ll say now – I’ve never felt better than when I ate gluten free AND vegan, but it is a very difficult way to live as most places don’t stock these items so you have to make EVERYTHING from scratch.
Key things at BBQs are to make sure burgers are gluten free (a lot have rusk in them) or make things like tuna steak burgers or something healthier (if it’s for health reasons). I always like having tons of salad and potatoes at BBQs so I can fill my plate up with these instead of eating a burger in a bun.
Also – be careful with sauces. A lot have flour in as a thickener, and soya sauce has gluten in it (use Tamari as a substitute).
I hope I’ve answered your question!