Monday, July 15, 2013

How about never?

In my favorite New Yorker cartoon, by Robert Mankoff, a businessman stands in his office holding a phone and reading a calendar, saying, "No, Thursday's out. How about never--is never good for you?" Doug and I often quote this line to each other when one of us doesn't want to do something the other asks of us.

It's a funny quote, unless you happen to be applying it to celiac disease: "How about never [eating another cinnamon roll again for the rest of your life]--is never good for you?"

"Nooooo! Never isn't good for me!"I want to scream.

Well, actually "never" is good for me, healthwise. At this point in time, "never" is the only answer for celiacs: The only way to manage celiac disease is to follow a strict gluten-free diet for life. But it sure isn't easy.

As research brings a gluten-killing pill nearer to reality, celiacs are engaging in debate over the question: "If you could take a pill to manage celiac disease, would you do it?"

Many people say they will never eat wheat again, even if a drug becomes available, citing many reasons for giving up the stuff entirely, forever. "Do we really want to take a drug, whose side effects may be worse than a sure cure (in other words, giving up gluten)?" some argue.

Others dream of that first piece of pizza or slice of French bread or bran muffin that they'd stuff into their mouths. More important, some parents see a gluten-killing drug as a way to protect young children with celiac from inadvertently ingesting gluten.

I doubt if I will ever return to eating gluten on a daily basis, but I must admit, that occasional cinnamon roll sounds pretty tempting. If I could take a gluten-killing pill similar to those lactase pills that lactose-intolerant people take, I would likely do it.

Triumph Dining, one of my favorite online sources for information on celiac disease, recently published an article about a gluten-killing drug that could be available within the next five years. Check out for this article, titled "Update on Possible Future Gluten-Killing Drug," and all the other great articles on celiac disease.

And if the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center reaches its goal, they will find a cure for celiac by 2026. If you're interested in the study, go to this website: