Gluten-intolerent Diet in Hospital.

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I will be undergoing bowel cancer surgery this Wednesday. I was alarmed in the pre-op by the apparent lack of awareness on the nurse's part about the dangers of gluten intolerence.

My situation is compounded by the fact that I am in Canada and the language in the hospital is French. I speak French, but I miss details and have difficulty with unfamiliar vocabulary.

I will take my own bread and cereal, but I will have to check everything else that is provided. I am thinking that I will have to be careful of soup and sauces as they may contain flour and other binding agents. Indeed, anthing that contains a binding agent may be dangerous.

So my core question is: What were your experiences regarding gluten-intolerence and coeliac's dietry requirement in hospital? What food did you have to be careful of and what food was safe?

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8 Replies

  • Posted

    In addition, do you have any suggestion about food products that I could take in with me in case the food provided is potentially dangerous to me?
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  • Posted

    Hi,

    I do so wish I could offer words of comfort.

    I had an operation a year ago here in the uk. When I said I was Coeliac a senior nurse asked me ....'can you remind me what that is again?' and then when I started to explain she spoke over me and said 'oh yes, it's an alergy isn't it?'. It isn't!

    I finally ended up with a cheese sandwich made with GF bread but may as well have been made of cardboard! Later I was brought a cup of tea and 2 digestive biscuits that were not GF!  

    I would take in as much as you can and get stuff brought in and given to you by someone who understands and you can trust. You need all your strength to get over your op and gluten could very seriously set you back. Any health workers on a bowel cancer ward SHOULD be aware and if they are not I would try at some point to log a formal complaint. It is a disgrace the way this whole issue is treated by the medical profession. 

    Good luck and very best wishes. Keep strong.smile

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  • Posted

    Hi there. Sorry to hear about your problem. I do hope everything goes well. Re the GF diet .When I had to be in hospital for 7 weeks a few years back , the first thing I asked when they were taking admission notes was to see a dietician. The nursing staff knew very little about CD and the orderly serving breakfast offered me weetabix as she said it wouldn't be on the trolley if it wasn't safe for everybody!! As soon as the dietician had been up to see me there were notices on my bed etc and I was offered a special menu every day. It wasn't very varied but at least it was safe and my family bought in a few things to supplement it and make it less boring. I think the most important thing for you is to see the dietician. Most hospitals have them in the uk so I hope that is so for Canada. I would be interested to see how you get on. Good luck.

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    • Posted

      I think I am seeing a nutritionist, so that sounds hopeful. I will print out some stuff to show them, and translate the essential vocabulary beforehand. Thanks.
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  • Posted

    hi zowie45501  If you sent me your email address I can email you some information sheets for the admissions, ward and catering staff. It's all in English but I guess the hospital has an interpreter who could change it to French?

     

    Emis Moderator comment: I have removed the email address as we do not publish these in the forums. If users wish to exchange contact details please use the Private Message service.

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  • Posted

    A quick follow-up. I recovered in a Hopital St-Sacrement in Quebec City. They were aware of my intoloerance to gluten. I was given a red wrist band to mark this. All the food I was served was gluten-free. Very professional. So no worries anyone in the Canadian health system.
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  • Posted

    Hi there. So glad to hear this. It is such a relief in hospital if you don't have to worry about your GF diet and can concentrate on getting well. I do hope everything goes well from now on. Best of luck X

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