Celiac Disease and Ireland

Old Jul 12th, 2005, 05:35 PM
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Celiac Disease and Ireland

I am traveling to Ireland in late September for two weeks. I understand that Celiac Disease is rather common in Ireland. Since I have CD I am interested in anyones input about eating out, or for that matter, any other thoughts that would be pertinent to my traveling with CD.

Thank you in advance for any input.
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Old Jul 12th, 2005, 05:43 PM
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can you be more specific about what you can and cannot eat?
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Old Jul 12th, 2005, 05:51 PM
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People with CD must have a gluten-free diet. Gluten-free Baked goods, pasta, etc. can now be commonly found in many markets but I imagine dining out can be difficult.

I once had a student (Irish decent) who had CD as well and it ran in his family.

This is a very interesting question.
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Old Jul 12th, 2005, 05:52 PM
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jersey, I don't think that it's more common in Ireland, rather that it's more frequently diagnosed if I remember correctly. Regardless, I found this for you on Google, perhaps they can give you a list of restaurants or tips.

Best of luck~

Coeliac Society of Ireland
Carmichael House
4 North Brunswick Street
Dublin 7
Tel: 00 3 531 872 1471
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Old Jul 12th, 2005, 05:53 PM
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The Celiac society of Ireland is very active. Check their wsebsite for specific restaurants and brand names
http://www.coeliac.ie/
Since this disease is so prevelant in Ireland most restaurants and B&B owners are sensitive and knowledgeable about your dietary restrictions.
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Old Jul 12th, 2005, 05:53 PM
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Celiacs must be gluten free. That means no wheat, barley, malt, oats, and rye. Generally, fresh prepared foods are ok. But as you can imagine this diet removes many staples people usually eat.

To refine my question, I guess what I would like to know is if in a country where there is known to be a high population of Celiacs, are there restaurants and such that have separate menus for Celiacs? Or is CD not as well known as I thought it to be in Ireland? I guess I am wondering if it will be easier to travel or will I still have to explain my diet any time I'm in a restaurant? (Sorry, I seem to have a problem with run on sentences and explainations tonight.)
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Old Jul 12th, 2005, 06:03 PM
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Thank you all for your replies and help. I am very excited to see my ancestors homeland for the first time. (Guess I know where the CD came from, LOL)
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Old Jul 12th, 2005, 06:10 PM
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jersey, I've never seen a special menu for CD in Ireland but I must admit I've never looked. I think you'll still have to explain your needs but it sounds like they may be more used to your condition than we'd be in the US.

I'm vegetarian and I found most places even in the smallest villages very helpful in preparing non-meat dishes (we were in Leitrim/Sligo/Donegal/Kerry and Dublin). There's lots of fresh fish and vegetables so hopefully that could work for you.

Again, best of luck and enjoy your trip home!
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Old Jul 13th, 2005, 12:24 AM
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There is a general awareness of Coeliac disease so waiters should be able to advise you on what menu items are / are not suitable. That is, if their English is good enough - more and more waiters seem to have fairly poor English these days.

I have noticed that a few restaurants in Dublin specify what menu items are sutiable for Coeliacs (in the same way that they indicate which items are suitable for vegetarians). However this is the exception rather than the norm.
 
Old Jul 13th, 2005, 07:45 AM
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My husband has CD, so I am used to traveling and watching out for his dietary requirements. The single most important thing to do is to get a "restaurant card" and laminate it. There are websites that sell them for a variety of dietary restrictions, but I make my own, using the information in the CSA Gluten-Free Product Listing. I'll type it out below.

I recommend using the Coeliac Society of Ireland website(listed above); they will email you a list of restaurants which cater to gluten intolerance. Also try google for the British website; they have an active message board that includes lots of travel related input.

I have printed restaurant cards in French, Italian, Chinese, and Turkish, and found that they are very helpful to servers; I also usually ask them to show the card to the chef, as waiters may not be aware of every ingredient in a meal.

Because Ireland has the highest incidence of diagnosed Celiac Disease, there will be more awareness of the requirements of a gluten-free diet. If you ask, you may find some restaurants offer a special menu which highlights gf offerings, as does Outback Steakhouse here in the US.(They serve a flourless gf brownie dessert called Chocolate Thunder from Down Under--WOW!)

It's really not that hard to eat well on vacation, just use the restaurant cards. I'll include the statements used on the card below.

FOOD(gluten) ALLERGY
I CANNOT EAT anything made from the flours of wheat, oats, rye, or barley, such as bread, pasta, noodles, pastries, cakes and biscuits; nor sauces and soups thickened with those flours or their modified starches; nor beer of any kind.

I CAN EAT rice, corn(maize), potatoes and any kind of meat, poultry and fish, fruits, salads and vegetables, foods with eggs and milk, also wines and distilled liquors.
Many thanks for your help.

I hope this helps--have a great trip. By the way, some bread, cereal, and cracker substitutes can be purchased in pharmacies as well as grocery stores. This is because the costs of special products for dietary restriction can be taken as medical expenses, so don't overlook this source.
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Old Jul 13th, 2005, 01:13 PM
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I forgot to mention 2 really great websites:

celiactravel.com free restaurant cards in 36 languages from arabic to urdu

clanthompson.com
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Old Jul 13th, 2005, 01:22 PM
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Thanks for all the great responses. I eagerly await my first trip to Ireland.
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