Family Ties: Special Diets
Dietary restrictions are the skeleton in my family closet. My mother has diabetes. My father has celiac disease. My brother has a nut allergy. I am allergic to most shellfish. Only my sister has never been officially diagnosed with a food issue, although occasional gastrointestinal malaise encourages her to avoid wheat. Although rarely discussed, this specter of special-diet needs was central to my upbringing. In the 1970s, my father was training to be a pathologist but changed his course of study when my mother was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes. He eventually founded the North Coast Institute of Diabetes and Endocrinology, among the most respected diabetes management facilities in the United States.