In my personal (not professional) opinion:
No, I don't think it is necessary for most people with Celiac Disease to have a medical bracelet.
Let me explain my reasoning...
1. I am old enough to speak up for myself in social situations.
Self explanatory. I can see where a bracelet may be necessary for younger children who are put in others' care, such as daycare, school, camp and other situations. It is a constant reminder to those looking after the child that there is a serious need for gluten-free food and hopefully measures will be taken to ensure safe food.
2. Listing gluten as an allergy may impede administration of life saving drugs in an emergency.
The last thing I would want is doctors and nurses wasting precious seconds/minutes trying to figure out what gluten is and better yet, whether it is contained in a drug.
(How much gluten would be in that tiny pill anyway...? Definitely not saying I recommend taking pills that have gluten as a filler... just pointing out that in an emergency situation, if I had a choice between taking a pill that may or may not have small traces of gluten and turning down the medication that may save my life... I'm taking that pill. One dose of trace amounts is unlikely to do permanent damage and I think I am better off having tried something than nothing at all. Having said that... see #3)
3. Emergency medication is usually given intravenously, so they would bypass the digestive system anyway.
Yup... if I'm unconscious, doctors would be unlikely to try shoving a pill down my throat or having me chew something. Medications taken orally take time to be broken down and absorbed. Therefore, injecting directly into the bloodstream is a much more effective and likely scenario if anything were to land me in the hospital.
4. I figure by the time the hospital is ready to feed me after an emergency stay in the hospital, I will have friends and family there to notify hospital staff that I need gluten-free food.
In fact, I've heard that most hospitals can't really accommodate gluten-free diets anyway. So it's best you make sure you have friends and family who will be there to feed you after, if need be ;)
What are your thoughts?
Do you have a medical bracelet for Celiac Disease?