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Stomach Flu Or Gluten Episode?
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How do I tell whether I have come down with stomach flu or am suffering the consequences of accidental gluten exposure?

 

Last week, one night, I started vomiting in the middle of the night, and kept it up until everything was out (from 1-7 AM).. then had chills , head ache, and body ache... started with D around 10:30AM and had that until evening until everything was probably gone from there, too... took my temp somewhere in there and was running 100.4.  Next morning no nausea, lots of gas, no fever so I went to work.

 

I didn't knowingly eat any gluten, but it is possible that I was cced ... I do not have a gluten free home as I have non-celiac family with me. I may have been exposed to a stomach bug since I work with children... but the whole thing got me thinking...

 

How exactly can I tell the difference between being glutened and catching a stomach bug or for that matter food poisoning? I am fairly new to the whole "be aware of how it feels to be glutened to avoid it next time" thing , so I really want to know :-)

 

My history, if it is important:

I have been following a gluten free diet for 5+ years on the advice of a friend who knew I was having tummy troubles. At the time, I was having huge bouts of D with pain and also other stuff. Old doctor had me on lots of IBS meds that helped with the D but made me soooo drowsy. Only in the past year (with a new doctor) have I realized I went for years misdiagnosed. New doctor found and treated Hashimotos and thyroid issues, and then looked at my tummy.  Nov 2012 I had the celiac blood tests over my objections since I knew the results would be skewed due to my already being gluten free. In Dec 2012, after that blood test came back negative (can you say "I told you so?"), I had chromosomal testing and an endoscopy.

 

Seems I have one of the chromosomal markers AND villous atrophy... so my new GI guy considers me to have Celiac. He sent me to a dietician... I knew more than she did about cross contamination... now my GI guy tells me he wants another endoscopy 6 months after the first and if there is not healing he is sending me to the celiac center in Chicago. In the meantime, he told me to be very vigilant about being gluten free, not to eat out if I can help it, and to be aware of how it feels to be glutened so I can avoid it in the future... and to figure out if there are other foods that bother me so I can avoid them too...( I am currently thinking corn and dairy)... I do know that I feel best on high fiber, low carbs, little to no corn and dairy, and no gluten.

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Honestly, if you work around small children chances are that it was indeed the stomach flu.

 

I'm as careful as i can be and i attend college. So the first thought i generally have when i'm sick is whether its CC or not. Not possible, because i don't eat outside my apartment and i'm always washing my hands, etc. Then i think about sitting around all of those people who are sicker than a dog yet still come to class :blink:

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Sounds a lot like the stomach virus I had a couple weeks ago.

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Well, have you had any episodes of a glutening where you knew for sure you'd been hit?

That sounds pretty severe to be a glutening to me. It does happen to some people, but it's

fairly rare for that reaction to a glutening to come out of nowhere when it's never happened

before. I'd say it was probably the stomach flu, especially with the fever. Celiac-associated

fevers don't tend to get over 99.5 (which is purely an anecdotal observation from what

people have said on the board here).

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Thank you all! I suspect it was flu, but got to wondering how I would tell....

 

The only accidental cc episodes I knew about were very minor ones and I got nauseated and then mild pain and D later, but no fever.

 

Since I have not purposely eaten gluten for such a long time, I am not completely clear how my body would react to a bunch of it :-) I think I would rather be comfy and in the dark than really find out by eating something like bread :-)

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I had that stomach flu too, and since half the people where I work had the same thing it was easy to tell.

 

Everyone is different, but for me I never throw up when my stomach is empty with a glutening. With stomach flu my body keeps trying to throw up even though everything is out.

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Thank you, Kitty... I had not thought of that difference... I think what I had was stomach flu, but since my reactions are changing now, I was wondering how to tell.

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?food poisoning?

Thank you, Kitty... I had not thought of that difference... I think what I had was stomach flu, but since my reactions are changing now, I was wondering how to tell.

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I hate to tell you, but thats exactly the symptoms I get from CC now. The first time I thought it must have been stomach flu, then it happened again.

 

If its a very light amount of cross contamination I get nausia. Moderate cc and I am vomiting. If I have consumed actual wheat I am deathly ill with stomach flu symptoms for hours. It's miserable. My body literally wants every trace of gluten to get the F out! I hope for your case that it was just the stomach flu, cause its not fun.

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Sounds like the flu. It's hard to tell if it's Celiac or a virus unless your antibodies report normal before they check your CBC levels. Autoimmune diseases white blood count are elevated already so you can never really be sure. However, I would treat it as the flu just to be safe.

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    • Marip, Have you been diagnosed with celiac disease or Non-celiac Gluten Intolerance?  I notice you joined in 2014.  Did you ever go guten free?  How can we help?   Sorry, I'm not a stool expert!  You could Google it...  Malabsorption?  Standard lab tests that check for anemia and vitamin deficiencies, etc.  should help make that diagnosis.  
    • You can eat just a slice or two (or equivalent) of bread a day for accurate testing.   I understand about the high deductibles.  We're self-employed and we pay for our health insurance. 
    • Sure, if it's gluten free, then fine.  I am very allergic (like anaphylactic) to ibuprofen and aspirin.  So, in my case, I would just tough it out.  Go to bed.  Sleep it off.....eventually. My money is on the garlic and onions.  I can't consume those either (damn that zonulin/leaky gut -- google it along with Dr. Fasano).  I just season with salt, pepper.  Boring.  But no gut issues.  I'm hoping like my lactose intolerance (resolved), that I will get garlic and onions back.   Finally, sometimes just eating anything can hurt when you still have intestinal damage.  Hopefully, you'll feel better in two or three hours if it's celiac related.  Longer if it's an intolerance (leaky gut thing....) Hugs!      
    • I read on their website that all Advil is gluten free, I had such bad pinching cramping today(which I don't why since I prepared all my food at home today.) I made a pot roast, salt garlic, onions...No gluten but still pain, That's the only thing I ate today..I don't eat breakfast or anything.   Anyways.   Is it a good idea to take Advil for the cramping? That's how I would describe it like someone is reaching inside me and pinching me and twisting my insides.    This is what I took  
    • I'll give my PCP a call tomorrow and see what they can offer. My only worry is the expense as anymore tests will put me behind in being able to afford to see the GI. I have high deductible insurance but get money put into my HSA. I'm still trying to pay off the CT scan though. Which is why I'm trying to pick and choose which poses the greatest risk for me right now and what can wait. (Though I would prefer not to wait on any of it.)

      I really do hope its only IBS. Though I always worry IBS is more or less a doctors way of saying "I have no clue" at that point. :C

      Again, I'll be sure to give my PCP a call tomorrow then and see what the options are. I can feel a lot better trying the blood work first. however, once that is done, do I still need to be on a gluten diet before the endoscopy? Also, is it ok if I still mildly reduce the gluten. As in, can I avoid a whole wheat pasta dinner, but still be eating the peanut butter crackers? That sort of thing. Again I guess that is more of a doctor related question. I just wasn't sure if in order to raise your chance, you have to mass consume gluten or not. (Its already in just about everything to begin with.)   --Edit--
      I just now reread the part that you still need to be on the gluten foods even for biopsy so I'll be sure to do that too.
       
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