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How Soon Would I Know If I'd Had Gluten?
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Hi - I've been gluten-free for about a month after a positive Celiac diagnosis.  My symptoms were relatively mild - some diarrhea and joint pain (though I'm only guessing it was related).  I think I've been fairly strictly gluten-free, save for one episode where I'm pretty sure I got cc at a restaurant (a hippy dippy vegan restaurant that is known to be gluten-free-friendly, of all places).  But I've struggled at restaurants and eating at friend's home to constantly monitor what I'm eating, trust (or not)  servers and cooks, etc...

 

So, the question is -- how soon after getting an accidental glutening would i know it?  If I leave a meal, and feel ok after the next five or six hours, can I assume it was all ok?  The thing that confuses me is my symptoms were inconsistent - a week before my diagnosis I ate a bagel and was fine all day!  (Doctor said my villous atrophy appeared to be in patches, so maybe the gluten didn't hit those patches?)  Yet two days ago, I ate eggs at a buffet that I had asked about and had mild diarrhea for nearly the whole day.  Should I think it was the eggs?

 

When do you know if it was safe, and if it wasn't safe, how much does it set the healing back to get 'glutened'?

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I think it depends on the person but I know within an hour at most.  My symptoms are fairly severe.  Within 30-60 minutes my stomach starts rumbling, then the diarrhea and stomach pains hit, then I get a killer headache and total brain fog, feels like I've been drugged, dizzy, etc.  Depending on how severe the contamination was it lasts for anywhere from 1-5+ days.  When you say you ate eggs out of a buffet do you mean they were in a buffet with other foods?  You can't really eat foods at a buffet because the risk of cross-contamination is really high.  People use the same scoop for different food, crumbs from food can fall into the eggs.  Not to mention a lot of people with celiac have problems with dairy too.  The eggs likely had milk and butter in them.  I went gluten-free in November but then I started getting sick again and two weeks ago I had to go dairy-free as well and now symptoms are clearing up.

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It definitely depends on the person. On "average" symptoms start popping up a few hours after, but it can take a couple days or longer sometimes. I usually start feeling it about 2-3 hours out, and if I have no symptoms within 3 days I know I'm in the clear.

 

Yes, buffets are usually a bad idea, unless there's some isolated gluten-free section or something. Even places with gluten-free menus have the potential for CC.

 

Hope you're feeling better soon!

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