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Gluten Allergic Commercial Baker
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Is there anyone out there that has been diagnosed gluten allergic that is in the commercial baking industry?  I have been in the commercial baking industry for almost 20 years and was diagnosed as allergic to gluten several months ago.  Although I have cut gluten from my diet, blood tests still show VERY high levels and I am unsure if this is due to constant exposure to flour/wheat based products or what.  If there is anyone out there that has any insight in this area, please let me know.  My doctor tells me that my exposure to gluten rich products shouldn't affect me, as long as I'm not eating it; but my blood tests are saying otherwise.  Just curious if anyone knows anything about this topic.

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I used to have a business next door to a pâtisserie. They had a large window so you could see into the kitchen. I saw it every day.

Airborne flour was everywhere. You will hear that you need to ingest wheat to have a problem, but there is a strong connection between the respiratory system and the digestive system. You can breathe through your mouth. If you cough up phlegm from your lungs, it usually comes out via the mouth. Flour in the air will find its way into your mouth. It will also get onto your clothes and any exposed skin.

Try wearing a mask while working. A surgical mask may provide enough protection, but an N95 Particulate Respirator Mask is better (and much more expensive). In any case, when removing the mask pull it directly away from your face. Do not slide it off or dust from the front may transfer to your mouth. Wash your entire face after removing the mask. Shower at the first opportunity and put on fresh clothes.

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I will give you my experience. I lived above a bakery for 3 years here in Germany. It was a logistics nightmare and I kept getting sick and having sinus issues every spring-fall.  Any time they got a flour delivery, I had to run and close all of our windows. By then, it was usually too late.

Smelling the breads cooking and when they'd sweep - I'd have to avoid our hallways and block the small gap under our door every night.

 

I react when we go to festivals here and there are kiosks that have fresh crepes and pretzels being made. I ended up crashing one year I was first here because of the exposure. I was very sick and the entire week after I was dealing with symptoms.

 

I know people who don't have reactions, and I know people who do have reactions.  I've heard anectdotally that even those who aren't having reactions are showing that their bodies are having them when their bloodwork was processed to check on how they're adjusting to their gluten-free lifestyle. I don't remember the studies and I recently lost my laptop due to a motherboard death (killed my harddrive too).  I'm sure a few searches around the internet may bring it up.

 

On a now defunct forum, there was a girl going through cooking school and she had to quit because even with masks, she was having reactions.

 

I don't know about everyone else, but I know for me - it's not a risk I'm willing to take.

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    • Hi Aly and welcome You may want to repost this in a new thread, that way more people will see it and can advise you.  I think you would be much better off getting the celiac test now, if you stay off gluten you will need to go back on it and that can be much harder. That said, loads of your symptoms look like they could be gluten related.  I had a persistent 'trapped nerve' for instance under my eye which would twitch like crazy. Since I went gluten-free doesn't happen any more.  Best of luck! Matt
    • Your scalp sounds like seborrheic dermatitis. I have that and although its better after going gluten-free its very persistent. The dermatologist recommended Nizoral shampoo for it and it does help. I think dairy has a big part to play with skin problems, for me at least. 
    • I was diagnosed this year and I live on Oahu. I have yet to meet another celiac, so that tells you something about our limitations here. I work in Waikiki and do frequent Rouffage. It is nothing fancy, small place, but keeps me fed when I need something. I also like Greens and Vines. It is a vegan restaurant and worth every penny. Greens and vines sets up at the KCC farmers market on Saturdays too. Places in Waikiki that do offer a gluten-free menu include, PF Changs, Dennys, Big City Diner and California Pizza kitchen. I do not trust those places due to the risk, but they "offer" gluten-free options. I did try and order a beer at Yard House in Waikiki. They label clearly states that it contained wheat, so yeah sent that back with the waiter. I have also tied Doraku in Waikiki. I called ahead and spoke with management. That went well and they offer gluten free soy sauce. There is a deli at Down to Earth Grocery store in Honolulu that has gluten-free options, but the whole foods here do not offer hot food that is gluten free. They do have a hot food bar, but you have to stick to the whole plain salad and veggie options. It's good to hear the hotels here are getting better, beyond Waikiki hotels there is no one really interested in being gluten free.
    • Just found this site today. Did you ever find one? I was diagnosed this year and I live on Oahu.
    • I was diagnosed this year and I live on Oahu. I have yet to meet another celiac, so that tells you something about our limitations here. I work in Waikiki and do frequent Rouffage. It is nothing fancy, small place, but keeps me fed when I need something. I also like Greens and Vines. It is a vegan restaurant and worth every penny. Greens and vines sets up at the KCC farmers market on Saturdays too. Places in Waikiki that do offer a gluten-free menu include, PF Changs, Dennys, Big City Diner and California Pizza kitchen. I do not trust those places due to the risk, but they "offer" gluten-free options. I did try and order a beer at Yard House in Waikiki. They label clearly states that it contained wheat, so yeah sent that back with the waiter. I have also tied Doraku in Waikiki. I called ahead and spoke with management. That went well and they offer gluten free soy sauce. There is a deli at Down to Earth Grocery store in Honolulu that has gluten-free options, but the whole foods here do not offer hot food that is gluten free. They do have a hot food bar, but you have to stick to the whole plain salad and veggie options. It's good to hear the hotels here are getting better, beyond Waikiki hotels there is no one really interested in being gluten free.
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