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Food Poisoning Or Gluten Contamination?

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I had this saucy shrimp, that was supposed to be gluten-free according to their gluten-free menu. I also had a salad with their dressing and I had creme brulee--all of these were supposed to be gluten-free. I started feeling bloated when I was eating the shrimp--it was very rich sauce and now it makes me sick just thinking about it. When we left the restaurant we went to go walking around and the cramps and pain hit me pretty suddenly! I had to run to a nearby bathroom and my friend rushed me home after that--the ride home was excrutiating--I almost felt like I was in labor! I had diarrhea a few times during this night and still have some this am--I definately am not all better yet. I have not vomited yet, although I have felt nauseated off and on since the "ingestion". I have been gluten-free since May with accidents of course, but I had gotten to the point where I could tell if I had ingested gluten or not--I would get pain and bloating and gas and maybe some diarrhea, but I have NEVER had a gluten reaction like this before. It is really too bad, because I was coming off a great week or two (after coming back from a previous gluten accident). I had really felt good and then BAM! I am wondering what others might think about this being food poisoning? I didn't vomit like I said, but it was pretty bad from the other end :( . It also happened so quickly after eating it--is this typical of food poisoning? My husband doesn't think it was gluten because I have never had such a severe reaction like this. My friend thinks I can not handle "rich" foods anymore, since my diet really doesn't contain such anymore.

Any thoughts? Sorry so long.


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Sorry to hear you had such a bad experience! We take a risk everytime we eat out, for even with a gluten-free menu the risk of cross contamination runs very high. I had a similar experience on a business trip. The chef had fed me 2 other meals and knew my requirements but bingo, a reaction like yours, very bad news... If the kitchen help touches bread and then your food, crumbs can transer, flour can float through the air, sauces can be dangerous. I had a sauce on my salmon that later I realized had to have been teriyaki. He probably didn't realize there is gluten there. Also, the longer you're off gluten the more violent your reactions will be even though you'd think it would be the other way around!

Good luck, and I think food poisoning hits you at both ends and doesn't last 2 days but I am not certain.


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You might want to call the restaurant and tell them what happened. If it was food poisoning, perhaps they would know. They might just follow a CYA policy, though, but it's worth a try. Perhaps at least you could find out what other unusual ingredients were in the dishes you had that you don't normally eat.

Usually, I've found with true food poisoning, I vomit rather than get diarrhea--i.e. my stomach reacts, not my intestines.

It might even have been a combination of food poisoning and gluten in the case you described.

I've had gluten reactions that range from mild (one episode of steatorrhea), to moderate (fairly bad back pain but no bowel symptoms) to extreme (excrutiating cramps with diarrhea like you described.) I don't know what causes the variations in intensity. I suspect one of the really bad ones came from licking an envelope but don't know for certain.

There's so much we don't know about this disease, unfortunately.

Sorry you had to go through such a difficult time!


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There's nothing worse than that car ride home is there? :(


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