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Flu Shot?
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I just signed up to get a flu shot through work next month. It didn't hit me until later that perhaps it might not be safe...? This will be my first flu season gluten-free, so I hadn't even considered it until now! Does anyone know offhand if flu shots are gluten-free?

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Flu shots are gluten-free. :)

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They do affect people who are sensitive to eggs though, so watch out for that.

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Eggs aren't a problem for me... yet... that I know of....

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Be aware that most flu shots contain MERCURY--a known neurotoxin that has been banned in all over-the-counter products for years, but is still present in some vaccines. There does seem to be a link with celiac and mercury toxicity.

You can request a mercury-free shot--it will come in an individual-dose ampule without preservatives, and it will be more expensive. If you are getting the shot through your place of work, or at your pharmacy, the mercury-free shot is not likely to be available. I believe they are only available through your doctor, but it never hurts to ask.

If they tell you that the shot does not contain thimerosal, but it comes out of a multi-use vial, then they are either wrong or lying. Same thing if they tell you it's too small an amount to be harmful.

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Last year my kids' school began offering the nasal spray flu vaccine (I think it is called FluMist) and in the instructions it said it was not recommended for persons with any autoimmune disorders. I checked with my son's pediatrician and she advised against the FluMist but said he could have a regular flu shot no problem, so that's what we did.

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There does seem to be quite a bit of controversy over whether vaccines ought to be recommended for people with autoimmune disorders, especially vaccines for diseases that are usually not dangerous.

I don't think it's an easy call, at least for really devastating illnesses like polio. There are valid arguments on both sides. But flu--??? I know it can be deadly for the weak and elderly--but it seems that that same group is highly susceptible to very bad reactions to the vaccines, too (as are people with autoimmune disorders).

The best I can say is, do LOTS of research, on both sides of the issue.

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Last year I got the FluMist from my place of work. I work for a military unit (but I'm a civilian) and they set up a table at the front entrance and everyone (I mean EVERYONE) got a FluMist. They didn't even ask for names or signatures. I found out later that it wasn't FDA approved for people over 45 (I'm 55 and the guy behind me had to be in his 60s). -I also researched it afterwards and found out that it's a live virus vaccine (versus a "killed virus") and that the rate of reactions to it is higher. Well, true. All the people in my group felt sickish the next day (headache-ish, fever-like, yukky) and also on the 2nd day. Some more than others (even young healthy males!).

I DID go ask about Gluten and it is gluten free and there were no FDA warnings for autoimmune disease people.

I felt fine the 3rd day and did not get the flu! So, if they make us do it again this year, I'd prefer the shot, but will do the FluMist without qualms.

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    • Oh, Trish at the GlutenFreeWatchDog tested Planter's honey roasted peanuts three years ago.  The can did not state gluten-free, but showed no gluten ingrediants (per Kraft policy).  Test result: less than 5 part per million which is pretty much gluten-free.  
    • What if it were something else that glutened you?  Maybe you ate too much of a good thing?  I once (three months post dx) ate too much gluten-free fried chicken, vomited, passed out and fractured my back (osteoporosis) in the process.  Paramedics, ER doc and Cardio all thought I was having a heart attack.   No.  It was sheer gluttony and bad bones.  Not good to overload with a damaged gut.    Maybe you did get some contaminated nuts.  Afterall, anything processed is suspect.  What might be well tolerated by some, might be too much for others.  We all have our various levels of gluten intolerance.   The old 20 parts per million is just a guideline, but science does not really know (lack of funding......doe anyone really care enough to find out?)  My hubby has been gluten-free for 15 years.  When I was first diagnosed, I tried to eat the gluten-free foods that I normally gave him.   Problem was he was healed and I was not.  Things like Xanthan Gum in commercial processed gluten-free breads make me feel like I have been glutened, but it is just (and still is) an intolerance.  So no bread for me unless I make it myself using a different gum.   Too lazy, so I do without.   so, ask your doctor if you really want to know or lay off the cashews and test them again in a month using a certified gluten-free nut.  I wish this was easier!    
    • I have intolerances to a few foods now, so I was wondering about that.. I love cashews though, and a month or two ago I was eating them all the time with no problems at all. I mean, could I really have developed an intolerance to them since then? I don't know if they're made on shared lines (it didn't say on the package so I assumed they weren't), but I'll give them a call. I'm really, really sensitive to cross contamination. Even if something is just made in the same facility (but not on shared lines) it will make me sick. If that's not it, then I'm not really sure
    • Research with KP and find a celiac-savvy GI in your area ( read the biographies). and ask your PCP/GP for a referral to that specific GI (not his buddy).  Ask the GI for the rest  of the celiac panel or proceed with an endoscopy/biopsies -- 4 to six.  Keep eating gluten daily until all testing is complete.  Document and request in writing.  Do not worry about symptoms.  There are over 300 of them and some celiacs have none!   Research all that you can about celiac disease.  The University of Chicago has a great celiac website that has testing Information etc.   Poet me know how it works out.  Hope you feel better soon!  
    • I react to both wheat and barley.  I've opted to just go completely gluten free, for the sake of simplicity and my sanity.  I don't have a diagnosis of celiac disease, but I strongly suspect it.  Unfortunately, I'm not willing to endure the misery of staying on gluten long enough to pursue further testing.  I just know I need to avoid the gluten grains, so I do.  
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