Nancy.....you obviously have touched on a nerve here but I must agree with you completely on this one. Except for those with DH, who react topically, gluten has to reach the gut for a reaction to occur and this medical fact can be backed up with any reference to Celiac Disease. Gluten cannot be absorbed through a mucous membrane because the molecule is just too large to do so. But if some want to believe that it does and go to greater lengths wth their personal care products, that's their choice. I take care with lipstick, for obvious reasons, and eye drops, because the medication will end up going down the back of your throat. The hand soap thing is beyond me as I usually rinse all soap off before drying so the problem should be taken care of. To back this up, my blood work is fantastic so I KNOW I am not ingesting gluten. Simple enough to find out with a blood test.
The balsamic vinegar problem may be from sulfites because balsamic does not contain gluten....especially the good stuff. It's all I use on salads and I have never had a problem with it. If it does contain caramel coloring, that is safe if the source is US made...it's made from corn here. From Italy, it could be another story. I highly doubt any reputable balsamic manufacturer in Italy would ever use barley malt in their product...they are food purists and tend to not do stuff like that. I have used the Williams Sonoma brand and have had no problems. Maybe try another brand and see if it makes you feel bad?
Thank you so much for this reply - both parts - about the gluten and about the balsamic vinegar. I did touch on a nerve, though, didn't I? One's mind can go crazy with gluten paranoia and you become afraid to eat, breath, wash, drink and in some people's case, have sex...I gain security from knowing the facts and the exceptions to the facts. The Colavita Balsamic only has grape, grape must and caramel coloring as ingredients and is produced in Linden, NJ. But, they claim to Legal Seafood that they are not gluten free. So, that is when my equation that I trust (if made in US caramel coloring made from corn) came into question, thereby calling into question other balsamic vinegars. I think the remaining thing I question are: Can we trust caramel color from Italy and does Italy have to list caramel color as an ingredient?
I am being a crazy detective. Like I mentioned, I get NO reaction from gluten, it has silently given me dozens of diseases, so I can't go by a "reaction". And like you all mentioned I get many other food reactions, so who is to say what is causing what. Usually, sulfites give me a headache or a full headed feeling...hard to explain. I did not get this reaction from the Olivier vinegar - I got no reaction, excepts I was getting weaker, losing my strength as the days went by.
If you try the Williams Sonoma brand and have not had a problem I will give it a try.
And thanks again-