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Reactor And Nonreactor
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A question keeps coming to mind whenever I read about the different reactions we are having to the same foods. Like today, when one post was recommending McGann's Irish Oatmeal because the poster never has a reaction to it and therefore considers it safe, and another post quickly offered the observation that she had a severe and unmistakable reaction soon after eating the oatmeal and so for her it was off limits.

The usual explanation--correct me if I'm wrong--is that we are different. Some can tolerate what others cannot. I'm not sure what this means, but I'm guessing that it means our digestive systems are different, that is, more or less damaged by the gluten, and possibly by food allergies, and so we can have a more or less (or no) reaction to the questionable food, or ingredient. If the condition is a food allergy I can understand one not bothering too much about the possible damage that is being done because our antibodies are doing supposedly their job. And apart from an elavated rise in antibodies there is no damage being done to the body, outside of, I would guess, a certain amount of wear and tear. (Is this so?)

My real concern is about those of us, probably most of us, who have celiac disease. Being an autoimmune disorder, isn't it slowly, and maybe not so slowly for some, wrecking havoc with our insides, whether we know it or not? And no matter how little gluten gets into our bodies? Or so I have been led to believe by reading the posts on this Board. If this is so, how can we be sure when ingesting a food that most would consider risky, like oatmeal--at least to the extent that nothing conclusive has been found either way--that we are not damaging our bodies? Especially if you're mostly a non-reactor, with only minor reactions. And isn't it possible for those who normally are very sensitive to gluten, or to certain forms of it, like in wheat, to be less sensitive to the form of gluten in other grains so that they are not visibly reacting but may be doing damage nonetheless. Is it possible to get a definitive answer to this? Or is it just one more troubling uncertainty that we will have to live with, along with everything else? --Aldo

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Aldo,

I don't know the answers to the questions you have posed (although I will say that your understanding of allergies concurs with mine), but I did have a thought to share. I wonder if celiacs who react to oats have the less common gene for celiac disease (or even a third, as a recent post here indicated DOES exist!). It would be really interesting to see this factor addressed in a future study. In the meantime, I am choosing to avoid oats for now. Back in the days when I was wheat-free but not gluten-free, I had huge reactions to barley but none (that were obvious, at least) to oats. Possibly, after a few years on the gluten-free diet and after a stool test from Enterolab indicates that I am doing acceptably well, I may decide to test oats and see what happens to my antibody levels. I hope I can eventually have them because I really enjoy them, but I am certainly doing fine without them.

I hope you're doing well!

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My body seems to have a love/hate relationship with oatmeal. Granted, the only kind I've been able to find here consistently (Korea) is the giant Costco pack of instant flavoured oatmeal. I gave it up for a while but after two months straight of brown rice flakes for breakfast, decided to give it another try since they had a different variety of flavours when I was at Costco last week. It's my suspicion that the cinnamon&spice variety was the culprit, since I haven't had any reaction yet. If it starts causing trouble again, I guess I'll have to resign myself to the brown rice flakes (a.k.a cardboard bits) till I move back to Canada.... :huh:

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    • I eat them with no issues and know several other Celiacs that eat them with no issue.
    • I am sorry that you are sick! i think you need to really adhere to a gluten free diet that consists of ONLY whole foods (no processed gluten-free foods) and do not go out to eat, until you start to see improvement.  Each tiny gluten exposure can set you back.  It sounds like you really became even more ill after the gluten challenge.   I was just anemic when diagnosed.  I waited seven weeks for my endoscopy due to work issues, so i took the time to consume lots of gluten.  Like a loaf of sourdough per day not to mention all the cakes, cookies that I loved.  (Okay, I just ate a few out of each package......)  by the end of seven weeks, I knew I had celiac disease.  I had a bloated stomach visible under my left rib cage, pinching when I bent over, indigestion, etc.  Not to mention some weird Fibro pain my my shoulders, tingly legs, etc.   Most resolved, but it took about two years. If you  ask for thyroid panel, be sure it includes testing for thyroid antibodies.   
    • My daughter, who is almost 21 and has celiac disease, was diagnosed with Epilepsy a year ago. Hindsight being 20/20, we realized she had been having seizure since she was a teenager but the random passing out and feelings of being 'out of it' were attributed to dehydration or poor nutrition and sleep habits during numerous trips to the emergency room. In our reading about Epilepsy, I have found some mention of celiac and gluten issue connections and even where a strict adherence to a gluten-free diet provided a lot of improve the with frequency and severity of seizures.  I would be interested to know if anyone else shares this experience.
    • I have also reacted to various Planters products, believing them to be safe because gluten is not listed in the allergens but have had almost identical reactions to yours.  It did not occur to me that I might be getting zapped from them until just recently when I ate some of their Salt and Vinegar almonds and became really ill and then recognized that I had reacted to them before. I have notice in the past few months that the 'Hermans' brand nuts, which have never mentioned wheat in their allergens now carries the 'processed in a plant that processes wheat' disclaimer.  It makes me wonder if all nuts are processed in the same manner and if all nuts and nut products should be considered unsafe? I know that I will not trust the Planters brand any longer regardless of whether wheat is listed or not.
    • I've heard some people say that they're gluten free, and some say they're not.. I had a container of planter's cashews that I ate a few days ago and I haven't been feeling that great since then. I thought I was fine, but yesterday I woke up with a headache and was feeling really gassy all day. Then since last night, every once in a while I'll have some stomach cramps. They last for a few minutes and then go away.. that has happened 3 or 4 times since last night. It seems weird that I wouldn't have a reaction right away though.. or at least within a few hours of eating them. I ate some on thursday and on friday, and I didn't really start to feel sick until saturday. It's been a while since I last got glutened though, so maybe my reaction has changed? Or maybe I'm being paranoid and I just ate too many cashews haha. But that's the only thing I've eaten in the past like 2 weeks that was different. Has anyone else had a problem with planter's nuts?
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