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Help! Strong Reaction To Breathing In Flour Dust!


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7 replies to this topic

#1 motherof6girls

 
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Posted 18 November 2008 - 06:28 AM

I am in need of some thoughts and suggestions please for a scary reaction!

Two of my daughters and myself were diagnosed with Celiac (positive blood test and
biopsy - flat villi) two years ago. Three more of my daughters developed GI and stomach
issues and were all diagnosed with Celiac and Casein Intolerance (Enterolab) in the last 4
months. We all have strong reactions when we accidently ingest gluten.

Unfortunately, my oldest daughter, in college training to be a Registered Dietician, has
accidently been exposed to wheat flour dust in her food labs class three times in the last
month. Each time she has had a much stronger reaction. She is wearing a mask and leaving
the room when warned. But for the future, I need to visit with people who
have experienced a strong reaction to inhaled gluten. My daughter is very scared at how
much stronger her reaction has been each time. We need to know if anyone else has
experienced a strong reaction to inhaled gluten and what they are doing to make it
through a glutening. We also need to know just how bad this can become. She is doing all
she can to avoid any further inhalations, but it is bound to happen again somewhere,
sometime and she is scared. It is as if she has been drugged.

Within 5-10 min. of someone forgetting and opening up a container of wheat flour in the
same room she is in she begins to develop a fuzzy mind, becomes quite agitated,
disoriented, starts breathing very shallow, confused, with the confusion and anxiety
lasting between 45 min. to 2 hours and then hits a low that makes her almost fall asleep
standing up.

Then she feels a euphoric high where colors are greatly enhanced, everything is detached
which lasts about half a day.

Then she has a terrible headache, is very shaky, weak muscles, confused, very anxious,
cannot think straight - mixes up dates, cannot multi-task, can't focus to study, etc. (this
girl is extremely organized and never experiences anxiety, so this is very out of character).
This crash lasts about a half day to a day and she cannot sleep during this time due to
terrible confusion and anxiety.

After another day, this all resolves completely and she is back to her very organized,
studious self until she is accidently exposed to wheat flour dust again. This is all so very
strange and scary.

Have any of you experienced any of this or heard of such a reaction? Please share your
thoughts and experience! Thank you so much!

Marie
gosfam@shaw.ca
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#2 MaryJones2

 
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Posted 18 November 2008 - 07:31 AM

I get a very strong reaction to inhaling flour also. From what you've said here your daughter may also have an allergy to wheat as well. Some of those symptoms sound a lot more like an allergy. The worsening of reactions could also be a result of chronic exposure. Many people can tolerate a small amount but if they are exposed to it over a few days or weeks it overloads their system. Your daughter should also discuss this with school administrators to see if there are any alternatives. I hope this helps!
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#3 kenlove

 
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Posted 18 November 2008 - 08:12 AM

I also have a very strong reaction to inhalation if wheat flours. Almost passed out while walking though a kitchen in Europe this summer. Since I lecture at the local culinary school, I had to change my schedule to wait 2 days until after the baking class.
A good quality mask that can prevent inhalation of fine particulate like pollen helps a lot.
In the last four years i've had this problem less than 10 times. The first few times it got worse but using the mask when I have to be in other kitchens, staying totally out of bakeries and preventing anyone (my wife!0 form bringing flour into the house has helped a lot.

When I was exposed like your daughter, I had similar problems with confusion and breathing and was very sleepy.
It's not good for the teacher to fall asleep in class! Unfortunately, perhaps, I did not get the euphoric high :D

I wish her luck in avoiding further exposure -- I know its not fun!
Ken


I am in need of some thoughts and suggestions please for a scary reaction!

Two of my daughters and myself were diagnosed with Celiac (positive blood test and
biopsy - flat villi) two years ago. Three more of my daughters developed GI and stomach
issues and were all diagnosed with Celiac and Casein Intolerance (Enterolab) in the last 4
months. We all have strong reactions when we accidently ingest gluten.

Unfortunately, my oldest daughter, in college training to be a Registered Dietician, has
accidently been exposed to wheat flour dust in her food labs class three times in the last
month. Each time she has had a much stronger reaction. She is wearing a mask and leaving
the room when warned. But for the future, I need to visit with people who
have experienced a strong reaction to inhaled gluten. My daughter is very scared at how
much stronger her reaction has been each time. We need to know if anyone else has
experienced a strong reaction to inhaled gluten and what they are doing to make it
through a glutening. We also need to know just how bad this can become. She is doing all
she can to avoid any further inhalations, but it is bound to happen again somewhere,
sometime and she is scared. It is as if she has been drugged.

Within 5-10 min. of someone forgetting and opening up a container of wheat flour in the
same room she is in she begins to develop a fuzzy mind, becomes quite agitated,
disoriented, starts breathing very shallow, confused, with the confusion and anxiety
lasting between 45 min. to 2 hours and then hits a low that makes her almost fall asleep
standing up.

Then she feels a euphoric high where colors are greatly enhanced, everything is detached
which lasts about half a day.

Then she has a terrible headache, is very shaky, weak muscles, confused, very anxious,
cannot think straight - mixes up dates, cannot multi-task, can't focus to study, etc. (this
girl is extremely organized and never experiences anxiety, so this is very out of character).
This crash lasts about a half day to a day and she cannot sleep during this time due to
terrible confusion and anxiety.

After another day, this all resolves completely and she is back to her very organized,
studious self until she is accidently exposed to wheat flour dust again. This is all so very
strange and scary.

Have any of you experienced any of this or heard of such a reaction? Please share your
thoughts and experience! Thank you so much!

Marie
gosfam@shaw.ca


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#4 dilettantesteph

 
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Posted 18 November 2008 - 12:21 PM

I react to inhaled flour but very differently. It was maybe 3 months after going gluten free. I was throwing out the flour. I was very careful and not aware of breathing any. I wasn't sick until the next morning which is usual for me. Then I had GI symptoms, severe depression, fatigue, confusion, etc. which lasted 3 weeks. I think the flour was traveling down to my stomach from my nasal passages for a long time. A normal gluten reaction for me lasts more like one week. My celiac son has gotten medical excuses from cooking class. It would be nice to have more celiac dieticians, but how can that be if they need to be exposed to flour to become dieticians? Bio K helps me recover. Maybe immediate nasal lavage would help. There is a video on-line about that.
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#5 motherof6girls

 
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Posted 18 November 2008 - 12:36 PM

Hi Janet,
Thank you so much for your response and idea. I wonder if I can find a doctor that is knowledgeable about this? It is so scary for her. If you come up with any other ideas, please let me know.
With appreciation,
Marie ;-)


I get a very strong reaction to inhaling flour also. From what you've said here your daughter may also have an allergy to wheat as well. Some of those symptoms sound a lot more like an allergy. The worsening of reactions could also be a result of chronic exposure. Many people can tolerate a small amount but if they are exposed to it over a few days or weeks it overloads their system. Your daughter should also discuss this with school administrators to see if there are any alternatives. I hope this helps!


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#6 motherof6girls

 
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Posted 18 November 2008 - 12:39 PM

Ken,
I sure appreciate you taking the time to share your thoughts. It will make her feel better knowing she is not the only one with such a severe reaction. This has been very scary for her. Mostly the thought of wondering how much worse it can become ... I wonder if I could find a knowledgeable doctor ... thank you again!
With appreciation,
Marie ;-)


I also have a very strong reaction to inhalation if wheat flours. Almost passed out while walking though a kitchen in Europe this summer. Since I lecture at the local culinary school, I had to change my schedule to wait 2 days until after the baking class.
A good quality mask that can prevent inhalation of fine particulate like pollen helps a lot.
In the last four years i've had this problem less than 10 times. The first few times it got worse but using the mask when I have to be in other kitchens, staying totally out of bakeries and preventing anyone (my wife!0 form bringing flour into the house has helped a lot.

When I was exposed like your daughter, I had similar problems with confusion and breathing and was very sleepy.
It's not good for the teacher to fall asleep in class! Unfortunately, perhaps, I did not get the euphoric high :D

I wish her luck in avoiding further exposure -- I know its not fun!
Ken


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#7 cyberprof

 
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Posted 18 November 2008 - 12:42 PM

Motherof6,

Wow! What a reaction! Ken and everyone gave good advice. I hope she can persevere, because we need more celiac-knowledgeable/friendly dieticians!

She probably needs to wear a respirator at all times in these types of kitchen/classrooms. They sell face-mask respirators for use in asbestos removal or for use with bad chemical fumes– that’s what she needs. And she may need to take precautions like wearing surgical scrubs and a cap so she doesn't transfer the flour to her clothing.

I second the idea of getting the school involved- she’s obviously a good student and it’s not her fault in any event.

Has she tried an allergy doctor as she may be allergic to wheat along with being celiac? I take Zyrtec – maybe a strong antihistamine is needed too.

Good luck!

~Laura
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Diagnosed by biopsy 2/12/07. Negative blood tests. Gluten-free (except for accidents) since 2/15/07. DQ2.5 (HLA DQA1*05:DQB1*0201)

Son, age 18, previously delayed growth 3rd percentile weight, 25th percentile height (5'3" at age 15). Negative blood work. Endoscopy declined. Enterolab positive 3/12/08. Gene results: HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0201 HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 0503 Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 2,1(Subtype 2,5) Went gluten-free, casein-free 3/15/08. Now 6'2" (Over six feet!) and doing great.

"Great difficulties may be surmounted by patience and perseverance." Abigail Adams (1744-1818) 2nd First Lady of the United States

#8 motherof6girls

 
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Posted 18 November 2008 - 12:43 PM

This was so kind and helpful of you to respond with your experience. I have passed this on to my daughter. At least she won't think she is going crazy knowing that there are a few others that have experienced these kinds of symptoms to inhaled gluten. Now we need to figure out how to lessen the severity of the symptoms when she is accidently exposed. Although she will wear a mask and leave the room when warned, it really is only a matter of time when she will be exposed to gluten dust in the air somewhere. Thank you for your suggestions! If you think of anything else, please let me know. This is scary for her. Thank you!
With appreciation,
Marie ;-)

I react to inhaled flour but very differently. It was maybe 3 months after going gluten free. I was throwing out the flour. I was very careful and not aware of breathing any. I wasn't sick until the next morning which is usual for me. Then I had GI symptoms, severe depression, fatigue, confusion, etc. which lasted 3 weeks. I think the flour was traveling down to my stomach from my nasal passages for a long time. A normal gluten reaction for me lasts more like one week. My celiac son has gotten medical excuses from cooking class. It would be nice to have more celiac dieticians, but how can that be if they need to be exposed to flour to become dieticians? Bio K helps me recover. Maybe immediate nasal lavage would help. There is a video on-line about that.


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