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Gluten On Surfaces...


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#1 L_C

 
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Posted 03 July 2011 - 03:44 PM

How many people here think they've been glutened by touching door/fridge/cabinet handles, taps, remote controls, etc. that were touched by people who ate gluten foods? (and then touching your face/mouth/nose)

I'm being super careful about not letting my foods get contaminated, not eating any processed foods, etc... but this is the one thing I wonder about. I live in a mixed household and there isn't really any way I can move out or make the house gluten free. I wonder if I am getting glutened from touching surfaces with gluten on them... but it's so hard to know because my celiac symptoms are not overt. Is it possible to not get glutened in a mixed household if I wash my hands a lot and don't touch my face/mouth/nose?
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#2 mushroom

 
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Posted 03 July 2011 - 04:37 PM

I was glutened in a gluten household where I brought my own food and ate it from the container I brought it in. I did drink a cup of tea from the household cup. The gluten either came from the teacup or from my touching something that had gluten on it and then handling my food.
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#3 carefoundry

 
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Posted 03 July 2011 - 08:48 PM

This happened to me. I also live in a shared household where I cannot make it gluten-free. A couple of weeks ago, I had my hands on a leather chair in the living room where there is gluten dust everywhere from crackers and snacks, I left to take an allergy pill, and I forgot to wash my hands. A few seconds later, I had bad stomach cramps.

What I do now in order to live on the level of a super-sensitive is to use paper towels to turn on faucets, switch off lights, turn door knobs, open cabinets, etc. And I wash my hands right after I touch any shared surfaces. I found my level of CC dropped dramatically once I set my standards super high. If I relax them even a little (not use a paper towel), I get CC'd again.
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#4 L_C

 
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Posted 04 July 2011 - 03:34 AM

Wow... looks like I do need to be more careful. Thanks for the replies.
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#5 dilettantesteph

 
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Posted 04 July 2011 - 08:17 PM

One time I ate at a friends. We ate outside and I brought my own food and sat with my chair pulled back from the table. Everyone else was eating gluten and we kept going in and out of a sliding door. I think I got glutened from touching that door and then not washing my hands. I guess I'll need to have wet wipes next time I'm in a situation like that.
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#6 anabananakins

 
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Posted 05 July 2011 - 06:01 PM

I got glutened recently at a big morning tea where about 150 people were eating cake. Grrr. I had a cup of tea, not sure if that got me (it wasn't near the food) or if I touched something someone else touched. I have a rule to wash my hands (and make others wash theirs) as soon as I get home.
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#7 T.H.

 
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Posted 05 July 2011 - 10:51 PM

Is it possible to not get glutened in a mixed household if I wash my hands a lot and don't touch my face/mouth/nose?


I think that may depend on where you store your food and cooking implements, how sensitive to gluten you are, and how close you are to any airborne gluten.

When I go on vacation, I bring a huge plastic box with me (only done it a few times now). It contains my pots and pans, plates, spoons, dishrag, tinfoil, salt - whatever I need, it's in that box. I don't use anything not outside that box. I cover whatever counter space I use with tinfoil or papertowels, and only cook when everyone else is not so there's no splashing, etc... If there's lots of crumbs with a meal, I will usually eat early before everyone starts, or eat after everyone is done.

I have yet to make it through a vacation without getting glutened, nonetheless. In fact, when I am staying at homes where they eat a lot of gluten, I tend to get glutened at least every other day. I try to stay paranoid to keep safe, and sometimes that works, but...it's very, very hard to keep that mindset.

Basically, anything you touch, you have to wash your hand. Open the fridge and wash, open a cupboard and wash, touch the counter and wash, put a hand down the arm rest of a chair and wash - my hands were chapped from washing so much, one winter, and I STILL got glutened. :( And one of the houses is a shared household, with one gluten free member, so they're very careful to avoid the gluten cc, but it didn't help.

I couldn't say whether it was inhaled gluten, or if I simply forgot just once to wash my hands before touching my mouth or my food, but for me, it was pretty much impossible, sadly. Sucked, too, because it makes any vacation a very stressful experience rather than an enjoyable one, you know?
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#8 L_C

 
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Posted 06 July 2011 - 12:48 PM

Thank you all for sharing your experiences. I believe I have become pretty sensitive to small amounts of gluten (for example, I developed dermatitis herpetiformis on my face when I started using a hand soap containing hydrolyzed wheat protein). I used to get cramps and diarrhea from ingesting gluten, but now I only get constipation, which makes it harder to know if I've been glutened (I think sometimes I have C for reasons other than being glutened). But I have chronic health problems that have gotten worse and worse since being gluten-free, and I suspect that small exposures to gluten are contributing. I think I need to live in a gluten-free house, so I'm going to try to find a way to make that happen.
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