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Gluten Through Touch
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How many of you believe you can have a reaction from touching a product that has gluten in it? Seems to be a controversial topic ... some say yes, some say no. I know from my own experience that I believe, yes.

Most Recent Example: I live in Green Bay, and yesterday as part of helping out my son's school, I worked a concession booth at the Packer Game -- I was working the cash register which meant I was also pouring/serving beer to patrons that ordered it. Not being the most savvy beer pourer, i had many times where the foam spilled over the cup and onto my hands. By the time I got home I could see the hives starting all over my hands including the palms of my hands (ugh, the worst!)... and by 11pm last night I was crawling out of my skin -- hives all over my hands -- i managed to scratch myself to sleep last night for a few hours before waking back up with itching and painful hives form all the scratching - ended up putting my hands in ice water to numb the itching so I could go back to sleep. This morning my hands were so dry/hurting from the scratching it was unbelievable. I think it directly correlated to the beer exposure.

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I have the same reaction! If I touch a crumb of wheat on the counter at work, my hands immediately begin itching and hives appear on both forearms that last about two days. Studies are desperately needed in this area--there is no medical literature that I'm aware of that describes this type of reaction to touching gluten. Also, I didn't used to react like this--it only began happening a few years ago (I've been gluten free for eight years). I, too, would like to know if others experience difficulties touching gluten.

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I develop hives from touching it too. However I found out this year I have an allergy to wheat in addition to the auto-immune reactions when I ingest it. So if you have hives (not to be confused with DH) you may want to get allergy testing done. Benedryl helps with the hives but it makes me sleep.

ETA: I also did not start having this reaction (hives) until after I went gluten-free.

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I am positive mine is DH/allergy to gluten - i have seen doctors for everything under the sun -- from cancer to lupus to saying the hives and rashes came from my tonsils being enlarged. None of them even touched on the possibility of a gluten allergy. The percent for a accurate results showing confirmed DH is not as high as I'd like in order to spend insurance money (it's out of pocket for me for the next 1000.00 dollars) at this point to get a testing done. The remedy to DH is gluten free -- iodine free also in my case -- so at this point, I have been gluten free almost 3 months and the hives went away. My body is the best proof I have vs spending the money at this point to get a test done to confirm what is already working -- i hope that makes sense? I literally can make a PPJ for my son and get hives within a few hours afterwards. I've also found if i eat anything with gluten, by the next day i have a patch hives. The nice thing is since being gluten free (minus the few mistakes obviously that i had a breakout) the hives are less intense and do not last as long as prior. The exception being the beer experience. But i had a LOT of exposure on my hand of it as I found I am horrible at pouring without a ton of foam. Opps! :-) I was a pro by the end of the half time though!!:-) I also attend the celiac group in my area and everyone i showed it too agree -- looks very much like DH. In short: i do what works and that is enough for me! Believe me -- going gluten free has saved my life -- i was going to go crazy prior not understanding why no one could help my hives i had for 6 years!

I read online yesterday someone who had a good article showing that it is possible for gluten to affect someone via touch but i can't seem to find the page. It made a lot of good points and sense. If i can find it i will definitely post it!

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In general, I don't think anyone should assume ahead of time that physical contact with wheat will either cause a reaction or not cause a reaction.

Results are too variable among people.

For my part, I haven't detected any direct response to touching wheat products or even being in grain dust, in my occasional work in the grain industry.

But I accept that contact will cause a reaction with many other people.

We need some controlled studies to answer these questions.

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There's a difference between a topical allergic reaction and celiac or DH. I don't think anyone would deny that someone who is allergic can have a reaction to touching wheat.

I had DH for 20 years before I was diagnosed with celiac. Blisters, itching, the whole thing. I have absolutely no reaction whatsoever to touching gluten, although I do it as little as possible because I don't want to chance accidental ingestion.

richard

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I have experience both -- digesting gluten and touching gluten. Both times, i broke out in hives. :-(

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So poorly understood and researched it is..

Disclosure: I am "officially" undiagnosed.

I have spoken to my boss, two weeks ago, and I asked to be removed from the bread/toast jobs unless absolutely necessary. It has made a big difference to my "undiagnosed" Celiac/DH. I don't choke and cough my way at work so much any more.

My 9 y/o son handles his own breakfast and school lunch now (which involves bread etc) and has been doing so for about two months. This has made a big difference to my gluten inhaling/handling.

My new principle is: "" What goes in must come out ""

If it goes in the mouth it comes out.

If it goes in the pores it comes out.

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Sometimes our bodies know best .... Do what works!! :-)

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I absolutely agree with getting away from the bread/toast jobs because there's just no way to avid inadvertent gluten, but you definitely were not absorbing bread or toast through your pores or skin. It's simply not possible.

richard

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I have spoken to my boss, two weeks ago, and I asked to be removed from the bread/toast jobs unless absolutely necessary. It has made a big difference to my "undiagnosed" Celiac/DH. I don't choke and cough my way at work so much any more.

These symptoms sound like possible wheat allergy issues. We have learned the hard way that our wheat "allergy" issues can as serious (if not more so) than our "celiac" issues. Please consider consulting with an allergist to evaluate your symptoms. I think that the celiac community sometimes overlooks how serious the wheat allergy aspect can be for some! The description of your symptoms sound a bit like possible asthma issues to me, and asthma can be deadly, much more quickly than celiac!

Our family has both - celiac and wheat/gluten allergy. We have found that the super sensitive community is a fantastic resource in helping us maintain improved well being. Three out of four of us require Allergy Action Plans for incidental allergen exposure.

And we also have too much experience with hives and angioedema. Our skin issues have presented from both contact and ingestion, so it is best to remember that everyone experiences these things a bit differently. Even in our own family, we have individual reactions . . . and genetic makeup. We are a family that takes conservative measures in protecting ourselves from wheat and gluten exposure - we have found it absolutely necessary with our dual allergy / celiac diagnosis.

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    • I am sorry that you are sick!   Unfortunately, all celiac testing requires you to be on gluten.  😔.   Testing is usually not over until you get an actual diagnosis, but it appears that you may very well have celiac disease.    Here is more information: http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/screening/ http://theceliacmd.com/2015/06/six-reasons-to-test-for-celiac-disease-before-starting-a-gluten-free-diet-3/ in the meantime, you can eliminate dairy products temporarily.  It may provide some relief.  
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