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Ate A Mars Bar Which Contains Barley Malt
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Today I decided to expose myself to 'just a little bit' of gluten. I ate a mars bar. Although I knew it contains barley malt I decided I had to have it. I wanted to see how and whether I would react to that small amount.

I was sick from lunch (due to the chilli chicken, which was gluten free) so I thought I might just have my mars bar and eat it too at the same time to see if there is a difference between me reacting to chilli and gluten.

Indeed there was. My slightly uncomfortable symptoms vanished as soon as I ate the Mars bar. About 20 minutes to half an hour later, I started to notice my sinuses went a little bit dry and I was less congested but more like I had a 'cold' that was coming on. the symptoms were very mild.

Then I noticed some random tingling and extremely subtle bloating in my stomach. It was really quite subtle but I did seem to have a little bit more 'brain fog' and felt a bit warmer than normal.

As for the mars bar, it seems like the malt flavouring is quite a unique one. I quite like it. Sadly it comes from barley.

Do most celiacs react to mars bars? Also are my symptoms typical? I'm better now but can still feel the tiniest bit of bloating which seems to be slowly going away - hopefully tomorrow all will be back to normal.

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If you are celiac then yes most of us would react to the candy bar because of the barley malt in some way. Reactions vary for each person. One of my bad reactions was from a regular milkyway(they have barley malt also). Last halloween I raided the kids candy stash(they were not gluten free at the time). I had been eating the candy I knew was safe and for whatever reason, I didn't think about the three "bite size" milkyways and I scarfed them down. Oh boy, did I react, and was miserable. I didn't go near the halloween candy afterwards. Probably one of my worst reactions was from eating gluten free oats! I never want to experience that pain again for sure.

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I don't know if you ate a big bar or one of the little Halloween type ones. The amount of barley you may have consumed was probably not much. Its not like its mostly barley its just a small amount. Maybe not enough to really get you going.

Not saying you should eat it! Even a small amount isn't good. But it isn't like you ate a wheat flour roll. If you got a little problem from that tiny amount of gluten...think how bad the dinner roll would be.

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Yea I would react very badly to the barley malt in that. For me the worst of the reaction is a couple of days after I eat the offending food. Just be prepared in case that happens to you also. If you are celiac you can't do 'just a little bit of gluten' as the reaction is an antibody reaction and it takes very little to flare those antibodies. There are candy bars that are safe. Baby Ruth is one and also DARK chocolate Milky Way, the regular ones are not safe.

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I react differently to barley as I do with wheat/gluten. It's still a reaction, but it's less painful (but not painless), but more abdominal swelling. I had Corn Flakes once, not knowing there was barley (I figured what harm could Corn Flakes do?), then I got a reaction a few hours later, and read the ingredients (duh, should have done it before hand) and that was it. It's not as painful, but still just as uncomfortable enough for me to avoid it.

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I am afraid to try anything that has barely or ingredients that I shouldnt have. I did that once and spent hours throwing up and having the runs and tremendous stomach and left side pain. I thought I was going to die so I try so hard not to even get glutened although I sometimes do.

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I'm better today than I was yesterday. Gluten reactions seem less predictable than others. I just didn't realise it could affect my sinuses so much. It doesn't appear to have spread to the skin, so hopefully I didn't do much damage. The amount of barley malt was only equivalent to the amount of cocoa mass in the chocolate that covers it and I think the malt flavours the nougat layer in it that's below the caramel. That's where I tasted it.

Are flu-like symptoms normal from such tiny amounts of gluten though?

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I don't know if you ate a big bar or one of the little Halloween type ones. The amount of barley you may have consumed was probably not much. Its not like its mostly barley its just a small amount. Maybe not enough to really get you going.

Not saying you should eat it! Even a small amount isn't good. But it isn't like you ate a wheat flour roll. If you got a little problem from that tiny amount of gluten...think how bad the dinner roll would be.

It was a large size. i didn't want to get bite-size ones since if I reacted I didn't want to be stuck. Other people say they don't react to them at all. Lindt says their chocolate with malt in it only has 3.6ppm so I'd like to see how that goes sometime. <20ppm is safe isn't it?

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snickers are gluten free supposedly but it sounds like you ate a milky way and they dont give me such a bad reaction but when i ate them the next day i felt better and ate something heavy like chicken and potatoes and i felt bloated which meant the malt damaged my intestines and it made it harder for my food to digest. i would suggest not eating it again.

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If it has malt you're going to react. It may be a small amount of malt so maybe you won't react as bad. That also depends on how sensitive you are. Experimenting with gluten isn't a wise choice to make. It's autoimmune, so every time you do that, your intestine gets damaged and so does some other part of your body. It's not worth it.

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No offense, but I am taken aback that people would actually plan to eat gluten just to experiment with reactions. Even if your symptoms aren't severe, it's having detrimental affects on your body. I'm with sandsurfgirl...it's not worth it.

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Thanks for this. I've heard other ingredients like wheat glucose syrup are safe but haven't tried them yet. I also heard lindt milk chocolate only has 3.6 ppm gluten so was going to try that and see how I go. Maybe I'm just really sensitive.

The mars bar I don't know that necessarily damaged my intestines, or did it? For an amount that small just once wouldn't it just get things up a bit and then slow down pretty quickly.

I'm 100% fine now, but when eating out at my usual place earlier in the day (the meals are probably always a tiny bit cc'd) today, I seemed to respond a lot more strongly to the 'tiny traces' of gluten that are normally fine (i.e. gluten-free toast with same butter spread) so it could be a slightly longer-term thing. Don't know for sure.

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Thanks for this. I've heard other ingredients like wheat glucose syrup are safe but haven't tried them yet. I also heard lindt milk chocolate only has 3.6 ppm gluten so was going to try that and see how I go. Maybe I'm just really sensitive.

The mars bar I don't know that necessarily damaged my intestines, or did it? For an amount that small just once wouldn't it just get things up a bit and then slow down pretty quickly.

I'm 100% fine now, but when eating out at my usual place earlier in the day (the meals are probably always a tiny bit cc'd) today, I seemed to respond a lot more strongly to the 'tiny traces' of gluten that are normally fine (i.e. gluten-free toast with same butter spread) so it could be a slightly longer-term thing. Don't know for sure.

It isn't just your intestines that are a concern if you are celiac. Some of us have no intestinal symptoms at all. The antibodies can attack any organ so you are risking damage to your brain, gallbladder, liver, joints and muscles etc and also end you up with lymphoma or other cancers. Please if you are a celiac avoid even small amounts of CC. It is just not worth the risk.

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Alright I'll leave the whole thing alone then. Seems odd how something as harmless as barley can hurt us so badly. Still new so I'll get used to it.

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Your post made me laugh. Alright then! Like a kid who was told not to eat cookies before dinner. LOL

Stop bargaining. There are plenty of chocolates that do not have any malt or gluten ingredients in them. Eat those. Let the Lindt and Mars Bars go. I'm not sure how old you are, but those of who are in our 40's or older at diagnosis... we don't bargain. You don't want all that damage in your body. You really don't.

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Your post made me laugh. Alright then! Like a kid who was told not to eat cookies before dinner. LOL

Stop bargaining. There are plenty of chocolates that do not have any malt or gluten ingredients in them. Eat those. Let the Lindt and Mars Bars go. I'm not sure how old you are, but those of who are in our 40's or older at diagnosis... we don't bargain. You don't want all that damage in your body. You really don't.

I'm 23 so that may explain some of it.

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You asked about how other's react so I'm going to chime in though I'm a little late. I accidentally got barley malt in a candy bar I thought was gluten free. As I bit into the bar, I turned it over to read the ingredients. Crap. Barley Malt. I thought it would be a mild reaction because I spit it out, brushed my teeth and threw the rest away. I was wrong. I got sick as a dog for a whole damn week. Migraine, nausea, unable to eat, D, fatigue, dizzy, brain fog, and depression. Wow! That is the last time I got glutened and it was some months ago...I will never forget it. But then, I'm in my late 40's. No bargaining for me. Now I strictly avoid anything that is even processed in a facility that also processes wheat. I never wanna be that sick again.

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No offense, but I am taken aback that people would actually plan to eat gluten just to experiment with reactions. Even if your symptoms aren't severe, it's having detrimental affects on your body. I'm with sandsurfgirl...it's not worth it.

I equate it to putting your hand on a hot stove. In your mind you know it will hurt and burn you. But some times you have to actually touch the stove and get burned for it to "sink in." If you associate something with pain then you are less likely to do it again.

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