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Allergic Reaction To Gluten After Going Gluten Free
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Hello

I was diagnosed Celiac about five months ago and have been Gluten Free since. I had a full on allergic reaction the other day. I need emergency treatment as my throat closed. I traced back everything I ate, drank and did for the last few days. Only one thing was different.

I was jonesing for Hint Of Lime CHips from Tostitos. So, I read the label and looked at thier online. It said the product didn't contain wheat. I assumed it was Gluten Free. I ate them three days in a row. The first two days I noticed mild gastro problems. The third days was the full on reaction: throat closed, bp and heart rate sky rocketed, face turned red and I started vomiting. I went back and check the Hint Of Lime chips as they were the only thing out of the ordinary. I realized they are recognized as Gluten free by the company because they are produced on the same line as wheat products(they wash the line between runs) but even the company can't say for sure they are not cross contaminated.

My question is has anyone experienced a full on allergic reaction when exposed to gluten after being gluten and wheat free for an extended period of time.

Linda

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I'll start by explaining the Lay's thing because I've contacted the company. If you view their website they'll have two types of "gluten free" products. Those they list as having no gluten containing ingredients and those that are gluten free. The ones you ate simply have no gluten containing ingredients. The ones they offer that are gluten free are run on the same lines as everything else, but the difference is that every patch is tested to ensure that they are in fact gluten free. The lines are cleaned between every run, for every product but only the ones listed as gluten free are tested, every batch, every time. Here is a link to a page listing both gluten free and no gluten ingredients foods and it also explains at the beginning of each list on the page very briefly the difference.

So, anyway... on to your issue specifically. The chips you ate don't contain gluten but because they specifically aren't batch tested could have contained some. But, do you know what you had an allergic reaction to? Having celiac and spending any significant amount of time not consuming any food (not just gluten) will not cause you to develop an allergic reaction to it. Is it possible you have developed an actual wheat allergy and that that batch of chips was CC'd? Sure. It's also possible that something else entirely caused your problem. Because you had a life threatening reaction you should consider talking to your doctor about allergy testing.

For many of us, me included, we've been sick a long time. We finally get a celiac diagnosis and see a light at the end of the tunnel. But we need to remember that gluten is not the only evil in the world. We need to not blame every single thing wrong with us on it. It can't and shouldn't be the first and/or only thing we look at to blame. You should examine your entire meal before your reaction, anything you ate could be the culprit. I know you say only one thing was different but even on the ingredient list of that it could be something other than the possible CC. It is also possible, must like developing a new allergy to wheat that this is a new allergy to something you could safely eat 2 weeks ago. The only way to be sure, really is probably allergy testing. It sure beats risking another life threatening reaction to who knows what.

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i don't think it was the gluten dear, it was probably something else.

Before i went gluten free, tomatos would cause me to have stomach problems. Afterwards, it moved into more of an allergic reaction type thing. Now i'm allergic to them.

Removing something major from your diet will cause other things to come out of the woodwork.

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    • Hi Beachgrl, It won't hurt anything to go gluten-free now, except the possibility of getting a diagnosis of celiac disease.  When i went gluten-free, it seemed like the initial changes were spread over about 6 weeks.  I had gut spasms for that time.  And other changes, all for the better.  Initial recovery from celiac damage can take up to 18 months, so it can be a slow thing.  Some people get better much faster of course, because we are all individuals and not identical. Going gluten-free for celiac disease is a lifetime commitment though, and some people have a hard time doing that without a diagnosis.  Even minor amounts of gluten can cause us to react, so it is best to eat a very simple diet of whole foods at first.  Avoid dairy and processed foods.  I hope it works out for you.  I know some people with Crohns disease eat gluten-free and find it helps them.  Gluten is a tough thing to digest for all people, but most don't have an immune reaction to it like celiacs do.  
    • Honestly, I would not trust the school to provide a gluten-free meal except for fruit, salads, veggies, etc. I sub in a school cafeteria and I swear everything is breaded or on bread. Utensils are shared. They're very clean but unless you have a very knowledgeable person in there, I just wouldn't chance it. I found a slim Jim type snack that says gluten-free on it. If you want to give me your email or FB account, I can send you some very valuable info on 504's though. They carry the student right through college. I kept a copy of what a friend wrote about her daughter being in a sorority and just how the 504 helped immensely. But, I would definitely get one and still be prepared to pack a lunch. All our meals are delivered frozen and we just hear them up. If your school actually fixes food, that's different. 
    • Oh, I would suggest providing gluten-free goodies (e.g. Candy) or even a frozen cupcake (kept in the teacher's freezer) in the event of a party.  My daughter's classmate is severely allergic to peanuts.  Her mom did that and Abby was never left out!  😊
    • Hi Nobody, Welcome to the forum!  I noticed you said you have been avoiding wheat products.  That's good, but are you avoiding rye and barley also?  Wheat, rye, and barley are the 3 grains that cause reactions in celiac patients.  About 10% also react to oats. If you haven't had the full celiac antibodies test panel, it might be worthwhile getting that done now.  The ttg is just a basic test and is generally followed up by an endoscopy or the full celiac panel. I wouldn't worry a lot about getting cancer.  That doesn't happen often. It is possible some of the other grains you might be eating are contaminated.  A group did a test on several off the shelf products a few years ago that would not normally be thought of as having gluten and found some actually did have low levels of gluten.  Things like corn meal for example.    
    • I can not help you with the the 504 plan, but I do know that I would do it.  My daughter is 15 and so far has tested negative for celiac disease, but in the event she does test positive, she will need a 504 plan to help keep her safe.  I am sure other parents will chime in.  This topic has come up repeatedly.  Until then, try a search with the forum.  Lots of people have posted with their comments and experiences.   As far as lunch is concerned, my kid has not purchased a school lunch since the 1st grade.  She says they are gross.  (Poor me!).  But, I would not trust the school to provide a gluten-free lunch.  Sure, they are required by law, but let's face it, who is working in the kitchens, ordering, etc?  I am on a University campus and have called out food service for not following gluten-free safe practices!    I would pack a lunch, at least until her health has stabilized.  The 504 plan is great for extra trips to the bathroom and hand washing.  It provides some protection in the classroom.   Keep advocating for her Mom!  You are doing a great job!  
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