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Do You Ever Cheat On Your Gluten Free Diet?


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42 replies to this topic

#16 Takala

 
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Posted 26 September 2012 - 09:59 PM

I don't want to. I think if you got my symptoms, you might not want to, either.

I did deliberately risk a cross contaminated meal once, years ago, on a trip, after, in spite of my best efforts, getting hit from the restaurant meal the night before, which was a plain steak and potato :angry: I thought, since I'm going to be reacting anyway, and be stuck with this headachey fuzzy brain and my eyes crossing, might as well get something out of this, and the funny part was, I didn't react poorly to it, because it turns out that dish is made with rice flour, which explains why I had eaten it in the past before I went gluten free, and it didn't bother me, but I couldn't quite figure it out. But I really paid attention to it this time (how it tasted) so I could then try and duplicate it if I ever wanted to eat it again, and get the flavor right. I was really surprised when I researched the sauce, that it was also gluten free because it is a very simple mayonnaise mixed with honey. That whole trip was just like an adventure in gluten- hell land anyway, and it taught me to not depend on others to do basic research on what is going to be available re: "food," because my spouse had stayed in the same area a few years back, and he said it should be okay, and to use room service if I had to, but when I got there the hotel concierge gives us a list of recommended restaurants and tells us to take cabs because it is not safe to just walk around :blink:. Oh, just great. So on that day, after the first day's meal in the restaurant where I was pretty sure the (Russian emigre) waitress had no earthly clue as to what I meant, I was really relieved that someone who was familiar with the area volunteered to take some of us to another (ethnic) restaurant where she knew the owners and she could translate. Heck, maybe that's why I didn't get hit. :)

My only other bad restaurant glutening was ordering off a gluten free menu with a nationally known chain, with another waitress whom I could tell was sort of new, and it was steak and potato again. :huh:

Now that I am nine years into this, I am more sensitive. I don't feel good eating a lot of carbohydrates or sugars anyway, and there is always another alternative food that I can make to eat, that my husband can make (he likes to grill meat) or find to eat, that I don't feel these intense cravings to stuff myself with lots of breads or cereals.

Some doctors will tell patients on other types of diets to go ahead and have a cheat once in a while, as a sort of reverse psychology thing that lets them know they don't have to be perfect, so as to have a better overall chance of success. I know that my mother was told this when she had to go on a sugar free diet, and she didn't do this very often (cheating) as a result. But, it's different that you cannot medically compensate with some extra pills or insulin, when you are setting off an auto immune reaction by ingesting gluten. There is just no way that eating something with gluten in it is going to be worth setting off an arthritis flare, besides the neurological symptoms.
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#17 karinp

 
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Posted 27 September 2012 - 04:33 AM

Thank you so much for all your replies!! I really needed to hear your opinions about it. That helped thanks! For whoever it was that asked about my symptoms, i just have bloating/gas. I had my doctor do the blood tests which were positive and that lead to the endoscopy.

I'm an RN so i do realize how important it is to stick to the diet. It's just so hard to imagine a couple little bites can cause such a response in your body!! Crazy!
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#18 archaeo in FL

 
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Posted 28 September 2012 - 02:52 AM

Karinp, I think once you start doing research (especially as an RN) you'll see lots of other reasons why not to cheat. As others mentioned, it's hard enough to keep gluten out of your diet even being really vigilant about it (things I never imagined to be iffy: imitation crab meat, tea bags!), nevermind the issue of CC, which is a big one.

I also don't have noticeable symptoms. I react more strongly to dairy and soy. But the chronic alternating C/D that I used to have has eased considerably, and my gas and bloating have gotten much better.

With Celiac disease, your chances of developing several types of cancers, as well as other autoimmune disorders, is significantly (in some cases exponentially) higher if left untreated, which means if you continue to consume gluten. For me, with cancern running in my family and with a job that involves a fair amount of sun exposure, it's worth it to me to reduce my risk of cancer as much as possible if for no other reason! (Melanoma is included in the list of increased incidence.)

Read up - as soon as you learn more about what damage is being done and what will or may happen if you continue to consume gluten, I think you'll be less likely to cheat.
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#19 kareng

 
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Posted 28 September 2012 - 04:57 AM

Karinp, I think once you start doing research (especially as an RN) you'll see lots of other reasons why not to cheat. As others mentioned, it's hard enough to keep gluten out of your diet even being really vigilant about it (things I never imagined to be iffy: imitation crab meat, tea bags!), nevermind the issue of CC, which is a big one.



No need to worry about tea bags. That is just one of those myths that seems to go around the internet. I think the imitation crab meat is a real concern but in the US, they must label the wheat added.
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#20 kittty

 
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Posted 28 September 2012 - 09:25 AM

As others have said, after being gluten free for a while you might not have any gluten cravings, or any desire to cheat. At first I had cravings, and the smell of cookies or bread baking drove me insane. But now that same smell does nothing for me, with no mouth watering and no desire to chow down. Going gluten free is like Pavlov's bell in reverse - you become conditioned to not want it anymore.
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#21 Takala

 
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Posted 28 September 2012 - 09:57 AM

A few kinds of TEA in the tea bags might have gluten in the flavorings, but the bags are okay.... check the manufacturer's FAQ on flavored teas. Wouldn't go near fake crabmeat :blink: . Some cigarette rolling papers and some brands of charcoal and kitty litter having wheat/gluten in them as binders, as well as some types of drywall, were the biggest surprises I've seen on commonly used items which can have gluten. Most annoying reactions I've had weren't mine, it was when I purchased an expensive brand of dog food that was prominently labeled 'gluten free' and the manufacturer changed formulas but still had the same label pretty much until you read the fine print, when my spouse purchased the next bag, it was not gluten free because it now had cc'd oats, and the (very allergic) dog got really, really sick and we had a vet bill because besides throwing up and D, he licked himself a huge, nasty hotspot on his skin. :angry:
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#22 archaeo in FL

 
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Posted 29 September 2012 - 08:29 AM

No need to worry about tea bags. That is just one of those myths that seems to go around the internet. I think the imitation crab meat is a real concern but in the US, they must label the wheat added.



Good to know! I definitely saw some posts about specific brands and even specific flavors being gluten-free and not, but I'll just always check with manufacturers to be sure. Lots of them are just stapled shut anyway, of course!
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#23 rain

 
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Posted 29 September 2012 - 01:28 PM

I found the first 3 months the hardest because I got a headache every time I tried to prepare something to eat. The lifestyle adjustment was misery making. But after that it's been easy. The only time I eat gluten is on the occasion when I go out for asian food and get something that has soy sauce in it. I have found that I feel fine after but I its not good either. But like others said, I feel like gluten is so bad for me that I don't feel tempted to eat it. Hopefully you'll end up feeling the same way. It makes this a almost easy.
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#24 T.H.

 
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Posted 01 October 2012 - 04:04 AM

I wouldn't cheat, no.

Here's a few facts that might help you understand why this would be a problem.


1. At this point in time, it will take months of absolutely no gluten to get to a healthy place for your body. Some people take around 6 months, some 12 months, some can take up to 2 years before their body is completely healed. Cheating right now, when you haven't healed is...well, I think of it like pulling off a scab from a healing cut, over and over again as it tries to heal. It's NEVER going to heal if you do that. Literally never.

2. Whenever you eat gluten - just once - it will take 1-2 weeks for your body to heal back up completely. That's once you've ALREADY healed from the years of damage your body has at the moment. If you cheated once a month, that's about 2 weeks of lower vitamins and inflammation, and then the next two weeks your body would get to try and up the vitamins again, only to be knocked down the next month with another glutening.


3. Eating gluten will cause you to be nutrient deficient. And truly, that will hurt you in ways you won't even think about. My father's joints and his spine were destroyed because of this - he was using a cane by his thirties. My skin was affected - in MY thirties, I had people asking if I wanted the Senior discounts because my skin is so aged from nutritional deficiencies.

And it can affect things that you can't plan for. Like illness: if you catch the flu right after you cheat, your body doesn't have as many resources to fight it off and you are more likely to get complications like pneumonia. The lower vitamins can affect your immune system's ability to fight off diseases and infections, period. My vitamin-deficient body reacted like it was immuno-compromised and as a result, I now have a chronic disease that will cause me problems the rest of my life.

I had no gut symptoms either, by the way, and still ended up with all these issues. Truly, cheating once in a while just sets you up for some real potential harm. :-(
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T.H.

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21 years with undiagnosed Celiac Disease

23 years with undiagnosed sulfite sensitivity

25 years with undiagnosed mast cell activation disorder (MCAD) 

 

Daughter: celiac and MCAD positive

Son: gluten intolerant
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#25 zamm0

 
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Posted 02 October 2012 - 03:40 AM

Was only diagnosed less than 2 weeks ago so this might be a rookie question :-)

If the intestines gradually heal themselves, is there a rate/amount at which gluten could IN THEORY be ingested and the NET effect is that the intestines do actually gradually heal? Although obviously if you were gluten free 100% then that healing process would be quicker.
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#26 kareng

 
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Posted 02 October 2012 - 04:53 AM

Was only diagnosed less than 2 weeks ago so this might be a rookie question :-)

If the intestines gradually heal themselves, is there a rate/amount at which gluten could IN THEORY be ingested and the NET effect is that the intestines do actually gradually heal? Although obviously if you were gluten free 100% then that healing process would be quicker.



You might want to google some reliable medical celiac centers or organizations and read. Here's one easy to understand: http://www.curecelia...guide/treatment

Becaues Celiac is an autoimmune disease, any gluten starts an immune response that can damage the intestines.
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Once again, we come to the Holiday Season, a deeply religious time that each of us observes, in his own way, by going to the mall of his choice. - Dave Barry
 
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“One can never have enough socks," said Dumbledore. "Another Christmas has come and gone and I didn't get a single pair. People will insist on giving me books.”  - J.K. Rowling, Harry Potter and The Sorcerer's Stone
 
 
 
 
 

 


#27 zamm0

 
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Posted 02 October 2012 - 08:36 AM

You might want to google some reliable medical celiac centers or organizations and read. Here's one easy to understand: http://www.curecelia...guide/treatment

Becaues Celiac is an autoimmune disease, any gluten starts an immune response that can damage the intestines.


Ok thanks for the link. I did read it. This does not answer my question really. I KNOW obviously the 'solution' to celiac disease is to stop gluten ingestion but what I am asking is related to the RATE at which damage occurs versus the RATE at which healing occurs.
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#28 zamm0

 
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Posted 02 October 2012 - 08:53 AM

I will add...I'm not *obviously* going to ingest gluten knowingly. Just thinking out loud really as to what is going on....
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#29 mushroom

 
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Posted 02 October 2012 - 08:57 AM

So long as any gluten is being ingested, the autoimmune response is being triggered. How much damage it does to your body is not quantifiable, but it is not worth the risk.
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#30 GottaSki

 
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Posted 02 October 2012 - 09:05 AM

Ok thanks for the link. I did read it. This does not answer my question really. I KNOW obviously the 'solution' to celiac disease is to stop gluten ingestion but what I am asking is related to the RATE at which damage occurs versus the RATE at which healing occurs.

I don't believe anyone can answer this question. No one heals at exactly the same rate and many have different tolerance level - certified gluten-free foods need to be 20 ppm - this can be enough to cause the immune response in some with Celiac Disease.

I happen to be one of the unlucky folks that has hardly healed in over three years completely gluten-free - yet when I was diagnosed I completely believed that I would heal within months - I never would have believed it would take years.

No one can predict the rate in which you will heal OR the damage that ingesting gluten will cause in your body.

Gluten is poison to the person with Celiac Disease - will a little kill you - not right away ;)
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-Lisa

Undiagnosed Celiac Disease ~ 43 years

3/26/09 gluten-free - dignosed celiac - blood 3/3/09, biopsy 3/26/09, double DQ2 / single DQ8 positive

10/25/13 - MCAD

Health history since celiac diagnosis became too long -- moved to the "about me" section of my profile

My children and I all have multiple copies of the genes for Celiac Disease, along with large variety of symptoms/resolution gluten-free

Current tally from me, three kids and two grands: 4 diagnosed with Celiac Disease, 2 NCGS

Get PROPERLY tested BEFORE REMOVING GLUTEN.

ALWAYS independently research health related information found on internet forums/blogs.

"LTES" a Gem :)





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