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Myths About Gluten In Everyday Non Edible Objects?
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I have read umpteen accounts about wheat in topical products (creams, shampoos etc) and about being glutened from licking envelopes, the latter was totally disproved and verified by envelope manufacturers and postage stamp printers.

Can one get 'Glutened' from applying cream etc containing wheat/gluten.

How does one define glutening ?? ( Villious Atrophy)

Very rarely people can have a severe reaction to topical products that contain gluten/wheat, these include gluten like symptoms of cramps, bloating, diarrhea etc, this is known as Contact Urticaria Syndrome.

I wonder is the whole thing about wheat in creams, shampoo etc blown out of all proportion just to make those that don't know, pay extra for products that say they contain no gluten ingredients.

Has anyone checked exactly what percentage the wheat ingredient accounts for against the weight/volume of the product, .00005 percent or 20PPM is considered gluten free (ie. it will not cause the villi to be damaged)

Immediate contact allergy from hydrolyzed wheat in a cosmetic cream:

http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1034/j.1398-9995.2000.00516.x/full

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If they have DH or some sort of skin condition, its not a far strech.

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If they have DH or some sort of skin condition, its not a far strech.

This is incorrect, actually, sorry.

DH is not triggered by topical gluten-containing products.

It is triggered by the autoimmune response from digesting gluten.

Dr. Green's book Celiac Disease:The Hidden Epidemic:

"DH is very erratic. Since the skin may not be rid of IgA deposits for more than 2 years after starting a gluten-free diet, flare- ups occur without obvious gluten ingestion. It may take patients a substantial amount of time to erase years of IgA buildup in the skin.

A flare could also be due to inadvertent gluten ingestion, iodine, NSAIDS. If the patient has DH, it may take years for it to get better."

No mention whatsoever of topical applications.

Do people have IgE allergies as well? yes. Urticaria? yes.

But, DH is triggered by ingestion of gluten.

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In the US, we have some hair products with wheat germ oil as a main ingredient.. I don't use them because I know I get shampoo, etc in my mouth. I choose to use creams that are gluten-free because I tend to get them on my lips or they stay on my hands. I don't worry about eye shadow or mascara. I have seen oats in some powders. I don't worry about them because the amount of accidental wheat that could, unlikely, be in the tiny tiny bit of oats in the product, doesn't worry me. Of course, lip products should be gluten-free.

I'm sure plenty of people will want to argue with you and I on this. In the US, there are plenty of main stream beauty products, shampoos & lotions that are gluten-free without added cost.

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I have no idea if any topical products containing gluten would harm me, but it is just one less thing to worry about :P At this stage of my life, that's one of my basic premises :D

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I choose to use creams that are gluten-free because I tend to get them on my lips or they stay on my hands. I don't worry about eye shadow or mascara. I have seen oats in some powders. I don't worry about them because the amount of accidental wheat that could, unlikely, be in the tiny tiny bit of oats in the product, doesn't worry me. Of course, lip products should be gluten-free.

This is pretty much how I choose "beauty" products as well.

Lipstick --and sunscreen or something I may perspire through and have it run in my mouth-- are my main concerns as well.

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I've just had a quick look at our shampoos, soaps, sunscreens, etc and none of them contain gluten. I actually don't think I've heard of any that do. We don't use make up, I have worn lipstick 3 times in my life, and had full makeup done once at 17, so make up isn't something we would keep in the house at any time. But the other products do not contain gluten and I can't see why they would.

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Manufacturers (and food processors) seem to find a reason to put gluten into thousands of things that we would never anticipate finding them in. Hydrolyzed wheat protein is a big one in personal care products.

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All of ours are from organic vegan places and nope, they don't contain anything gluten. Not the soaps, not the shampoos, not the sunscreens, not the cleaning products, none of it. I wonder why they would do that.

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Why would it be used? Because it has properties that many people want in cosmetic products:

http://www.makingcosmetics.com/Hydrolyzed-Wheat-Protein-p193.html "Properties: Excellent tensor & film-forming properties (increases firmness of the skin), nourishes and smoothes skin & hair (improves skin feeling & softness), moisture retainer (protects skin & hair from drying out), decreases number and depth of wrinkles, volumizing effects."

http://www.specialchem4cosmetics.com/services/inci/ingredient.aspx?id=6057"HYDROLYZED WHEAT PROTEIN is classifed as: ANTISTATIC, HAIR CONDITIONING, SKIN CONDITIONING"

http://www.naturalwellbeing.com/learning-center/Hydrolyzed_Wheat_Protein

"Modern Uses

Hydrolyzed wheat protein is used today throughout many different cultures and industries. Skin care products contain this type of protein in order to retain water or moisture on the skin. Various skin care products such as moisturizers, lotions, skin care serums and anti aging creams contain hydrolyzed wheat protein to effectively preserve or improve skin moisture. Anti aging creams also have this ingredient to minimize fine lines and wrinkles typical of skin exposed to ultra violet light and as a result of natural aging.

Hair care products on the other hand also improve their quality with hydrolyzed wheat protein as an ingredient. This increases the overall strength of the hair right up to the roots; it makes hair more manageable and can even benefit people who have thinning hair, premature baldness for women and male pattern baldness for men. It can also help repair damaged hair follicles making hair fuller and softer to the touch.

Hydrolyzed wheat protein is also an ingredient in cosmetic preparations such as concealers, face powders and other types of makeup that is used every day. There are lipsticks and lip glosses that also contain this type of protein to improve moisture quality of lips eliminating chaffing and cracking common to lips when they are exposed to dry environments."

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There is no scientific evidence to back this but I find it interesting that when I have used products with gluten, they cause problems . Not typical problems found when ingesting gluten, but other issues... For example....

Suntan lotion w G = very red sun burn, gluten-free= nice tan

Hand and body lotion w G= sticky skin, gluten-free lotion= soft, silky skin

Shampoo w G= frizzy hair, GFshampoo =soft, silky hair

G mascara= red, itchy eyes, lash breakage, gluten-free mascara = long, lush eyelashes

G eye shadow = red eyes, loses color, gluten-free eyeshadow = clear eyes, longer lasting

Make up w G = pimples, gluten-free make up, clear skin

G soap = dry flaky skin or sticky residue, gluten-free soap normal skin

G laundry soap = itchy clothes or sheets

Does anyone else see weird reactions similar to these?

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There is no scientific evidence to back this but I find it interesting that when I have used products with gluten, they cause problems . Not typical problems found when ingesting gluten, but other issues... For example....

Suntan lotion w G = very red sun burn, gluten-free= nice tan

Hand and body lotion w G= sticky skin, gluten-free lotion= soft, silky skin

Shampoo w G= frizzy hair, GFshampoo =soft, silky hair

G mascara= red, itchy eyes, lash breakage, gluten-free mascara = long, lush eyelashes

G eye shadow = red eyes, loses color, gluten-free eyeshadow = clear eyes, longer lasting

Make up w G = pimples, gluten-free make up, clear skin

G soap = dry flaky skin or sticky residue, gluten-free soap normal skin

G laundry soap = itchy clothes or sheets

Does anyone else see weird reactions similar to these?

Yep.

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Thank you all for your input.

I'm aware that some products from the USA do contain Wheat protein etc (in Europe they don't).

I realise that people can suffer from contact urticaria with these products,

but is it not dangerous to make a blanket statement and say it causes a gluten reaction (defined as damage to the villi) ?

Gluten can only cause a Celiac reaction (villious Atrophy) when ingested, it can not pass trough the skin.

I'm not insinuating that anyone is 'scaremongering' but newly diagnosed Celiacs have enough to worry about with their diet, without having to change all their creams, household cleaners etc because in reality only a small portion of people have problems with contact urticaria.

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"Gluten can only cause a Celiac reaction (villious Atrophy) when ingested, it can not pass trough the skin."

I am trying to understand:

How do you know? Is Celiac reaction different from reaction? I could say that I react to something; (all of the while) I don't know what kind of reaction it is, right? Also, nobody can see a villious response in each case of glutening, right? So, how can we say this one is a gluten reaction and this one is not?

My skin reacts to pulling barley grass in the garden. This might be an allergy, or gluten, but I know I react to it.

I believe the skin can take in, but I think it mostly dumps out. Still, I would think the potential is there to let gluten in. Or Is it too big?

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Thank you all for your input.

I'm aware that some products from the USA do contain Wheat protein etc (in Europe they don't).

I realise that people can suffer from contact urticaria with these products,

but is it not dangerous to make a blanket statement and say it causes a gluten reaction (defined as damage to the villi) ?

Gluten can only cause a Celiac reaction (villious Atrophy) when ingested, it can not pass trough the skin.

I'm not insinuating that anyone is 'scaremongering' but newly diagnosed Celiacs have enough to worry about with their diet, without having to change all their creams, household cleaners etc because in reality only a small portion of people have problems with contact urticaria.

I don't agree with what you are calling a gluten reaction. If your concern is with damage to the villi, then just say "damage to the villi".

I think what you are trying to do is simplify what a gluten "reaction" is. A gluten reaction, or rather exposure, isn't simple. We all react in different ways and to different levels. And on top if that, our individual reactions can vary day to day.

I could walk into a salon, and get a hair treatment using wheat germ oil...and if I run my fingers through my hair then eat some gluten-free chips I dang well may "gluten myself" and experience stomach cramps, d, and trigger an AI reaction in my intestines and feel it throughout my body. I may also have a skin reaction like itching.

I look at non-food items that contain gluten like eating a highly processed diet where one assumes low level exposure.

I also have DH, and I would NEVER put a glutenous substance on the lesions. That aversion is from flat-out fear.

Seperate from above, I also experience itching when I come onto contact with some beauty products. I usually find those products contain gluten to some degree, usually oat (not gluten-free) or wheat germ oil. They also contain lots if other things, so who knows...I try to keep it gluten-free and unscented and that seems to help me.

There are studies out there about topical reactions to gluten, in Celiacs. They usually find "no significant reaction"...note, they are measuring using specific tests and antagonists. They are not measuring (at least in studies I've found) cumulative reactions using "real" products (which is hard to do, granted).

Also, and a theory I have on beauty products...is that some of them are formulated to be very penetrating and the molecules are very small. THOSE are the products that have caused the most serious reaction to me (eye swelling). I wonder if the depth of penetration of the gluten matters? Incidentally, I do not have a topical reaction to gluten, generally speaking - I can handle glutenous bread, etc., wash my hands, and I'm fine. I don't think I am "allergic" to gluten.

I would also not use a household cleaner containing gluten, especially in the kitchen. That would be equivalent to contaminating my kitchen. That said, the only products I've ever worried about are my dish soaps.

I do think anyone with any gluten issues needs to be aware that any glutenous substance they come in contact with could cause a reaction. They could ingest it (causing a classic reaction for most) or some people have skin reactions, and some people have specific allergies. In real-world situations these reactions are sometimes difficult to seperate.

Newbies do need to know they can have reactions from a source other than food, IMO. This could save them from chasing their tails (and thinking they have other food intolerances). I do agree it should be put into perspective.

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I think it very possible for any of us to have a wheat allergy in addition to celiac which would cause many skin irritations, sneezing, headches, etc.

When I went to the dermatologist with open, oozy, itchy sores on my face and scalp (and I no longer have these unless I am glutened by accidentally ingesting it when trusting a "gluten-free" product or restaurant staff), she said DH is a specific skin manifestation of celiac that comes from ingesting gluten (as my GI doctor also has said).

She recommends that people not put any lotions on open sores except medication designed to treat DH. As it turns out, I do not have DH, but a rash that can occur with gluten ingestion. Many people think they have DH, but it is quite possibly a rash or urticaria.

If I were to rub my legs with a piece of wheat bread right now, I would not have a "reaction". I do not have a wheat allergy in addition to celiac. (and I would wash my hands right after)

I would not purposefully go out of my way to rub wheat on my face, but by the same token, the miniscule amount of gluten protein that could possibly be in a lotion after all that hydrolyzation cannot penetrate the many skin layers and somehow wind up in my intestines. The gluten molecule is too large.

If I apply lotion to my body, I always wash my hands after. I thought everyone did that. It's pretty "slippery". :D I do read labels. I do not purposefully buy anything with wheat derivatives in them.

I am not saying some people do not have a "reaction" to products with hydrolyzed wheat in them. I never doubt someone who says they feel sick. In fact, I did---from hair spray --which I presume I inhaled a bit of and I sure felt yucky after. But for all I know, it could have just been because I was still sick. It was right after DX.

And we all use this word "reaction" a lot on this board without ever saying what that means exactly. "I had a reaction to"----means what exactly? I have a reaction to women who douse themselves with heavy perfume. Makes me nauseous and want to vomit and yell "what are you trying to cover up, Lady? Just take a shower!", but it does not mean gluten got up my nose from it.

Everybody is different and they should choose what makes them comfortable.

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"How does one define glutening ?? ( Villious Atrophy)"

I don't think most of us define a "glutening" as villious atrophy. We are talking about the nasty GI issues, migraines, etc we get when we have a small amount of gluten. Maybe the tiny amount of gluten I might "eat" when shampooing my hair isn't enough to cause severe intestional damage but it could be enough to make me feel awful.

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"How does one define glutening ?? ( Villious Atrophy)"

I don't think most of us define a "glutening" as villious atrophy. We are talking about the nasty GI issues, migraines, etc we get when we have a small amount of gluten. Maybe the tiny amount of gluten I might "eat" when shampooing my hair isn't enough to cause severe intestional damage but it could be enough to make me feel awful.

Agree.

When I say "glutening"--I mean I am really sick, living in the potty, anxious, sleepless, having those "brain frogs" return (still loving that phrase Linda created) with migraines and having major joint/ muscle/ bone pain, burning nerves for two weeks--and feeling like I want to strangle the waiter who failed to handle my order with care.

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"Gluten can only cause a Celiac reaction (villious Atrophy) when ingested, it can not pass trough the skin."

I am trying to understand:

How do you know? Is Celiac reaction different from reaction? I could say that I react to something; (all of the while) I don't know what kind of reaction it is, right? Also, nobody can see a villious response in each case of glutening, right? So, how can we say this one is a gluten reaction and this one is not?

My skin reacts to pulling barley grass in the garden. This might be an allergy, or gluten, but I know I react to it.

I believe the skin can take in, but I think it mostly dumps out. Still, I would think the potential is there to let gluten in. Or Is it too big?

The gluten molecule is too large to pass through the skin barrier and that is scientific fact. If things passed that easily through the skin, none of us would live to see 50. The skin is the protective barrier against the nasties in the world. I think many people haven't learned enough about anatomy and physiology to understand this but that's understandable and one the main reasons I am alwasy pushing Dr. Peter Green's book on them.

It really should be required reading by all those who have a problem with gluten.

Those with DH usually have additional allergies that would make it easy for them to react to topical irritants. It's very common and I thank Irish Daveyboy for such a wonderful post pointing out the other reasons why people react. It's easy to get tunnel vision on things when you are diagnosed with Celiac/DH. It can be so hard to finally recover from skin lesions that people begin to think they are reacting to everything or are constantly being glutened.

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The gluten molecule is too large to pass through the skin barrier and that is scientific fact. If things passed that easily through the skin, none of us would live to see 50. The skin is the protective barrier against the nasties in the world. I think many people haven't learned enough about anatomy and physiology to understand this but that's understandable and one the main reasons I am alwasy pushing Dr. Peter Green's book on them.

It really should be required reading by all those who have a problem with gluten.

Exactly!

If everything could pass through our skin....our clothes would pass through, we couldn't hold anything, etc.

People think lotion goes into the skin but that isn't true. Would you really want that stuff going through and into your blood stream? It sinks into the top dead layers of skin.

A few medications are small enough to pass through the skin, but those are an exception. Think nicotine patch.

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Has anyone checked exactly what percentage the wheat ingredient accounts for against the weight/volume of the product, .00005 percent or 20PPM is considered gluten free (ie. it will not cause the villi to be damaged)

I know that the Gluten Free Watchdog got a couple samples of hygiene products with wheat ingredients and they tested at < 5ppm, as I recall. So for those, at least,

many Celiacs might be fine with using them.

However, 20 ppm IS enough to cause villi damage in some folks. The amount of gluten that can cause damage has been studied multiple times, but the studies do not universally agree on what amount is safe vs. what causes damage.

In fact, when the FDA looked at research and case studies, it concluded that a lot LESS than 20 ppm could cause damage in some celiacs.

In sum, these findings indicate that a less than 1 ppm level of gluten in foods is the level of exposure for individuals with celiac disease [Celiac Disease] on a GFD [Gluten Free Diet] that protects the most sensitive individuals with celiac disease and thus, also protects the most number of individuals with celiac disease from experiencing any detrimental health effects from extended to long-term exposure to gluten. (the FDA
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Hi everyone

I'm late arriving at this topic as usual. Don't often sign in but am often here again of late.

Just to say really, that I have DH on scalp and this is immediately aggravated by hair products containing wheat. I have in fact proved this by knowing when the hairdresser accidentally used the wrong product. My lips also go red if in contact with wheat containing products. No gastro symptoms obviously.

Also had a spray product with wheatgerm oil as a main ingredient (for horses) so spraying outside. Made me really ill (from breathing it in) - (duh!!) red lips and terrible neuro symptoms! Needless to say - don't use it anymore.

Therefore I do check ingredients because of DH and I'm pretty sensitive.

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I've always liked the example of water. If water could pass through the skin barrier, we'd all drown.

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Hi everyone

I'm late arriving at this topic as usual. Don't often sign in but am often here again of late.

Just to say really, that I have DH on scalp and this is immediately aggravated by hair products containing wheat. I have in fact proved this by knowing when the hairdresser accidentally used the wrong product. My lips also go red if in contact with wheat containing products. No gastro symptoms obviously.

Also had a spray product with wheatgerm oil as a main ingredient (for horses) so spraying outside. Made me really ill (from breathing it in) - (duh!!) red lips and terrible neuro symptoms! Needless to say - don't use it anymore.

Therefore I do check ingredients because of DH and I'm pretty sensitive.

It sounds like you have an additional wheat allergy on top of a wheat intolerance. DH is also caused by ingestion of gluten as the reaction for DH comes from within.

It is not uncommon to find people with the skin version of celiac who also suffer from contact allergies. As your skin is very sensitive to begin with, you may be very susceptible to

topical irritants.

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    • Hi Aly and welcome You may want to repost this in a new thread, that way more people will see it and can advise you.  I think you would be much better off getting the celiac test now, if you stay off gluten you will need to go back on it and that can be much harder. That said, loads of your symptoms look like they could be gluten related.  I had a persistent 'trapped nerve' for instance under my eye which would twitch like crazy. Since I went gluten-free doesn't happen any more.  Best of luck! Matt
    • Your scalp sounds like seborrheic dermatitis. I have that and although its better after going gluten-free its very persistent. The dermatologist recommended Nizoral shampoo for it and it does help. I think dairy has a big part to play with skin problems, for me at least. 
    • I was diagnosed this year and I live on Oahu. I have yet to meet another celiac, so that tells you something about our limitations here. I work in Waikiki and do frequent Rouffage. It is nothing fancy, small place, but keeps me fed when I need something. I also like Greens and Vines. It is a vegan restaurant and worth every penny. Greens and vines sets up at the KCC farmers market on Saturdays too. Places in Waikiki that do offer a gluten-free menu include, PF Changs, Dennys, Big City Diner and California Pizza kitchen. I do not trust those places due to the risk, but they "offer" gluten-free options. I did try and order a beer at Yard House in Waikiki. They label clearly states that it contained wheat, so yeah sent that back with the waiter. I have also tied Doraku in Waikiki. I called ahead and spoke with management. That went well and they offer gluten free soy sauce. There is a deli at Down to Earth Grocery store in Honolulu that has gluten-free options, but the whole foods here do not offer hot food that is gluten free. They do have a hot food bar, but you have to stick to the whole plain salad and veggie options. It's good to hear the hotels here are getting better, beyond Waikiki hotels there is no one really interested in being gluten free.
    • Just found this site today. Did you ever find one? I was diagnosed this year and I live on Oahu.
    • I was diagnosed this year and I live on Oahu. I have yet to meet another celiac, so that tells you something about our limitations here. I work in Waikiki and do frequent Rouffage. It is nothing fancy, small place, but keeps me fed when I need something. I also like Greens and Vines. It is a vegan restaurant and worth every penny. Greens and vines sets up at the KCC farmers market on Saturdays too. Places in Waikiki that do offer a gluten-free menu include, PF Changs, Dennys, Big City Diner and California Pizza kitchen. I do not trust those places due to the risk, but they "offer" gluten-free options. I did try and order a beer at Yard House in Waikiki. They label clearly states that it contained wheat, so yeah sent that back with the waiter. I have also tied Doraku in Waikiki. I called ahead and spoke with management. That went well and they offer gluten free soy sauce. There is a deli at Down to Earth Grocery store in Honolulu that has gluten-free options, but the whole foods here do not offer hot food that is gluten free. They do have a hot food bar, but you have to stick to the whole plain salad and veggie options. It's good to hear the hotels here are getting better, beyond Waikiki hotels there is no one really interested in being gluten free.
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