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Wheat In Nz And Australia Has No Affect On Me
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Hi,

New here.

I am living in USA and have recently been diagnosed with Celiacs, but just before the diagnosis I took a trip to NZ and Australia (4 weeks) and ate all sorts of bread and pastry items but felt fine with no discomfort. At that point I was convinced I couldn't be Celiacs but that's not what my doctor tells me.

Back in USA I am on a gluten-free diet, but if I eat a wheat product I tend to get discomfort the next day.

I recently took another trip to New Zealand and tried the same thing again: ate a lot of wheat products for a week and again felt no reaction.

I am trying to understand my observations and what this means. I have seen articles talking about Dwarf Wheat in USA and I wonder if Australia and NZ have different varieties of wheat that have less reaction (or no reaction in my case). I brought some regular bread mix back with me and plan to do an experiment to try to compare it's affect to a local product.

I would appreciate any advice.

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Just because you have no outward signs of celiac, does not mean that it isn't doing damage.

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Hi, and welcome to the board. A Kiwi here, formerly resident in USA, now spend time half and half between the two. I must say it makes no difference to me which country I am in, I still react the same. I used not to react to New Zealand corn, but now I do. :(

I don't know if Australia is as persnickety about GMO's as New Zealand is, but they are the big difference between NZ and USA. We are very paranoid about them although the govt. is all gung-ho about full speed ahead at the urging of the farmers, who want the poison in the crop, not applied to it. I would guess, though, that we are growing the same varieties of wheat as the US -- haven't really explored that because I don't eat it any more. But the corn and soy in the US are becoming almost exclusively genetically modified (of course I don't eat either of those any more either -- well except for a little bit of cornstarch).

People on the board have reported the same phenomenon when visiting Italy, that they are able to eat wheat products there, and yet Italy is in the forefront of testing for celiac disease, testing 6-year-olds when they start school according to popular literature. (However, we recently did a search to find out if this were true and could not find anything, even the Italian amongst us who can read the Italian research journals. ) At any rate, celiac is very prevalent in Italy, so its residents are not all running around happily chomping gluten without any problem.

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Since you asked for advice, and claim to be diagnosed as a celiac, a disease which is caused by an auto immune reaction to all the wheat family, which means that the medical profession told you to adhere to a gluten free diet, and you are not doing that, ..... I suggest that you ask yourself why you are defying medical advice, and seek help from your doctor as you need help complying with it.

Even people like me, who are technically "volunteering" to adhere strictly to a gluten free diet, had been diagnosed with so many related problems in common with celiac disease, even if not formally diagnosed, that ignoring those problems would eventually lead to disability and my early demise, irregardless of whether I "could" eat some wheat family products, sometimes, in certain forms. Wheat is addictive, not being able to give it up shows that there is a sort of physical problem going on.

I have seen some people online claim to be able to eat spelt, a primitive form of wheat, I've seen others claim that a deliberate, large cheat now and then doesn't bother them, my question remains, what could possibly be so good about this temporary taste, that it would be worth it to damage your brain, bones, and your nerves.

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Thank you all for your replies.

I still have a lot to learn.

My problem is that I feel better when eating whatever I want in NZ and Australia, than I do in USA on my gluten-free diet. I want to understand why so that I can do the best thing for my health.

If no outward signs doesn't equate to no damage, then how will I ever know if my diet is effective?

Since my gluten-free diet while in USA is not totally working for me (it has helped a lot, but not completely) then I must be sensitive to something additional that I haven't been able to pin down yet, or else I am still getting gluten somewhere in my diet.

When I first went to Australia I hadn't been diagnosed (only suspected) but since then the doctor has confirmed damaged Villi.

I keep trying to eliminate things from my diet to see what helps, but the conflicting indications I got from my visit to NZ/Aus really confuses me. Could it be possible that something other than gluten causes the same type of damage? Or that i am sensitive to some gluten and not others?

From messages on this forum, it looks like some people have very complex issues. Perhaps my experience in Australia is just misleading me. But how do you find out what affects you and what doesn't? Is it just through elimination and experimentation?

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At first I didn't think it was possible to be intolerant of more than one food group :rolleyes: But since I had identical reactions to corn and gluten, and still reacted after eliminating gluten, I gave up the corn. One problem solved :) But then others presented themselves, one by one. Just when I thought I had things sorted, another would pop up. I later found out I still had a leaky gut, and things I was eating a lot of were leaking through and setting off the autoimmune and sometimes even allergic-type (hives) reactions.

Yes, an elimination diet is the best way to find this out. I learned this too late :( so I did a lot of trial and error until things became glaringly obvious.

I would suggest eliminating corn first; as I said in my pp, I was all right with corn in NZ for a long time, but eventually could not tolerate it there either.

If you are still having issues, then go to a full elimination -- find at least five basic foods to which you do not react which provide appropriate nutrition and try stabilize on those. Then add one new food in per week, keeping a record of what and when you eat and how you feel, what your reactions are. Add another food the next week. Obviously, it is best if the foods you are adding are things you do not expect to bother you and are not in the top-ten food allergens.

Another approach could be to identify the five foods you love and eat the most of, and eliminate all those, and add them back one at a time, based on the theory that we tend to crave the things that are bad for our bodies (like cigarettes and alcohol, heroin :ph34r: ).

Others swear by IgE testing, blood or scratch tests, to identify allergens which can often identify things we do not tolerate well, it seems; e.g., I tested positive by scratch test for soy and corn.

I hope you will get other suggestions.

Whatever path you choose, it is always hard to identify additional food intolerances, but certainly well worth the effort involved. I wish you better health and a solution to your food intolerances. :)

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Hi Maxc,

You could try living in Aus or NZ for a year and then having an endoscopy to see if there is damage to your intestine. Or you could do some searching online to see if there are celiacs in those countries who react to the wheat there. That's a lot quicker and cheaper and a better test since it involves a lot more people. My quick search turned up a couple celiac organizatoins on those countries. Seems like they would have problems with the wheat, rye and barley there if they have celiac support organizations.

http://www.coeliac.org.au/

http://www.coeliac.org.nz/

Reactions to gluten can be somewhat random as far as digestive symptoms. Some people have no symptoms at all (silent celiac) and others only have neural symptoms or skin rash (DH) or other non-digestive symptoms. Celiac is a very confusing disease symptoms wise. That's one possible reason it can take so long to get diagnosed with celiac. But villi damage is a clear sign along with raised antibodies and symptom changes when starting or stopping gluten. Doctors like to call the endoscopy the gold standard for celiac diagnosis. A positive endoscopy is a sure bet.

Some of us also react to oats.

Some getting started tips:

Get tested before starting the gluten-free diet.

Get your vitamin/mineral levels tested also.

Don't eat in restaurants

Eat only whole foods not processed foods.

Eat only food you cook yourself, think simple foods, not gourmet meals.

Take probiotics.

Take gluten-free vitamins.

Take digestive enzymes.

Avoid dairy.

Avoid sugars and starchy foods.

Avoid alcohol.

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'shroom, did you call? :D

I once read celiac disease being called the great mime or something, because its symptoms and damages "look like" lots of other diseases, as Paul says.

If you were eating ancient grains in AUS/NZ, those have a smaller quantity of gluten than Dwarf Wheat. They are still damaging for coeliacs, but maybe the symptoms take a bit longer to become visible. That said, I doubt that's what you were having, because ancient varieties of wheat are very rare, and the name of it would have been all over the thing you ate. :)

What is more likely is that you are reacting to something other than gluten in the US that makes you react more quickly when you eat wheat in the US. Also, you don't need celiac antibodies to have villiar damage; what did your bloodwork say?

In my case, I have always tested negative, but I started developing discomfort with wheat after moving to the US, and I had to be on a very gluten light diet to avoid what I call celiacish-symptoms-without-celiac. I basically had only a handful of rye, and that was imported. When I spent a couple of months in Italy, I could eat wheat without real problems. So I thought it was a phase and that the GI symptoms were just caused by my thyroid, and kept consuming gluten-containing products when I returned to the US. BAD IDEA. With each month I got more and more sensitive.

A year later, I had topped the GI symptoms and my brain-fog-with-depression with severe edema whenever I ate wheat and rye. I still tested negative for celiac. I went gluten-free for a trial, and it helped. But I think even that was too much for me. I now cannot even tolerate oats and rice, really. I had some oats yesterday night and, well, they went through me as old-fashioned as they came in, and I am swollen again. Back to the grain-free diet my doctor prescribed. For 3-6 months. And I don't even have celiac.

So, yeah, much as I wish that my country or AUS/NZ were celiac heaven, they aren't, and if that's what you have, you must stay away from gluten.

As an aside: all these stories are fascinating to me, though, because they make me wonder about the environmental impact on these sensitivities. In my case, lots of my mum's relatives (the side in the family that also has autoimmunity) has problems processing wheat: they have make their own bread, they are bloated if they eat pasta, et cetera. But usually that kicks in at a later age. I am the only one to have got these before 30. And I am also the only one to have moved to the US. :wacko:

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Thanks Mushroom, GFinDC, and Butterfly,

I never knew Celiacs was so complicated. The handouts from the doctor just talk about wheat and Gluten.

Gfin, I like your idea about living in Aus. Unfortunately, it won't happen in the near term.

Butterfly, I think I probably am reacting to something else in USA. The confusing part for me is that I felt better (perfect) in NZ and Aus on an eat-anything-diet than I do here in USA on a gluten-free diet. I have already eliminated oats (I was having gluten-free oats in breakfast) and now I am trying to eliminate corn also (which is extremely hard in USA). That doesn't leave much for breakfast, other than rice, flax and Quinoa.

I saw some spelt bread in whole Foods yesterday. I didn't buy it, and I don't expect they have that in Australia, but I am suspicious that Aus might have different (perhaps not GMO) wheat. I would be really happy if someone knew that answer, even if it is not a solution, it is still a useful clue to understand things.

By the way, my antibodies were high and my Villi damaged. Do you people normally have repeated tests at some future point to judge your recovery?

Gfin, I am looking at your list of tips. Let me ask one thing: I have regular natural yoghurt. Does that give me probiotics?

Excellent forum. Hope I can give back at some point.

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Hi Max,

If you have antibodies and villiar damage - DON'T get the spelt bread. Spelt also contains gluten.

Sometimes, gluten-free products add lots of weird things in order to make up for the properties of gluten. It may be something like that.

I had a moment of breakfast crisis, too, when I had to go gluten-free and then grain-free. But there's still plenty you can eat. How about making a breakfast crepe, if you an have eggs? You can fill it with fruit, meat, veggies, nut butters - anything that suits your palate/diet. You can make a stack of these crepes (with paper towel between each) and keep them in the fridge for 3-4 days, so you just need to stuff them in the morning. I have recently started making my own coconut bread, and I have that with milk/yogurt/ricotta (but I am ok with dairy, which many celiacs are not), or eggs. Meats are also a possibility, if you are not vegetarian.

I firmly believe that marketing strategies have fooled us into thinking that grains are the one thing you can't exclude from your diet without being weird or limited. If you think about it, it is kind of silly.

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Butterfly, I think I probably am reacting to something else in USA. The confusing part for me is that I felt better (perfect) in NZ and Aus on an eat-anything-diet than I do here in USA on a gluten-free diet. I have already eliminated oats (I was having gluten-free oats in breakfast) and now I am trying to eliminate corn also (which is extremely hard in USA). That doesn't leave much for breakfast, other than rice, flax and Quinoa.

I saw some spelt bread in whole Foods yesterday. I didn't buy it, and I don't expect they have that in Australia, but I am suspicious that Aus might have different (perhaps not GMO) wheat. I would be really happy if someone knew that answer, even if it is not a solution, it is still a useful clue to understand things.

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Thanks Mushroom, GFinDC, and Butterfly,

I never knew Celiacs was so complicated. The handouts from the doctor just talk about wheat and Gluten.

Gfin, I like your idea about living in Aus. Unfortunately, it won't happen in the near term.

Butterfly, I think I probably am reacting to something else in USA. The confusing part for me is that I felt better (perfect) in NZ and Aus on an eat-anything-diet than I do here in USA on a gluten-free diet. I have already eliminated oats (I was having gluten-free oats in breakfast) and now I am trying to eliminate corn also (which is extremely hard in USA). That doesn't leave much for breakfast, other than rice, flax and Quinoa.

I saw some spelt bread in whole Foods yesterday. I didn't buy it, and I don't expect they have that in Australia, but I am suspicious that Aus might have different (perhaps not GMO) wheat. I would be really happy if someone knew that answer, even if it is not a solution, it is still a useful clue to understand things.

By the way, my antibodies were high and my Villi damaged. Do you people normally have repeated tests at some future point to judge your recovery?

Gfin, I am looking at your list of tips. Let me ask one thing: I have regular natural yoghurt. Does that give me probiotics?

Excellent forum. Hope I can give back at some point.

Hi MaxC,

Actually, living in Aussie would be kind of neat I think. It's definitely an interesting land. But it ain't happening for me either. I wonder if migrants actually develop an Aussie twang after a while there? G-day there mate! :)

Yes, natural yogurt contains pro-biotics. And it is low or has no lactose, depending on how long it is fermented. 24 hours should be enough. Many people new to the gluten-free diet can't digest lactose, but that often changes after they have healed some.

There is more GMO food in the USA than other countries. Hopefully that wil change someday, and it will go down or be eliminated. Soy is mostly GMO in the USA now. And many gluten-free products have soy in them. If you get foods marked organic or GMO-Free they should be free of GMO's though.

Sometimes people react to gums in gluten-free foods also, or corn which is possibly GMO. Really it is possible to react to any food ingredient if your gut is sensitized to it. And when our guts are irritated, they can be sensitive to just about anything we put in them too.

So there have been a couple interesting possibilities raised now.

Possible lower amounts of gluten in wheat varieties grown overseas

Possible less GMO foods in foods overseas.

Possible reactions to other non-gluten ingredients in food in the USA.

That's the ones I remember anyway. I am not sure we can eliminate all of them. But maybe we could figure a way to eliminate some just for the heck of it. Put on your thinking caps other posters, we gots ourselves a mystery! :)

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Butterfly, it's been very successful, hasn't it? People think not eating grains makes you a crazy fanatic but plenty of people excude other foods for reasons of personal taste and no one gives them any grief.

True. When things got worse about a year ago I started eating less and less grains; and everyone around me mocked me because I was "one of those non-carby people." :blink: And I am a baking fanatic. And you know what? At the bottom low of my thyroid disorder I was messed up enough to believe that they were right and I forced myself to eat stuff even if it was making me sick. I probably wouldn't have to stay away from all of them. Stupid me.

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Thanks all. Sorry it took me a little while to get back here.

Thanks anababanakins (like that name!).

For those who are sensitive to corn, I would like to know if it is all forms of corn products, such as corn syrup, HFCS, corn juice, or just the corn flour an corn meal type products? I have eliminated most corn from my diet and feel better although sometimes I feel I am chasing my tail. I might try reintroducing gluten-free Oats because it is possible I eliminated them when I didn't need to.

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For those who are sensitive to corn, I would like to know if it is all forms of corn products, such as corn syrup, HFCS, corn juice, or just the corn flour an corn meal type products?

I think it is always best to eliminate the whole product line and then experiment. I cut out "all" corn, meaning all obvious corn, but not the cornstarch that might be in meds, and allowed some cornstarch in baked goods, and was fine with that and with the occasional HFCS. Gradually I let in a little more and more starch, but when I tried something like a tortilla chip I still died... So I discovered that I could not eat the outer skin of the corn kernel and then I learned about lectins and realized it was probably the lectins in the skin that were getting me since I tolerated the starch.

Similarly with potatoes. Baked potatoes would kill me so I cut out all potatoes (in fact all nightshades but especially potatoes and tomatoes which I knew were a problem.) Since I can't eat soy (but can now have soy lecithin after religiously avoiding it), my bread choices were very much reduced. But for the last three nights I have had a smalll piece of potato. We shall see if this can continue. And I have allowed myself some potato starch in bread. I am gradually pushing back against my self-imposed boundaries.

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Hi MaxConfusion,

Corn gives me troubles so I avoid it in all of its forms. Even some "hidden" processed forms will bother me, such as caramel color added to balsamic vinegar.

Several months ago I was still feeling sick and wondering about the cause. I was stuck in a mode of trying to figure it out. Finally the minor adjustments I made in my diet accumulated into a big one. I eat vegetables for breakfast! Haha! It sounds like a mind bender but it makes breakfast so much easier for me! Add some meat and or an egg and I'm good to go. The hypoglycemia doesnt even kick in for me anymore so i know it is healthier for me. I cook a lot of food at a time and freeze some for later lunches and dinner. Sometimes I eat well washed quinoa, and sometimes I eat brown rice pasta, but really I feel better avoiding grains. I also avoid soy, corn, dairy, tomatoes, chocolate, and gluten in all it's forms.

After being symptom free for a year I plan to try some foods back (like chocolate, haha!) But for now a diet of non processed meat, egg, nuts, and vegetables works real well. That is me. Try some experimentation and see what works for you. There is a thread under the recipes section with ideas on what to eat when avoiding gluten, corn, soy, dairy, and nightshades.

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Far as I know, wheat in Australia is not yet a GMO crop, although there are now some GM wheat experimental crops here. The article that I read recently claims that Australia would be the first place to grow GM wheat in the world, if these experimental crops went to commercial production. That implies that the USA does not have commercial production of GM wheat. No idea if that's true.

The article can be found here: http://safefoodfoundation.org/wordpress/?p=946

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I'm a celiac who doesn't know when they've eaten wheat. I haven't travelled anywhere else to know if I have issues other places. Just because you don't notice anything, doesn't mean you aren't damaging yourself. I've said it time and again, but I don't think villous damage is a good indication of wheat sensitivy.

Secondly, everyone's mentioned other foods etc to avoid, but maybe it's not a food at all. For example, my sister, whenever she comes to visit my parents and in the city she grew up, she gets terrible allergies. She's got issus with something in this city. About 100km outside of the city though, and she'll start to feel better.

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Well if I can get my hands on einkorn wheat I'm sure to trial it. It supposedly the only diploid species of wheat with 2 chromosomes. Durum and kamut wheat have 4 chromosomes, while spelt and modern wheat have 6. The gluten content varies accordingly. This is the reason durum is used for pasta where a high rise dough is not needed

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I'm from Australia too and I have no idea why you didn't react to the wheat here in Australia. We certainly have a high rate of Coeliac disease here. In fact our diagnosis rate is higher than the U.S..

Australia has a massive wheat industry, so you were probably eating wheat that was grown in Australia - not the usual GM patented wheat grain that you might be eating in the U.S..

But Australian wheat isn't anything special, and is certainly still chock full of gluten and may well be genetically modified as well.

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Oh, wouldn't it be nice if there was a magical land with magical gluten free wheat... I would move there in a second!

But there's not.

You have Celiac Disease. No doubt about it.

The thing about Celiac is that everyone has different symptoms and reacts in different ways. Just cause you eat some gluten doesn't mean you're going to feel it right away. It can take days for some of us to react, and even longer to heal up.

Also, these trips to Australia/NZ, are they for vacation? business? are you having a great time other than just eating lots of gluten with no problems?

We can easily trick ourselves into ignoring symptoms when we're on a high otherwise. It's when you get back to the regular ol grind that it hits you.

Bottom line is: No wheat is safe for us. Nothing containing gluten is safe for us.

Don't eat it. Get better. If after you've been strictly gluten-free for at least 6 months (or more like a year), and you're still having problems, then I would worry about whether something else is bothering you.

It is good to hear that NZ/AUS hasn't hopped on the GMO wagon though.

Happy healing!

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It is good to hear that NZ/AUS hasn't hopped on the GMO wagon though.

It's a constant struggle though. :ph34r: The wagon stops at every station at least once a day :blink:

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Thanks to all who have replied recently.

One possibility is that I am similar to cavernio who said he doesn't know when he has eaten wheat. Perhaps it is actually corn that creates the reactions that I feel. There is corn in many products in USA (in various forms) but perhaps not so in NZ and Aus. This might explain what I experienced.

I am now also ellliminating corn from my diet, so far with good results.

So my diet presently is Gluten free, Oats free, and now corn free. Is there anything else to be wary of? I am eating rice, quineo, and sorghum. Is any of that a possible concern?

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A few of us on here have problems with quinoa as well.

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It's much less common to have corn as an ingredient in Aussie products than it is in the States, MaxConfusion. Like Mack said, wheat is a huge crop here.

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