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Burgers And Fajitas
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I was diagnosed this week with celiac by a routine blood test and am trying to wrap my head around going gluten free. I've seen a lot of posts about cross contamination that make me believe some of my doctors advice about eating out might be a bit lacking in accuracy. I was told "just take the bun off the burger" or "order the fajitas and just eat the meat and veggies out of the tortilla." From what I've been reading, it seems as if the meats have touched the buns so to speak, they are no longer safe? I don't (extremely thankful) have much, if any "noticeable" reaction to gluten (although I now know whats going on inside my body) so I don't know if I would have any idea if I was glutened. Sorry if this is an obvious question. I'll be learning quickly I'm sure! Thanks in advance for your responses.

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Sounds like your doctors don't know much about Celiac. Look up " celiac centers" and see what the experts say. They will all tell you that no gluten, even the small amount that sticks to a burger or is in the soy sauce the chicken is marinated in, is safe. Here's one to get you started.

http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/living-with-celiac/guide/treatment

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Hopefully, soon your body will be warning you when you make mistakes. Mine took about 4 days of a gluten free diet before it really started bellyaching when I goofed. Other than that you can learn alot here, and in time you will know how to handle it.

Diana

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Yikes! No, no. You can never do this. Once I got a burger patty to go for my daughter. I told them that I wanted just the patty but they put it on a bun. This was not long after she had been diagnosed. Thinking I could be smart, I took the bun off, rinsed the patty in the sink and reheated it. She got sick as a dog.

You also have to ask about fajita meat in a restaurant. I know it sounds silly but some places use a marinade that contains soy sauce and soy sauce usually contains wheat. You can get gluten-free soy sauce but most restaurants won't have it.

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Hi RedRaider,

I am in the same boat. About a week ago I started on the gluten free diet because of those symptoms.

I've learned so far that you need to be *SURGICALLY* clean about avoiding gluten. Even a crumb of bread will have a reaction.

It makes for dining at a burger place difficult. I guess you could ask them to change their gloves before making your burger, but cross-contamination in that environment seems likely.

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(1) please find a doctor who has more knowledge about celiac. They are out there.

(2) you should not "just take the bread off," as it will still be contaminated by gluten. Even if it does not seem to make you sick, it could be damaging your intestines.

(3) There are places to eat out, but you have to do your research. As far as chain restaurants, "Five Guys" burgers is great because they cook the burgers and buns separately and have a dedicated fryer for the fries. Plus their kitchen is open so you can watch and make sure everything is done properly. They automatically change gloves when I request "no bun," and I bring my own gluten-free bun to use. I know people also like Red Robin for good gluten-free practices, but we do not have that in my area. I am fortunate that there are two local burger joints that offer gluten-free buns and have a separate prep area, so I feel safe eating there, too.

(4) Fajitas are tricky, because a lot of them are marinated in soy sauce--again, you'll have to do a bit of research. I learned when going to a work function that the "Uncle Julio's" chain marinates all their grilled meats in (wheat) soy sauce, so I ate at Chipotle beforehand for my mexican fix. I also learned the hard way that some restaurants make their margaritas with beer! Good luck, and you will feel better, I promise.

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    • I got glutened last summer.  Heck, I do not even know what glutened me, but I suspect two products that my gluten-free hubby never consumed (he is my canary).  My symptoms were so different from when I was diagnosed (just had anemia then).  My GI thought I had SIBO or something else, but I asked for a celiac panel.  Yep, I had been Glutened!  Took me three months to recover and another three to regain lost weight.  Yeah, I picked up another health issue on the way (hives, rashes, swelling, itching, ab pain, vomiting, and fainting.)   I did not eat out for one year!  Only this summer, I did.  Was it worth the risk?  You bet!  Three weeks in Europe.  Fortunately,  7 days was on a cruise and Celebrity did a great job.  Italy was so celiac-savvy and I did my research and found places recommended by other celiacs in Spain, France and Poland.  If not, we bought cold food at the market and had a picnic.   I am home.  Will I eat out?  Probably not.  I have a busy Fall ahead of me (High School....football, marching band, volunteer positions, house projects, and work).  I can not afford to be sick.   Ah, I will eat out this Thanksgiving break.  My favorite restaurant is 100% gluten free in Tucson, AZ.   Maybe I will discover another gluten-free restaurant closer to home! 
    • I do est out occasionally - but not indiscriminately.  I am careful to choose places that under stand gluten free.  And places that the food is naturally gluten-free, helps, too.  Celiacs can't just eat something that should be gluten-free and hope it is.  We have to use some common sense and ask questions.  
    • You are right that the next step is an endoscopy, which still is the "gold standard" in diagnosing celiac disease.   However, for various reasons the endoscopy is not done because financial contraints  or long wait times (up to a year!), or too ill to proceed.   You have two positives.  You only need one positive to move forward.    The TTg tests  do not need to be positive for a diagnosis (which requires a positive on an antibodies test which you had and an endoscopy).  My TTg tests were negative and I only had a positive on the DGP IGA, yet biopsies revealed a Marsh Stage IIIB (moderate to severe damage. http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/screening/ Unless your PCP is a celiac expert (unlikely), I would insist on a GI consult.   Please find one who is celiac-savvy.   keep eating gluten daily until all testing is complete (biopsies done).  You never know if lab results are going to get lost.  Besides any celiac testing requires the patient to be on a gluten diet.  In the meantime, keep on researching.  Only YOU can be your best health advocate!  
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    • I have been gluten free for three years and I had never *noticed* any neck swelling... but recently at a routine appointment they noticed my neck was swollen. Thyroid ultrasound and thyroid blood work was good. I went to my primary care doctor and she did some blood work. Slight elevation in platelets, elevated C reactive protein, somewhat anemic. Going to GI doctor tomorrow to get some more input into this. Tracing my steps, I bet I cross-contaminate myself way too often as the husband and I eat out too much. I guess we will see....
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