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gluten-free Toddler Had Gluten By Accident Help
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Wednesday my son who has been gluten-free for 7 months was served meatballs at school. Since he has been so gassy, big bloated belly and diarrhea not interested in eating much. Today he seems very lethargic and had the worst rash on his bottom area. He keeps moaning and his eyes look tired. Is this all from the meatballs? How long can i expect this to be going on, the lethargic mood is freaking me out. Help please!

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We are all different. The symptoms you describe can all be related to the accidental gluten exposure. It is possible that he also has a bug.

Personally, I remain very lethargic for several days. Try to get him to drink a good amount of water.

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I would expect it to be gluten from the meatballs - they almost always have breadcrumbs in them.

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Thank you, how long does this reaction last typically? A couple days? Weeks? Month??

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I wish I could help but I am nearly in tears tonight because my 9 year old is suffering again tonight and I am so sick of this. We have read every label and prepared everything so carefully. I have no idea what got her this time, no clue. Either a label was wrong or she is just super-sensitive to cross-contamination in our house. I have had it. I am ready to just put the whole family on raw veggies. The first few weeks seemed easy and she was feeling so much better, now she's having a mysterious accidental exposure of some sort every couple of days! When will this get easier???

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I am so sorry to hear about your 9 year old, it's so awful to see them suffer especially when you working so hard at a gluten-free lifestyle. How long have you been gluten-free? Could it be at school or something? What are her symptoms?

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Good Morning Kelly!

Unfortunately there is no set time - for some it passes in hours and others days -- worst case and not common is weeks. It really depends on so many factors -- the meatballs may have tasted yummy so he may have ingested quite a few? As time gluten-free increases - the reactions often become worse to smaller and smaller amounts of gluten -- hence the very real problem of cross contamination that is the bane of our existence.

Welcome LFitts!

So sorry to hear your family is having such a rough time. It really does get better -- as a family you will learn the level of care needed to keep your child healthy and I assure you there are many, many wonderful and tasty gluten-free options -- most of start with whole ingredients. If you haven't had oportunity - take a look at the Newbie 101 thread -- this is filled with great information that will help ease the transition -- I won't lie - the transition is very tough, but as time passes it does get much easier.

First thing to look at in a shared kitchen is cookware, cooking utensils, toaster, cutting board, collender, etc. If these items are being shared for both gluten-free and regular cooking you have a problem. A great way to start is have a second set of cookware/utensils in a bright color so that everyone knows to only use them for gluten-free items.

Hang in there - both of you -- I promise - it does get easier :)

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First thing to look at in a shared kitchen is cookware, cooking utensils, toaster, cutting board, collender, etc. If these items are being shared for both gluten-free and regular cooking you have a problem. A great way to start is have a second set of cookware/utensils in a bright color so that everyone knows to only use them for gluten-free items.

Hang in there - both of you -- I promise - it does get easier :)

Also - no sharing PB, butter, Mayo, etc between gluten eaters and non-gluten eaters. Get some colored duct tape and put a big piece on every gluten-free only thing like peanut butter, etc. You can use it on the handles of a colander if you can't find different colored ones. My hub looked al over for a red one for gluten-free as most were white plastic. Before that, I put my red tape on the handles of a white one.

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LFitts, it isn't uncommon for us to show great improvement at first, and then to slide back into being sick. Some of it could be due to other (most likely temporary) intolerances, and some of it could just be the body is still healing. Definitely check for cross contamination, but if you find that there is no chance of it, just give it time. And DO keep a food diary. That way if there are other things that are bothering her such as dairy, corn, or soy (common culprits), you can try eliminating them and see if she improves.

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Also - no sharing PB, butter, Mayo, etc between gluten eaters and non-gluten eaters. Get some colored duct tape and put a big piece on every gluten-free only thing like peanut butter, etc. You can use it on the handles of a colander if you can't find different colored ones. My hub looked al over for a red one for gluten-free as most were white plastic. Before that, I put my red tape on the handles of a white one.

Thanks everyone for the encouraging words. Our daughter was diagnosed in November with celiac, so we're about 5 weeks into her being gluten free. At first it was great, but now she's having severe stomach cramping and other pre-gluten-free problems (itchy rash, feeling blah) about once every 3 days and her symptoms last about half a day. I think that maybe several things in our house are / were contaminated - peanut butter, butter, even yogurt. I don't know -- I am sensing gluten molecules everywhere - making me crazy. I keep wiping down everything. What makes it worse is that I make cakes for people. I'm trying to wrap that up and just finish the ones that I am obligated to do because I feel like every time I turn on the mixer I am filling our house with poison. Certainly all of the joy/fun has left my once lucrative side job.

She is feeling great today and we are eating simply today and being careful, fingers crossed.

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Thanks everyone for the encouraging words. Our daughter was diagnosed in November with celiac, so we're about 5 weeks into her being gluten free. At first it was great, but now she's having severe stomach cramping and other pre-gluten-free problems (itchy rash, feeling blah) about once every 3 days and her symptoms last about half a day. I think that maybe several things in our house are / were contaminated - peanut butter, butter, even yogurt. I don't know -- I am sensing gluten molecules everywhere - making me crazy. I keep wiping down everything. What makes it worse is that I make cakes for people. I'm trying to wrap that up and just finish the ones that I am obligated to do because I feel like every time I turn on the mixer I am filling our house with poison. Certainly all of the joy/fun has left my once lucrative side job.

She is feeling great today and we are eating simply today and being careful, fingers crossed.

Might want to try replacing your All Purpose Flour with a gluten-free version -- I use all my old cake recipes with Bob's Red Mill -- others don't care for BRM, but like Pamela's or others. Gluten eaters eat my cakes all the time and have no idea it is gluten-free until I tell them.

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Can you mix with the flour in an enclosed small space away from the kitchen? If not , just remember that it can take at least 24 for the flour floating in the air to settle. That means, anything sitting on the counters, like a water cup or a bowl of fruit, could have a layer of flour.

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Hey, LFitts, hang in there. Paper towels, paper towels, paper towels ! You may, in the near future, be making yummy gluten free cakes, with your new, dedicated gluten free mixer and baking pans. There is this demand, you know, especially for "mixed" families and special occasions. Plus your daughter might just be reacting to something like soy flour - OMG, the first time I had a major hit of that stuff, I had eaten a bunch of cookies after a long, cookieless drought, and it nearly knocked me out flat. Talk about classic conditioning and motivation, I still shudder when I see that brand in the stores and think "No Cookie" and head over to the gelato in the frozen case aisle. :P

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It looks like you may get to be your neighborhood gluten-free baker then! It takes some practice but many people actually prefer it. My husband even made eclairs recently ( we are in the UK and just substitute Doves Farm gluten-free flours).

I hope you track down what is affecting your daughter. I did well for a couple of months, then got hit 5.times in 6 weeks. We are a mixed house, but only bake gluten-free now. We got better at cleaning up, use lots of kitchen paper now. I am also eating more completely whole food and so nothing processed.

It takes time to work it out, but you will get there.

Good luck

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You need to stop baking with the gluten containing flours. The dust gets everywhere. Kids touch everything and put their fingers in their mouths or eat something without washing their hands. i'm sorry for your loss of baking as you know it. Good luck!!! Its long learning process that your child inevitably will have to suffer through. I've made so many mistakes that leave me crying to have hurt my child.

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Making gluten-free cakes is easy. You can get Betty Crocker gluten-free cake mixes at some grocery stores. The yellow cake mix was little gritty to me so I used to add a banana to it. It does have potato starch in it so it you are avoiding nightshades they don't work.

http://www.bettycrocker.com/products/gluten-free-baking-mixes

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    • I react to both wheat and barley.  I've opted to just go completely gluten free, for the sake of simplicity and my sanity.  I don't have a diagnosis of celiac disease, but I strongly suspect it.  Unfortunately, I'm not willing to endure the misery of staying on gluten long enough to pursue further testing.  I just know I need to avoid the gluten grains, so I do.  
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