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tommchale

Member Since 25 Aug 2007
Offline Last Active Dec 12 2009 08:17 PM
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Posts I've Made

In Topic: Is gluten-free Rice Chex Actually gluten-free?

26 July 2009 - 11:17 AM

This absolutely boils down to personal risk tolerance. After getting a massive glutening first time I ate the new Rice Chex, I wrote General Mills and inquired about their use of shared facility and equipment use. Sure enough, all Chex are made on the same equipment and "cleaning procedures" are applied to protect against cross contamination. Interestingly, their new Betty Crocker stuff is made on dedicated equipment and I have no issues with that.

I am one of those who reacts to trace amounts of Gluten so I personally find it much easier to just avoid foods that are made in shared facilities and on shared equipment. No "procedure" in the world will guarantee absolute perfection - every single cleaning - and therefore give you absolute protection against cross contamination.

After having owned my own restaurant for years, I take a tougher view on food companies when they make claims. If you are going to try to make money on your "Gluten Free" claims, you better be prepared to back that up. Or don't make the claim. No one is forcing them to try and make a few extra bucks off the Celiac community.

For example, in the case of Chex, General Mills is more than happy to make big marketing claims about new Gluten Free cereals. However, upon writing their customer service team for more details on possible cross contamination, I got the following response:

“If there are no gluten-containing ingredients listed in the product ingredient label, we still cannot assure that this product is gluten free. While we have not added gluten-containing ingredients, factors such as sourcing, conditions of manufacture, etc. do not allow us to provide the full level of assurance that a gluten free claim requires.”

Huh? Call me stupid, but writing "Gluten Free" all over the box in huge letters sounds like a claim to me, yet when pressed, you get the standard legalese.

The bottom line is be careful out there. Writing gluten free on the box does not mean much in my book. I love it when food producers list things like "made in a gluten free environment" on their packaging and I am happy to steer my business in their direction. To those who go the extra mile to provide detailed labeling information - THANK YOU!

In Topic: Lotions, Shampoos, Pet Food, Etc...

26 July 2009 - 10:57 AM

It depends on your personal sensitivity to gluten. Lot's of people don't have issues with things like shampoos and soaps. I do as a result of trace amounts of gluten in stuff like that. In my view, you are much safer removing the possibility altogether as its pretty easy to find gluten free shampoos and soaps.

Thanks,
Tom

In Topic: Help! On The Diet For 18 Days And Still So Fatigued

26 July 2009 - 10:52 AM

Keep the faith! Healing can be a long process. Progress can be steady, but slow as most people don't experiece dramatic changes in just a couple of weeks.

Avoiding all the "hidden" glutens is key also.

Also, make sure your doctor knows you have been gluten free for a few weeks prior to being tested. Absence of gluten before the tests can lead to false results. If you're getting a biopsy, no matter, the doc will be able to tell. If its blood tests for markers you may get negative results as you have not had gluten exposure in a while

Best to you - stay persistent - you will get better!
Tom

In Topic: gluten-free Toothpaste

15 June 2009 - 02:20 PM

I have been using Desert Essence Tea Tree Oil with Neem toohpaste and their tea tree mouthwash to soothe irritated gums - seems like this is what happens to be when I get glutened. (Along with stomach ache) -
I emailed the company and they say that they can't say it's gluten-free because it is processed at a plant where gluten is used on other products -
but they don't put gluten in their products.
The tea tree is soothing for the gums - but now I am a little concerned about using this all the time.
Anyone use this product or have any advice?

I think I got glutened from eating some chopped walnuts in the bag you get in the baking section - it said there could be cross-comtamination at the plant. Anyone ever have this problem?


I have had a lot of trouble over the years from cross contamination - including toothpaste. Some celiac's are more sensitive to micro-doses than others and I have also found a "build up" type effect where very small exposure levels over a period of days or so gets me very sick. Call me crazy, but it seems to be the case.

Personally I don't touch anything that has cross contamination risk. If its small exposure and it takes a few days to get ill, its almost impossible to pin down what made you sick in the first place.

Just my opinion! Good luck!

In Topic: I Think I May Have Celiac, Anyone?

22 May 2009 - 03:07 PM

I've had stomach problems on and off for years, but it's never been soooo bad that I sought out a physican for it. Back in January of this year, I quit smoking and started Weight Watchers (as to not gain weight during my quit). I'm not overweight by any means (at present 117, 5'4'). I stopped being able to have a bowel movement when I quit and was having to use suppositories (as I wasn't having my routine morning bowel movement that I use to have with a smoke). The problems seemed to get worse about a month into quitting and it started with chest pain. After a few weeks of periodic chest pain (sternum) that radiated to my right chest I went to the ER and they found absolutely nothing wrong with my heart. I also had a chest x-ray and ultrasound of the abdomen in which the gall bladder and kidneys were unremarkable. Nevertheless, I started smoking again because I couldn't bare not having the bowel movements with the intentions of trying to quit again after seeing an MD. I've held off for quite some time on seeing a doctor because I don't have health ins but my boyfriend and I decided if we can go on a vacation then we can afford to pay out of pocket to see a doctor.
So....here I am today, three months now, I have been having horrible chest pain that is accompanied by belching, bloating, burning in the stomach, severe gas that doesn't go away til morning, irregular bowel movements (borderline constipation but when I do go it's loose). You can literally hear my stomach from 5 feet away at all times. When I wake in the morning my belly is fine and flat, as soon as I put a bite to my mouth the gurgleing starts and the bloating begins. I also have a history of migranes that have continued. I've been feeling extremely tired lately and started to get depressed with the unknown regarding what is going on digestively. I have a doctors appt on Tuesday with a GI. I want to be tested for Celiac because my daughter who is now 10 years old was diagnosed at 16 months with it and I'm aware it's hereditary. Also, I read somewhere that a low-fat diet can trigger the symptoms, hence starting weight watchers 3 months ago. What do you think?



While usually showing symptoms in childhood, its not unusual to have an uptick in symptom severity later in life. I only started to get really sick when I was about 40. Docs think it was triggered by a serious viral infection I had. They think I had low grade symptoms all my life and my illness kicked Celiac into high gear. Defintely get tested but don't change your diet to full gluten-free until you get confirmation one way or the other. That mistake delayed my official diagnosis by months.