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psawyer

Member Since 28 Dec 2004
Offline Last Active Private
*****

#683739 Misdiagnosed?

Posted by psawyer on 15 March 2011 - 10:29 AM

Celiac disease is NOT an allergy. It is, of course, possible to have celiac disease and also be allergic to wheat.

Your follow-ups being normal is normal when you are strictly following the gluten-free diet. Without gluten to provoke the autoimmune reaction, there are no gluten antibodies and your body heals so the villi are healthy.

It is possible to have "silent," or asymptomatic, celiac disease. It does not mean no harm is being done to your body when you ingest gluten.

You did not say how you were diagnosed. False negatives are possible with both the blood test and the biopsy, but false positives are extremely rare.
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#683184 Is My Job Making Me Sick?

Posted by psawyer on 13 March 2011 - 08:02 PM

I don't work in a bar. I do work in a business where we have gluten products (dog biscuits are the most common) which I touch regularly. Every dog who comes into the store is offered a treat. I wash my hands after each one.

Hand sanitizer will ensure that your gluten is free of harmful germs. It will not do anything to the gluten. If alcohol destroyed gluten, we could all drink beer.

Washing your hands with soap and water will remove gluten. Make it a habit. If your hands become dry as a result, moisten them with a gluten-free lotion.
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#682438 "may Contain Label"

Posted by psawyer on 11 March 2011 - 08:42 AM

Even a "dedicated gluten-free facility" has the risk of cross-contamination. It can happen at any point on the supply line, not just at the final processing facility. And that UPS guy who just dropped off a package was eating a donut in his truck.

Glutino have dedicated gluten-free facilities. They don't say so on their packages, but they test for 20 ppm. Click here to see the statement on their web site.

IrishHeart, what do you think of Glutino? I respect the fact that they realize that even with a dedicated gluten-free facility, cross-contamination is possible, so they test. I use their products with complete confidence.
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#682352 Manufactured In Facility That Processes Oats..?..

Posted by psawyer on 10 March 2011 - 08:21 PM

A shared facility means that somewhere on the property there is wheat. For most products I do not worry about it. In most cases, the wheat is isolated from the product in question. I might be concerned if the facility was a bakery where wheat flour could be airborne and move from room to room in the air, or on people's clothing.

Shared equipment is a greater risk. But before you decide, consider this: If anyone in your house eats gluten products, you probably have shared equipment. You must have a different set of plates, pots, cutlery and a separate stove, cupboard, counter, etc.--in other words two complete and isolated kitchens in order to not have shared equipment.

If you ever eat at a restaurant, that is a shared facility and very likely has some shared equipment. How many dishwashers do they have? Can the knives and forks used for gluten-free food be easily identified so they can be put in the gluten-free dishwasher? Hmmm.

I lived for a number of years in a shared facility with shared equipment. I eat in restaurants that are gluten-free aware.
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#681845 Confused - Please Help

Posted by psawyer on 09 March 2011 - 10:52 AM

Yes, the villi that get examined and from which the biopsy to diagnose celiac disease are in the small intestine. The endoscopy can only see the first part of the intestine, which is over 20 feet long. Celiac disease cannot be determined from a colonoscopy, nor by a biopsy of the stomach lining.

My endoscopy in 2000 showed serious damage to the villi. A repeat in 2005 showed normal villi. I had completely healed on a strict gluten-free diet. If you have been gluten-free, or close to it, there may not be enough damage to be detected.
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#681659 Kraft Miracle Whip

Posted by psawyer on 08 March 2011 - 06:17 PM

Trish_Trish, I don't doubt that you react to something in the Kraft mayo. But I do sincerely doubt that there is hidden gluten in ANY Kraft product. They are very open in their labeling. As noted above, the soybean oil could have been legally listed as "vegetable oil" and is not an allergen that can be listed in the "contains" statement. Nevertheless, Kraft clearly listed it as soybean oil.
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#681453 Hand Sanitizer Question

Posted by psawyer on 08 March 2011 - 09:37 AM

Soluble in alcohol means that it can travel in alcohol, but it is intact. Dissolved does not been destroyed. Alcohol has no effect on gluten. If it did, we could drink beer!

Hand sanitizer will ensure that your gluten is germ-free, but it will still be gluten.
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#681429 Kraft Miracle Whip

Posted by psawyer on 08 March 2011 - 08:21 AM

Also, boomstick, the fact that soy is not declared in the "contains" statement is consistent with FALCPA, which explicitly exempts "highly refined oils" from the declaration requirement. Click here for a detailed discussion of FALCPA.

Click here for Kraft's label policy regarding gluten.
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#681311 Are Grains That Are Processed In A Facility That Handles Wheat Gluten Free?

Posted by psawyer on 07 March 2011 - 07:16 PM

This is one of the great questions of our world, and there is not a consensus on the answer.

My own view:

There is always a risk of cross-contamination in any product. It can occur at the final production facility, or at any other step along the way. A dedicated gluten-free facility can receive ingredients from another facility which are already contaminated when they arrive. A worker (or visitor) to the "gluten-free" facility could bring contamination into the facility on their person.

Personally, I don't worry about shared facilities. You must make up your own mind.
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#680962 Is Corned Beef Gluten Free?

Posted by psawyer on 06 March 2011 - 06:38 PM

"Pickled" usually means a brine consisting of some combination of water, salt and vinegar. Unless the vinegar is malt vinegar, no worries. If malt vinegar is used in an FDA product it must be labeled as such. ANY grain derived ingredient in a USDA product must be disclosed. Read the label, but I would be very surprised if you found a corned beef that contained gluten.

There are still a lot of outdated lists in circulation from the days before the current labeling laws (in effect for more than five years), and before we understood (due to better scientific knowledge) that such ingredients as vinegar, maltodextrin, and others were safe.
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#680459 What Is The Gluten-Free Standard?

Posted by psawyer on 04 March 2011 - 07:28 PM

Michelle,

Lots of people get hung up on ppm, which is vexing because it really is a meaningless number. Like percentages, which ppm is a form of, most people have trouble understanding what they really mean.

Here is an example from the percent world. You make $20 per hour working for me. Times are really tough, so I insist that you take a 50% wage cut just to keep your job. 50% of $20 is $10. Your new wage is $10 per hour. Oh, wait, we just got a huge contract from a new customer. I can give you a 50% increase in your wages. That reverses the cut, right? Wrong. 50% of $10 is $5 and your new wage is $15 per hour.

Tests can detect 20 ppm or 5 ppm or some other detection threshold. A product tested for 20 ppm may, in fact, contain 19 ppm or 0 ppm, or any amount in between.

Let us assume that we have two baked products. One is tested for 5 ppm and the other for 20 ppm. Let us also assume that each is right at the detection limit, say 4.9 ppm and 19.9 ppm--that is not a valid assumption, but let's run with it for the moment.

Let's eat a 10 gram serving of the 20 ppm tested product. That's 196 micrograms of gluten.

Now, let's eat a 40 gram serving of the 5 ppm tested product. Holy cow! We still ate 196 micrograms of gluten.

What matters in terms of the gluten-free diet is the total amount of gluten ingested, not whether it came from dilute or concentrated sources. And I cannot repeat enough times, tested to X ppm does not mean contains X ppm. The content is less and is often far, far less than the test threshold.

I hope that helps. If not, let me know, but I didn't want to bury you in mathematics. It was my major...
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#680388 What Is The Gluten-Free Standard?

Posted by psawyer on 04 March 2011 - 03:32 PM

At the moment, in the US, there is no legal definition of "gluten-free."

Click here to go to a discussion a few months ago.
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#678656 A Few Dumb Questions

Posted by psawyer on 26 February 2011 - 10:57 AM

If I recall correctly, Heinz regular ketchup is gluten-free. I don't use ketchup myself, though.

Try these links for useful information:

Unsafe ingredients.

Safe ingredients.


Here's a list of companies that have a clear gluten policy. If you don't see "wheat, rye, barley, barley malt, oats" on the labels, its not there, or hidden in "flavors, starches, etc."


I am not a supporter of lists--they are out of date the minute that you print them. Formulas are constantly changing. That is why I like to buy from companies who will label clearly (see the third link above). Always read the label.
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#677603 Tricked Into The Blood Test And I Need Resources!

Posted by psawyer on 22 February 2011 - 09:35 PM

If you have been on the gluten-free diet for a year, any medical tests will come back negative. They measure the reaction to gluten. No gluten--no reaction. Your doctor, and your husband, don't seem to grasp this. Perhaps you should find a new doctor...
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#677428 How Many People Are Actually Self-diagnosed?

Posted by psawyer on 22 February 2011 - 09:22 AM

It would seem appropriate to remind everyone of board rule #1:

Do not be abusive or otherwise out of line towards other board members. Show respect for each board member, no matter what you think of their views. This is not a place to quarrel.
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