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Member Since 23 Dec 2012
Offline Last Active Aug 20 2013 03:04 PM

#884842 Reactions From Touching Gluten?

Posted by on 19 August 2013 - 07:08 AM

I'm not sure if I believe them when they say that the gluten has to be ingested. They claim that the protein is too large to pass through the skin but I read stories here and there about people having to make sure they switch to a gluten-free soaps and shampoos after going gluten free in order to avoid rashes.

The medical establishment seems to know so little about gluten reactions that I wouldn't be surprised if they focused only on the damage being done to the small intestines when they say that skin contact wouldn't have any effect.

I used to break out in hives on my hands and get rashes on my wrists back when I was still consuming gluten, but only here and there. Of course, I can't remember the meals back then, but I have to wonder if it was from when I ate foods that were picked up rather than eaten with utensils. I can tell you that I don't risk it these days.

I definitely react when I breath in dust in the air that contains gluten, which would be a problem if you worked around flour. For me, it just feels as if I have a sinus infection, lots of pressure in the cheeks and forehead and some ear aches, plus a little more phlegm production overall. But I've also never had DH as a symptom.


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#884512 Falling Off The Wagon

Posted by on 15 August 2013 - 09:41 PM

Sorry to hear that you still have to deal with temptations around you. Darn those kids!

Here are some ideas for go-to snack foods. (One of my first posts here was looking for ideas to fill that nitch.)

• Make popcorn - as in the kind you cook in a pot on the stove yourself. It is a good comfort food, has that crunch and a touch of salt that we crave, is high in fiber, and is filling. And you can make enough to share with the family (or have for stale leftovers the next day).

• Switch your family over to some gluten free foods as well so that what they are having doesn't tempt you to hurt yourself. Pasta, pancakes, brownies, cookies. There is no reason to bring the gluten versions into your house ever again.

• Or hide your gluten-free snacks someplace where the family won't find them so that they haven't disappeared when you need them. Cookies can easily be hidden in the freezer.

• Make a trip to a grocery store that is known for carrying organic or health foods. They'll often have a lot more gluten-free options to choose from, and will be likely to have a big gluten-free label on the shelf or have a gluten-free section. A few of the gluten-free items I tried early on were pretty awful, but 90% of them weren't that much different than the gluten versions when it came to taste and texture.

• Drink more water

• Get tested for vitamin deficiencies. They are common in those with celiac and can cause cravings despite that the foods we turn to likely won't help at all. Getting any deficiencies fixed can also mean faster healing, better mood and energy levels, and help avoid additional symptoms caused by the deficiency.

• Look for the less obvious snacks that are already in your house. I can't tell you how many times I've opened up a can of olives because there was nothing else available in a pinch.

• Keep coming back to the forum for support. These people were/are a HUGE help to me.

• Get yourself some gluten-free beer? 

• Have snacks on hand for yourself ALL of the time. Half of my accidental cross contaminations so far were from when I ran out for what I thought would only be 2-3 hours and it turned into 6-7, forcing me to find something to eat on the go. I still get hit frequently by low blood sugar simply because I don't eat when others are eating, and am only starting to realize that I can pretty much find gluten-free juice anywhere I go.

• Do research about how to decontaminate your kitchen and hidden sources of gluten. That is a great way to avoid accidental contaminations. My rule is to simply not buy any pre-made foods unless they actually say on the label "gluten free". 

So here is the good news. Once you are completely gluten free, your stress reactions should drop considerably. Those I know in real life who are gluten free use words like "calmer", "more even", and I say "dulled". And you'll sleep better so you'll feel more rested.

However, damage to the intestines aside, you have GOT to stop the glutenings you know of. Gluten is an opiod peptide, which means it fits into the opiate receptors in our brains, gives us a feeling of a high when we eat it, and has withdrawal symptoms. Those alone should be enough to keep you from knowingly ingesting gluten. So you're noticing the stomach issues, but the irritability, the headaches, and the brain fog are all part of the reaction as well. And every instance takes days to recover completely, if not a full week. Just having an accidental minor contamination once a week could be enough to keep you in a perpetual state of miserable!

You already know you have to do better, just need to find the resolve. I'm certainly not going to beat you up because your body is already doing that.

But start paying attention to the little things that are improving once you manage to stay gluten free for a week and have gotten through most of the reactions and withdrawal. I can probably rattle off two dozen things that cleared up when I went gluten free, things I thought were just part of aging or never imagined were related to gluten. Someone should restart or resurrect one of those old threads of things that got better. It is a great motivator to realize that you've got the same improvements as well.

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#883431 Significant Other To Celiac

Posted by on 07 August 2013 - 04:04 PM

Okay, back to the original topic.

One, I think that it is absolutely fantastic that you are here on the forum asking for tips because you want to do better. Kudos for that.

I'm only nine months in myself so I'm still struggling with a lot of the social aspects. How can I start dating again now that I feel better when restaurants and bars are pretty much off the table?

But here are a couple little things that I think I've got going for me.

• I still have one restaurant that I can go to that doesn't gluten me. Mine is sushi and I'm careful about what I order, but it really does help that the prep area is mainly handling fish, rice, and veggies, and not much else. I'd find that one restaurant that you can still go to and when social activities do arise, know that you have a safe haven if needed.

• I really enjoy cooking and having fewer options out has really upped my game. I have rules for myself when grocery shopping, like try one new thing every time, that help me add new favorite dishes to my repetoire.


• I know that if I want to be sociable, I can always invite friends over. Though I can't drink any beer or food that they may bring, I can definitely eat and drink my own ... and not have to carry it with me.

• I know that weeknights are much more difficult to find things to do that don't include bars or restaurants.  There are simply fewer options available. But they do still exist. My neighborhood has art galleries, readings at the bookstore, free outdoor concerts, and they don't require that you eat or drink while you are there, though you can still bring your own. And I personally don't think it is very difficult to sneak food or drinks into a movie theater if you want to avoid the hassle of having to explain that they have to allow you your own food. Would save money too. Or track down an old drive-in theater and make out instead!

• Okay, sporting events are probably always going to suck. No food and limited drink options available and not allowed to bring your own in. Sorry. It may be time to start campaigning to get them to sell at least one gluten-free beer.

• Weekends are easier, events that take place during the day, more outdoor activities where bringing your own picnic is easy. Be a tourist in your own city.

• Exercise doesn't require a gluten-free menu so walking, hiking, biking, kayaking, etc. are all still on your "can do" list. 


• Tap into the internet to find people whose lifestyles match with activities that are easier for you. Try Meet Up or just track down activities of interest online. Take a class together. Go to a wine tasting at a winery. Check out the museums.

Basically, add more interesting activities to your life that aren't the same old go-out-to-eat-or-drink routine. It is highly likely that your friends will want to join you! Just ask them. Or share all the pictures of your great adventures on facebook so that they are jealous!!!

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#883239 Any Tips On Controlling Anxiety And Depression?

Posted by on 06 August 2013 - 03:56 PM

Back to the original post ... I'd get on top of the vitamin deficiencies.

I say this because B12 deficiencies seem to get worse when you are prepping for something big, adding stress and activity. And B12 definitely can affect your mood. 

B12 stores in the body are drawn upon when needed, and additional physical activity or being under stress would both draw on those stores. So if you are already a little low on B12, having to prepare for something big could take you down even lower. (If B12 is a problem for you, note that the range accepted as "normal" in some countries is too low. I'm in the U.S. and the accepted range here is 200-1100. But you can have symptoms if your levels are below 400. Japan uses 500 for their low number. My goal is to get and keep mine up above 700 or a little higher.)

I don't know if other vitamins work similarly in the body as I'm only paying attention to those that are problematic for me. Though anxiety wasn't one of the things I experienced from my B12 deficiency, I did notice that if I had recently taken my supplement (sublingual), my energy levels and zeal for life improved, and I had more tolerance for the everyday stresses of life rather than have the little things irritate me.

I know you said you don't like taking meds. I hear you. I wouldn't take even a vitamin supplement if it weren't needed. But I am trying to get past those reservations in order to get my health back in shape. And I try to focus on those that I'm actually deficient in rather than a multi-vitamin.

And yeah, I've been focusing on vitamin deficiencies a lot lately, so I may also just be in a phase where I think that they are the cause of all problems because they were causing all of MY problems (laughing at myself as I type). But I know from personal experience that some of the vitamin deficiencies that are common in those with celiac can cause fatigue, abdominal pain, and affect mood, and those symptoms seem to be recurrent themes amongst those of us who are already gluten free but still having problems.

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#881525 Celiac And Depression

Posted by on 27 July 2013 - 11:46 PM

I read somewhere that vilii damage is one of the later stages of gluten allergies so I wouldn't expect an endoscopy to show much if you've been gluten free long enough for previous damage to have healed. Plus it shows up in patches so unless they get lucky and biopsy a patch that is damaged you could still get a false negative test result.

And I've also read of plenty of people who didn't have damage to their small intestines but did have damage to their large.

I do wish they would stop requiring retoxing and endoscopies to confirm that gluten can cause people serious harm. Asking us to poison ourselves just to get additional test results is cruel and certainly not good for our health.

I am hoping that as they learn more about gluten allergies, they'll figure out better testing methods that don't punish us so harshly ... and are more accurate.

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#881286 Men Are Stupid

Posted by on 26 July 2013 - 11:58 AM

Thanks for the giggle.

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#881280 Gluten Withdrawal: How Do You Function?

Posted by on 26 July 2013 - 11:31 AM

I suppose I don't get how so many people can understand that extracts from poppy plants can affect pain and pleasure sensors in our brains, but refuse to believe that extracts from other plants could affect these same sensors.

I can't help but wonder if they don't realize that the gluten peptide studies aren't stemming from suppositions on the internet or a book, but from two studies conducted at the National Institutes of Health, both of which looked at actual brain chemistry. 

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