123 Hibachi Food and Hidden Gluten Hazards (How to Celebrate Gluten-Free) - Celiac.com
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Hibachi Food and Hidden Gluten Hazards (How to Celebrate Gluten-Free)

I recently celebrated my 22nd birthday at a Japanese hibachi restaurant. Knowing that the food would be cooked in front of me I felt safe that I would not get sick. I have been to this sort of restaurant before and it was a success. I am very careful when it comes to ordering Japanese or Chinese food because teriyaki sauce and soy sauce contain gluten.

Something went wrong on this Tuesday night. I was with about 15 of my closest friends, and the chef was very entertaining. I was so excited and distracted that I let my guard down. I left the restaurant feeling fine and continued to have a couple drinks with friends. A couple hours later what I like to call my "gluten stomach-ache" hit. It was late and I had already done my share of celebrating, but I couldn't help but blame the restaurant.

I did a lot of thinking the next day to figure out what made me so sick. Here is what I think...although I have had this disease for over five years, I made a major slip up. As I watched the chef cook the food he kept the rice separate from the noodles. Although he cooked the rice in front of us first, he used the same spatula to move the noodles out of his way. I don't know if it was the excitement of my birthday or me being distracted, but I did not pay enough attention to this. The food tasted great and he did not add any sauce;
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I guess I thought I was in the clear.

Another thought my friends and I had was that there may have been gluten in my drink. I am very careful when it comes to ordering drinks. I have learned the hard way that some alcoholic beverages they say "might" contain gluten really do make me sick. So I ordered a drink made of only rum and juices--a safe bet for me. The drink was great, but when I ordered my second I did not specify to them over again that I wanted the same exact drink. Again because I was so distracted this drink may have contained something I could not tolerate.

The two major lesson here are:
  1. Do not try out a new restaurant on your birthday. Stick with a place you know is safe for you. When you are in a big group like that it is easy to forget that checking for gluten is your first priority. Save the experimentation for a night where you can take your time and make sure it is safe.
  2. If you are ordering a mixed drink, make sure you watch them make it! This is something I always do. When it comes to wine you are safe, but it's sad to say that some bartenders do make major mess ups.
Lastly, it is important to remember the language barrier when you are out to eat. Eating international foods it great, but many other cultures do not understand what a gluten allergy is. We need to be very careful and very patient. Keep an eye on what is going on in front of you, try not to get distracted--like I did!

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Gaerty, thank you for sharing this with me! You want to know something crazy? The night before you sent this I was googling "vitamin deficiencies linked to splinter hemorrhages" and an article came up about vitamin C deficiency. I can't remember the last time I took vitamin C or drank orange juice or consumed anything that has vitamin C on a regular basis. It's crazy that you responded to this post when you did. My splinter hemorrhage is razor thin and looks like it could be shrinking but it's hard to tell. Also it's not growing out of the nail bed. It stated more in the middle of my right thumb nail. I don't take a multivitamin mainly because I can't find one that doesn't trigger my anxiety. Trying to find a good one that doesn't have energy boosters in it like green tea and extra B vitamins (all my B vitamin levels are great). I haven't been tested for low C vitamin levels but I might have to now. I was tested for some of the base ones that most celiacs have issues with, folate, magnesium, B's, E's, and a couple others and all of them came back good with the exception of my vitamin D3 which in November 2016 was 16 and we tested it again in February, it moved up to 26. Still low but moving up. My liver numbers in October 2016 were bad but by February 2017 they were perfect. I had skin rashes, most of those have cleared up over the past 5 to 6 months, by about 85%, since I was diagnosed. This splinter hemorrhage came up about 7 to 8 weeks ago. Like I said it appears to be growing out but I'm still going to get it looked at. Let me know what your doc says about the vitamin C levels. Also what multivitamin do you take? Ps: I bought some clementines yesterday. Thanks for responding! Spencer

Maybe try a rice based milk, I find the coconut flavoured ones really good with cereal.

I guess they've never felt the political pressure the mainstream cereal producers were under in the age of rickets and pellagra? Plus there's not such a competitive market and its a cost manufacturers would sooner do without if they can, although if Udi's or Genius did start perhaps they'd get more business. I think I'll start eating flax seed again, that was good for fibre I think. I take a vitamin supplement also of course.

Good for you! One suggestion, if you run into another reaction like your Endo, try and ask a question which puts the burden of proof on them, ie: 'Given the positive blood test, on what clinical basis are you excluding celiac?' At least it forces them to be more precise and perhaps exposes any flaws in their reasoning. Although if you reach that stage with a doctor it's probably worth looking for another... If I were a cynic I'd say your Endo had already metaphorically left the building when they were analysing your tests.Your primary seems more on the ball though Best of luck! If and when you go gluten free come back here and there will be plenty of support for you.

Great Image JMG. Thanks for the feedback. I think I feel that the decision to push for further tests, and not shrug it off is the direction I want to go. And I think I may try the diet post-endoscopy, and see if I respond (particularly if my thyroid responds to the diet). Thank you All!