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JAY-RU

Reactions To Non-Gluten Food

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Hey all, first time poster.

I have been gluten free for a little over 8 weeks now following a Celiac diagnosis. 

After about 2 weeks in I started getting mild to strong allergic reactions to all sorts of food, being a vegetarian for 14 years this limits my diet immensely. 

Things I have been reacting to:
Corn
Soy
Rice
Pinto Beans
Milk
Eggs
Black Pepper
Quinoa
Flax
Strawberry
Peanut butter

I eat very little processed food, with the removal of bread I eat next to none. I check labels and ingredients obsessively on those few that i do eat.

Is this normal when you are new to a gluten free diet? I am at a loss, at every corner there is some reaction lurking.. I also suffer from GERD if that factors in at all.

I have been eating avocado, cucumber, garbanzo, broccoli, banana, and lentil as they are the only foods that i have found i can tolerate. I love fresh food and don't mind a restricted diet so that is not a big problem for me, I am more worried about these new reactions.

Has anyone experienced this? Will it go away after a while?

Thanks in advance, much appreciated.

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Lots of times, after you get a diagnosis and have eliminated gluten, you find that you had "hidden" food intolerances.  Your best bet is to avoid those foods that  produce symptoms.  You may be able to rotate them in and out of your diet every four or seven days while you're healing or you might not be able to get those foods back.  I can't have eggs, milk, nuts, mushrooms and garlic.  I haven't been able to eat these foods for over 15 years way long before my celiac disease diagnosis.  I'm hoping (just six months into the diet) that I might get some of these back.  I have been able to eat eggs in baked goods after avoiding them strictly for a year.  

 

Good luck!  

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This is not typical for a celiac, but it isn't abnormal.  Different celiacs require different amounts of gluten to initiate a reaction.  Though for most 20 ppm is safe according to the FDA, that is not true for us all.  Some of us have a hard time reacting to cross contamination of naturally gluten free foods that can occur during harvest, storage, transportation and processing.  It can help to check for that warning "processed in a facility that also processes wheat".  That is a voluntary warning, however, so it's absence does not mean that it is not processed in a facility that also processes wheat.  

 

There are also some of us who have other food intolerances in which case, follow the advice by Cycling Lady.

 

I am one who reacts to very low levels of gluten cross contamination.  This is what helps me:

 

I have found Organic Valley 100% grass fed milk to work out well.  Some people have lactose intolerance, so if that is your problem, grass feeding won't help.  With eggs, I find that I can tolerate eggs from pasture fed chickens.  I haven't found a bean source that works for me, I grow my own.  Strawberries work better if wheat straw mulch isn't used as mulch to grow them.  I ask the farmers.  Grains work better if I buy them whole, sort them to remove the grains that don't belong, and then wash them.

 

It can help in either case to keep a food/symptom journal.  Keep track of what you eat and how you feel.  Also keep track of the source of the food.  If it is the processing of the food, and not just the food itself, you should be able to track it that way.  I try to not make too many changes.  It can take a week or so to realize that something is bothering me, so I try not to add more than one new thing in a week.

 

This has been a sometimes difficult process, but definitely worth every bit of effort when it comes to how much better by health has become.  I wish you the best.

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Thanks for the replies, much appreciated. So you think that maybe I am eating cross contaminated produce?

I have eaten soy and milk for over a decade and suddenly they started making my throat swell and giving me intense reflux and cramps, as well as rashes and an extremely upset stomach after eating the other things I listed. I try to add one food every 2-3 days, maybe I am adding things to quickly to pinpoint the cause properly.

It's very strange to me that the allergy to wheat could possibly have been masking allergic reactions to other foods. I wonder what the mechanism to something like that is.

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Thanks for the replies, much appreciated. So you think that maybe I am eating cross contaminated produce?

I have eaten soy and milk for over a decade and suddenly they started making my throat swell

Hi Jay-ru, sorry to hear about your intolerances. I also had a few but am gradually adding foods back in now but soy and dairy are out for me too. The dairy is more of an allergy for me with the throat swelling and achy arms. When I take levothyroxine I feel like I'm being choked, presumably due to the lactose but I'm awaiting testing on that. My doctor has put me on levothyroxine syrup so I'm doing much better.

It takes time and patience working out your intolerances so it may be worth keeping a food journal like steph suggested. I thought I had a problem with coffee but it turned out to be the milk so I'm happy I have my coffee back :) . Good luck

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It's very strange to me that the allergy to wheat could possibly have been masking allergic reactions to other foods. I wonder what the mechanism to something like that is.

 

I have a hard time buying that too.  I guess if you have been suffering all sorts of symptoms, and then get rid of the gluten symptoms you could have the symptoms from your other food intolerances remaining.    But, why would you all of a sudden have much more severe symptoms to another food when you eliminate gluten?  Why would you be able to eat that food when you grow it yourself, but not when you get it from the grocery store?  That makes no sense to me.  In my mind it makes cross contamination the more likely culprit.

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Jay-ru.......it is very common for newly diagnosed Celiacs to have problems with foods that are normally gluten-free or foods that are processed gluten-free. The key statement you made was that you suffer from GERD.....which really is not a disease state unto itself.  GERD happens when you have an underlying condition that is affecting your ability to digest food properly and Celiac is the mother of all GI distress problems. The reason you are noticing this now, after 8 weeks gluten-free, is because the consumption of gluten masks reactions to other foods.  Remove the gluten and after a small amount of initial healing starts, the others become noticeable.  The same happened to me with dairy.  I re-developed symptoms after 2 years and discovered I could not consume much dairy.  I have been gluten-free for 8 years and remain dairy lite.  Some people regain their ability to eat the offending foods over time and some do not. The fact that you suffer from GERD means your gut is really inflamed and you may need to cut down to basics to allow healing to take place and the GERD should improve over time.

 

I wouldn't put too much stock in the "processed food is contaminated" camp. A stated limit of 20 ppm's does not mean there is 20 ppm's of gluten in the product.  The vast majority of newly diagnosed Celiacs do fine on some processed foods over time because they have healed well. Consuming processed foods does not hinder healing for most. Studies done on unresponsive Celiacs showed that after a 3 month trial on a very restricted diet, almost all were able to go back to a normal gluten-free diet, which includes some processed foods, and they did fine with healing after that. While some folks, including me, have very extreme reactions to small amounts of gluten, that does not necessarily mean they are ingesting 3 ppm's only and that is what is making them sick.  It is difficult to prove how much gluten a person has ingested to the point where they get sick because we do not have home labs to prove it.  I think it is more a case that some feel their reactions more strongly than others, when they may accidentally ingest trace amounts.  All Celiacs will have damage done to their small intestine, whether they feel it or not.  This is why there is a whole bunch of people who are asymptomatic and feel nothing, even when they know they have been cc'd.  Celiac is a strange beast.  Many people also notice that their reactions get stronger the longer they are gluten-free.  Once you start to heal and feel better, any gluten hit will be felt on a larger scale.  I view that as a job well done managing the diet....a weird job well done but it means you have cleaned out your system well from all that gluten that was messing you up.

 

8 weeks is the very beginning on the long road to healing.  You may be reacting because of extreme gut damage or you may have additional food intolerances that will eventually clear up with time.  Be patient and eat those foods that agree with you only.  Do not fall into that trap where you think all your reactions are gluten related or that gluten-free foods are contaminated.  If everything were contaminated, then none of us would heal and we do.  It just takes longer than most of us like but it will happen for you too.  Whatever guidance or support you need will be found here. Trust me, this will get better for you!   :)

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I have a hard time buying that too.  I guess if you have been suffering all sorts of symptoms, and then get rid of the gluten symptoms you could have the symptoms from your other food intolerances remaining.    But, why would you all of a sudden have much more severe symptoms to another food when you eliminate gluten?  Why would you be able to eat that food when you grow it yourself, but not when you get it from the grocery store?  That makes no sense to me.  In my mind it makes cross contamination the more likely culprit.

Steph, I don't know WHY, but it happened to me. I had mild digestive symptoms and bad psoriasis. When I first went gluten-free, all I ate was whole foods - meat, potatoes, veggies and fruit. My gut symptoms were gone and the psoriasis almost completely healed after YEARS of having it. Then after a few weeks I made some gluten-free cornbread and BAM!! Sick, and the worst psoriasis flare I had ever had. I couldn't even walk! Couldn't pick anything up because just bending my fingers was excruciating. I ditched the corn and it healed again. Now if I get any corn by accident I get sicker than I do with gluten.

 

Before going gluten-free I ate corn several times a week. My psoriasis never flared as badly as it did after going gluten-free. I have no idea why, but at this point it doesn't matter. I just know I'll never eat corn again. Maybe at some point I could get it back, but I'm not even interested in trying it. It limits me so much, but that limit is good, because it keeps me off processed foods. I've never eaten such a healthy diet in my life. If all of a sudden they found a cure for celiac and corn intolerance, I'd STILL keep eating the way I am now. :)

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Re: Gemini

Yeah I'm not overly paranoid about exposure with proper stuff like Amy's etc. I'm just not a fan of processed foods due to preservatives, food coloring and factory conditions.

Re: Bartfull

I agree I would continue to eat this way as well, I have a mental clarity i haven't had since I was a kid but my body is doing very strange things. My last exposure to soy has left a feeling of a lump in my throat for the past 4 days, almost like there's a large pill stuck to the lower left side of my throat. 

Has anyone experienced this in relation to Celiac or otherwise? I can swallow food fine but i have to clear my phlegm often or it starts getting more difficult to breathe.

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I am having the exact same problem. Two weeks in started having allergic reactions to dairy, moved on to nuts and snowballed from there to have allergic reactions to a bunch of other foods. Not a gluten reaction, an actuall allergic reaction. Now I have hives even when I don't eat the trigger foods. Been diagnosed and gluten free since February and have negative antibodies currently.

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Re:durrsakja

Yeah its pretty awful, . Interesting that it started around 2 weeks for you as well.

You have been gluten free for quite some time compared to me.

Are you still having these reactions regularly, or have you finally pinned down what you can't eat? It's very frustrating, I feel like I'm in a dietary landmine, not to mention the looming threat of full blown anaphylaxis is quite scary.

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Foods keep getting added to the list unfortunately. What I have done is get on a rotational diet and try not to overdo any food. For some reason eating too much of something a few days in a row triggers a reaction. I also have an epi pen. I would strongly suggest seeing an allergist and asking for one.

As for why, no one has any answers for me (I have been everywhere, mayo clinic included). Regular allergy testing shows no allergies for most of these foods. The only thing I could think of was that my allergic reactions started a few days after me getting on probiotics. Even though I have stopped them I am still getting symptoms.

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I think the general idea is that a: the symptoms of Celiac can mask other food intolerances, and b: because your gut is still healing, it can't handle all the foods it normally does. I didn't clue in to my dairy intolerance until 2 years after going gluten-free, and shortly thereafter ditched soy because it also made me feel like crud. I also have trouble with eggs and quinoa.

 

Dairy and Soy are 2 of the more common intolerances, but some also have trouble with corn, nightshades, eggs, grains in general. If you're reacting to them, best to avoid them for a while. If you know what you can eat, or can have some of but not too much, try rotating your foods (don't eat them too often in a row). I find that if I have two much corn/rice/etc on consecutive days, it can start causing problems.

 

However, that you're having trouble breathing or swallowing after eating soy sounds more like an allergic reaction, and you might want to see and allergist to get tested. Better safe than sorry.

 

Good luck!

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