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JennaQ

Help! I Work In A Bakery.

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I am currently in the process of going gluten-free, as I have been suspecting that I am gluten-sensitive, and that perhaps my diagnosis of fibromyalgia that I've had since I was 16 may be misdiagnosed.

 

Anyway, I work in a bakery. I have worked in several different ones for the past year. My prefered place of work is cupcakeries. Although I am not going to culinary school or anything like that (I plan on completing my degree part-time when I have the means to do so), working at a bakery has so far been the only job in my life I have actually enjoyed. It allows my creative side to come out.

 

Anyway, I'm worried about things like flour in the air. Since I am assuming that I am gluten-sensitive, and I know I definitely am not Celiac, how much would this affect me? I'm usually not the one preparing and rolling out doughs, etc, but I obviously do have significant contact with the finished products (And sometimes before, like raw cookie dough). Is this really something I need to worry about or not really? I would hate to completely eliminate gluten from my diet only to find out that it's my job that is ruining all of my efforts.

 

Thanks!!

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I think it depends on how sensitive you are to gluten.  (How do you know for sure that you're not Celiac?)

If you are around flour that is in the air, you breathe it in and end up swallowing it.  In my opinion, if you are mildly sensitive to gluten, this may not cause you trouble.  Handling dough and finished products shouldn't be a problem at all - as long as you don't touch your face or your mouth, and make sure you wash your hands before you eat anything.

Oh... and if you take food into the bakery with you make sure it isn't kept where it can get flour dust all over it.

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Hi there, JennaQ

Have you ever been tested for Celiac? It is recommended that you get tested before you go gluten free. The tests for Celiac will likely come back negative if you are not actively eating gluten. The problem comes later down the line if you need a confirmed diagnosis, then you would have to do a gluten challenge which requires you to eat a certain amount of gluten for a while (6 weeks to 3 months). The importance of figuring out if you have Celiac or not is so you can know if exposure to gluten is doing damage to your gut. I would say that a Celiac working in a non-gluten-free Bakery would be a bad idea. Someone with less severe gluten sensitivity may be able to make it work, by using safety measures such as face masks and gloves, taking care to wash up and protect their own food they bring with them. (It still seems like a bad idea to me, but I am extremely cautious.)

 

The immediate issue is trying to figure out if you are sensitive to gluten and whether that will affect your job choice. You may not have your answer right away, unfortunately. Sometimes people feel immediately better when they stop eating gluten, sometimes it takes a while. And then some people find that after being gluten free for a while that their reactions to even trace amounts of gluten can be more pronounced than they were before going gluten-free. By way of an example, you could stop eating gluten altogether and find that you feel better for several months, and then you start to notice you are not feeling so great and come to find that your frequent exposure to flour is setting you back. This is just an example! Everyone is different.

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I'm pretty sure I'm not Celiac because I have absolutely no stomach or intestinal issues related to it. It's just the joints, migraines, fatigue, aches, etc. I would get a test done just because, but I haven't had a primary care doctor in years (not due to lack of trying). I figure I can go gluten-free for a few weeks, and if it doesn't work, oh well, I didn't exactly lose anything, but if it does, great!

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How do you know you are def not celiac? Did you have a genetic test and do not have the genes for it?

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I'm pretty sure I'm not Celiac because I have absolutely no stomach or intestinal issues related to it. It's just the joints, migraines, fatigue, aches, etc. I would get a test done just because, but I haven't had a primary care doctor in years (not due to lack of trying). I figure I can go gluten-free for a few weeks, and if it doesn't work, oh well, I didn't exactly lose anything, but if it does, great!

 

Here is a list of a few symptoms of Celiac with a link to the rest of the symptoms.  My migraines are almost completely gone one i was diagnosed Celiac and went gluten free.  

 

http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/medical-professionals/guide/symptoms

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I'm pretty sure I'm not Celiac because I have absolutely no stomach or intestinal issues related to it. It's just the joints, migraines, fatigue, aches, etc. I would get a test done just because, but I haven't had a primary care doctor in years (not due to lack of trying). I figure I can go gluten-free for a few weeks, and if it doesn't work, oh well, I didn't exactly lose anything, but if it does, great!

Not all celiacs have stomach problems.

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Not all celiacs have stomach problems.

Yep.  My only outward symptom was anemia until my my gallbladder problems lead to them accidentally discovering the celiac.  Some of us call that a "silent celiac."  I never had the classic symptoms of the... gut issues... and according to my doctor it is almost a myth that all celiacs are symptomatic like that.  I have autoimmune and immune issues as well.  Lupus, Fibromyalgia, and I also lack part of my immune system which they call Common Variable Immunodeficiency. (There is way more detail I could go into but Ill leave it at that)  All these were diagnosed around the same time, and I treat them all together as a bunch, each problem is a piece of my overall health foundation.

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I'm pretty sure I'm not Celiac because I have absolutely no stomach or intestinal issues related to it. It's just the joints, migraines, fatigue, aches, etc. I would get a test done just because, but I haven't had a primary care doctor in years (not due to lack of trying). I figure I can go gluten-free for a few weeks, and if it doesn't work, oh well, I didn't exactly lose anything, but if it does, great!

 

I didn't have any symptoms at all.  No other health problems either, other than early mild osteopenia.  I only got tested because it runs in my family and they found moderate to severe villi damage when they did the biopsy after a positive bloodtest result.

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I'm pretty sure I'm not Celiac because I have absolutely no stomach or intestinal issues related to it. It's just the joints, migraines, fatigue, aches, etc. I would get a test done just because, but I haven't had a primary care doctor in years (not due to lack of trying). I figure I can go gluten-free for a few weeks, and if it doesn't work, oh well, I didn't exactly lose anything, but if it does, great!

 

I'm going to reiterate what everyone else is saying - you have NO IDEA - repeat - NO IDEA if you have Celiac Disease unless you get tested. A friend of mine who is diagnosed has no symptoms except for joint pain. In my personal opinion, EVERYONE should at least have a gene test to see if they are at risk. 

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I'm visiting my mom next weekend, and she's a nurse so she has a lot of "connections" with doctors, including the one who was kind enough to figure out my severe vitamin d deficiency a few years back. I texted her asking her if she can ask him to write a script for a blood test checking for it. Hopefully he can! :)

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Hey, Jenna.  Much like yourself, I was able to quickly write off Celiac disease because my stomach was strong and I didn't have intestinal issues "per se".  

 

Aches and pains started to give it away.  The scans, tests, and biopsy that followed eventually led me to a celiac disease diagnosis.  So, while it is both possible and probable that you don't have it, you could.  If you have the means or insurance to get a simple celiac panel, I would encourage you to do so.  Don't wait for a mountain of symptoms to pile up if you don't have to.

 

Good luck!   

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My stomach issues from NCGI, except for odd bowel movements (sorry) that I thought were "just my body," never showed up until this year, at the age of 46. None of my other symptoms were gastrointestinal. Looking back on my total collection of symptoms, I'm fairly certain I've been full-on NCGI since approximately the age of 11.

 

I personally wouldn't want to work in a bakery because surely some of that wheat is getting on your lips, in your nostrils, etc. and being swallowed that way.

 

I know jobs are very hard to come by nowadays, but I would try to find a different job. I hope whatever you decide, that you feel better and are well. :)

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