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Cara in Boston

Is Vomiting A Symptom After Being Glutened?

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Joe has been gluten free for almost 3 years.  In that time, he was only glutened once (that we know of) and that was about 2 years ago.  Before diagnosis, his only symptom was horrible, horrible behavior.  No GI symptoms, nothing else really.  When he was glutened years ago, he had very painful stomach cramps and felt "yucky" for about a week (fatigue, no energy, no appetite, etc.)  and, of course, the horrible behavior.


Now, this past week he was home from School on Wednesday because he started vomiting early Wednesday morning.  No fever, just vomiting.  We had been to California Pizza Kitchen the day before, so there is the possibility of cross-contamination.  After a couple of hours, he seemed perfectly fine.  Not sick at all.


Last night (Sunday), he was up every hour vomiting.  Again, no fever, no other symptoms.  On Saturday night he ate at a friend's house (Dad has Celiac, so they have gluten-free alternatives) and now I'm wondering if he was possibly glutened accidentally there.  Their kitchen is not 100% gluten-free like ours, since it is only the dad who has an issue.  


After almost 10 hours of throwing up, he is now perfectly fine and very hungry.  No fever, no signs of food poisoning or a virus or anything.  Nothing.  He is out of bed busy with legos and stuff.


Since it was never a symptom before, I just don't know what to think.  Could just be a coincidence that both episodes occurred after eating food outside of the house (we JUST started being more "brave" and trying new things.)


Strangely, his behavior seems normal . . . he was definitely more irritable yesterday, but nothing like the crazy stuff we had when he was on gluten.


Anyone else have a kid who vomits after gluten?  Not right away, but within 18-24 hours?

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Cara - we just had a similar issue with our son, who was glutened and got quite sick afterwards (about 12 hours later he got really nauseous and actually got a fever).  His symptoms were a little different (so I put my query in a separate post to not hijack yours...), but he had not had any GI symptoms prior to going gluten-free.  


From what I hear here, celiacs who are gluten-free can become more sensitive to gluten, and vomiting seems like a perfectly normal reaction to accidentally ingesting some.  It's hard when you don't really know if he had any or not.  My son has certainly had unexplained stomach pains that always made me wonder if he had been glutened, even though he was fairly asymptomatic before going gluten-free.  This time the cause-and-effect seemed pretty clear to us, but he got a fever in addition to the nausea which seems like a somewhat weird thing to happen from eating gluten.  


It's hard when you don't really know if he's actually had gluten or not, isn't it?

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My daughter used to vomit all the time, before diagnosis. She was eating a gluten light diet at the time, mostly because that's what I did (and we didn't know then that she has celiac, obviously), so I don't specifically remember how long it happened after she'd eaten gluten. But she started spitting up dozens of times a day as a breastfeeding infant, then almost stopped as soon as an allergist put her on a super-hypo-allergenic formula around 6 months old, then began vomiting frequently again when she began solids (which she did late because none of the doctors knew what was causing the problems). She probably vomited on average 3-4 times per week as a toddler, usually without a fever except when she caught something at daycare and was sick in the normal way. Since her diagnosis last year, she hasn't vomited at all except when sick, so I feel very sure that most of her earlier vomiting was from gluten. So yes, that definitely sounds like a possible gluten reaction to me.

Then again, it's virus season too, so it certainly could be a coincidence that your son had these vomiting bouts...Anyhow, I hope he's feeling better!

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Here too...


We had an early dinner at a local place (owner's daughter has celiac so they train all employees - and have a fairly extensive gluten-free menu) - 4-5ish.  Vomit started around midnight and she puked over and over again for ten hours.  When it was over she was starving (which is NOT normal for her after being sick).


We know it was a good glutening because we eat family style while out (order different things and share) and both my celiacs had clear symptoms while the non-celiacs were all fine.

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Vomiting was a system of my daughter's Celiac in pre-diagnoses days.  (16 months old)

She was put on a  gluten free diet and did great.  UNTIL she was 6 years old.....

It seemed like she was getting glutened.  It turned into a vomit cycle that would continue until she was put on an IV at the hospital.  It progressively got worse. 
She would vomit up to 5-6 times a day.  (along with dark circles under her eyes, tired, headaches, hair falling out)

She went back to the ped gastro for an endoscopy with biopsy.

these are symptoms for....

Celiac (not reacting to a gluten free diet~ rare but it happens)

H. Ployri infection

congenital defect

parasitic infection

Eosoinophilic Esophagitis


I her case it was diagnosed Eosinophilic Esophagitis.  (There is now a proven connection between Celiac and EE.  There is evidence of seasonal allergies playing a part in "triggering" the production of the eosinophils.  Along with other food "allergens" acting as "triggers")


It is time to make an appointment with a pediatric gastroenterologist.  You should go over what the endoscopy with biopsy can rule in or out for diagnoses.  This will also make sure this doctor is aware of EE.  Request a copy of all testing results.  (do not delay~ in the case of EE the "trigger" may be a seasonal airborne allergen.  ((although once activated, eosinophils can damage healthy/normal tissue for 12 days))


Good luck and keep us posted.


Keep a food journal to help track down possible triggers.

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