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Apple Cider And Lettuce - Instant Diarrhea?

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Hi, guys. So I've been gluten free for about a year. I wasn't officially diagnosed with celiac; my family doctor told me to go off gluten before I got the endoscopy, after a strongly positive blood test, and by the time I took one it, I was feeling better enough that I wasn't willing to go back on gluten. I'm very careful about the foods I consume, and have recognized certain things that still give me problems. Eggs, for instance. I can eat them in small amounts, but to many to often will inflame my insides and cause me horrid pain. The foods that really seem to bother me besides gluten though seem kind of weird to me.

 

Hard cider is something that I've recently realized causes me a lot of problems. All the gluten free websites praise hard ciders, but it seems like every time I drink them I get diarrhea for the rest of the night. At first I thought it was just Angry Orchard, and it took me awhile to get to that conclusion. Generally, when my stomach is a little iffy and I don't want to go out, I'd invite my friends over and grab a six pack of Angry Orchard for myself. I always got diarrhea by the end of the night. Finally, when I drank it once or twice without any previous stomach worrying, I realized that it was the problem. I swore it off, but someone convinced me to give another gluten free cider a go, just to make sure. Same thing.

 

Lettuce and salads are another big thing that bother me. I love vegetables, and salads, and I'm very conscious of washing my veggies and keeping them away from cross contamination. They still seem to bother me though, especially dark leafy greens, though even iceburg lettuce can bother me occasionally. I won't always get diarrhea, but I will experience loose stools and pass undigested bits of vegetables. Considering salads and veggies are one of the quickest, easiest things for me to eat throughout the day, I find this really troubling.

 

I can't really afford to go to a doctor and get further testing done, I'm a broke college student and my parents gave about all they could running me through the doctor rounds last year. I just want to know, is this a common problem with those with celiac? Do others experience these problems, and what could I do to ease them? The cider is easy enough to just stay away from, but salads?

 

Any advice?

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Are you sure it's the salad itself you're reacting to, rather than salad dressing? Cider and salad dressings, especially vinegar-based ones, are high in sulfites. If you also react to dried fruit, bottled lemon juice from concentrate (which is often put on fruit at restaurants and is in a surprising number of other things), and soups and sauces in general, sulfites might be the problem. I have a terrible - but fortunately not anaphylactic - reaction to sulfites, even those found naturally in fermented foods like vinegar, even when they're not added and do not appear as an ingredient on the label. I never would have figured this out while I was still eating gluten - the gluten caused too many other symptoms and I couldn't tell what was what - but after about seven months gluten free the sulfite issue became clear. Sulfites are not supposed to be sprayed on lettuce (in the U.S.), but I'm not sure about the law in other countries.

The brochure below is from Canada and has a basic list of foods that often contain sulfites, but it's pretty easy to find other info online too. I hope this isn't your problem, since it pretty much rules out the easy gluten-free foods when traveling (dried fruit/nut bars, fruit salads with lemon juice from concentrate, any gluten-free baked goods that contain potato starch or corn starch, most potato products and salad with dressing at restaurants), but if sulfites are the issue it's good to know. I was thrown off by the salad thing for a long time, but once I realized the problem was the dressing rather than the salad itself, it made sense. Who wants to eat salad with no dressing, though? Yuck. Anyhow, good luck!

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/alt_formats/pdf/pubs/securit/2012-allergen_sulphites-sulfites/2012-allergen_sulphites-sulfites-eng.pdf

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I would agree that it might be something else you are putting in the salad. I have also had this problem, but not recently. It used to be when i would have a salad with gluten. err basically anything, i had stomach problems every day of my life. Then when i went to the bathroom there would be whole pieces of lettuce in there. Gross and TMI i suppose. As for the cider, are you drinking in excess? I always have stomach problems if I drink a bit too much. One is basically my limit. Cider is made from apples and some people, celiac or not, have issues with apples. The give apple juice to constipated babies!

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I really don't think there is TMI with us, we have all been through the same s$#& ( literally). Just had to throw that one out there.

 

It seems that we all have problems with hard to digest foods, veggies seem to be a big one.  If you didn't have an endoscopy, you really don't know how damaged you poor intestines are.  It could just be you are still healing. 

 

But, I would lean more towards what you are putting on the salad like everyone else said.

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Do you have problems with alcohol in general, or just cider? It's pretty sugary strong acidic stuff, and I can't drink too much of it without it doing a number on me, sulfites or no (also, I'm kind of sick of cider).

Salad greens are another thing entirely. If it's only when you have salad (with dressings and such), then yes it could be sulphites of something else aggravating your sustem... or it could be that you just have trouble digesting raw veggies. I know I do much better with cooked foods than with salads these days. (I just had some salad myself, so we'll see what happens).

Try eating some greens just on their own. A few pieces of lettuce, baby spinach, whatever you want, and see how it treats you. If the greens themselves are the problem, digestive enzymes might help, or try eating them lightly steamed/sauteed (maybe kale/chard/spinach).

If you're ok with the greens themselves, then yeah, it's likely something else you're eating with them. You can make your own dressings with oil and apple cider vinegar or whatever you want.

 

Take it easy on the hard stuff, in any case.

 

Welcome to the forum!

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To me this sounds an awful lot like a FODMAP and/or fructose issue. Certain vegetables and fruits(especially apples), dairy, beans and gluten can all cause digestive issues. It is a relatively new to doctors in the USA since most of the research on it comes from Australia. Check out Kate Scarlata's blog and MONASH university-they do a lot of research on FODMAPs and fructose malabsorption (which several members of my family have). You don't have to have fructose malabsorption to benefit from the low FODMAP diet though. It honestly helps anyone with IBS. I don't want to get too into it on here since it gets pretty complicated but check out the links above.

 

I would also keep a food diary since not all of the foods will irritate your system. Hope this helps and good luck!

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