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Random Guy

Is A Tiny Amount As Evil As A Pizza?

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hey everyone,

sorry if this has been answered a million times, but this question is by far the most difficult for me to get a grasp on.

is a small amount of gluten less harmful than a large amount?

and if it is, then, for someone who is asymptomatic, is crosscontamination a huge worry?

I certainly will be vigilant if it's necessary. But I want to be sure that it's necessary, and to understand how.

(not positively dx'ed yet, but blood test are positive)

thanks

-rg

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Hey Random

Welcome here. To you questions: 1. Gluten is gluten, toxic to your system if you feel the discomfort or not and it will cause damage to your intestines. 2. Cross continination will also cause you damage to your small intestines whether you feel the result to the damage or not.

I don't know what it is like to be non-symptomatic, although I most likely was for five or six years preceeding my "kick-in phase" or celiac.

I had no appeitite, food was boaring, and uneventful. I had no desire to eat for five years preceeding my kick in period. Perhaps that was my non-symptomatic period, but I feel that the damage was done during the kick in phase.

Try to be totally gluten free. HOWEVER, THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT. If you are going to be tested further i.e endoscopy and biopsy, YOU CONTINUE TO BE TOTALLY ON A FULL GLUTEN DIET for minimum of 30 days.

Evaluate yourself and decide what you need to do. And if you have any questions this is the place to be. You will recieve more knowledge here than you will from most medical doctors as celiac disease is very new the the field. Educate yourself is our best policy.

Best of luck

Lisa B.


Lisa

Gluten Free - August 15, 2004

"Not all who wander are lost" - JRR Tolkien

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Any amount of gluten is harmful. Even those small amounts cause damage. Small amounts even as frequent as once a month has the affect of not following the diet at all because you never give your intestines a chance to heal.

Products need to be checked, cross contamination is a definite threat, and even kissing if the person just ate gluten can hurt you.

You need to eliminate it from every angle.

Symptoms or not it still does damage...that doesn't have any say in the severity of damage.

If you get blood tests or any testing you need to be on gluten they say 3 months before testing in order to be accurate. So do not go gluten free or cut back on gluten until after testing.


Kaiti

Positive bloodwork

Gluten-free since January 2004

Arkansas

Jeremiah 29:11- "For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for you to prosper and not harm you,plans to give you a hope and future"

"One Nation, Under God"

Feel free to email me anytime....jkbrodbent@yahoo.com

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thanks lisa

i can see!!! (your response)

but the question i have is more one of degrees

is it an all or nothing? if glutens there, the body reacts?

or if it's there alot, it reacts a lot?

i'm all about education.

what are the best resources out there

(too technical is fine - i love reading medical thingies)

thanks

-rg

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Yes-it is an all or nothing diet....maybe not what you wanted to hear but it's the truth. It's essential you are 100% gluten free.


Kaiti

Positive bloodwork

Gluten-free since January 2004

Arkansas

Jeremiah 29:11- "For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for you to prosper and not harm you,plans to give you a hope and future"

"One Nation, Under God"

Feel free to email me anytime....jkbrodbent@yahoo.com

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One of the bazillion "not even a crumb" comments here, but I'll throw in an explanation.

Anything that's toxic or bad for us is dosage dependent - it depends on how much you get. Take water, for instance. You drink a dozen gallons of water in an hour, you're likely going to end up dead before they can get you to a hospital because it will throw off your electrolytes. That's an awful lot of water, though, and isn't a problem for most people outside of the realm of competitive marathon running where they're losing electrolytes through sweat as well. On the other hand, you have something like VX (a chemical warfare agent) that needs really next to nothing to kill someone by disrupting the nerve signals very efficiently.

To understand why "not even a crumb" is the rule, it helps to know how gluten intolerance works. The reseearch so far suggests that there is a portion of gluten, the protein, that is made up of 33 amino acids (the building blocks of proteins) that other molecules in the body recognize - recognize as being a bad thing. These other molecules attach to the offending protein, and a whole series of chemical reactions occurs that leads to the formation of antibodies that attack the intestinal lining. And that's only what we know - they haven't done much research on systemic effects yet.

This is why "not even a crumb". The body is a giant chemical reactor, and it only takes one molecule of gluten to have this week-long chemical reaction start. Of course, one molecule would probably not produce enough antibodies to cause more damage to the intestines than the body could satisfactorily repare anyway. The thing is, contamination will ALWAYS give you more than one molecule of the protein, because molecules are just so dang small. A crumb of bread (which isn't entirely gluten anyway, because protein is only a small part of the wheat that it's made from) has many orders of magnitude more molecules than one.

That's why "not even a crumb". You can't rely on symptoms - damage can be done without manifesting any symptoms that you would ever notice.


Tiffany aka "Have I Mentioned Chocolate Lately?"

Inconclusive Blood Tests, Positive Dietary Results, No Endoscopy

G.F. - September 2003; C.F. - July 2004

Hiker, Yoga Teacher, Engineer, Painter, Be-er of Me

Bellevue, WA

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Though it may not the most popular thing to say on this board, I will say it.

Yes,

A Pizza is 1000 times more toxic for you than a breadcrumb...its not even close. You don't need a doctor to figure that out.

Having said that, that stupid crumb can beat your intestine up and make you feel like "crap" for an unspecified amount of time or do damage to your sytem without you even knowing ---- "symptom-less damage"...

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Yeah, the "not even a crumb" is true. If you do end up positive and start a gluten free (truly gluten free) diet, a few months down the line having "one crumb" will tear you up unbelievably. Most of us get terribly sick when gluten is ingested.

Before my diagnosis last year I had no allergies. If I so much as touch wheat now my whole body turns red!

If I eat it, forget it. I'm in the bathroom for a week. Even just a crumb.

And as research suggest, a small amount is just as bad. See, I think the thing is, if you're allowing a small amount, you're probably allowing more than that and on a regular basis...know what I mean? If you're allowing a small amount you're probably not being as vigilant as you should be..hence the damage would come from a long term "one crumb at a time.." theory. LOL

Anyway, I wish you luck with your diagnosis-hopefully negative but I don't think any of us have seen anyone who had positive blood and didn't at least have gluten intolerance. Still, good luck and I hope it's negative!

If it's positive, you have a GREAT support system here and we will get you through to the point where you won't ingest "even a crumb"!

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I can only imagine how bad I would feel if I purposefully ate gluten. My last few 'glutenings' have been purely cross-contamination and have knocked me out for 7 days. If I ate a slice of pizza, surely I would just drop dead! :o

I was watching a TV ad last night for those new yogurt-dipped Cheerios. I said to my husband "Mmmm, poison coated poison!" That's really how gluten and casein foods look to me now. There is no way I'm gonna "cheat" because the desire for those foods is SO gone. I guess I should feel lucky that I'm not asymptomatic because I'm sure my appetite would overwhelm my brain every once in a while, especially after a little wine... :lol:

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Oops. Here I am again to groan over any indication that a small amount of gluten may slow down progress but only do "a small amount of damage". The example a neurologist gave me will be offered here yet again. A grain of gluten put into a petri dish with a drop of blood from a celiac patient will initiate an almost immediate reaction that can be sustained in the sample for days - even weeks. You do not what body cells being affected when you ingest gluten - eyes, ears, muscle, brain - take you choice. The neurological damage done by gluten is proven and very scary. I went on a gluten restricted diet 15 years ago. I did not know that gluten was an issue. The issue was only identified as grains. So I stopped eating bread and flour saturated foods but that was the limit of restrictions. I eliminated enough to relieve the symptoms - not enough to eliminate the neurological damage that is now affecting my life. Gluten is neurotoxic. Accidents may happen but otherwise, in the interest of your future health, go gluten-free all the way.

An aside here: ideally you need to be on a gluten diet for 3 - 6 months to be sure that you can get an accurate test. That is a tough sentence. Going for genetic tests or stool sample tests are a less risky, more definitve way to go. Claire

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Guest CD_Surviver

for me it is not all or nothing i am asymtomatic to some things and other things affect me right away.but it is best to stay away from gluten as much as possible. i may not have severe reactions but i may still have damage and have symtoms even though i don't relise it. so i stay away frm gluten as much as i can. but it is very hard ever though i have been on a gluten free diet for 10 years. but eventually if you do have celiac disease or gluten sensitivity your taste buds will not like things any more. like for me i don't like pizza any more ever though i may crave it i still don't like it any more.

Lauren

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Hey Guys:

Let's remember the RG (Random Guy) joined today. He (guy -he) has joined the site today. Let's welcome him and wish him good thoughts that he found us.

It is easy for all of us to get off on different topics. I think that his question got a little bit expansive from the question. Lets's address RG's questions. :)


Lisa

Gluten Free - August 15, 2004

"Not all who wander are lost" - JRR Tolkien

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this is all great info. and i appreciate it immensely

and being that it's my first day here, i'm not sure how things go here, threadwise, staying on topic, and all,

but if my question leads to a discussion that meanders its way into othr related issues, well that suits me just fine

thanks again everyone

-rg

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Jnkmnky-- ha ha :)

Well, all I will say is "yes, not a crumb." Frequent accidents or intentional sneaks of gluten food is about like not being gluten-free at all! All or nothing...

Be encouraged though random guy (that sounded funny!), you will get the hang of it...


~~~~~~~

Jen

Indianapolis, IN

gluten-free since Feb 2005

dairy-free

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A spoonful of rat poison or a jar full of rat poison - not much difference - still poison...... ;) (except for my dad, who has some kind of blood disorder called Factor 5 or something, where his medication that he has to take every day is actually rat poison!!!!!) Hard to believe, but true!!

Karen


Karen

positive bloodwork, positive biopsy

Celiac, collagenous colitis, hypothyroidism

endometriosis (at age 20)

spinal stenosis (early 20's)

Biopsy August 2006 confirmed complete villous atrophy despite being gluten-free for years and bloodwork within range showing compliance with diet. Doctor has confirmed diagnosis of Refractory Celiac Sprue.

Endoscopy also showed numerous stomach ulcers, have started taking Losec.

Mother to Eileen 13 yrs

Rhiannon 8 yrs

Daniel & Connor 6 yr twin boys......

"Joyfulness keeps the heart and face young. A good laugh makes us better friends with ourselves and everybody around us."

Orison Swett Marden

Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.

-- Victor Borge

"An optimist laughs to forget. A pessimist forgets to laugh."

Tom Nansbury

"Doctor to patient: I have good news and bad news. The good news is that you are not a hypochondriac."

Unknown

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NOT A CRUMB! NEVER NOHOW!

Okay now that thats out of the way :D If you understand abit how your body works, there prbly not a correlation with quantiy of gluten and damage to your body. celiac disease is an imune system response, and your body only has one operating plan when the imune system kicks in... total annilation of the offender. Basicly your boody only knows how to respond FULL POWER to invadors, there is no limited warfar in this arena, no worring about collateral damage. This is the real thing. ALL or nothing. Think of it this way, if your body had a nuclear bomb stash, it would drop ALL of them, at the same time. Your imune system does not belive in a round 2.....

:ph34r:


- Vincent -

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Brace yourself for a bazillion "not even a crumb" comments.
lol

Of course a pizza will do more damage than a crumb, but a whole bunch of crumbs will add up! So, you must be 100% gluten free.

And Welcome to the board!


Carrie Faith

Diagnosed with Celiac Disease in March 2004

Postitive tTg Blood Test, December 2003

Positive Biopsy, March 3, 2004

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I'm still trying to figure out the crumb vs. pizza thing, too.

If a crumb is bad for you, and does all the same damage, then why do you need to be eating 2 or 3 slices of bread a day to do the tests? Why not a few crumbs a day to get accurate results? :unsure:

That's what I'm trying to wrap my head around. Of course, I am still extremely careful when preparing my son's food, trying to avoid cross contamination, etc.


Linda, Mom to Ty (11 years old)

Ty was diagnosed by blood test June 7/05

biopsy Aug 11/05, diagnosis confirmed Aug 18/05

Mom, Dad and big brother Celiac-free.

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I'm still trying to figure out the crumb vs. pizza thing, too.

If a crumb is bad for you, and does all the same damage, then why do you need to be eating 2 or 3 slices of bread a day to do the tests? Why not a few crumbs a day to get accurate results? :unsure:

That's what I'm trying to wrap my head around. Of course, I am still extremely careful when preparing my son's food, trying to avoid cross contamination, etc.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Hmm thats a darn good question. Must think on it. :huh:


- Vincent -

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I would think of gluten as paint.

If you just splattered your intestines with a few drops of paint (crumbs), then when the dr. did the biopsy, the probability of him actually catching on of those splatter spots on a biopsy would be slim to none. If you downed a whole can of paint (2 to 3 slices a day), the probability of him catching a paint patch (gluten patch) would be much greater......

Karen


Karen

positive bloodwork, positive biopsy

Celiac, collagenous colitis, hypothyroidism

endometriosis (at age 20)

spinal stenosis (early 20's)

Biopsy August 2006 confirmed complete villous atrophy despite being gluten-free for years and bloodwork within range showing compliance with diet. Doctor has confirmed diagnosis of Refractory Celiac Sprue.

Endoscopy also showed numerous stomach ulcers, have started taking Losec.

Mother to Eileen 13 yrs

Rhiannon 8 yrs

Daniel & Connor 6 yr twin boys......

"Joyfulness keeps the heart and face young. A good laugh makes us better friends with ourselves and everybody around us."

Orison Swett Marden

Laughter is the shortest distance between two people.

-- Victor Borge

"An optimist laughs to forget. A pessimist forgets to laugh."

Tom Nansbury

"Doctor to patient: I have good news and bad news. The good news is that you are not a hypochondriac."

Unknown

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I remember this being explained extremely well by someone here. I bookmarked it so I wouldn't lose it.

"One of the things I almost immediatly explain is that...

"it is an autoimmune disease like lupus or MS. When I eat gluten, my body responds to it like it's poison. Antibodies are sent out to destroy it but can't tell the difference between the gluten and my bodies healthy cells so they start to "kill" my own body parts." "Like when you have MS your antibodies can't tell the difference between your own nervous system and a virus, bacteria, or cancer cell. so they basically eat the nervous system." People get it right away and I have no problem. The only question I get somtimes is, "can I have a little, will just a little bit hurt me?" I answer "Whether it's a gallon or a speck of gluten my body still sends out the same amount of antibodies."

Here's the original thread. The post is by Watkinson, about a third of the way down the page. http://www.glutenfreeforum.com/index.php?s...oglycemia&st=30

Nancy


The person who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the person who is doing it.

~Chinese Proverb

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I'm still trying to figure out the crumb vs. pizza thing, too.

If a crumb is bad for you, and does all the same damage, then why do you need to be eating 2 or 3 slices of bread a day to do the tests? Why not a few crumbs a day to get accurate results? :unsure:

That's what I'm trying to wrap my head around. Of course, I am still extremely careful when preparing my son's food, trying to avoid cross contamination, etc.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

Because the amount of damage done varies from person to person and depends on other things about how well the body is working. The guidelines in this case are, essentially, intentional overkill, because you don't have a good idea of where the line is. The other reason for the overkill is that "doing damage" is not the same as "will show up on a blood test". The reaction first shows up in the gut - no where else. The gut is supposed to be a closed system, so the reaction may occur there, causing damage, but not yet enough for antibodies, or gluten, for that matter, to escape into the blood stream, which is where the blood tests pick it up. (If you already have issues with that for other reasons, then you may get antibodies or gluten in your bloodstream sooner. Which can be good for testing, but is otherwise bad.)


Tiffany aka "Have I Mentioned Chocolate Lately?"

Inconclusive Blood Tests, Positive Dietary Results, No Endoscopy

G.F. - September 2003; C.F. - July 2004

Hiker, Yoga Teacher, Engineer, Painter, Be-er of Me

Bellevue, WA

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I like the analogy of being pregnant as it relates to Celiac. :D

You either have Celiac (or gluten sensitivity, etc.) or you don't. You are either pregnant or not. There is no a "little bit" Celiac or a "little bit" pregnant. You might have different symptoms, but the reaction, or the pregnancy, is still happening.

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The hardest thing for me to grasp is how if only a crumb per month is like not being on the diet at all, then what's the point? Almost everyone here, as careful as they can possibly be, still gets glutened on occasion. I know I got glutened yesterday, but I cannot figure out where the heck from. If that only happens once in a month, then it would seem I just wasted all that time trying to be careful for nothing.

Am I missing something??

Before going gluten-free, my symptoms weren't too bad, but after being on the diet for awhile, I will have to deal with being violently ill if I have an accident. I'm not terribly excited about that. ;)

Lisa

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