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Dunnyveg

Amber Waves of Grain

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After years of suffering and being told that my illness was all in my head, I was finally diagnosed with Celiac and eosinophilic esophagitis in December 2015.  After going on the appropriate diet over the winter and early spring, I was feeling much better.  Now, in May, my celiac has flared up again badly despite no dietary changes.  I think I've figured out what the problem is though.  I live on a ranch and the farmers around me grow winter wheat to make hay.

I just spoke with the farmer closest to me, explained my problem, and before he makes any changes next year, asked me to get some information on this.  So, here goes:

1.  I think it's only when wheat seeds form that it becomes a problem; I felt great when cattle were grazing on it this winter.  Since I don't want to interfere with the livelihood of my neighbors, would it be any better if I asked the farmer closest to me to switch over to oats?  My understanding is that while we're not supposed to eat oats, they aren't quite as bad as wheat.  Would the same apply with airborne oat seed particles?  What is the closest wheat can be without causing us problems? (there isn't that much wheat in this area; I just happen to live in a pocket with very fertile soil)

2.  This year has been especially bad.  We've had a very wet spring and the wheat is just sitting there; it can't be cut and harvested.  Since I can't ask all the farmers to stop growing wheat (just the one closest to me), can somebody recommend a good air filter to use this time of year?  Or is there anything else along these lines that I can do?  

Since I'm in a really bad situation right now, any sound, well-informed advice would be greatly appreciated.

Edited by Dunnyveg

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I don't have any knowledge of this, hadn't heard that but your post was interesting to me.  We spend a third of our lives in bed, could you do some work on proofing your bedroom, maybe net curtains or screens on the windows would reduce any particle exposure? Maybe try something like this: 

http://www.amazon.com/PollenTec%C2%A8-Clean-Air-Window-Screen/dp/B00LNBP4WE

This lady uses a mask at the worst time, maybe she could recommend one?

http://whatallergy.com/2014-08/wheat-allergy-and-the-wheat-harvest-house-bound

Best of luck, it's awful that your home, which should be your refuge, is vulnerable to this. Hope you find an answer.

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You have to ingest the actual " seed" to get gluten.  So, on a very windy day, maybe some seeds would get loose and fly over to your house?  Then, you would have to swallow the seed.  I can't believe a farmer would just change what he or she is growing because you have Celiac.  

If you are worried that a windy day during harvesting season would cause you to eat gluten grains, you should probably stay inside or leave the area.   the "seeds" are not so small, like pollen or flour, to get in through your screens or Windows and doors.  

 

Because se it's been wet, maybe there is a mold on the wheat that is bothering you?  That is small enough to be airborne and infiltrate small cracks.

 

 

 

 

Edited by kareng

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Dunnyveg, you might want to read this:

Nonresponsive Celiac Disease Due to Inhaled Gluten

http://www.nejm.org/doi/full/10.1056/NEJMc063112

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JMG and Karen, I really appreciate it.  Karen, I've never been a farmer, but I have read that being right on top of wheat fields that have gone to seed can trigger problems.  My questions aren't answered there though.

An interesting thing about grain is that it is very dusty stuff.  The dust has even been known to cause explosions in grain mills.  And it is very windy out here on the prairie, especially this time of year.  If it weren't so rainy, this stuff would already have been harvested.  So, this year has been particularly bad.

I can say that I've been diagnosed with severe respiratory allergies, and living out here in the brush means I live in a sea of pollens.  When I've got the esophagitis and Celiac under control, allergies aren't even worth thinking about in comparison; they are at most a minor nuisance.

Edited by Dunnyveg

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There is also this thread from 2008

 

 

 

There is also this thread from 2008

 

Farmer, I'm new at this.  I can only see the first line of your post and can't get the rest of it to display.  I hate to sound helpless, but I'd really like to read what you have to say.  Because of my esophagitis, I can't have soy, potatoes, onions, garlic, and most other foods.  But when my symptoms abate, it's worth the diet.

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You're welcome. I know you're not going to be inhaling the seed but I don't know what you might be exposed to in your work around the ranch working with feed etc.... 

I was originally looking for a study or report I have read a number of times before about 2 ?farmers?, brothers, who were both celiac and they both continued to have big problems despite being compliant in their diet. I'm doing all this from memory so don't take me word for word and I sure wish I could find that article! It came down to the dust from the feed ?or hay? they were dealing with every single day in the barn. I'm pretty sure they began using masks or did they study where 1 wore a mask & the other didn't for a while -- I can't recall. Anyway they both ended up using masks & problem solved.

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You're welcome. I know you're not going to be inhaling the seed but I don't know what you might be exposed to in your work around the ranch working with feed etc.... 

I was originally looking for a study or report I have read a number of times before about 2 ?farmers?, brothers, who were both celiac and they both continued to have big problems despite being compliant in their diet. I'm doing all this from memory so don't take me word for word and I sure wish I could find that article! It came down to the dust from the feed ?or hay? they were dealing with every single day in the barn. I'm pretty sure they began using masks or did they study where 1 wore a mask & the other didn't for a while -- I can't recall. Anyway they both ended up using masks & problem solved.

I live in the Texas Hill Country.  This time of year, provided we've had rain, I normally don't feed my cattle; they have plenty of good grasses.  Neither do I use hay in the winter because we normally have winter grasses.  I do feed them a protein supplement at this time of year which is solid.  I seriously doubt it causes many problems as it is not dusty; it is full of molasses.  

Have you heard if oats are as bad for us as wheat?  This is what I would like to recommend to the farmer growing the stuff.  He said his only concern is that oat seed costs more.  I'm willing to indemnify him if it will do any good.

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You're welcome. I know you're not going to be inhaling the seed but I don't know what you might be exposed to in your work around the ranch working with feed etc.... 

I was originally looking for a study or report I have read a number of times before about 2 ?farmers?, brothers, who were both celiac and they both continued to have big problems despite being compliant in their diet. I'm doing all this from memory so don't take me word for word and I sure wish I could find that article! It came down to the dust from the feed ?or hay? they were dealing with every single day in the barn. I'm pretty sure they began using masks or did they study where 1 wore a mask & the other didn't for a while -- I can't recall. Anyway they both ended up using masks & problem solved.

I am going to get some masks, but that is only a partial solution.  I can't imagine wearing a mask when I'm sleeping or eating, for instance.  I'm sure I'd knock it off the minute I fell asleep.  

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Some of us, approx. 10%, have problems even with oats grown under a purity protocol. Read this:

http://www.gigofecw.org/news/files/tag-purity-protocol-oats.php

I happen to be one of those celiacs. I get a reaction even when there is cross contamination with gluten-free oats. So my answer to you is to make sure you can tolerate the oats before you recommend he grow oats.

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Some of us, approx. 10%, have problems even with oats grown under a purity protocol. Read this:

http://www.gigofecw.org/news/files/tag-purity-protocol-oats.php

I happen to be one of those celiacs. I get a reaction even when there is cross contamination with gluten-free oats. So my answer to you is to make sure you can tolerate the oats before you recommend he grow oats.

Squirmingitch, since I also suffer from eosinophilic esophagitis, which is every bit as bad as Celiac, my diet is really restricted; I have a list of foods I can eat rather than ones I can't, and oats is on that list.  What I'm getting at is that since I was only diagnosed with both about six months ago, and it's been two steps forward and one back, I haven't yet tried oats.  But are oats just as poisonous to you as wheat?

Thanks again for your help.

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Squirmingitch, since I also suffer from eosinophilic esophagitis, which is every bit as bad as Celiac, my diet is really restricted; I have a list of foods I can eat rather than ones I can't, and oats is on that list.  What I'm getting at is that since I was only diagnosed with both about six months ago, and it's been two steps forward and one back, I haven't yet tried oats.  But are oats just as poisonous to you as wheat?

Thanks again for your help.

They are to me but NOT to all celiacs. We recommend one doesn't try oats for the first year. The reasons are that it can take that much time for your body and symptoms/reactions to settle down (even longer sometimes) and for your gut to really be pretty well healed, also the fiber of eating oats can be hard on your gut especially when it's not all healed up yet. 

In my case, I waited 3 years before trying oats. I really hadn't had much reason to try them & I wanted to make sure everything was all leveled off for me before I tried them. My first trial was with Bob's Red Mill oat flour in bread recipes. By that point in time I wasn't even thinking about the oats & whether I would react to them or not.  It was the furthest thing from my mind. There wasn't a lot in the recipes & I wasn't eating the bread every day but it didn't take long for all my symptoms to return including my celiac rash (dermatitis herpetiformis). At first I thought I was going crazy because I knew I wasn't getting gluten from anywhere! We have a gluten-free household, never eat out, we are extremely careful that there is no question that what we are eating is gluten free. I questioned myself whether it was psychosomatic. I went back through every food stuff in the house making sure of everything. The only thing that had changed was the Bob's Red Mill flours. I don't have a problem with rice so the rice flours couldn't be it. I don't have a problem with potatoes so the potato starch couldn't be it. I don't have a problem with tapioca so the tapioca starch couldn't be it. That left me with the oat flour. 

You might want to read this if you haven't already and if you have it never hurts to review it again:

https://www.celiac.com/gluten-free/topic/91878-newbie-info-101/

 

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Some of us, approx. 10%, have problems even with oats grown under a purity protocol. Read this:

http://www.gigofecw.org/news/files/tag-purity-protocol-oats.php

I happen to be one of those celiacs. I get a reaction even when there is cross contamination with gluten-free oats. So my answer to you is to make sure you can tolerate the oats before you recommend he grow oats.

I agree with you.  The problem that plagues all science is that whatever is being studied would have to occur and no occur simultaneously.  In other words, if I get sick after eating something, I can't be sure it was what I ate.  All we can do is to avoid foods that repeatedly make us sick.  This is the reason I haven't been adventurous.  As much as I hate living on beans and rice, it sure beats being sick all the time.

Potatoes are a good example.  The few times I ate potatoes, I felt sick afterwards.  But before the wheat problem, I tried a bag of potato chips cooked in canola oil and was just fine.

I will check out your article

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We have a member who got sick every time she ate sweet potatoes. Someone suggested she try organic sweet potatoes. Viola'! Problem solved. Go figure. She could eat regular potatoes that weren't organic. Yes, i know, regular potatoes & sweet potatoes are 2 different plants entirely but the point is that she ate other things non organically grown but the sweet potatoes had to be organic. 

As celiacs we can & do develop "other food intolerances" and those can rear their head years down the line. It's not something that just happens in the first year or 2. Once it happens we can go for years not being able to tolerate that food & then one day we suddenly can. It's the craziest damn thing! Keep a food & symptom log. Total pain in the you know what but it really helps you track things down when there's a problem.

Like with your potato thing...... must be some chemical reaction that happens when the potatoes are fried. Wanna test it? You could try OreIda frozen shredded potatoes & cook them in canola oil. I like them in the morning & I will crack an egg on top, maybe some sausage crumbled up on top, flip it over & let the egg cook a bit & serve! YUM!

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We have a member who got sick every time she ate sweet potatoes. Someone suggested she try organic sweet potatoes. Viola'! Problem solved. Go figure. She could eat regular potatoes that weren't organic. Yes, i know, regular potatoes & sweet potatoes are 2 different plants entirely but the point is that she ate other things non organically grown but the sweet potatoes had to be organic. 

As celiacs we can & do develop "other food intolerances" and those can rear their head years down the line. It's not something that just happens in the first year or 2. Once it happens we can go for years not being able to tolerate that food & then one day we suddenly can. It's the craziest damn thing! Keep a food & symptom log. Total pain in the you know what but it really helps you track things down when there's a problem.

Like with your potato thing...... must be some chemical reaction that happens when the potatoes are fried. Wanna test it? You could try OreIda frozen shredded potatoes & cook them in canola oil. I like them in the morning & I will crack an egg on top, maybe some sausage crumbled up on top, flip it over & let the egg cook a bit & serve! YUM!

Let me try to state my point a little differently.  Please consider the following statement:

Well over ninety percent of Americans die in beds.  Therefore, the key to being healthy is not to sleep in a bed.

The problem here is obvious; there is no causal relationship between dying and being in bed.  It's the same with us.  If we get sick after eating a particular food, we can't be sure that that particular food caused the problem; it could very well be something else.

Again, before I get adventurous, I've got to get my health stabilized again.  Right now, anything I eat makes me sick, and if I don't eat at all I'm sick too.

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Oh I do understand! You're what? Only 4 months out with eating gluten free? Your gut is still in an uproar not to mention the inflammation in various other parts of your body. You've got to get your immune system calmed down before you go branching out. Easy does it. Do you know about bone broth? It's an amazing thing. Very nutritious, extremely easy on the gut.

http://paleoleap.com/making-fresh-bone-stock/

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Oh I do understand! You're what? Only 4 months out with eating gluten free? Your gut is still in an uproar not to mention the inflammation in various other parts of your body. You've got to get your immune system calmed down before you go branching out. Easy does it. Do you know about bone broth? It's an amazing thing. Very nutritious, extremely easy on the gut.

http://paleoleap.com/making-fresh-bone-stock/

Actually, it's going on seven months now, but you are right.  I was actually doing much better until the wheat went to seed.  The short time since I've been on a strict diet is the reason I'm not being too adventurous.

BTW, I like your Will Rogers quote.  My border collie is one of the joys of my life.  

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Some of us, approx. 10%, have problems even with oats grown under a purity protocol. Read this:

http://www.gigofecw.org/news/files/tag-purity-protocol-oats.php

I happen to be one of those celiacs. I get a reaction even when there is cross contamination with gluten-free oats. So my answer to you is to make sure you can tolerate the oats before you recommend he grow oats.

Hello.  I was thinking about the post above this morning.  I'd like to pose a question:

Just going by your personal experience, would, say, eating a subway sandwich on crusty french bread bother you more than a bowl of oatmeal?  Or is it about the same?

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Hello.  I was thinking about the post above this morning.  I'd like to pose a question:

Just going by your personal experience, would, say, eating a subway sandwich on crusty french bread bother you more than a bowl of oatmeal?  Or is it about the same?

I'll jump in.  I'd NEVER eat the sandwich and I would test the oatmeal after I had experienced at least six months of improved health.   My husband and I can eat certified gluten-free oats without any issues.  I personally avoid all grains, but that's only because I have diabetes and not just celiac disease.  

Edited by cyclinglady

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I'll jump in.  I'd NEVER eat the sandwich and I would test the oatmeal after I had experienced at least six months of improved health.   My husband and I can eat certified gluten-free oats without any issues.  I personally avoid all grains, but that's only because I have diabetes and not just celiac disease.  

Lady, I understand.  I'm not that adventurous either.  My question though is for Celiac sufferers who can't tolerate oats.  Are the symptoms the same as from wheat poisoning?  Or are they less severe?

I don't have diabetes, but I do have esophagitis.  So, I can sympathize with those of us who have multiple health problems.

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