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Sharing a kitchen with roommates!?

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Hey everyone,

So, I was diagnosed about 5 years ago and ever since have been sharing a kitchen with 2-3 other single girls. I have never made the effort to switch out any utensils etc. in the kitchen because it felt too overwhelming. However, lately I've been trying to think about it more as I continue to have lots of digestive issues/stomach pain and I'm wondering if I should be more careful. The meals we share are gluten-free but my roommates occasionally prepare their own food that has gluten- we use all the same utensils, appliances, and even sink cloths/sponges. 

My symptoms when I accidentally eat food containing gluten are quite severe. However, I don't really know how cross-contamination affects me so I've never worried too much about it. Anyway, my two questions are as follows:

1. How necessary is it to use separate kitchen utensils? What is the science behind this?

2. If I need to have some dedicated utensils, what are the worst culprits that I can start with? 

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When was the last time you saw your doctors for celiac disease follow-up care?  They can help determine whether or not your celiac disease is actively flaring/simmering.  

http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/faq/how-often-should-follow-up-testing-occur/

Cross contamination is huge.  

https://www.beyondceliac.org/gluten-free-diet/cross-contact/

https://gluten.org/resources/cross-contamination/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5691745/

Continued exposure to gluten can increase your risk of intestinal lymphoma, cause another autoimmune disorder, infertility issues, etc.  

Consider getting a few books on celiac disease or browse though this forum for tips.  I wish  you well.  

 

Edited by cyclinglady

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Gluten is a protein, like blood, it is not destroyed with bleach or sanitizer. Think of cleaning something so a CSI tech cannot find the blood.
Gluten can get stuck in scratches, big culprits are cutting boards, scratched pots/pans, wooden cookware, colanders, strainers, and some times porous worn tubberware. 
Sponges, and wash towels...essentially just spread it, you should have dedicated ones for cleaning the dedicated gluten free cookware. 
Flour can be airborne for hours, it should not be used in a shared house as the dust can settle everywhere, and if inhaled can run into your stomach via the mucus in your nose and throat. 

Few key tips, keep dedicated cookware, plates, condiments, toasters, etc. Color code with like Red, wash separately in a large Rubbermaid container if you have to with dedicated sponge/scrubber.
Line your prep area with freezer/butcher paper, makes cleaning up super easy and keeps you safe from crumbs and flour dust on the counter.
Line cookie sheets, and casserole dishes with foil same purpose.
Line crockpots with crockpot liners, same purpose but be careful of the lid and drip back.
Nordicware Microwave cookware can be an inexpensive alternative to complete kitchen makeovers, They have grill plates (with splatter covers) bacon cookers, omelet makers, steam cookers, etc. Super easy to clean just rinse and wipe off in most cases.

Food storage, Keep gluten-free foods on top shelves to prevent confusion and from gluten crumbs and spills on the safe foods. If need be a dedicated mini fridge or a wireframe kitchen shelf unit separate for your foods. 

Please read over the newbie 101 section, and I even have a post about food alternatives so you can have everything in a gluten-free version with no excuse to endanger your health. I even do recipes for some people to recreate lost favorites meeting health restrictions. 
https://www.celiac.com/forums/topic/91878-newbie-info-101/
https://www.celiac.com/forums/topic/123965-gluten-free-food-alternative-list-2019-q2/

 

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20 hours ago, cyclinglady said:

When was the last time you saw your doctors for celiac disease follow-up care?  They can help determine whether or not your celiac disease is actively flaring/simmering.  

http://www.cureceliacdisease.org/faq/how-often-should-follow-up-testing-occur/

Cross contamination is huge.  

https://www.beyondceliac.org/gluten-free-diet/cross-contact/

https://gluten.org/resources/cross-contamination/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5691745/

Continued exposure to gluten can increase your risk of intestinal lymphoma, cause another autoimmune disorder, infertility issues, etc.  

Consider getting a few books on celiac disease or browse though this forum for tips.  I wish  you well.  

 

Thanks for your response! I guess my story is more complicated than just a 'diagnosis'. I had very typical celiac symptoms for years and finally got a blood test taken for celiac (back in 2015). By that point it was pretty obvious to me that I was reacting to gluten and stopped eating it. 

My blood tests came back mixed- one was very positive, the other negative. By the time I saw a gastroenterologist, I had been on a gluten-free diet for 6mos or so. He basically said that based on my symptoms and the blood test I likely was Celiac, but he couldn't confirm it. I refused to eat gluten again to have the scope done. So, it never made it to my medical records... I don't get any support from doctors, follow-ups etc. 

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Like you I only had one positive on the panel, yet I had some  pretty severe patches of villi damage.   I am sorry that you had to wait to see a GI.  I completely understand why you would not do a challenge.  My own hubby went gluten-free 12 years before my diagnosis based on poor advice from my allergist and his GP.  We know gluten makes him sick.  To sick to ever consider a challenge. 

So, you still feel off.  Chances are you are getting trace amounts of gluten in your diet.  Consider the Fasano diet for a month or so, no oats, no processed foods, and take extra precautions about your living condition.  If you do not feel better, see a doctor.

I had a gluten exposure two years ago.  Caused six months of autoimmune hives.  I even went on the Fasano diet, but still had GERD-like issues.  Had a repeat endoscopy almost a year after my exposure.  The GI found healthy healed villi, but discovered autoimmune gastritis.  Celiac disease was not causing my lingering problems, though I kept thinking it was my diet and I did not eat out for almost a year (nor consumed any grains).  

So, your current woes could be celiac disease or it could be something else.  Before you work on cleaning up your diet, consider asking for repeat blood tests.  In most cases, your antibodies should be in the normal range by now and if you are eating a clean gluten-free diet (no cross contamination).  If the diet and good housekeeping practices are not effective, see a doctor.  

Edited by cyclinglady

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