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Speedy Reaction Question

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Well, I'm kind of curious about this. I thought (but maybe I'm wrong on this) that reactions occurred when food reaches the intestines. Yet, I have had reactions with severe cramping and D very soon after eating...too quickly (or so I thought) for the offending food to have reached the intestines. So what goes on here?

Other times, my reactions have occurred maybe 3 hours after eating....with severe nausea, D, cramping, etc. That's the reaction I would expect, not the instant one.

Has anyone ever seen this explained?

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Every person is different when it comes to their reaction. Some people react immediately and violently, others reaction is delayed and fairly minor. Others, don't react at all (silent celiac).

Personally, when I have gluten, I start almost immediately to get a tingling feeling in my face and lips, followed shortly by a tightening feeling in my throat which is fairly minor. The pain usually sets in about 5 to 6 hours later and I am doubled over in excrutiating pain. I can't really tell you whether it changes my bowels at all since I have permanent uncotrollable diarrhea anyway due to the collagenous colitis.

I am sure others will chime in with their experiences......

Hugs.

Karen

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That's a good question about the immediate reaction. Mine begin about 2 hours after. It starts with cramping and a little while after that, I get D and the other things--nausea, shakiness, anxiety, etc. It is pretty gradual for me--not just bam!--what does vary for me is the length of time the reaction lasts.

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During my first couple years on the gluten-free diet, if I ate something contaminated I would know within 20 minutes. I would get severe stomach aches and bloating, and the other less pleasant sypmtoms. I would also stay sick for an entire week.

Now, 3 years later, I don't get nearly the reaction I did, and I don't always even know if I've been glutened, becuase I don't get much in the way of a stomach ache, unless it's something really badly contaminated. The intestinal symptoms still there, but they're delayed, not as bad, and only last a day or two.

I almost wish I had my old symptoms back, because it there was much more motivation behind staying 100% gluten free.

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Guest cassidy

Someone posted on here that if you eat something you are allergic to it can go through your system in like 30 minutes. I know I've seen that posted several times.

I know that after about 5 bites I get horrible stomach pain. About 45 minutes after that I am running to the bathroom. This is how it has always been. Sometimes I would have to get up in the middle of a meal to go but I assumed that something about eating triggered a bm. I guess I came to that conculsion because that is what always happened, now it only happens when I'm glutened.

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Yet, I have had reactions with severe cramping and D very soon after eating...too quickly (or so I thought) for the offending food to have reached the intestines. So what goes on here?

Other times, my reactions have occurred maybe 3 hours after eating....with severe nausea, D, cramping, etc. That's the reaction I would expect, not the instant one.

That is a very good question. I generally know within 3-4 minutes that I've eaten gluten. The food would not have reached my intestines yet. Once I thought about this though, the reason is fairly obvious.

Celiac disease is not a food allergy. It is an auto-immune condition. That means, technically speaking, gluten does not bother us. If you look at what happens in our bodies, it is not a case that gluten itself is doing any harm.

I am not a doctor but my understanding of the process is as follows. In the case of wheat gluten, the first step is that we eat it. It gets to our stomachs where digestion begins. The food breaks down and free gliadin modules are produced. The gliadin combines with ttg and forms a new molecule to which we have an immunity. Our immune systems are triggered and produce antibodies. All antibodies are basically "designer antibodies" in that they are designed to detstroy a particular foreign body (usually germs) in our bodies. They do this by looking for a particular protein sequence in the foreign body. The antibodies from a gluten reaction look for a particular protein sequence that occurs in the molecule formed when gliadin and ttg combine. By a quirk of genetics, that protein sequence also occurs naturally in the lining of our small intestines. Not able to tell the difference, the antibodies therefore attack, inflame and eventually destroy our small intestines. Bottom line, it is the antibodies that actually hurt us, not the gluten (at least, not directly).

If the above is correct, it seems possible that there is no need for the gluten to actually reach the intestines. If gliadin is produced in the stomach and combines with ttg before anything reaches the intestines, the process would start. The only things that have to reach the intestines are the antibodies. This would probably explain peoples quick reactions.

Since I am not a doctor, I would appreciate corrections to the above. As a celiac, I obviously have a vested interest in understanding what is going on.

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I usually know in 5-10 minutes. I start by feeling weird, then in an hour, the pain sets in.

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Guest Robbin

Codetalker--makes sense to me--this may be a stupid question--but would saliva, having some digestive enzymes of its own, also have the antibody? I'm really new to this, too. Thanks.

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Very interesting comments....possible, too I guess. But the whole thing is very unpredictible in the sense that no one thing happens every time. I've had foods that actually started to hurt going down. Then my stomach would start burning and hurting. This was always with bread foods, but not with every bread, which is odd. This changeability is what makes it so hard to pinpoint. I do think there must be reactions that can occur once the food hits the stomach, but the odd thing is that what's obviously still in the stomach can trigger the D. It's just all so weird, which of course is the reason we've all had such a hard time figuring things out over the years.

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When people talk about an autoimmune reponse, is it something you can actually feel. The reason why I ask is that sometimes I would start feeling funny for no apparent reason. Almost like when you start getting the flu. Sweaty, uncomfortable etc. Could this be a response to Gluten that was ingested recently.

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I can relate to the sweaty, flu-like feeling. For years, I would think I was just prone to viruses. Out of the blue, I would start to feel sick--I didn't know why and was always being misdiagnosed when I would go to the doctor. Most of the time, I would just wait it out till the next time. I always prayed I wouldn't 'get sick' if I had a trip or important function coming up. I went on like that for 20 years until I finally found out what the problem was. Thinking back, I would often start right after I started to eat.

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Great question and great responses! Once I learned I have Celiac, I couldn't understand why my reaction was so fast. Pre-diagnosis, I usually couldn't get through a meal without having to excuse myself to the bathroom. After diagnosis and going gluten-free, that of course subsided rather quickly. I still couldn't understand if Celiac attacks the intestine, how my reaction could be so rapid (within 20 min.) I'm no dr. either, but Codetalker's explanation seems reasonable.

I'm about 9 wks gluten-free, and already when accidentally glutened, my reaction time is changing. Now terrible pain in stomach and generally body aches start in 30 min. - 5 or 6 hrs. The "other" symptoms start after that, sometimes as late as the next day. I don't know if this is determined by degree of glutening or perhaps duration since last glutening???

It's all so confusing. As someone mentioned earlier, I almost liked it better when my reaction was always instaneous.

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My first symptom within an hour of eating it is excessive belching. This happens everytime, especially when the amount is more. Then within three hours it is usually nausea. THe next day the stomach cramps and loose stools. Then I end up with body aches, tiredness that day too. I also am really crabby that day. Usually it seems I end up with C after the initial D!@

MOnica

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Before diagnosis, and after becoming very sick, my first symptom after eating would be burping this foul, gross, rotten egg taste. The taste and odor was horrendous. I came to learn that once I started doing that, the D would kick in sometime soon and I would spend most of the night in the bathroom. Since becoming seriously gluten-free, I have not had that symptom in years. :lol:

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My reaction seems to be within a few minutes of ingesting gluten, but it seems to differ with the food type eaten. With bread, I don't seem to feel a reaction. With other things, like pasta and pizza, there is immediate gas, and chest bubbles, intestinal rumbling, and belching. Then I feel anxiety, and later, stomach pain and D. I don't know though, lately I seem to be having a reaction to foods that I thought were gluten-free and then I find they are processed in a facility that manufactures wheat. It's either that i'm that sensitive now that I'm gluten-free, or it's not gluten that's causing the reaction, but other food intolerances.

Sometimes it's hard to tell. last night, i had immediate chest bubbles after eating Boston Baked Beans from the Trader Joe's list. I immediately looked this up and learned that it is removed in TJ's updated gluten-free list, and says on the can manufactured in a facility that processes wheat. so this morning, i eat something that is SURE to be gluten-free, and i still have the same reaction. this leads me to believe it may not be the gluten causing the reaction afterall, but something like just that beans make you gassy. i don't know. i'm confused, too.

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