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Huey Vincent

Alcohol Once And For All...

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hey, I'm new here :) "hello!"

I come to you guys all stressed, it's not really me who's celiac, but it's my girlfriend. I went to check on the website and they said that there were some drinks that were ok with celiacs. But then my girlfriend has to go check with the gastro physician about how levels of "gliadin" or something like that, and she had to admit to her parents that she took some vodka shooters, some amaretto, some armagnac and some red wine. I supposed it was ok, but then her parents went into a hell of a rage (we're rather young, well we're 19...) and they told her it was extremely foolish to do that, because the wine fermenting barrels we're splashed with whiskey and they couldhave contained gluten, that she can't drink ANY alcohol at all, that celiac.com can't be trusted because we live in Canada and the alcohol in canada is prepared differently :o ???

ok, let me tell you I love her so much, that i'm ready to sacrifice doing lots of things to be with her, but are her parents psychotic? becaues right now i don't know if i should jump in and take the blame for her if they're right, but I find her parents to be nice and caring yes, but they're actually quite controlling when i think of it. hey, we're 19 and chances are we might move out and amy has to know how to live on her own, right? :unsure:

and btw, this is one great website, kudos to the creators and the people from the community :)

oh and i forgot to say, nothing happened to her and she's completely fine now, but her parents say that it might be asymptomatic. also, i read some more articles about alcohol from the website and there's another that say that there is always a possibility that the distilled alcohol can contain gluten by other means... that some of it doesn't dissapear after distillation and some liquors have added stuff that contains gluten.

what do you guys do?

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hey Huey Vincent - I am from Canada, too. Some of our beverages are prepared differently. In addition, some of the mixes (for what she drank) might contain gluten. Some people don;t like to drink questionable things out because of the spigots and such at the bar. Do you know the brands she drinks?

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I don't drink, even a little gluten can make a celiac super sick, and even if they don't have symptoms, they can still have damage in their body, that after a while can lead to cancer.

Gluten is toxic to a celiac, it's like poison, it's not about whether or not you "feel sick" it's about trying to stay alive, gluten damages our intestines and keeps us from absorbing food, after we are damaged in the time it takes to heal (which can be weeks or months) we don't absorb any food, no matter how much we eat it's like we are starving to death.

Once she is of age (don't know about Canada, but here it's 21) she can get some gluten free beer, it should be safe, although I hear it doesn't taste too great.

Her parents may come off as controlling, but more likely they know the very serious nature of celiac disease and are trying to save her from life long complications.

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Actually, I agree with smunkeemom... When I started getting sick, my liver levels went out of control, and I never drank since. In addition, if she has problems with casein, she should watch it. I was recommended to avoid all alcohol (regardless of my liver) for a year minimum at the beginning.

PS. Drinking age is 18/19 here (depending on province).

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well we couldn't know the brands of the alcohol because it was at a bar, and yeah im starting to get to see whats its all about. yea the drinking age here is 18 so that wasnt the problem with her parents, and other than that hmmm i never knew it was that dangerous. but other than gluten free beer you guys sure theres nothing else that she can drink? we got into a serious talk and she was quite depressed, its because since she was a child she was a bit shunned by others because of that allergy, meaning she never actually got the chance to be like others. i know some of you guys started getting glutten intolerant at an older age and already tasted alcohol and all that, but she never did. so what im seeing is that she should completely forget about alcohol, or are there some people with celiac who can drink alcohol, others cant?

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Distilled liquor is considered okay, but check whiskey in case sour mash is added back to it. I stick to non-grain alcohols like potato vodka, tequila and rum. Wine is okay (you might check whether the wine she is drinking is put in whiskey barrels to please her parents ... you don't want to tick off your possible future in-laws! :o ), regular beer is not.

Check the mixers. Also check any specific alcohol she likes, for example, I like cosmopolitans so I checked out Cointreau, which is gluten-free.

I'd stick to one type alcohol per night ... I am hoping she did not drink all you said in one evening!!!! Once you get older, you see those who were binge drinkers start having liver problems ... I had a high school friend die before he turned 40, I've lost a cousin to liver failure, and we had another friend die two weeks ago. So, moderation is the key! You can always switch to a plain Coke and no one will know. My dad owns a bar and drinks a mixture of orange and cranberry juice ... everyone assumes it's a vodka drink!

Her parents' concerns are real. Celiac disease is very serious, and it's good that you are getting started on the boards to learn more. She's lucky to have a boyfriend who cares.

Carla

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ok thanks a lot guys! im starting to grasp what celiacs is. ok so we should just refrain from drinking, and if ever we wanted to get a drink, it would be better if it were at home and only one drink a night and that we double check with the company that makes the liquor (yeah, we actually got the whole thing in one night but we happen to be resistant to alcohol... but were not great drinkers dont worry we were just celebrating something).

other than that, if i understand correctly even if it isn't supposed to contain gluten it might always. now that comes to another question i have, should we not take the risk at all and only eat food certified gluten-free either on the package or by the company, or can we just look at the ingredients and see that it isnt supposed to contain anything bad. because like skunkeemom said jsut a small amount can be very hurtful. what do most celiacs do? whats the best for my girlfriend?

im sorry im bombarding you guys with questions... it kinda killed me when she called me. she was all sad and i didnt know what to say.

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The best thing to do is get one of the lists that you can buy form clan thompson, then you know those are gluten-free, then when you buy something that you are not sure it is safe, just call the 1-800 # on the package, and they should answer if it has CC issues, and you can also check their website, a lot of websites now say that if theya re gluten-free or not.

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I'm sorry for not writing correctly I'm so used to writing without capitals haha. Hey, you guys know what I'm extremely grateful for your help, I'll take into account everything you guys told me and I'll do my best trying to help Amy. It's just that I didn't know it was this complicated, this serious. To tell you the truth I kinda thought it was like lactose intolerance... woops. :o

I've noticed for my other questions I'll run around on these boards to find my answers, I won't disturb you guys anymore :P. Thanks again, I have found peace of mind and I can better help her deal with the parents.

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You are definately not bothering us with your questions! I think your girlfriend is very lucky to have found a guy who is willing to do this research and anything he needs to do to take care of her.

I do drink ... not as much as I did when I was 19, that's for sure! But I do like a few cocktails once in a while. Since you are old enough to drink out, that is fine, enjoy a few (as long as you're not driving! :P ). There are many threads on here regarding alcohol, you might look around for them ... I learned a lot from them myself.

There are many foods that are naturally gluten-free, like meats, veggies, fruit, etc. so they won't be labelled gluten-free. The gluten-free labelling really makes it easier for the other stuff, but I do eat foods I know are safe. It seems very complicated in the beginning, but several months down the line (I'm five months gluten-free) it gets easier because you've already checked out your favorite foods and drinks. I've just checked them out one at a time so I know what I can have when I'm out. Now that I've checked out more, I have more choices.

This is a great place to post your questions ... so don't feel like you're bothering anyone. We're all here to learn and share what we've learned. Read everyone's opinions, then make your own informed decisions. We all have slightly different ideas, which is what keeps it interesting and helps us to learn.

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You are definately not bothering us with your questions! I think your girlfriend is very lucky to have found a guy who is willing to do this research and anything he needs to do to take care of her.

Pleae ... don't think you are bothering us .. just like Carla B says... that's why we are all here and its great you are onboard.

My take on alcohol is prettty simple:

1) Distillation is a weird thing and when it concerns hundreds of compounds then its never certain, simply put if distillation produced pure alcohol (which is not possible anyway) it would all taste the same! If you can tell a rum from a vodka or tequilla then there must be more in there than just alcohol and water.

2) Some alcohol is made from grain and others from other sources (tequilla/rum/cognac) so presuming nothing is added afterwards with gluten (like coloring) (sorry do you guys spell it the UK way or US way?) then a clear non-grain alcohol like tequilla or white rum is safer than one from grain... beware cognac's etc. which tend to add caramel color which can be wheat derived.

3) Don't know about Canadian wine or US wine but french wine with an appellation is definitively safe. Only the VDT or VDP are not controlled rigerously.

4)

other than that, if i understand correctly even if it isn't supposed to contain gluten it might always. now that comes to another question i have, should we not take the risk at all and only eat food certified gluten-free either on the package or by the company, or can we just look at the ingredients and see that it isnt supposed to contain anything bad. because like skunkeemom said jsut a small amount can be very hurtful. what do most celiacs do? whats the best for my girlfriend?

Absolutely not, the best thing for your girlfriend is the same as everyone else in the world, fresh unprocessed food. It gets tricky if you want to eat out but the best advice i think I can give anyone is just buy fresh unadulterated ingredients and cook them yourself... most of the gluten-substitute products are actually pretty lousy... lots of them contain other additives as well and celiacs tend to have more delicate digestive systems in that regard than Joe or Jane Doe.Things like soya intolerance are common in celaics etc. so the best thing is to only buy basic stuff and make it yourself.

If you happen to find that daunting ... i have a lot of foolproof recipees you can impress her with (and Im sure the nice folks here will have hundreds) and a nice evening in with you making some food and a bottle of wine might be more romantic than a trip to a bar... OK.. i know you guys are 19 and bars are cool... but I would guess she will appreciate this.

There are many foods that are naturally gluten-free, like meats, veggies, fruit, etc. so they won't be labelled gluten-free. The gluten-free labelling really makes it easier for the other stuff, but I do eat foods I know are safe. It seems very complicated in the beginning, but several months down the line (I'm five months gluten-free) it gets easier because you've already checked out your favorite foods and drinks. I've just checked them out one at a time so I know what I can have when I'm out. Now that I've checked out more, I have more choices.

I don't need to retype this since CarlaB said it so well.

To tell you the truth I kinda thought it was like lactose intolerance... woops. ohmy.gif
Its not that different, its just the tiniest bit will make a celiac ill. However your girlfriend may try and make it seem less important because she doesn't want to freak you out.... the absolute best thing you can do IMHO is to tell her it doesn't and that you are right on board. If she wants to go out for a meal say you are equally at home (pun intended) staying at home and cooking if she is taking a risk.

You know we have so many frustrated people here who's partners can't handle it or accept it and your girlfriend is incredibly lucky to have found you. Her parents are perhaps being over protective but they have thier own experiences of others who would not accept it. We all have friends and relatives that just don't get it and so her parents are probably just erring on the side of caution.

You can help gain their trust by asking them to recommend places to take her that they consider safe.

Please keep asking the questions...

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you know I was reading and thinking, you might (if you are comfortable) go talk to her parents and find out what types of gluten free food she likes and tell them that keeping her healthy is your goal. I like the idea of cooking her dinner, and I guess you really could call the company and find out if the alcohol you guys want is gluten free, but only drink one type a night that way if she does get sick you know exactly which one it's from.

I get so sick when I get even a little bit of gluten that I would rather not risk it at all, but if you are going to take a risk, be as safe as possible.

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I like the idea of cooking her dinner

Of course you do your a lady.. ;) . now I really wish someone had given me this tip at 19 :D

Unfortunately my idea of romantic when I was 19 left a lot to be desired. I'm sure more and more ladies will tell him the same thing.

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My take on alcohol is prettty simple:

1) Distillation is a weird thing and when it concerns hundreds of compounds then its never certain, simply put if distillation produced pure alcohol (which is not possible anyway) it would all taste the same! If you can tell a rum from a vodka or tequilla then there must be more in there than just alcohol and water.

This can occur while still not letting gluten through the process because aromatic rings (and other compounds which give flavor) are generally rather small molecules. Proteins like gluten are, comparitively speaking, huge. Distillation is a process of separating small molecules from large molecules, and that's why it's gluten-free if you don't add any gluten back into the process.

If someone finds that they still don't tolerant alcohol well, and some people don't - irrespective of gluten-intolerance - then the answer is to avoid it, of course. :-)

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It is great that you care so much and want to learn about Celiac. If there is a local celiac chapter, you can get info from them. Her parents have been in charge fo her health for her entire life, they are probably a bit scared knowing that she is an adult and may experiment with her new found freedom in the grown up world. Speaking from a parents view (and my kids are still young - 11 and 13), we know how long it took to us to fully understand this disease and then our kids have friends and go out places without us...

Sit down with your girlfriend and her parents and let them know you do understand this is a condition that requires strict gluten free eating/drinking. Ask them questions and let them know what your understanding of the problem is.....

they may have had occasions in the past where friends or relatives made mistakes that resulted in the daughter being glutened.....

they may not be all that familiar with the internet and there are a lot of sites with mis-information (like the ones that claim herbs will cure type 1 diabetes!

These factors could have led to an apparent over-reaction. They are fearful of the consequences of poor choices.

When your child has a medical condition - you are more overprotective to a degree. Sitting through appts and biposies, sessions with dieticians and holding them when they become sick from a crumb of bread - well that does change how we react to them "leaving the nest" or finding a bond with someone else - a bond that draws them away from us ...

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This can occur while still not letting gluten through the process because aromatic rings (and other compounds which give flavor) are generally rather small molecules. Proteins like gluten are, comparitively speaking, huge. Distillation is a process of separating small molecules from large molecules, and that's why it's gluten-free if you don't add any gluten back into the process.

If someone finds that they still don't tolerant alcohol well, and some people don't - irrespective of gluten-intolerance - then the answer is to avoid it, of course. :-)

Indeed but the mash for spirits is a complex system. Even a pure alcohol/water mixture is azeotropic so you will never get 100% alcohol since the partial pressures of the two end points are both lower than the two together.

The mash is far more complex and contains many other products from the original ingredients AND breakdown products of the yeasts. Each of these adds complexity to the eutectic so at any one point depending on the composition it can shift and include molecules with a higher SLHE because the eutectic is pushed upwards.

Although gluten in large the complex process of fermentation breaks down the proteins into their smaller amino acid chains. The prolamines themselves have a affinity for alcohol which means they will be difficult to seperate and under the forced partial pressure of the mix can go into the distillate.

On a more theoretical level any molecule which can overcome the surface tension and bonding of the solution will escape and become part of the distillate. In other words when you see vapour coming from water at below bp. the water is boiling at a lower temperature, indeed this is common if you think about frost evaporating on a autumn morning. The more external energy you add (heating the solute) the more this happens.

This is not just a theory, any long exposure photo of a river of the sea shows the mist of water vapour coming off it and is a well used photographic technique. In the same way a molecule of gluten or especially the amino acids can escape at any momnet.

To take this to its theoretical conclusion we are talking about paired atoms and EPR.

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Although gluten in large the complex process of fermentation breaks down the proteins into their smaller amino acid chains. The prolamines themselves have a affinity for alcohol which means they will be difficult to seperate and under the forced partial pressure of the mix can go into the distillate.

While I grant that I was ignoring the fact that you can get a small amount of *any* substance off the main liquid, I not only understand that amount to be insignificant, I understand that the process is often repeated.

As for the fermentation issue - I have not seen anything (credible) that suggested that the 33-mer (this is the basis of my 'comparitively huge' statement - a 33'mer versus alcohol) that's responsible for the celiac reaction could be broken down by fermentation. Perhaps this was an erroneous assumption on my part, as I can understand how, if broken up into individual amino acids, they would get into the distillate. But I haven't seen that, and additionally, if it is broken up due to fermentation, it would no longer cause the auto-immune reaction in the intestines - it would have been rendered harmless to a celiac.

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If I weren't on medication that proscribes alcohol, I'd drink anything distilled that didn't have gluten added back in after the distillation process. (Ironic, however, that my preferred vodka is grape-based anyway. :-P) And I do use alcohol based flavor extracts if I'm baking.

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I'd drink anything distilled that didn't have gluten added back in after the distillation process.

Ditto. This has been my policy, and other than the other effects of alcohol, I haven't had a problem. The only ones that make me nervous are things like whiskey, and the ones I would drink are gluten-free anyway.

Then again, I have the advantage of having an in-house chemical engineer with a vested interest in my health. Of course, his specialty is polymers, but in undergrad he worked on a distillation project for Gallo, so he knows a little about it. Enough for me to trust him.

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Hey thanks so much guys. What I love the most about your posts is that some of you guys seem to have been drinking socially for some years and you guys don't mention any problems so it must be all good. Yeah to tell you guys the truth I chose to make some sacrifices like the bars and some other places, but in the end isnt it just better to do some dinner at home? I'm thinking about the recipes and finding something I can muster up and maybe check out the wines. Someone talked about different categories and labels for the French wines and I'll read into that for sure. I maybe thought about talking about this to her parents, but they seem quite protective right and maybe I should get higher in their esteem before asking stuff like making food for her... but it will surely come in time. But the problem is that my girlfriend doesn't really want me to get implicated because sometimes she would go at it with her mom, who's the overprotective one here, and we think it's best if I didn't say anything...

Oh absolutely, my girlfriend has often talked about people who we're very much too insensible to the condition, but hey, the world is full of stupid jerks.

Yeah Smunkeemom I was thinking about the risk taking and all that, but for now I think everyone here agrees that its best to play the safe card with the priority going to her health.

And 2kid4me, I see what you mean and that's the conclusion I came up to myself also. Her parents would sometimes talk about how they would stay with her to watch her when she got sick and all that, so to a certain degree I understand why they're overprotective. Add the fact that her mom used to practice the very honorable job of nursing...

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While I grant that I was ignoring the fact that you can get a small amount of *any* substance off the main liquid, I not only understand that amount to be insignificant, I understand that the process is often repeated.

As for the fermentation issue - I have not seen anything (credible) that suggested that the 33-mer (this is the basis of my 'comparitively huge' statement - a 33'mer versus alcohol) that's responsible for the celiac reaction could be broken down by fermentation. Perhaps this was an erroneous assumption on my part, as I can understand how, if broken up into individual amino acids, they would get into the distillate. But I haven't seen that, and additionally, if it is broken up due to fermentation, it would no longer cause the auto-immune reaction in the intestines - it would have been rendered harmless to a celiac.

The evidence to the contrary is it seems some of us do react to grain based alcohols, myself included.

The breakdown part... is open to speculation ....fermentation is a pretty complex process.

As I understand it is only a small part of the protein sequence that triggers the autoimmune response.

So basically we have a huge gap in the fermentation part but several of us do react.

Fermentation usually produces a mix of both propanols, butanol isomers and amyl alcohol the latter being quite large but any of these might attach to a gliadin.

Hence in the context of "Once and for all" I feel the jury is still out. I am pretty much certain large amounts (more than 1-2) vodka's make me react and that the same amount of white rum doesn't.

My explanation while speculative is in the "better safe than sorry" category.

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FYI - There is a new gluten free vodka and the name is 3. I live in Houston, Texas and found it at a Spec's here. It actually says Gluten Free on the tag and it explains the process of making it. It's the first vodka made from soy. I know some Celiacs have an intolerance to soy, but for those that don't this is an option. If you want more information on this vodka their website is http://www.3vodka.com/. If you do decide to try this make sure you watch what you mix it with.

P.S. I have so much respect for you for supporting your girlfriend like this. She is lucky to have you and I am sure her parents realize that soon.

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We live in Canada as well & since being diagnosed, my hubby has drank only 2 types of liquor.....rum (white or amber only) and gluten free beer. In Canada, you can get La Messagere (gluten free beer) which is shipped from Quebec. Depending on where you live, it can be quite pricey ($24/6 pack here). He made the decision to stay away from Rye because it is grain based and is not a vodka fan. If you both like Vodka, contact some of the companies & they should be able to tell you if it is safe or not.

Just a side not, watch out for the flavour added vodkas, the flavouring can contain gluten.

Hope this helps, Bluesky

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