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acousticmom

Can You Sense Gluten In The Air?

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When my 13-year old son gets glutened, he copes with the pain by pacing the circle route in our house. I can tell how bad it is by how fast he's walking. (Fortunately, NuLev usually helps with the pain, otherwise he'd wear ruts in the floor!)

His pacing route takes him past the regular toaster (quarrantined on its own table) and the bathroom. This morning he told me that if he's been glutened and is pacing the circle route, and if someone is making regular toast at the same time, he actually gets a pang in his stomach when he goes past the toaster. He said the same thing happens if I happen to be using my favorite hair product (Redken Guts, which contains wheat but he didn't know that) while he's pacing past the bathroom.

Now, I can see something like drywall dust causing that kind of problem (which it has, for him), because it's so pervasive it would be easy to get some in your mouth. But the smell of toast in the toaster? I would tell him he's just being paranoid, but of course he is--he's got celiac!

Does anyone else experience this?

Carol

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Hi Carol,

I have actually seen a little boy who lives near us get a skin contact rash from gluten. (I never saw him touch it.) I did see him "sense" out Playdoh hidden on a shelf out of his normal range of vision. He didn't want to play with it he just shuddered at the sight of it. He was too young to speak. He also reacts to dogs. His mother was very surprised he didn't react to our dog. She didn't know our dog is on a gluten free diet.

I don't know if that helps. There is no way to say how sensitive a person can be.

Laura

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Hi Carol,

I have actually seen a little boy who lives near us get a skin contact rash from gluten. (I never saw him touch it.) I did see him "sense" out Playdoh hidden on a shelf out of his normal range of vision. He didn't want to play with it he just shuddered at the sight of it. He was too young to speak. He also reacts to dogs. His mother was very surprised he didn't react to our dog. She didn't know our dog is on a gluten free diet.

I don't know if that helps. There is no way to say how sensitive a person can be.

Laura

Wow--that's weird! I wish I could peek at the research findings 50 or 75 years in the future and see what they learn about gluten issues. In the meantime, I'm getting used to weirdness.

What dog food do you use?

Carol

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But the smell of toast in the toaster? Does anyone else experience this?

Carol

Carol,

It is interesting that you wrote this as I experience similar, and yes the smell of toast is enough to get me. And yes I would say I can sense gluten in the air, probably not all gluten.

But I do not get pangs in my stomach.

Firstly when I went gluten free, I noticed immediately the smell of bread as I walked past it in the supermarket. It did not smell nice, and I would rush through that aisle. At first I thought it was just me being a bit neurotic about bread, but that horrible scent persisted on other visits. I'd ask my husband whether he could smell that horrible smell. No, it just smelt nice to him.

Sometimes it smells worse than others, and it has got to the stage where I can ignore it, or is it I don't notice it as much. But just lately the smell is bugging me again, and I am wondering whether that has anything to do with being recently glutened and my nose is extra sensitive to gluten smells. Also the smell when walking past subway and fish and chip shops does not appeal. It makes me want to run and get away from it.

Stuffed chickens smell awful too.

It seems to be anything that has been cooked with gluten in it that has a nasty smell to it, which is great as it makes it so much easier to say no, not that I would say yes, but just makes it easier to not even think about being tempted.

Does your son only complain about the smell when he has been glutened or all the time? Maybe it is more noticeable when we have been glutened. Interesting thought.

Cathy

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I hadn't really thought of it until now, but long before I went gluten-free, I would notice the breath of someone who recently ate wheat. It smelled awful, and turned my stomach. Though I knew what it was from, it had not occurred to me that I might be sensitive to it for good reason. Rather, I concluded that it was the other person who had some sort of digestive issue.

I don't doubt for a moment that a person could have a reaction to the smell of toast or any other nearby source of gluten. After all, the only reason our olfactory nerves can detect anything is because of particles being wafted off the item and carried through the air to our nose. If we can be sensitive to an animal or pollen, then why not gluten?

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I don't think that your son is being paranoid at all. He seems to just be very sensitive. Basically, he can sense danger in the form of gluten. It's a good thing if it helps him out, so embrace it.

-Brian

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I don't doubt for a moment that a person could have a reaction to the smell of toast or any other nearby source of gluten. After all, the only reason our olfactory nerves can detect anything is because of particles being wafted off the item and carried through the air to our nose. If we can be sensitive to an animal or pollen, then why not gluten?

RiceGuy, that's a good point. We're told that gluten has to contact the intestines to cause a reaction (i.e. we shouldn't have to worry about hair products), but there are so many unanswered questions about gluten intolerance, it wouldn't surprise me at all if we find other types of reactions at work as well. And yet, the logic I hear all the time from medical folks is that if we don't have the research to prove something, it must not exist.

And Brian, just to clarify, I totally take him seriously. Now that his "big" pain has mostly gone away since going gluten-free, he doesn't always complain about "little" pain, since it's no big deal to him--but it could signal some minor glutening or other food intolerance, so I always listen to what he says.

I just have to laugh, though, because just when I think life with gluten intolerance couldn't get any weirder, this kind of a question comes up.

Carol

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Hi Carol,

I have actually seen a little boy who lives near us get a skin contact rash from gluten. (I never saw him touch it.) I did see him "sense" out Playdoh hidden on a shelf out of his normal range of vision. He didn't want to play with it he just shuddered at the sight of it. He was too young to speak. He also reacts to dogs. His mother was very surprised he didn't react to our dog. She didn't know our dog is on a gluten free diet.

I don't know if that helps. There is no way to say how sensitive a person can be.

Laura

Hi Laura

My dog is on a gluten free diet as well. She gets loose bowels on the other food. I have her on a gluten free Solid Gold called 'over the moon'. It is expensive though, thankfully my dog isn't that big.

I hate walking through a super market bakery area! I always imagine all that flour dust.

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I don't think I can sense gluten in the air, smell of store bread always made me sick but the smell of home made bread is still wonderful and I love the smell of turkey or chicken stuffed.

Now in defense I will say, I make a gluten-free stuffing, one which the whole family better like as I do. I won't make 2 seperate meals, never did and can't bother starting now.

I will say to those who are sensitive to the smells, I understand it totally. Three days ago, I helped my husband make bread (this is the second time it happened), of course being male, he drug his seat till I got annoyed and started to add the flour. As I put in the second container of flour, I knew that I was not doing myself any good. Lastl night I knew for sure. NOw I have had 2 children and the birthing process was nothing. Last night I felt it all at once and intesified a hundred times and from the wrong exit. Finally this morning I had some relief, after mega pain, ruptured hemeroids and now I can't sit. If nothing else, I am up and about getting things done around the house.

I also had a flu shot this year, I asked the nurse practitioner if it might contain gluten (fillers) and was told no. Well I think there was something in it as I had the same reaction. This is the third time in two months. I can't afford to have any more reactions like this.

I think a special room or corner for those using products with gluten is a necessity for those of us who can't use it. It is getting to our intestines, can be through the skin, we breath it in the air and when we use the same cloths to wash and dry the dishes. I have known for 4 years that I am celiac and this year has been an eye opener, from accessing foods, the availablity to purchase supplies to what might have gluten that I didn't suspect. I read everything, carry my no no book with me and check labels but the air I can't control.I was cruising the first three years looking for products, finding flours and trying foods, not paying attention to what is around me and how I may react or what it is doing to my body. Now I have to go through the shampoo and body product search. Catch up time started today. Thanks for listening.

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I hate walking through a super market bakery area! I always imagine all that flour dust.

I don't react, physically, to bread smells ( I love the smell of freshly baked bread), but I relate to the feeling of being contaminated. I have a good imagination and I always feel contaminated after shopping in a grocery store.

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