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Sick From Wheat Flour In The Air? Does This Happen To You?

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Hi everyone, thanks for reading. I'm 26, living gluten-free for 2.5 years and starting to feel significantly better as of 8 months ago. *

Whenever I visit my parents (3 times since starting to get better) I get very sick - very quickly. It's the same pattern every time: my joints start cracking and hurting, my stomach hurts and balloons (I look pregnant), my mood plummets for no apparent reason, and then I become fatigued and foggy-brained. This all happens over the course of 2-3 days and keeps getting worse until I leave. The effects linger for 2 weeks.

While at Mom & Dad's, I cook my food separately and on my special kitchenware and I eat from my special gluten-free plates etc. The only thing I can think of is that there is flour still in the air and on things that I touch. My mom bakes loads of regular wheat bread and maybe my problem is that the flour remains in the house enough to make me sick. Does this happen to anyone else? Do you react to this kind of trace amount of gluten? Do you react so quickly? Have you figured out any solutions or is my best option to stay away from Mom & Dad's house all together?

I just want to be able to get an idea if this is anywhere close to normal. Are there any tips and tricks I'm missing? Would washing my hands more often help? Thanks for your replies.


*It took ~2 years for me to start feeling better because even though I was gluten-free, I was sharing cook and dish ware with non-gluten-free people and was washing my kitchen ware with the same sponge as used by people who ate Gluten containing foods. I didn't know using separate kitchen ware, cutlery and cleaning supplies would make such a big difference for me.

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I think it is entirely possible that wheat flour in the air could be making you sick, especially if your mom is baking right before or during your stay. For a while, I let my kids bake their own pancakes/biscuits/whatever from bisquick mix. I wasn't even in the house during the whole process - I went next door to my mom's and waited for them to get completely done, cleaning up and all. Every single time, I would still get symptoms within a couple hours of coming back home, especially with the fatigue and bloating.

~ Jenn

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I've been feeling all out of sorts lately and just read on here the other day that drywall has wheat in it. My husband is finishing our basement. So all of the dust from that must be getting to me - I would think it's possible. I wonder if you could suggest your mom taking an alcohol based wipe to all of her kitchen counters, handles, etc before you come. Maybe it is just laying on the surfaces - gluten is sticky - not just anything will clean it from what I understand...

Tritty (my childhood nickname....)

Age 31, Mommy of 3

Blood test positive for celiac 1/16/07

gluten-free since 1/16/07

Endoscopy 2/13/07 - small hiatal hernia, scalloped mucosa in 1st and 2nd part of duodenum, some erosion of the esophogus.

Two oldest kids - fine so far :)

My 17 mo old has eosinophilic esophogitis. Only showing milk allergy? So completely off dairy for time being to see if that is trigger...

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I can't go near the bakery in my grocery store or I'll get nauseous a few hours later. I've never had a full blown attack from this, but I can see how someone could. Light nausea is usually my first symptom.


Gluten free since May 2004

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I was thinking about this the other day. There are those out there that feel it isn't possible for us to get sick just because we think there is flour in the air. I was sweeping my steps off. I have a basement apartment and I had salted the steps because of ice. As I started sweeping, I could taste the salt--proving that you can get airborne objects such as flour ingested. I always knew we could, yet the steps proved it to me, not a shadow of a doubt now!!!

We often have patients bring donuts, pastries, or cookies in and the other 2 women will sit the box down on the schedule book--I keep telling them they can not do that. They simply refuse to understand, they simply do not care. It doesn't effect them, so it doesn't matter! Sad, isn't it?


Long Island, NY

Double DQ1, subtype 6

We urge all doctors to take time to listen to your patients.. don't "isolate" symptoms but look at the whole spectrum. If a patient tells you s/he feels as if s/he's falling apart and "nothing seems to be working properly", chances are s/he's right!

"The calm river of your life approaches the rocky chute of the rapids - flow on through. You are the same water. The rocks cannot hurt you. Remember, now and then, that you are the water and not the boat. Flow on!

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Thanks everyone ! I'll try the alcohol swabbing and hopefully that will help. My parents are very understanding and I don't want them to give up their home made whole wheat (since I don't live at home). Also, even though my symptoms are manifesting clearly - its good to hear from you as a sanity check - no, its' not in my head! Thanks again,


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I experienced an air-glutening a few months ago. My husband and I were packing up and moving to a new place. I was outside putting something in the car, meanwhile, my dear hubby dumped a container of wheat flour from the back of the cabinent down the sink, we wouldn't need it at the new place. Of course when I walked inside I could smell it and went outside. My mouthful of wheat in the air was enough to get pretty sick afterward. It can happen and it's no fun!

Visit to the er 4.1.06

blood test, positive for celiac disease 4.6.06

Endoscopy/biopsy/last day of gluten 5.25.06

Misdiagnosed for 2 decades. :( Feeling great now :)

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