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XxKittykat

Sick Just From The Smell Of Gluten?

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I was wondering, can you get sick just from smelling gluten? Lately I've noticed that if my father is in town and he eats whatever gluten-containing meal that makes the house smell, I start to get sick.

Ex. Yesterday he made BLT's, I was sitting in front of the toaster, I get up 10 minutes later and start to feel sick. Not as bad as if I had eaten the gluten, it passed rather quickly (an hour or so, but who has time for that?)...but it still happened. I know it wasn't anything I had eaten earlier, it was morning!

Also, I have noticed that it happens everytime he makes bread or pasta (which is way too often for me). It happens also near bakerys and the such (no restaurants for me!). Has this happened to anyone else, or am I just that weird?

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XxKittykat, you are just as weird as me, but you could be just a little bit weirder.

Smelling gluten filled foods does not make me sick, but it makes me feel sick. The smell is horrible and it turns my stomach.

I can remember the first time I walked past the bread in the supermarket and I thought that stinks, and that was just a couple of weeks after being gluten free. The bread nearly two years later still stinks and turns my stomach, so does toast and fast food outlets and barbeques when cooking. I don't think it is all in my head, but could you have a more sensitive stomach than me and it is the smell that makes you phsyically sick? Like you said thankfully it is only for about an hour, but it is still a long time to be incapacitated anywhere.

Cathy

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It's funny because I logged in today to explore just this question! I've noticed that if I stop at Dunkin Dounts to get an iced coffee, no flavors, one sugar, skim milk (meaning no gluten!) I feel sick to my stomach by the time I get back out to the car. (yes, I drink iced coffee year round)

I just had to leave my neighbor's house, because I went from feelig wonderful to being crampy, nauseous, and nasty within the course of about half an hour. My friend was baking regular cupcakes for a birthday party. The only thing I could figure was the thick smell of cupcakes cooking. I'm home now, and the feeling is already subsiding.

Oh, the other day I went to Shaw's and bought some glutino cookies, and thought for sure they must have had gluten despite the labeling, because a few minutes after I scoffed a handful in the car in the parking lot, I got crampy and nauseus. Thinking back, the last thing I did before leaving the store was cruise the fresh bakery, where they were pulling baguettes out of the ovens.

One thing about the smell: we need to know WHAT makes the smell of a baked good. Is it a gas, meaning no way can it make us sick because all the gluten stays in the product, OR IS the smell from actual particles of the bread that 'ride the heat waves' and sperad through the air? Anybody with a chemistry background out there?

Umm... not to gross you out, but there's a reason things taste like they smell, it's usually becuase there are particles of the original in the air... thinking of farts this way is really freaky. Anybody have info to verify or debunk the science?

Of course, this could be psychosomatic, because we smell something yummy we know we can't have. Stress is a funny mistress.

:)

I won't be offended, promise!

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A few weeks ago I felt fine. Went over to my mother's to help her with something and as soon as I walked in the door I asked wht the smell was. She was cooking a roast with a ton of seasonings. She opened the oven door I immediately started feeling sick. She thought it was me cause I have never reacted that way. I went home and just being outside breathing in the cool air and then laid down I felt a lot better. I called her to ask what seasonings and she said there were a lot and she couldn't remember.

I have never felt that way before even from my own cooking but then again I cook mostly gluten free. All gluten free for me but cook gluten for the rest of the family. Everything is seperated. So I believe it is possible to have a reaction just from the smell. :(

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I think it's very possible that you may breathe something in? because I always get SUPER sick during farming, like actually glutened just from breathing in the air that's full of either grain dust or smoke from the burning stubbles. And it's not like I'm sticking my nose right into the grain or eating it!

I also get sick when I'm near a bakery or someone is baking in a house. I normally have no sense of smell but as soon as I can smell gluten its impossible to ignore...it definitely sets off my allergies.

~ Lisa ~

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XxKittykat, you are just as weird as me, but you could be just a little bit weirder.

Smelling gluten filled foods does not make me sick, but it makes me feel sick. The smell is horrible and it turns my stomach.

I can remember the first time I walked past the bread in the supermarket and I thought that stinks, and that was just a couple of weeks after being gluten free. The bread nearly two years later still stinks and turns my stomach, so does toast and fast food outlets and barbeques when cooking. I don't think it is all in my head, but could you have a more sensitive stomach than me and it is the smell that makes you phsyically sick? Like you said thankfully it is only for about an hour, but it is still a long time to be incapacitated anywhere.

Cathy

Same here and what really ticks me off is that many non-Celiac's think I am making it up.

My very understanding husband has yo toast his bread in a room off the kitchen, with a door I can close and a window to open to get rid of the smell. I don't get physically sick but nauseated and, if bad enough, my intestines will ache like a toothache for a couple of hours. I nearly was taken down at the pizza counter at Whole Foods a couple of weeks back when I thought I would be nice and buy him a few slices of pizza.....very bad idea. I was smelling the pizza fumes while waiting for them to wrap the order and was not feeling good the rest of the day.

I actually don't mind the whole thing as it is the main reason I find this diet so easy to stick to and have not craved gluten since I was diagnosed. It just makes it hard when, sometimes, it's hard to avoid the smell and then people think you are weird or something because the smell of cooking wheat makes you nauseous. If I had a dime for every time I get the "look" from someone, I could retire by now!

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Same here and what really ticks me off is that many non-Celiac's think I am making it up.

Yeah they always say "oh it can't be that bad". I'd like to see them try to live on this diet!!! When i smell flour it smells like..rotting bitter food being shoved right under my nose. I think for us people who are very sensative to gluten it may be the worst part about having Celiac!!

~ Lisa ~

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..... Smelling gluten filled foods does not make me sick, but it makes me feel sick. The smell is horrible and it turns my stomach. I can remember the first time I walked past the bread in the supermarket and I thought that stinks, and that was just a couple of weeks after being gluten free. The bread nearly two years later still stinks and turns my stomach, so does toast and fast food outlets.....

.....When i smell flour it smells like..rotting bitter food being shoved right under my nose.....

Very interesting cases here. Feeling ill from smelling aromas associated with gluten I could easily understand. My guess is it's probably psychosomatic, mind over matter. That doesn't make it any less real for you. You really are feeling ill, it's just your brain triggering it. Our sense of smell is 3000 times more sensitive than our sense of taste. So, it doesn't take too many molecules to smell something, depending on the source and person of course. Flour dust particles do contain gluten, but hardly any smell compared to cooking aromas. But flour dust are big particles, huge compared to molecules. When you smell cooking aromas, I'd guess those to be relatively small vapor molecules. I don't think there could be any long peptide chains (gluten) in those. But I'm not a chemist, so I don't want to presume to know for sure.

But what puzzles me is why these smells are so obnoxious to you. They still smell like heaven to me. The fact that I can't eat those foods didn't change the smells for me. This is the first I've heard of this happening. Anyone else have this problem? Do you remember these foods smelling bad before you were diagnosed? To all of a sudden have your sense of smell drastiscally change upon being diagnosed also seems highly psychosomatic. Then again, don't pregnant women sometimes undergo odd taste/smell changes, albeit temporary? I don't know what causes that either. Hormones?

best regards, lm

p.s., Sorry Lisa, I see you were never diagnosed with Celiac. On the contrary, all your Celiac tests came out negative. But that's probably because you went gluten-free before any tests. So for you, did this phenomena occur after you went gluten-free? Wow, I didn't even know there were 82 related celiac disorders. You got it rough girl!

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Very interesting cases here. Feeling ill from smelling aromas associated with gluten I could easily understand. My guess is it's probably psychosomatic, mind over matter. That doesn't make it any less real for you. You really are feeling ill, it's just your brain triggering it. Our sense of smell is 3000 times more sensitive than our sense of taste. So, it doesn't take too many molecules to smell something, depending on the source and person of course. Flour dust particles do contain gluten, but hardly any smell compared to cooking aromas. But flour dust are big particles, huge compared to molecules. When you smell cooking aromas, I'd guess those to be relatively small vapor molecules. I don't think there could be any long peptide chains (gluten) in those. But I'm not a chemist, so I don't want to presume to know for sure.

But what puzzles me is why these smells are so obnoxious to you. They still smell like heaven to me. The fact that I can't eat those foods didn't change the smells for me. This is the first I've heard of this happening. Anyone else have this problem? Do you remember these foods smelling bad before you were diagnosed? To all of a sudden have your sense of smell drastiscally change upon being diagnosed also seems highly psychosomatic. Then again, don't pregnant women sometimes undergo odd taste/smell changes, albeit temporary? I don't know what causes that either. Hormones?

best regards, lm

p.s., Sorry Lisa, I see you were never diagnosed with Celiac. On the contrary, all your Celiac tests came out negative. But that's probably because you went gluten-free before any tests. So for you, did this phenomena occur after you went gluten-free? Wow, I didn't even know there were 82 related celiac disorders. You got it rough girl!

it doesnt just smell that bad, it tastes that bad! The 2 times that I had to eat regular food for a test (once was for 5 days) there were a couple moments that I nearly threw up instantly. Not from being glutened, but because the bun I was eating tasted that horrible!! I did not have any problems with this until after I went gluten-free. And I have heard from someone else in my hometown who has a similar issue. I am from a farming commmunity, and I can tell you the graindust smells exactly as baked goods do. Also in college 2 years ago a lady was doing a demonstration and coated a pan with flour (had i known this I would have left the room before hand) and I had an almost immediate allergic reaction just from it in the air. When i go to the grocery store now I always tell mom "they just baked, cuz it stinks". And sure enough we walk buy and there's fresh stuff out of the oven.

and about my signature: I have a couple of books that list side effects of celiac/gluten intollerance/gluten allergy (which i have all 3 of) and that's how many things I never had a problem with until 5 years ago. i know they are connected to Celiac because they get worse if i'm glutened.

~ Lisa ~

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If there aren't any particles in the air, it may very well be a conditioned response, just like with Pavlov's dogs. Your brain has associated foods that contain gluten with feeling sick. There's certainly nothing wrong with that... It's a good thing, if you ask me. I'd rather think that something I can't eat smells like poison than think it smells delicious!

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I still love the smell of baked goods but i get itchy from the inside out smelling it. i don't think it's imagined. just depends on how sensitive some people are to it.

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What Causes Smells?

Smells come from aromatics - from volatile compounds that can get to the olfactory senses. Volatile compounds have to be able to evaporate into the air, something that a heavy molecule like a gluten protein can't do. The idea that conditioning could lead to those symptoms isn't so far fetched, and doesn't mean the symptoms aren't real in the least. It also doesn't mean that there isn't any flour, or crumbs in the area where the smells are found - a bakery or bread aisle would be a great place for this - that could contaminate you via a contact ingestion route.

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Just the sight of gluten filled foods can make me feel slightly ill. Everytime I see someone take a bite of a sandwich or cake I think "how can they eat that poison?" and then I remember that everyone isn't gluten intolerant like me. I even feel guilty eating gluten free food like cake and cookies. The mind is a very powerful thing. Just because it is "in your mind" doesn't mean you are making it up.

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