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Are Gluten Free Products Nessisary?

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Hi, I'm a new bee and My question is - Are gluten free skin, hair and body nessisary? I also wonder are Walmarts products that are marked gluten free always safe? do they have a testing policy? Because I've used their soy sauce in a veggie stir fry and I wonder if i was glutened. I'm just returning to the diet after being off for a month or so and i've been (trying) gulten free for about a week and a half. Alot of my symptoms are going away execpt a few times after eating I starting getting that dizzy, spacey, tired feeling and my dermatiss is still active.

F.y.i. my blood test was neg and my GI is a Quack so I have stopped persuing a diagnoses. THe diet has improved my life and body so Im living as a celiac and quite happy! :P

Thanks for any help you can offer, Tina

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I am sure that if Walmart states on the product that it is "gluten free", then it is gluten free. They would be opening themselves up for a lawsuit if they labeled something in error! Did you by any chance use an old scratched pan? Cross contamination is a very big issue with us.

Yes, for most celiac's, shampoo, lotions, soaps, etc--need to be gluten free also. There are a few who do not feel this is necessary, yet as a rule--better safe, than sorry. Shampoo can get in your mouth while rinsing, lotion on your hands can get on your food, lipstick is self explanatory, and on and on. For many of us, just having gluten on our skin can be a problem, for me it is. I get hives from wheat, oats, or corn in any products on my skin.

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For what it's worth, my mom is the most gluten sensitive person imaginable, and the least little microscopic bit of gluten makes her unbelievably sick. She was diagnosed 40+ years ago and has never worried about shampoos, lotions, etc., and she doesn't seem to be bothered by anything of a topical nature. (ALTHOUGH perhaps it would be a different matter if you had DH as your manifestation of celiac disease!!). Her only concern is lip items, which can be (and are!!) swallowed, so you have to be very careful with lipstick & gloss ingredients, obviously, also toothpaste and mouthwashes, things like that.

Peter Green, in his 2006 book about Celiac disease, stated that lotions, shampoos etc. are not a problem as things put on your skin topically do not enter your digestive system.

HOWEVER.....there are a lot of people who seem to think otherwise and who do feel they might react to gluten in products.

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HOWEVER.....there are a lot of people who seem to think otherwise and who do feel they might react to gluten in products.

I for one don't think I react to gluten through my skin. What I don't want, on the other hand, is for instance applying lotion to my face and then wondering about whether or not I remembered to wash my hands before preparing my food. Obviously that is one way I could ingest some gluten. So to me it's more about peace of mind than about thinking that I could somehow react through my skin. I also know what my shampoo tastes like :):P so I prefer for it to be safe.

Pauliina

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I must say that I'm not convinced that toiletries with wheat, gluten, soy are all that good for us. A wonderful woman on the forum mentioned a year ago that she uses a product etc but keeps the lotion away from her mouth. Considering that the skin is claimed to be our largest organ and can absorb things thru it if the molecular structure is small enough, people like us are at risk then because gluten is still entering the body. Does it build up with time? I don't know. But speaking for myself while the creams might feel more luxurious and silkier or my hair smoother/hydrated whatever feeling healthy far outweighs the seduction of the product. The downside is searching and checking lables or with Companies.

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I must say that I'm not convinced that toiletries with wheat, gluten, soy are all that good for us. A wonderful woman on the forum mentioned a year ago that she uses a product etc but keeps the lotion away from her mouth. Considering that the skin is claimed to be our largest organ and can absorb things thru it if the molecular structure is small enough, people like us are at risk then because gluten is still entering the body. Does it build up with time? I don't know. But speaking for myself while the creams might feel more luxurious and silkier or my hair smoother/hydrated whatever feeling healthy far outweighs the seduction of the product. The downside is searching and checking lables or with Companies.

I certainly understand everyone's concern and everyone has the right to choose their gluten-free lifestyle but I would add that you cannot have a gluten reaction in your GI tract by putting something on your skin, unless you ingest it. Gluten cannot be absorbed through the skin....the molecule is too large. That's medical fact. It's a disservice to the newly diagnosed for them to be told putting on lotion will cause a reaction in your gut if you don't get it in your mouth. There is much misinformation with this disease and I would not want to make things more difficult than they already are. This is only for those who do not have DH either.

Medicine that is delivered through patches or topically are formulated so they can be absorbed through the skin...big difference.

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I must say that I'm not convinced that toiletries with wheat, gluten, soy are all that good for us. A wonderful woman on the forum mentioned a year ago that she uses a product etc but keeps the lotion away from her mouth. Considering that the skin is claimed to be our largest organ and can absorb things thru it if the molecular structure is small enough, people like us are at risk then because gluten is still entering the body. Does it build up with time? I don't know. But speaking for myself while the creams might feel more luxurious and silkier or my hair smoother/hydrated whatever feeling healthy far outweighs the seduction of the product. The downside is searching and checking lables or with Companies.

I certainly understand everyone's concern and everyone has the right to choose their gluten-free lifestyle but I would add that you cannot have a gluten reaction in your GI tract by putting something on your skin, unless you ingest it. Gluten cannot be absorbed through the skin....the molecule is too large. That's medical fact. It's a disservice to the newly diagnosed for them to be told putting on lotion will cause a reaction in your gut if you don't get it in your mouth. There is much misinformation with this disease and I would not want to make things more difficult than they already are. This is only for those who do not have DH either.

Medicine that is delivered through patches or topically are formulated so they can be absorbed through the skin...big difference.

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I must say that I'm not convinced that toiletries with wheat, gluten, soy are all that good for us. A wonderful woman on the forum mentioned a year ago that she uses a product etc but keeps the lotion away from her mouth. Considering that the skin is claimed to be our largest organ and can absorb things thru it if the molecular structure is small enough, people like us are at risk then because gluten is still entering the body. Does it build up with time? I don't know. But speaking for myself while the creams might feel more luxurious and silkier or my hair smoother/hydrated whatever feeling healthy far outweighs the seduction of the product. The downside is searching and checking lables or with Companies.

I certainly understand everyone's concern and everyone has the right to choose their gluten-free lifestyle but I would add that you cannot have a gluten reaction in your GI tract by putting something on your skin, unless you ingest it. Gluten cannot be absorbed through the skin....the molecule is too large. That's medical fact. It's a disservice to the newly diagnosed for them to be told putting on lotion will cause a reaction in your gut if you don't get it in your mouth. There is much misinformation with this disease and I would not want to make things more difficult than they already are. This is only for those who do not have DH either.

Medicine that is delivered through patches or topically are formulated so they can be absorbed through the skin...big difference.

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while I'm quite aware that gluten is too large of a molecule to be absorbed through my skin, I'm also aware of the taste of my skin lotion, hand lotion, and shampoo - none of it intentionally. (I don't wear makeup, or I'd probably know what that tastes like as well.) given that, and given that there are OODLES of gluten free products out there, I figure why bother with the annoyance of having wheat in my hand lotion if I know I've tasted it before. it's not that I think I'm going to eat gobs of it, it's a convenience factor.

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while I'm quite aware that gluten is too large of a molecule to be absorbed through my skin, I'm also aware of the taste of my skin lotion, hand lotion, and shampoo - none of it intentionally. (I don't wear makeup, or I'd probably know what that tastes like as well.) given that, and given that there are OODLES of gluten free products out there, I figure why bother with the annoyance of having wheat in my hand lotion if I know I've tasted it before. it's not that I think I'm going to eat gobs of it, it's a convenience factor.

That's perfectly fine, if that's what makes you comfortable. I just think that newbies to the lifestyle should be told medical fact as to how they could become glutened or CC'd. That way, they will not make mistakes or make living gluten-free more difficult. It seems to me from reading these posts that some have a really difficult time, more than they need to, over confusing advice. There is a boatload of great information and advice here from experienced members but some not so good advice that is medically incorrect. However, if some experience problems with gluten containing products, for whatever reason, and feel uneasy using them, the by all means go completely gluten-free. I haven't found that necessary and have never been glutened from my products. I am a sensitive Celiac so I would know if I ingested a crumb or drop of the stuff.

I apologize for the triple posting but was having problems earlier on with it. It did not appear to post at all and when I gave up and came back later, apparently it had.

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yep. my post wasn't intended as a reply to yours, just using a bit of alliteration taken from your post. :) I agree - we have to do what's comfortable for each of us, and there is a lot of misinformation around - there always will be. :)

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That's perfectly fine, if that's what makes you comfortable. I just think that newbies to the lifestyle should be told medical fact as to how they could become glutened or CC'd. That way, they will not make mistakes or make living gluten-free more difficult. It seems to me from reading these posts that some have a really difficult time, more than they need to, over confusing advice. There is a boatload of great information and advice here from experienced members but some not so good advice that is medically incorrect. However, if some experience problems with gluten containing products, for whatever reason, and feel uneasy using them, the by all means go completely gluten-free. I haven't found that necessary and have never been glutened from my products. I am a sensitive Celiac so I would know if I ingested a crumb or drop of the stuff.

I apologize for the triple posting but was having problems earlier on with it. It did not appear to post at all and when I gave up and came back later, apparently it had.

I agree with Tiffany here. Even if you don't THINK you ever react to any of your personal care products, how do you know that the minuscule amounts you inadvertently ingest (and yes, there is no way you don't) won't cause damage down the road through their cumulative effect?

If you use shampoo and/or conditioner containing gluten, do you wash your hands every time you touch your hair, so you won't get it on the food you prepare/eat? What about soaps containing gluten? And if you put lotion on your hands AFTER washing, to keep the skin from drying out, won't you eat some lotion?

Personally, even though I don't believe I have DH, I make sure to use gluten-free shampoo and conditioner. Because I do react to any personal care products containing gluten by getting psoriasis on my scalp, and hives and itching elsewhere. Plus, when I used soap with wheat germ oil, I used to get burning eyes all the time. I was puzzled, until I realized that my eyes started burning when I touched them. Since I have changed my soap, I haven't had that problem.

And no, I don't get diarrhea, heartburn or a stomach ache (some of my glutened symptoms) from personal care products. But I react in other unpleasant ways. My life is definitely easier and less complicated with using gluten-free personal care products.

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I agree with Tiffany here. Even if you don't THINK you ever react to any of your personal care products, how do you know that the minuscule amounts you inadvertently ingest (and yes, there is no way you don't) won't cause damage down the road through their cumulative effect?

If you use shampoo and/or conditioner containing gluten, do you wash your hands every time you touch your hair, so you won't get it on the food you prepare/eat? What about soaps containing gluten? And if you put lotion on your hands AFTER washing, to keep the skin from drying out, won't you eat some lotion?

Personally, even though I don't believe I have DH, I make sure to use gluten-free shampoo and conditioner. Because I do react to any personal care products containing gluten by getting psoriasis on my scalp, and hives and itching elsewhere. Plus, when I used soap with wheat germ oil, I used to get burning eyes all the time. I was puzzled, until I realized that my eyes started burning when I touched them. Since I have changed my soap, I haven't had that problem.

And no, I don't get diarrhea, heartburn or a stomach ache (some of my glutened symptoms) from personal care products. But I react in other unpleasant ways. My life is definitely easier and less complicated with using gluten-free personal care products.

Do any of you get your blood work done on a regular basis? I do and, as I've said before, my numbers are close to zero. That is definitive, clinical proof that I am not ingesting gluten. Every single symptom that I had before I was diagnosed, and I had every single one listed for celiac disease, is gone and has never returned. I have had some medical trianing and have family members in the medical field so I am well versed in CC. I realize you all are nice people, trying to help the newbies but, and I do not wish to insult anyone, there is a level of paranoia about getting glutened that is unecessary. I have discussed this my doctor and she agrees that many patients carry the CC stuff way too far and it makes their lives much more difficult. This is probably the reason the gluten-free diet is perceived to be nearly impossible to follow and some become totally overwhelmed.

I am a handwasher and never eat my lotions so I am sorry if this is something you cannot accept. It works fine for me

and if you don't agree, that's fine, but do not insinuate that I am being glutened on a small scale when I am not. My Ttg was off the scale and I failed every test on the celiac disease panel by huge amounts when initially diagnosed. I have my numbers down to 3 so if someone thinks that I'm being glutened, they need to re-learn what the numbers mean.

Whatever makes YOU comfortable, by all means, go for it but telling a newbie they MUST go completely gluten-free is misleading. Everyone needs to learn how to make this lifestyle work for them without becoming paranoid about it.

I know some need to go completely gluten-free if not well versed in CC or those with sensitive skin or DH but that is definitely not the case for many.

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at the least, for hand lotion, how do you not ever get it in your mouth?

if you wash your hands after you use it, then what was the point of using it, as you've just washed it off? if you don't wash it off, then do you never ever lick that bit of food that splattered onto your finger off, never wipe off the corner of your mouth with a finger, never ever bite a nail even just as a gesture?

I'm not actually "paranoid" about these things in any way, it doesn't cause me any more stress to look at labels for lotion than labels for food. And I don't think that you absolutely have to do this to be a "good celiac". :D

But I have to admit, I don't understand how people can say they can't get hand lotion into their mouths.... At least and still have the hand lotion be effective.

(If I were paranoid, I wouldn't be feeding my bird his pelleted diet, which specifically includes wheat gluten, which he does a lovely job of getting all over his cage. ;) )

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Gemini, there are people here who used to think like you. They never bothered with gluten-free personal care products and didn't understand why they didn't get 100% well on the gluten-free diet. And their numbers were down, too.

Until finally they grudgingly decided to exchange their gluten containing personal care products for gluten-free ones. And bingo, it was the missing link, within days they felt better than they had in years!

If you feel that you don't need to bother, fine, that is your prerogative. And your risk. But please don't try to tell us that those things can't be a problem!

Last year one mother couldn't figure out why her child would still have diarrhea and wouldn't get better. Until she stopped using his gluten containing bubble bath. That child was better very quickly, he had been glutened every time he had a bath. And no, not through his skin, but because he got some into his mouth.

It is you who is giving bad information, not the rest of us. In the end of course it is everybody's own choice. But in order to have the choice, people need to know that personal care products may contain gluten, so they can avoid them if they feel they are a problem.

Besides, why do you feel you need to use personal care products that contain gluten? What benefit are they to you? Do you think you need to use them to prove something? I don't quite understand why you are so adamant that we shouldn't tell people that it is better to use gluten-free products.

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I think the concern she's expressing is that she feels there is a categoric statement of fact that it is "NECESSARY" to use gluten-free products to be safe, despite the fact that there are no studies that show this, and that gluten cannot be absorbed through the skin.

There's some validity in that, but I will argue that this isn't a black and white world, and adults can handle the complicated nature that lies between "yes, this is absolutely fine" and "no, this is absolutely unsafe". gluten-free products like lotion and shampoo (but not toothpaste ;) ) definitely fall into that complicated area between the two extremes, and giving *either* answer is doing a disservice. Instead, we should give full information, and let people make the best choice for themselves. We can all make choices calmly and without panic, and this is just one more decision to make calmly.

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I think the concern she's expressing is that she feels there is a categoric statement of fact that it is "NECESSARY" to use gluten-free products to be safe, despite the fact that there are no studies that show this, and that gluten cannot be absorbed through the skin.

There's some validity in that, but I will argue that this isn't a black and white world, and adults can handle the complicated nature that lies between "yes, this is absolutely fine" and "no, this is absolutely unsafe". gluten-free products like lotion and shampoo (but not toothpaste ;) ) definitely fall into that complicated area between the two extremes, and giving *either* answer is doing a disservice. Instead, we should give full information, and let people make the best choice for themselves. We can all make choices calmly and without panic, and this is just one more decision to make calmly.

I agree with this completely. IMHO it is best to remove ALL sources of problems at the beginning. Then when folks are feeling well they can add in stuff that is possibly okay and watch for a reaction. To do it backwards can lead to folks thinking they are refractory or that they need to continue searching for other problems that are not really there, because they are still reacting to the small amount that they are injesting from gluten toiletries. We need to keep in mind that not all celiac reactions are gut reactions. For those of us with neuro issues the need for total compliance is often a bit stronger than those of us who are lucky and only have GI reactions. Celiac has an abundance of symptoms and systems that are effected, they can be different and have different presentations. What may just make one of us have a 'bit of a upset tummy' for a day or two can have others in full suicidal meltdown for a couple of weeks. It is hard and frustrating for newbies to learn all this, but if becoming a bit over 'paranoid' means they heal quicker and more completely that is not a bad thing. It is always better to start off being as strict as possible to avoid confusion, risky stuff can always be added in later.

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There are two opposing sides to this one, but everybody is different. I know people who are very sensitive to gluten in make up, shampoo, lotions, bath soaps, etc... but I also know many who are not. Personally, I can not use products that contain gluten as I break out in a red itchy rash. When I use shampoo, conditioners, makeup or hairspray with gluten it causes my head and face to turn beet read and get hot (feels like I have a high fever). But, many celiacs do not react at all to these products! We are all different.

The obvious things - toothpaste, mouth wash, lipsticks, lip moisturizes should for sure be eliminated (anything you would certainly digest.) Hand lotions, personally, I would have gluten-free as you might put your fingers in or near your mouth or pickup food with your hands and eat it. If body lotion doesn't bother you, as long as you wash your hands after putting it on, should be OK. Some say shampoo that is gluten-free should be used since you might touch your hair during the day and then put your fingers in your mouth or touch food. I do not know if there is any scientific evidence to prove that this happens or not, but it is something to at least think about.

In the end, it is really up to you what you want to do! I just pay attention to what my body is telling me - if I react to something I stop using it, if I don't react I keep using it.

Elizabeth Secora

gluten-free since March 2007

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It is not a rash, but hives and swelling.  Some doctors think it is a separate autoimmune disorder or that it piggybacks on to others.  It is more commonly associated with autoimmune thyroiditis.   My last bout lasted for six months.  They appeared (from my head to my soles of my feet) every afternoon around 4:00 pm and resolved by morning.  Oddly, they start with abdominal pain.  That is my first clue and next an itchy head.  I was on a cocktail of antihistamines and attempted a low histam
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