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Aves

Slips, How Damaging Are They?

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I keep running into gluten by accident and getting sick. It takes me a couple of days to recover. Meanwhile, is it destroying my small intestine all over again?

Thanks!

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From the frequently asked questions area of celiac.com:

http://www.celiac.com/articles/38/1/How-mu...liac/Page1.html

....so is this a yes? sorry, brain foggy day :(

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A related question: There is some opinion that stess has a negative health impact. While any gluten causes damage to a celiac, sometimes without outward symptoms, is it possible to worry too much and become too stressed?

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....so is this a yes? sorry, brain foggy day :(

No, it's a "depends" . . . guess maybe you're not that brain foggy :lol:

It' just an indication of how much gluten it took to cause damage (in that particular study). So it really depends on how much gluten was ingested. I would also say that many people on this forum will have gluten reactions to a fraction of what that study indicates. What I don't know, is if you have a reaction, does that automatically mean you have caused damage? I think some people would say yes. This FAQ "implies" NO (or at least, that was my interpretation).

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In response to how much is damaging to your intestine:

I would think there is two parts to that:

1) How much will make me feel bad (like a stomach ache/diarrhea/allergy response)

2) How much will damage my body?

I have not been gluten-free for long enough to have a severe response, I just get a prickly itch and stomach ache. Other Celiac friends I know get flu-like symptoms over even a small amount they accidentally ingested. However, that is nothing compared to the large amounts of gluten in a "regular" diet.

So here's my 2 cents:

1) Your body is sensitized to even a small amount, so you will feel really bad for a small "oops"

2) You will make antibodies for 4-6 weeks for even 1/8 of a teaspoon you ingest, however I would not freak out over that because for years your body was making those antibodies/other immune response to the gluten when you were eating much more. You will just feel it more now. Your body will heal faster than an "oops" will damage it.

Don't let it get you down. Your small intestine (and mine too, for that matter) are being repaired by your body. (I can't wait for my villi to regrow enough to have milk again!) Think of it like a smoker who smoked for 30 years and quits. Within something like 5 years most of the damage has healed even though that person might live in a city where the pollution is bad. That's not optimal for lung tissue regrowth, but it still heals.

The antibody levels are nowhere near what they were before. My degree is in Biochemistry and I used to work in a lab doing immunoassays on patients with autoimmune disorders. The antibodies are always hanging around, even in minute amounts. Think of it like getting a vaccine. You have been more than innoculated against gluten and now you will make antibodies when your body gets a smidgeon of gluten. But the levels decrease over time, even with the occasional "oops."

If the thought of even a small bit of cellular damage is disturbing, remember this: every time you sleep your body is repairing all the cellular damage you suffered over the course of the day. It needs REM sleep and water (water being a component of most cellular reactions) to do this. So the best thing you can do for yourself is simple: rest, drink lots of water, and if your tummy feels up to it take your vitamins.

Did you know that your body is daily repairing cancer cells? Yes, cells who have "gone renegade" are constantly being "fixed" or destroyed by special enzymes and T-Cells. You don't know it, feel it, or even give it permission, but your body does all this stuff without you. It reminds me of David's Psalm where he says, "I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

I told you all that to comfort you. I hope I succeeded. We all try our best to do what's best for our bodies, but don't agonize over a mistake. I think that just brings you down emotionally. Be positive and realize that your diet in general is much more healthy than the average American, and you have probably increased your life expectancy by getting on a heathier diet. (My friend the nutritionist claims gluten sensitivity was the best thing that ever happened to her because it forced her and her family to eat healthfully.)

Hope that helps...

and just remember my favorite prayer: "Lord, please protect me from my own stupidity." I prayed that a lot for other things in my life, but it kind of applies to gluten mistakes, too. :)

Blessings,

~H Squared

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In response to how much is damaging to your intestine:

I would think there is two parts to that:

1) How much will make me feel bad (like a stomach ache/diarrhea/allergy response)

2) How much will damage my body?

I have not been gluten-free for long enough to have a severe response, I just get a prickly itch and stomach ache. Other Celiac friends I know get flu-like symptoms over even a small amount they accidentally ingested. However, that is nothing compared to the large amounts of gluten in a "regular" diet.

So here's my 2 cents:

1) Your body is sensitized to even a small amount, so you will feel really bad for a small "oops"

2) You will make antibodies for 4-6 weeks for even 1/8 of a teaspoon you ingest, however I would not freak out over that because for years your body was making those antibodies/other immune response to the gluten when you were eating much more. You will just feel it more now. Your body will heal faster than an "oops" will damage it.

Don't let it get you down. Your small intestine (and mine too, for that matter) are being repaired by your body. (I can't wait for my villi to regrow enough to have milk again!) Think of it like a smoker who smoked for 30 years and quits. Within something like 5 years most of the damage has healed even though that person might live in a city where the pollution is bad. That's not optimal for lung tissue regrowth, but it still heals.

The antibody levels are nowhere near what they were before. My degree is in Biochemistry and I used to work in a lab doing immunoassays on patients with autoimmune disorders. The antibodies are always hanging around, even in minute amounts. Think of it like getting a vaccine. You have been more than innoculated against gluten and now you will make antibodies when your body gets a smidgeon of gluten. But the levels decrease over time, even with the occasional "oops."

If the thought of even a small bit of cellular damage is disturbing, remember this: every time you sleep your body is repairing all the cellular damage you suffered over the course of the day. It needs REM sleep and water (water being a component of most cellular reactions) to do this. So the best thing you can do for yourself is simple: rest, drink lots of water, and if your tummy feels up to it take your vitamins.

Did you know that your body is daily repairing cancer cells? Yes, cells who have "gone renegade" are constantly being "fixed" or destroyed by special enzymes and T-Cells. You don't know it, feel it, or even give it permission, but your body does all this stuff without you. It reminds me of David's Psalm where he says, "I am fearfully and wonderfully made."

I told you all that to comfort you. I hope I succeeded. We all try our best to do what's best for our bodies, but don't agonize over a mistake. I think that just brings you down emotionally. Be positive and realize that your diet in general is much more healthy than the average American, and you have probably increased your life expectancy by getting on a heathier diet. (My friend the nutritionist claims gluten sensitivity was the best thing that ever happened to her because it forced her and her family to eat healthfully.)

Hope that helps...

and just remember my favorite prayer: "Lord, please protect me from my own stupidity." I prayed that a lot for other things in my life, but it kind of applies to gluten mistakes, too. :)

Blessings,

~H Squared

wow, I don't know about anyone else....but you have made me feel better. Last year at this time I wasn't able to be out of bed for more that a few minutes at a time, I was so weak. Here I am a year later feeling much stronger. Yet the times that I feel strange, or know that something is going on inside my belly, I still get sooo scared. But I'm sure its like you said, there is much repair work going on. Thank you for your post, it made my day :)

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No, it's a "depends" . . . guess maybe you're not that brain foggy :lol:

It' just an indication of how much gluten it took to cause damage (in that particular study). So it really depends on how much gluten was ingested. I would also say that many people on this forum will have gluten reactions to a fraction of what that study indicates. What I don't know, is if you have a reaction, does that automatically mean you have caused damage? I think some people would say yes. This FAQ "implies" NO (or at least, that was my interpretation).

Gotta agree....

There are quite a few people here who have permanent damage other than villi....

As to what is one gluten-too-far ... I'd say you can never tell.

It depends for instance how far you wanna include other things... for instance "deaths due to alcohol" more often than not includes traffic accidents... well I certainly think being glutened can contribute to a traffic accident ... The basic 'gut reaction' so to speak itself has caused me to do stupid things ... or pull over where I wouldn't usually ... lets face it noone is going to drive normal with poop running down their leg... :P

but that's just one side... I certainly act less rationally well glutened ... perhaps I'll get stabbed for being blunt to someone ??

But the extended stuff aside.... I view it like the risks from smoking... some of the effect is cumulative and other is per-incident.

Whereas it might take morn than one glutening to damage the villi beyond repair what about the thyroid or neurological damage...

Is a small CC really any less bad than eating a whole Pizza?

I honestly don't know and I'd GUESS in some ways yes and others not...

Bottom line is try not to take unnecessary risks but don't beat yourself up if you make a mistake.

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H squared/momof5, et alia

Thanks so much! When I google a gluten question, this forum is where I've found almost all my info. And now getting a personal response, whew, not so alone with this!

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Great articulate post. You made more than one person feel better today (me). I, too, can't wait until I can have dairy again. I'm finding that way harder than staying off gluten.

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@Alaskaguy With regard to the timing, I think that everyone is a bit different! I used to have a shorter time to onset when I was first diagnosed (within 24h). As time has gone on, and I've glutened myself less and less, I have noticed that the time gets a bit longer.  Recent history seems to matter a bit too - if I've been glutened recently and then get glutened again, the rash will show up faster on the second round. For example, in the last 3 weeks I got slightly glutened by inadvertent
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