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jasonD2

Is gluten-free Rice Chex Actually gluten-free?

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I haven't had any reaction to any of the newly gluten-free Chex cereals, per se. I DID have a box of the Honey Nut variety that had 2 smaller, darker Chex in it. I hemmed and hawed around about eating them and/or the remainder of the bowl but eventually decided they were just a bit over-browned, over-cooked and ate them anyway.

STUPID, STUPID, STUPID!

I reacted badly to that bowl and felt absolutely MISERABLE for 4 or 5 days. I made a point of looking at the Wheat Chex box the next time I made a trip to the grocery and the photo of them matched, perfectly, to what I saw in my bowl that morning. How 2 Wheat Chex made it into my box of Honey Nut Chex is anybody's guess but I'll tell you that I check out EVERY spoonful before it goes in my mouth now!

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This is a small community. A suggestion can quickly turn into, "Oh, I don't eat those because they have an issue with cross-contamination." It happens. I've been at this for less than five years and I've seen it over and over. Even Kinnikinnick has been accused of it! Now, General Mills can take that hit. If gluten-free cereals don't pay off for them, they'll drop them and continue on. I don't think these smaller companies can do that. People stand to lose everything over mere suggestions.

Like I said, I'm not picking at you. I pretty much jump in to each post like this to say this same stuff. I absolutely believe you had trouble with them and may not be able to enjoy them. And that stinks. It's tough because they don't cost and arm and leg and they're easy to find. But our digestive systems are just different, I suppose. <_<

"People stand to lose everythig over mere suggestions" What are you talking about? Do you think they will punish people for suggesting that there's a possiblity of cross contamination? I mean, Do you think they will say "Well man, we were trying to help but you spoiled everything with your complaints"? Come on, they are a company who will try to SATISFY their customers' concerns. I think it'd be pretty inmature if they dealt with a complaint in that way, well I guess if I had a company I wouldn't act like that. Besides, not suggesting that something MIGHT be wrong is like being part of the problem and not part of the solution.

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This absolutely boils down to personal risk tolerance. After getting a massive glutening first time I ate the new Rice Chex, I wrote General Mills and inquired about their use of shared facility and equipment use. Sure enough, all Chex are made on the same equipment and "cleaning procedures" are applied to protect against cross contamination. Interestingly, their new Betty Crocker stuff is made on dedicated equipment and I have no issues with that.

I am one of those who reacts to trace amounts of Gluten so I personally find it much easier to just avoid foods that are made in shared facilities and on shared equipment. No "procedure" in the world will guarantee absolute perfection - every single cleaning - and therefore give you absolute protection against cross contamination.

After having owned my own restaurant for years, I take a tougher view on food companies when they make claims. If you are going to try to make money on your "Gluten Free" claims, you better be prepared to back that up. Or don't make the claim. No one is forcing them to try and make a few extra bucks off the Celiac community.

For example, in the case of Chex, General Mills is more than happy to make big marketing claims about new Gluten Free cereals. However, upon writing their customer service team for more details on possible cross contamination, I got the following response:

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I was ecstatic to see the Gluten-Free claim all over Rice Chex and Corn Chex in the cereal aisle three weeks ago. I immediately bought a box of each, and have been eating a bowl of either one each a.m. (usually Rice Chex) with Lactaid (I always use Lactaid with any cereal I eat). I immediately began having G.I. Symptoms (bloating, gas, diarrhea), but it was intermittent and there was NOTHING in my diet that had been changed. And, I was assured by the Gluten-Free claim on the boxes of Chex. So, I thought maybe I was getting sick or something.

Over the past three weeks, I have steadily gone way downhill. I am now in full-blown Celiac symptom mode with bloating, constant terrible diarrhea, gas, and extreme fatigue. I have re-contacted all pharmaceutical mfrs for any changes in fillers, and have come up empty. The only change to my diet over the past 3 weeks has been the Chex. I'm disappointed, but I can't see any other source as the cause!

I feel badly, because I really appreciate that General Mills is trying to accommodate Celiacs. But, I feel like they need to do something to double-check contamination issues or gluten-levels in whatever they are using in these cereals (both Corn Chex & Rice Chex are the ones I have been eating). I have noted other strings on Celiac.com where others are experiencing problems as well.

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That's very unfortunate. I'd definately stop eating Chex if I was you.

I've been eating Rice Chex for a long time now, long before they were labeled gluten-free (they didn't have to change any ingredients for that one). And the Corn Chex since they went gluten-free. Never had a big problem with any of the gluten-free varieties. All they had to do is replace the malt syrup with brown sugar. Malt syrup was a fairly minor ingredient anyway, sugar being the main contributor, so it really wasn't that big a deal for them.

The four Betty Crocker gluten-free products are made in Canada, I'll bet by a contracted company (probably a health food company). It wouldn't have to be too big of a facility compared to the chex manufacturing ones. Gluten-free cake and cookie mixes are nowhere near as difficult to formulate as cereal. All they do is mix some ingredients and put them into a box. Cereals are manufactured using a difficult process utilizing high pressure, high temperature extrusion. I once worked at Frito Lay as an extruder operator (among other things such as research lab tech). Cereals and many chips are made basically the same way.

If you've ever tasted the health food store gluten-free cereals you know what I mean. They are absolutely terrible compared to mainstream products such as Chex. It takes millions of $'s and years of research and development to perfect these processes. Only the big boys can afford that kind of commitment.

Of course there are always going to be a tiny percentage of people with extreme intolerances who can't abide highly processed food products or those with more than 2 or 3 ingredients. The belief that any product not made in a completely gluten-free facility is automatically cross contaminated is a misplaced one IMO. Not that there couldn't be CC, of course there could. But it's simply not logical to think every box is. CC, if there is any, is a variable, not a constant.

best regards, lm

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I was ecstatic to see the Gluten-Free claim on Rice Chex and Corn Chex in the cereal aisle three weeks ago. I immediately bought a box of each, and have been eating a bowl of either one each a.m. (usually Rice Chex) with Lactaid (I always use Lactaid with any cereal I eat). I immediately began having G.I. Symptoms (bloating, gas, diarrhea), but it was intermittent and there was NOTHING in my diet that had been changed. And, I was assured by the Gluten-Free claim on the boxes of Chex. So, I thought maybe I was getting sick or something.

Over the past three weeks, I have steadily gone way downhill. I am now in full-blown Celiac symptom mode with bloating, frequent and urgent terrible diarrhea, gas, and extreme fatigue. I haven't had a normal bowel movement in over a week. I have re-contacted all pharmaceutical mfrs for any changes in fillers, and have come up empty. The only change to my diet over the past 3 weeks has been the Chex. I'm disappointed, but I can't see any other source as the cause!

I feel badly, because I really appreciate that General Mills is trying to accommodate Celiacs. This was such an appreciated and welcome development, that I hate to complain, but I am at a loss for any other explanation.

I called General Mills and they were very sympathetic but very emphatic that the Chex cereals that I have eaten (Rice Chex and Corn Chex) are indeed gluten free and are produced ENTIRELY on dedicated lines with dedicated equipment. I expected GM to perhaps be a little evasive, but the customer rep was very very willing to state that indeed, the cereal is truly truly Gluten Free. With that being said, I have now eliminated the Chex from my diet again, ... it's been 4 days, and I am finally feeling better. I really am perplexed. I absolutely WANT to be able to eat a regularly-priced, good tasting, mainstream cereal. They HAVE my business 100%, but I guess I can't go there right now, because it really seems like they made me sick. I want this product to be a success, but I can't help wanting to take that cereal to a lab and get it tested for gluten levels. Not to say "GOTCHA", but rather, to try to figure out whether there really is a problem, if I'm crazy, or if there is some ingredient or equipment problem that could be to blame in the boxes that I have purchased.

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I wonder if other grains in the US besides oats have the same cross contamination issues that exist with oats. Oats are not safe because they are stored in the same silos and are grown in rotation with wheat. I've pretty much taken it for granted that oats are the only gluten free grain that has this problem. But perhaps it is more widespread than I know.

Are main stream corn and rice stored in the same silos as wheat? Anybody from Farm Country who could speak to general mainstream farming practices for corn and rice in the US?

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We've just tried the new chocolate flavored Rice Chex. These are great.

My DD16 was complaining that I always give her some time of chip in her lunch and her friend started eating the bag of choc chex that I had packed and told her to shut up because they were sooo good. :D

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I just wanted to add my two cents to this discussion. I frequently eat Rice Chex and sometimes don't feel all that well afterwards. My theory is that I'm actually reacting to the preservative BHT. I'm definitely sensitive to other preservitives (such as sulfies) and the concentration of BHT is very variable as it's added to the packaging, so it probably wouldn't be a consistent issue.

Another interesting thing to note is that I tried the individual serving size cups a few times and had a much more severe reaction each time. It's very possible that there's a much higher concentration of BHT in the single size cups due to the packaging differences. Of course it's also possible that there's some cross contamination issue with the machinery that packages the cups, but I get the impression that General Mills takes the gluten free thing pretty seriously.

Just as a general comment, I find the expansion of gluten free products from the big food companies to be a bit of a mixed blessing. Some items are great, but more and more gluten free products contain the same crap as "regular" food such as MSG, colors, preservatives, massive amounts of sugar, etc.

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.......Just as a general comment, I find the expansion of gluten free products from the big food companies to be a bit of a mixed blessing. Some items are great, but more and more gluten free products contain the same crap as "regular" food such as MSG, colors, preservatives, massive amounts of sugar, etc.

With all due respect TL, I'm not on this diet to get healthy, as a normal person would by eating "health food". I just can't have gluten. I'm more than happy to get some "regular" food, sans gluten. I'll gladly take all the MSG, colors, preservatives, and sugar, etc. I can get, just to be able to eat a good tasting product once in a while.

BTW, all that stuff is in there for a reason. Makes it taste better, look better, have better properties, and last longer. :D

best regards, lm

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The odd thing is I ate some for the first time yesterday and didn't have a reaction. Then I  had some again today and within a few hours a headache started, that eventually turned into a migraine where I later puked, sweated, chilled & felt the room spin. Which is how I react to gluten. This is the only new thing in my diet so I have to Assume that's what it is, but I'm confused as to how I didn't have a reaction the day before ? 

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    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 06/19/2018 - Could baking soda help reduce the inflammation and damage caused by autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, and celiac disease? Scientists at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University say that a daily dose of baking soda may in fact help reduce inflammation and damage caused by autoimmune diseases like rheumatoid arthritis, and celiac disease.
    Those scientists recently gathered some of the first evidence to show that cheap, over-the-counter antacids can prompt the spleen to promote an anti-inflammatory environment that could be helpful in combating inflammatory disease.
    A type of cell called mesothelial cells line our body cavities, like the digestive tract. They have little fingers, called microvilli, that sense the environment, and warn the organs they cover that there is an invader and an immune response is needed.
    The team’s data shows that when rats or healthy people drink a solution of baking soda, the stomach makes more acid, which causes mesothelial cells on the outside of the spleen to tell the spleen to go easy on the immune response.  "It's most likely a hamburger not a bacterial infection," is basically the message, says Dr. Paul O'Connor, renal physiologist in the MCG Department of Physiology at Augusta University and the study's corresponding author.
    That message, which is transmitted with help from a chemical messenger called acetylcholine, seems to encourage the gut to shift against inflammation, say the scientists.
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    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 06/18/2018 - Celiac disease has been mainly associated with Caucasian populations in Northern Europe, and their descendants in other countries, but new scientific evidence is beginning to challenge that view. Still, the exact global prevalence of celiac disease remains unknown.  To get better data on that issue, a team of researchers recently conducted a comprehensive review and meta-analysis to get a reasonably accurate estimate the global prevalence of celiac disease. 
    The research team included P Singh, A Arora, TA Strand, DA Leffler, C Catassi, PH Green, CP Kelly, V Ahuja, and GK Makharia. They are variously affiliated with the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts; Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi, India; Innlandet Hospital Trust, Lillehammer, Norway; Centre for International Health, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway; Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts; Gastroenterology Research and Development, Takeda Pharmaceuticals Inc, Cambridge, MA; Department of Pediatrics, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, Italy; Department of Medicine, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, New York; USA Celiac Disease Center, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, New York; and the Department of Gastroenterology and Human Nutrition, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.
    For their review, the team searched Medline, PubMed, and EMBASE for the keywords ‘celiac disease,’ ‘celiac,’ ‘tissue transglutaminase antibody,’ ‘anti-endomysium antibody,’ ‘endomysial antibody,’ and ‘prevalence’ for studies published from January 1991 through March 2016. 
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    Overall global prevalence of celiac disease was 1.4% in 275,818 individuals, based on positive blood tests for anti-tissue transglutaminase and/or anti-endomysial antibodies. The pooled global prevalence of biopsy-confirmed celiac disease was 0.7% in 138,792 individuals. That means that numerous people with celiac disease potentially remain undiagnosed.
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    Celiac.com 06/15/2018 - There seems to be widespread agreement in the published medical research reports that stuttering is driven by abnormalities in the brain. Sometimes these are the result of brain injuries resulting from a stroke. Other types of brain injuries can also result in stuttering. Patients with Parkinson’s disease who were treated with stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus, an area of the brain that regulates some motor functions, experienced a return or worsening of stuttering that improved when the stimulation was turned off (1). Similarly, stroke has also been reported in association with acquired stuttering (2). While there are some reports of psychological mechanisms underlying stuttering, a majority of reports seem to favor altered brain morphology and/or function as the root of stuttering (3). Reports of structural differences between the brain hemispheres that are absent in those who do not stutter are also common (4). About 5% of children stutter, beginning sometime around age 3, during the phase of speech acquisition. However, about 75% of these cases resolve without intervention, before reaching their teens (5). Some cases of aphasia, a loss of speech production or understanding, have been reported in association with damage or changes to one or more of the language centers of the brain (6). Stuttering may sometimes arise from changes or damage to these same language centers (7). Thus, many stutterers have abnormalities in the same regions of the brain similar to those seen in aphasia.
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    Whatever the reason that stuttering has not been reported in the medical literature in association with gluten ingestion, a number of personal disclosures and comments suggesting a connection between gluten and stuttering can be found on the Internet. Abid Hussain, in an article about food allergy and stuttering said: “The most common food allergy prevalent in stutterers is that of gluten which has been found to aggravate the stutter” (10). Similarly, Craig Forsythe posted an article that includes five cases of self-reporting individuals who believe that their stuttering is or was connected to gluten, one of whom also experiences stuttering from foods containing yeast (11). The same site contains one report of a stutterer who has had no relief despite following a gluten free diet for 20 years (11). Another stutterer, Jay88, reports the complete disappearance of her/his stammer on a gluten free diet (12). Doubtless there are many more such anecdotes to be found on the Internet* but we have to question them, exercising more skepticism than we might when reading similar claims in a peer reviewed scientific or medical journal.
    There are many reports in such journals connecting brain and neurological ailments with gluten, so it is not much of a stretch, on that basis alone, to suspect that stuttering may be a symptom of the gluten syndrome. Rodney Ford has even characterized celiac disease as an ailment that may begin through gluten-induced neurological damage (13) and Marios Hadjivassiliou and his group of neurologists and neurological investigators have devoted considerable time and effort to research that reveals gluten as an important factor in a majority of neurological diseases of unknown origin (14) which, as I have pointed out previously, includes most neurological ailments.
    My own experience with stuttering is limited. I stuttered as a child when I became nervous, upset, or self-conscious. Although I have been gluten free for many years, I haven’t noticed any impact on my inclination to stutter when upset. I don’t know if they are related, but I have also had challenges with speaking when distressed and I have noticed a substantial improvement in this area since removing gluten from my diet. Nonetheless, I have long wondered if there is a connection between gluten consumption and stuttering. Having done the research for this article, I would now encourage stutterers to try a gluten free diet for six months to see if it will reduce or eliminate their stutter. Meanwhile, I hope that some investigator out there will research this matter, publish her findings, and start the ball rolling toward getting some definitive answers to this question.
    Sources:
    1. Toft M, Dietrichs E. Aggravated stuttering following subthalamic deep brain stimulation in Parkinson’s disease--two cases. BMC Neurol. 2011 Apr 8;11:44.
    2. Tani T, Sakai Y. Stuttering after right cerebellar infarction: a case study. J Fluency Disord. 2010 Jun;35(2):141-5. Epub 2010 Mar 15.
    3. Lundgren K, Helm-Estabrooks N, Klein R. Stuttering Following Acquired Brain Damage: A Review of the Literature. J Neurolinguistics. 2010 Sep 1;23(5):447-454.
    4. Jäncke L, Hänggi J, Steinmetz H. Morphological brain differences between adult stutterers and non-stutterers. BMC Neurol. 2004 Dec 10;4(1):23.
    5. Kell CA, Neumann K, von Kriegstein K, Posenenske C, von Gudenberg AW, Euler H, Giraud AL. How the brain repairs stuttering. Brain. 2009 Oct;132(Pt 10):2747-60. Epub 2009 Aug 26.
    6. Galantucci S, Tartaglia MC, Wilson SM, Henry ML, Filippi M, Agosta F, Dronkers NF, Henry RG, Ogar JM, Miller BL, Gorno-Tempini ML. White matter damage in primary progressive aphasias: a diffusion tensor tractography study. Brain. 2011 Jun 11.
    7. Lundgren K, Helm-Estabrooks N, Klein R. Stuttering Following Acquired Brain Damage: A Review of the Literature. J Neurolinguistics. 2010 Sep 1;23(5):447-454.
    8. [No authors listed] Case records of the Massachusetts General Hospital. Weekly clinicopathological exercises. Case 43-1988. A 52-year-old man with persistent watery diarrhea and aphasia. N Engl J Med. 1988 Oct 27;319(17):1139-48
    9. Molteni N, Bardella MT, Baldassarri AR, Bianchi PA. Celiac disease associated with epilepsy and intracranial calcifications: report of two patients. Am J Gastroenterol. 1988 Sep;83(9):992-4.
    10. http://ezinearticles.com/?Food-Allergy-and-Stuttering-Link&id=1235725 
    11. http://www.craig.copperleife.com/health/stuttering_allergies.htm 
    12. https://www.celiac.com/forums/topic/73362-any-help-is-appreciated/
    13. Ford RP. The gluten syndrome: a neurological disease. Med Hypotheses. 2009 Sep;73(3):438-40. Epub 2009 Apr 29.
    14. Hadjivassiliou M, Gibson A, Davies-Jones GA, Lobo AJ, Stephenson TJ, Milford-Ward A. Does cryptic gluten sensitivity play a part in neurological illness? Lancet. 1996 Feb 10;347(8998):369-71.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 06/14/2018 - Refractory celiac disease type II (RCDII) is a rare complication of celiac disease that has high death rates. To diagnose RCDII, doctors identify a clonal population of phenotypically aberrant intraepithelial lymphocytes (IELs). 
    However, researchers really don’t have much data regarding the frequency and significance of clonal T cell receptor (TCR) gene rearrangements (TCR-GRs) in small bowel (SB) biopsies of patients without RCDII. Such data could provide useful comparison information for patients with RCDII, among other things.
    To that end, a research team recently set out to try to get some information about the frequency and importance of clonal T cell receptor (TCR) gene rearrangements (TCR-GRs) in small bowel (SB) biopsies of patients without RCDII. The research team included Shafinaz Hussein, Tatyana Gindin, Stephen M Lagana, Carolina Arguelles-Grande, Suneeta Krishnareddy, Bachir Alobeid, Suzanne K Lewis, Mahesh M Mansukhani, Peter H R Green, and Govind Bhagat.
    They are variously affiliated with the Department of Pathology and Cell Biology, and the Department of Medicine at the Celiac Disease Center, New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, New York, USA. Their team analyzed results of TCR-GR analyses performed on SB biopsies at our institution over a 3-year period, which were obtained from eight active celiac disease, 172 celiac disease on gluten-free diet, 33 RCDI, and three RCDII patients and 14 patients without celiac disease. 
    Clonal TCR-GRs are not infrequent in cases lacking features of RCDII, while PCPs are frequent in all disease phases. TCR-GR results should be assessed in conjunction with immunophenotypic, histological and clinical findings for appropriate diagnosis and classification of RCD.
    The team divided the TCR-GR patterns into clonal, polyclonal and prominent clonal peaks (PCPs), and correlated these patterns with clinical and pathological features. In all, they detected clonal TCR-GR products in biopsies from 67% of patients with RCDII, 17% of patients with RCDI and 6% of patients with gluten-free diet. They found PCPs in all disease phases, but saw no significant difference in the TCR-GR patterns between the non-RCDII disease categories (p=0.39). 
    They also noted a higher frequency of surface CD3(−) IELs in cases with clonal TCR-GR, but the PCP pattern showed no associations with any clinical or pathological feature. 
    Repeat biopsy showed that the clonal or PCP pattern persisted for up to 2 years with no evidence of RCDII. The study indicates that better understanding of clonal T cell receptor gene rearrangements may help researchers improve refractory celiac diagnosis. 
    Source:
    Journal of Clinical Pathologyhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jclinpath-2018-205023

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    • I think what is going on for a lot of people experiencing being glutened by vapours is that they are perhaps mis-attributing the experience to the vapour, when in fact they were glutened by other means (swallowing airborne flour particles, splatter, touching contaminated surfaces). Proteins (eg. gluten) are heavy, and cannot evaporate or be suspended in water droplets that have evaporated.  I have worked for many years in different lab settings working with dangerous chemicals and biohazardous materials (human/animal tissue and bodily fluids). You should see what I am legally required to wear when handling materials that are merely hazardous by ingestion or particulate/droplet inhalation! I have to wear gloves, a mask and two layers of protective clothing. I am not allowed to bring food or water into the same room at all, and must remove all clothing/protective equipment before leaving the experiment room. Why all this? Because humans are really, really bad at touching contaminated surfaces and then touching their faces. This is how you get most of the colds, flus, and stomach viruses you've had in your life. You touched something bad, and touched your face! We wipe stuff on our clothes. Droplets or powders fly up into our faces when we handle stuff, cut, and mix stuff, and we don't notice unless it's "a lot." But we can get sick from much less than "a lot," whether that's gluten or some noxious chemical/pathogen.  I live in a shared kitchen, and I do not go in there when my roommate is cooking. If I'm thirsty, that's too bad, I'll wait. I do no leave anything (food, clean dishes) out unless I am physically present in the kitchen or home alone. I do not prepare food until I have wiped down all surfaces (handles, taps, counter) that I will interact with while preparing my food. I do not allow flour in my kitchen, and do not go into bakeries etc. Before I adopted these policies, I used to get sick a fair bit on a random basis. Now, I am confident that food I prepare in my own shared kitchen is fine, regardless of what my roommates might cook.
    • Nice!  Thanks so much for sharing.  😊
    • "I've been there and still might have celiac disease." If you really DID have celiac disease? You still have it, and always will. There is no evidence that the underlying problems (autoimmune failure, leaky gut, etc.) ever can heal themselves, or be healed, beyond the random miracle cure at Lourdes.  There is, as best I've been able to find, absolutely no one out there who can say why sometimes an infant will be diagnosed with celiac, which then "goes away" for thirty or forty years, and then comes back with a vengeance. Indicating the underlying problems were there all along--and may have been causing all sorts of damage for all the years.  Think carefully about that. Celiac is like radiation poisoning: Every exposure adds up, over your whole lifetime, and pushes your autoimmune system further out of control. Even if it seems fine at the time.
    • Wow. My older daughter, who is eating gluten-free these days, came to celebrate Father's Day last Sunday. We cooked our traditional pancake breakfast and she brought with her Walmart's Great Value Gluten-free Pancake and Waffle Mix. It was delicious! So happy to see (and taste) so much flavor improvement over the last 10 years for the gluten-free crowd! Here is a link to this mix:
      http://bit.ly/2tnQrzB   Cheers,
      Travis Hiland  
    • Thanks for looking and responding. Hopefully can get in to see a gastroenterologist soon. Will have to wait for regular dr to come back first. Thanks again! 
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