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StrongLikeBull

Time For New Job? And Other Questions

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Hello all,

Over the past 6 months or so, I was slammed with a bunch of symptoms, seemingly out of nowhere. Digestive, cognitive, visual, I mean, it was getting ridiculous. But after thousands of dollars in doctor bills and no answers, I think I finally may be on to something. I recenlty took the Enterolab test for gluten sensitivity and it came back positive. I've been on a gluten-free diet for about a month now. However, I'm wonder if I'm being "glutened" from my job.

I work at a bread bakery. The irony :D! There's wheat/rye flour all over the place. I'm wondering if touching/ breathing it is going to hinder the recovery process. I try to wear a particle mask and gloves when mixing the dough. This seems to be the most symptom-inducing part of the bread making process. If I don't take these precautions, my sinuses and lungs really pay for it. Kneading and baking the dough don't seem to cause any severe reactions. I don't wear the mask when doing those.

I'm just wondering if diet alone will be enough.

My tests also showed that I'm sensitive to casein. How important is this to recovery? Would it have separate symptoms from gluten or would the symptoms be intertwined (e.g can you get rid of symptom "x" without eliminating both)?

How exactly does a gluten "slip up" affect your body? Does it set healing back a week or something like that?

I've already seen some symptoms diminish since eating gluten free, but to make a full recovery, should I start paging through the want ads?

Any insight is welcome :).

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Contemplating a possible career change because of a health issue is a REALLY HARD decision to make, especially if you love your career. I had to make that decision years ago after having carpel tunnel surgery on both hands as a Dental Hygienist. It probably was related to Celiac and Hypothyroid, though no medical person at the time associated it with either of those, since no one thought of either disease as a diagnosis. Anyway, I did eventually change to teaching. As for the gluten and casein combination...yes, symptoms can overlap. I have found that I need to eliminate all dairy [it seems to be more than just lactose intolerance] in everything I eat along with the gluten. I seldom get sick from mistakes anymore. But when I do, it can be anywhere from mild symptoms, only lasting a day or two, to a sever reaction, lasting over a week or more. At it's worst, I find the best thing to do is to stop eating solid food for a couple of days, and only consume liquids. The liquids seem to give the intestines a chance to rest and heal. I follow this for a day or two with white rice and applesauce. Then, I gently go back to a regular diet. Hope this helps you.

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I would consider trying wearing the mask the whole day, and make sure to isolate your clothing and shower (before going home, if possible).

Flour is going to be in the air (and settle in your nasal passages and mouth when you talk) and will stick on your clothing (unless you're in a bunny suit, but I expect they don't treat it like a clean room ;) ) and on your skin.

Impossible to do? No. But I'd treat it like you were working in a hazardous biology lab - very strict precautions.

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I worked as a chef for years. Thank God I'm retired now, because there's no way I could work in a restaurant kitchen where any flour was involved - and most of the good ones do in-house baking. I don't know what I'd do if I was younger and had to work, but I suspect a carreer change would be in order! Hope you figure this one out.

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Thanks for the responses guys.

It's bit of a tough decision, but I'm already looking for other jobs and considering going back to school. It's gonna be rough in this economy, but we'll see what happens. I'm almost positive that I need to get out of that wheat-swamped environment before I can make any real advances in good health.

Man, it is amazing how suddenly your life can change. A few weeks ago my girlfriend and I were talking about opening a European-style bakery of our own. I suppose I'll have to reconsider this as well :(. Ah well, much to think about. Thanks again for the advice.

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Man, it is amazing how suddenly your life can change. A few weeks ago my girlfriend and I were talking about opening a European-style bakery of our own. I suppose I'll have to reconsider this as well :(. Ah well, much to think about. Thanks again for the advice.

Depending on your area, you might find success opening a gluten-free bakery of your own. :)

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Depending on your area, you might find success opening a gluten-free bakery of your own. :)

Yeah I've been thinking about that :). Though I don't know how successful these tend to be. Definitely worth looking into though.

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Yeah I've been thinking about that :). Though I don't know how successful these tend to be. Definitely worth looking into though.

Even if it isn't really popular at first if you do open one an internet site would help increase your sales. One thing you could do is check and see if any of your local health food stores or grocery stores would be interested in carrying your products. You could also consider making some gluten free take and bake items, things like pizzas, soups, casseroles etc might increase sales and make you the place to stop for those who need the diet and don't want to go to restaurants.

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