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elle's mom

Car/motion Sickness Vs. A "glutening"

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Hello everyone, I am hoping to get some insight once again as to what is up with my dd (the one officially dx'd with celiac).

There have been 3 times now where we've gone on long road trips (4-8 hours, with stops built in of course) that she has gotten sick on the way home (actually vomitted twice, but told me she felt like she had to once). I would not be confused about this, but the part I cannot figure out is that it only happens on the way HOME, not on the way wherever we are going.

Most recently we packed about 98% of our food for the entire two day trip. We did have one "special" restaurant night the evening before leaving to come home. The meal was about 20 hours prior to the indcident in the vehicle. She had plain baked whitefish, which did look like it had some seasoning on it, but the waiter assured me it WAS gluten free, steamed carrots & brocolli, and plain white rice. They even had us fill out a little card for diners with special dietary requirements, it seemed as though they were very knowledgable about gluten-free and very accommodating to us. I really was not worried about gluten.

The previous time was the same type of timeline, the evening before meal was at my sisters which we bought the food and prepared it at her house. The only thing that could've POSSIBLY caused cc was baking on a stone cookie sheet which may/may not have previously been used for gluten food.

The first time: same timeline between the suspect meal and the incident, which was also at a restaurant.....very busy Saturday evening, we were brought the wrong (gluten) food at first, had to send it back, felt confident at the time that it was correct, then let her eat it, but afterward had serious doubts. Can't remember all the details of this one as it was almost a year ago now.

After that first episode, I was pretty sure she had gotten glutened at the restaurant. After the second time, I was stumped because I highly doubted a glutening. Now, after this third time, I still doubt gluten and am leaning more toward car sickness to blame for all three times!

But WHY would she only get car sick SOMETIMES and not others? After vomitting she feels completely better. She rides in the back back of our minivan so this could contribute to motion sickness. She does get upset/sad when we have to depart from special trips as in all the above cases, whereas on the way TO these places, she's excited, could this contribute? Do any of YOU get car sick (because I don't really) OR do her symptoms sound more like a glutening to you? What about the 20 hour after a meal timeline, is this consistent with gluten vomitting or no? Also, it has happened about 2-3 hours into the drive twice, but the time when she didn't but almost did wasn't until after eight hours of driving. Are there questions I could ask her to help me decipher between the two causes?

The other thing is that she doesn't normally vomit, even when sick with other illnesses. Although we are very careful about gluten and our house is mostly gluten-free now, we have had occasional meals at restaurants and I cannot be sure she has never gotten gluten other times then or at home, but she has never showed outwardly signs of a glutening, I always wonder how I would know with her. It just seems to coincidental that this has only happened in the vehicle on the way home...........any thoughts?

Also, if it is motion sickness, what can you recommend that she take that is gluten-free?

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A stone cookie sheet is definitely going to carry some gluten from whatever was on it before your food, so unless it was the first time they used it, there was some cross contamination there. I'm one of those people who gets symptoms even with tiny amounts of gluten and I have to have all dedicated cookware. Metal and plastic cookware are really bad about holding gluten in them so I have all dedicated stuff for that. I don't find that I get sick from ceramic plates and metal utensils. Glass baking dishes are pretty bad too. I have a separate blender pitcher and occasionally I mix them up and I can always tell afterward. I haven't tried a stone cookie sheet since I went gluten free, but I had one before and you could tell it absorbed everything. It had oil spots, chocolate spots, food coloring spots. I know it has to absorb gluten.

As for the restaurant, I get glutened at restaurants about 50% of the time and that's after telling them all about my allergies and them assuring me it was gluten free. There's just so much going on back there and a lot of food being moved around quickly and cooks that aren't very knowledgeable about how to prepare gluten free food (one person posted that the cook where they went used the same pan and oil saying that the heat "killed" the gluten!). I eat out very infrequently and expect to feel sick the next day.

As for why she gets carsick on the way home, it could be the gluten, but it could also be just having food in her stomach. I'm assuming that you ate when you were out, maybe that's not the case. I used to get carsick all the time before going gluten free and for me it was having an empty stomach that was the trigger, but some people are different and only get sick when their stomachs are full. Maybe tiredness is a trigger?

I hope this helps! :-)

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That's too bad that your daughter is having these reactions; I hope you figure it all out and that she feels better soon!

As for me, I used to get car sick as a kid all the time, whether I had eaten just before getting in the car or not! My trigger was just riding in the back seat. I used to roll the window down on long trips and stick my face out; it was the only way to prevent disaster! :P

I still have some problems with motion sickness to this day....I don't know if this has anything to do with celiac disease. Maybe some people just get car sick?

But, you said your daughter doesn't always get car sick....so maybe it is cross-contamination. I tossed out all my old stoneware baking dishes because of gluten contamination.

With regards to your timeline question, when I react to gluten, it's usually about 12 - 48 hours after a glutening. But everyone's different....some people react MUCH more quickly than others, within minutes, or an hour or so at most.

Good luck with everything!

JoAnn

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We have one son that frequently became sick on road trips and felt better very shortly afterward...this happens less and less as he grows older (14).

For many years we used bonine (not sure if gluten-free) and then we were able to control with "sea-bands" - wrist bands available at any drug store that have a little button that sits on the inside of the wrist pressure point to prevent nausea.

If the cause is gluten while traveling, the sea-bands may help stop the vomiting.

Oh...we had a small cooler/lunch box that traveled at ds's feet for years - seemed to help him to know if he got sick he could grab it.

Good Luck!

-Lisa

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I still occasionally get motion sickness - and not just in cars. It's worse if I'm not watching where we're going (reading in the car... UGH!). It's really not consistent when I'll get it and when I won't (but if my blood sugar is low, it's definitely worse). Has she ever gotten car sick when you were confident it wasn't gluten?

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We have one son that frequently became sick on road trips and felt better very shortly afterward...this happens less and less as he grows older (14).

For many years we used bonine (not sure if gluten-free) and then we were able to control with "sea-bands" - wrist bands available at any drug store that have a little button that sits on the inside of the wrist pressure point to prevent nausea.

If the cause is gluten while traveling, the sea-bands may help stop the vomiting.

Oh...we had a small cooler/lunch box that traveled at ds's feet for years - seemed to help him to know if he got sick he could grab it.

Good Luck!

-Lisa

I will look up the bonine as far as the possibility of it being gluten-free. Yes, thankfully we used a grocery bag, of all things, for her this most recent time and avoided a mess. The time before this, when she actually did not vomit, she had her face stuck in our gluten-free snack lunchbox (emptied out of course)....but the first time was a DISASTER! I was alone with three kids (all in carseats) in a dark unfamiliar area in winter!! NEVER do I want to relive that one! Not smart of me to travel with the kids without hubby I guess, but I wanted to go see my sister's new baby & he HAD to go HUNTING!! (Don't get me started).

I hate to say this, but I just don't know if she's that sensitive to cc because her bloodwork was recently fine even though we never got new cookware (due to my ignorance until I discovered this site). But I figure since her levels were down to normal it must be OK, so I don't know if the time at my sister's could really have been from the stone baking sheet.

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Has she ever gotten car sick when you were confident it wasn't gluten?

No, unfortunately (?-well actually FORTUNATELY), she has not. But I don't feel like I'm EVER 100% confident that she couldn't have gotten glutened somehow after reading some things on here!

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We have one son that frequently became sick on road trips and felt better very shortly afterward...this happens less and less as he grows older (14).

Have any of you who have vomitted from getting glutened ever experienced feeling completely or much better right afterward? (Like within two minutes)

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My youngest child has a tendency to get carsick, but it is hit or miss. We drive over the mountains on a very curvy road to go to my MIL house and he usually will get sick either on the way there or on the way home. He even has made the trip without getting sick. It seems to be worse when he is too warm and going up and down hills and on curvy roads at a faster speed. We did make it up to Pa some 550+ miles over very mountainous roads in July and he didn't get sick. So here's hoping. I would get car sick alot when I was little. If the trip was more than an hour long I would hurl every time. My parents gave me dramamine and it helped. I have given it to my son also. I don't know if it is gluten free or not but I do know it is an antihistimine and it make you really sleepy.

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I hate to say this, but I just don't know if she's that sensitive to cc because her bloodwork was recently fine even though we never got new cookware (due to my ignorance until I discovered this site). But I figure since her levels were down to normal it must be OK, so I don't know if the time at my sister's could really have been from the stone baking sheet.

This means you are doing a great job of keeping her gluten free. It doesn't mean that she can't get CC's somehow. I know this is a tough one, but when I travel, I take my own pan. It's the only way I don't get sick.

My oldest son, my youngest, and myself have all been victims of car sickness. My mom said I used to have a big problem as a toddler, my son was the worst when he started school and rode the school bus, especially the country roads and chatter bumps. My daughter didn't mention it until a few years back. She definitely needs to be gluten free...now, I know my worst problem was while eating gluten. I do not get carsick anymore, of course, I never, ever ride in the back seat.

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My daughter (who has Celiac) is the one that used to get car sick on long trips (before she was diagnosed). She never threw up but I could tell she wasn't feeling well. She seemed to do best with eating/nibbling a little something kind of steady through the long trips. When we would stop to eat, though, she wasn't hungry. Putting it together after the fact, I don't think she could handle (wanted) a full stomach, but needed a little something in there to give her stomach something to work on. As she has gotten older (she's 8 now), it rarely happens.

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