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Imanistj

Trying To Understand Cc Danger.

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I am trying to figure out CC if we really can never be totally gluten-free. I have read, and I agree with the idea, that no matter how careful we are, we are going to encounter gluten that we can't control or even anticipate. We live in a gluten filled environment and I am certain we inhale tiny amounts or contaminate ourselves by touching surfaces onto which other people have deposited traces of gluten. OK, I constantly read that a mere crumb is enough to set off antibodies against gluten. I have also read that the reaction isn't dose related and the antibody response seems to be all or nothing. That being said, if we really can't achieve total freedom from gluten, how is it that celiacs feel better following a gluten-free diet and many feel awful after being glutened. Aren't we constantly being glutened?

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It's true that we are surrounded by gluten but that doesn't mean you have to ingest it. Yes, every time you dine away from home or eat food that you didn't prepare, you run the risk of someone not understanding the diet and/or cross contamination. That's a given.

There are things you can do though. De-gluten your home. That means replacing various things in your kitchen where gluten may lurk and giving it a thorough cleaning. You may need to clean your car if you've had gluten in there.

Check all labels of stuff you bring into your home, including cosmetics. I found out I had been glutening my daughter because a product I was using on myself contained either oats or wheat (it has been several years now and I don't remember). Just that small amount that remained in the tub was enough to give her a rash. She doesn't have celiac but food allergies.

Remember to wash your hands prior to eating and if you can't, use some sort of wipe. I keep baby wipes in my vehicle and every room in my house. In my purse, I keep individually wrapped wipes.

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I think reading the labels to everything you bring into the house is about as good as you are going to get with a purposeful attempt. I have never been bothered by anything topically....only things ingested till just last week. I used some lotion on my legs that has been around our house always. Never gave it a thought. My legs burned and itched like CRAZY and I looked at the ingredients and discovered there's a hazelnut oil in it and one of my food intolerances now is nuts! I would have NEVER thought about a lotion bothering me.

I do not expect my 19 yr old son or my husband to eat the way I need to and I do not expect them to always be aware of how they do things around MY house. If it affect ME, then I need to be the one to consider the dangers. They DO ask about skillets/pans that have been used and they are good at letting me know they've used something in one that I shouldn't have. I have had to buy my own toaster and they are good about staying away from it. Other than that, I clean my counters before putting my own foods out on it. I wash pans and utensils before using them on things for myself. A simple hot water and soap washing seems to be enough for me, for now, at least. I will need a much bigger kitchen if I ever have to have all my own pans and utensils, lol, and I don't see that happening anytime soon! : ) I also wash my hands ALOT and am aware what could be on my dishrags and dishtowels.

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Avoiding gluten isn't really my question. I want to understand why the extraneous gluten that everyone encounters isn't enough to cause a reaction while a crumb of CC is. I'm not trying to argue; I just want to understand. My closest friend constantly challenges the idea that a crumb can trigger a response. I have explained that the response is autoimmune and different from a simple allergy. However, I can't resolve the issue of there always being some gluten in our lives that doesn

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You're right - a celiac isn't going to be able to avoid every last molecule of gluten. And you're right - just about every molecule of gluten is going to cause a reaction in the intestines. BUT, my theory is this: if the damage caused by the infinitesimal 'contamination' we get is less than and slower than our body can heal it, the net effect is that we turn out "ok". It's a tax on the system, smaller of a tax the less contamination we get, but it's non-zero.

It's like clothing; you might be getting your clothes dirty every day, but you wash them often enough they're usually clean. If you get a lot of dirt on them, however, they're going to be obviously dirty, and it will be harder to clean them.

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Avoiding gluten isn't really my question. I want to understand why the extraneous gluten that everyone encounters isn't enough to cause a reaction while a crumb of CC is. I'm not trying to argue; I just want to understand. My closest friend constantly challenges the idea that a crumb can trigger a response. I have explained that the response is autoimmune and different from a simple allergy. However, I can't resolve the issue of there always being some gluten in our lives that doesn

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It's like clothing; you might be getting your clothes dirty every day, but you wash them often enough they're usually clean. If you get a lot of dirt on them, however, they're going to be obviously dirty, and it will be harder to clean them.

good analogy. this definatly makes me understand this topic a bit more.

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good analogy. this definatly makes me understand this topic a bit more.

It's worth noting that if you're trying to keep your clothing clean, you try to avoid dirt. Same way here - if you're trying to avoid being unhealthy and sick, you try to avoid gluten. But does that mean that I send my husband to the grocery store because they stock wheat bread, instead of going myself? No. Maybe there's an infinitesimal risk of contamination there, but I think it's below the "healing" threshold. (And, worth noting here: some people *do* avoid the bread aisle, because they feel they have gotten sick from it. Exactly what the threshold is... probably varies from person to person.)

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Touching gluten is not the same as ingesting gluten. Gluten has to get to the intestines to cause the autoimmune response (ie via the mouth/swallowing.)

Similarly - HIV has to get into the bloodstream for you to contract the virus. Don't try this at home, but if your skin is fully intact (no scratches, hangnails, ect) you can stick your hand in blood with HIV and not contract the virus.

Although yes, you'll read about some reports of skin absorption of gluten - but that's not terribly common.

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Touching gluten is not the same as ingesting gluten. Gluten has to get to the intestines to cause the autoimmune response (ie via the mouth/swallowing.)

Similarly - HIV has to get into the bloodstream for you to contract the virus. Don't try this at home, but if your skin is fully intact (no scratches, hangnails, ect) you can stick your hand in blood with HIV and not contract the virus.

Although yes, you'll read about some reports of skin absorption of gluten - but that's not terribly common.

Actually gluten just has to come into contact with a mucous membrane to be introduced into the blood stream. That is why in some countries instead of poisoning suspected celiacs a cheek or rectal suppository is used and then the area is biopsied a couple of hours later. A much more humane way of testing than used here in the US IMHO.

If we use a gluten lotion on our hands and then we eat some finger food or rub our eyes or noses it is possible to start the antibody reaction. That is why some of us are zero tolerance folks and avoid it in our toiletries as well as our food.

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