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healinginprogress

Is My Job Making Me Sick?

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Okay, so I've been off for a couple weeks at the bar after skipping work due to gluten-related symptoms...which, after explaining, they were very understanding and gave me a couple shifts off, part as punishment, part as a chance to figure out my new...life, I guess :P

Anyways, I was back today, and ended up with bloating, gassiness, and cramping...clumsiness, and major brain fog (took me FOREVER to make change from $100 for a drink that was $4.50!). It settled down a bit after taking some painkillers and drinking some soda. But pretty bloated again now that I'm home.

It could have been anything, I suppose.

But I guess what I'm asking is....DO any of YOU bartend/serve/work in a kitchen, etc. or did any of you have to give it up because it made you sick?

I mean, there's gluten everywhere! Try as I did to use hand sanitizer, I'm slinging beer, running burgers and wings, etc. I brought my own food from home (nothing new, all whole foods) and only drank bottled water.

I'm just worried I might have to give up my job :( I haven't felt like this way when I've worked at the gym (I started personal training a couple weeks ago).

Would love to hear your thoughts!

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THat is a very good question! I have not had to quit YET...I work in a kitchen as a relief cook. It is at a retirement complex and it is very difficult for me to cook like I used to. After all how do you "taste for seasoning" when it is a beef/barley soup? I almost did myself in the other day when I nearly took a taste of the sauce for my German potato salad to see if it was too vinegary! I had to have the waitress taste and tell me to add more sugar. In your case I guess it might be OK if you wash your hands a lot. I will be watching this to see if there are any others that work in a "gluten-rich" profession like us! Terri O

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I don't work in a bar. I do work in a business where we have gluten products (dog biscuits are the most common) which I touch regularly. Every dog who comes into the store is offered a treat. I wash my hands after each one.

Hand sanitizer will ensure that your gluten is free of harmful germs. It will not do anything to the gluten. If alcohol destroyed gluten, we could all drink beer.

Washing your hands with soap and water will remove gluten. Make it a habit. If your hands become dry as a result, moisten them with a gluten-free lotion.

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@ Terri O...yes, I have discovered that cooking is not the same as well :( It was very strange to not be able to taste the food I was making my SO to make sure it was okay...I don't like that at all!

@ psawyer...wow. I never thought of that, I somehow thought hand sanitizer would help remove the gluten. Damn. I HATE washing my hands...I know that sounds awful, I've always washed them at important times, but I have this weird neurotic thing about being wet...I don't like my face being wet, either; if I'm at the pool, I have to have a towel nearby. Anyways, I guess "important times" has now expanded into...all the time :( :( :( I don't get a break to sit down and eat, so I usually just take bites when I can. With my yam I figured out it would help if I held the yam with a paper towel (I usually bring things to eat with my hands, it's easier/fater), so I guess that's one strategy. Grrrrr this is so frustrating! The amount of drink I serve! I'll have no skin left LOL UGH it's all just SO much. I'm a nervous person, I'm sure I put my hands/fingers in my mouth more than I even know, though I've been trying really hard not to. So many things to change, it can be very overwhelming at times :(

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Okay, so I've been off for a couple weeks at the bar after skipping work due to gluten-related symptoms...which, after explaining, they were very understanding and gave me a couple shifts off, part as punishment, part as a chance to figure out my new...life, I guess :P

Anyways, I was back today, and ended up with bloating, gassiness, and cramping...clumsiness, and major brain fog (took me FOREVER to make change from $100 for a drink that was $4.50!). It settled down a bit after taking some painkillers and drinking some soda. But pretty bloated again now that I'm home.

It could have been anything, I suppose.

But I guess what I'm asking is....DO any of YOU bartend/serve/work in a kitchen, etc. or did any of you have to give it up because it made you sick?

I mean, there's gluten everywhere! Try as I did to use hand sanitizer, I'm slinging beer, running burgers and wings, etc. I brought my own food from home (nothing new, all whole foods) and only drank bottled water.

I'm just worried I might have to give up my job :( I haven't felt like this way when I've worked at the gym (I started personal training a couple weeks ago).

Would love to hear your thoughts!

FWIW, I experienced something very similar when in school for baking/pastry arts (yes this was before I had any idea about gluten issues)... I would wake up progressively sluggish as the semester went on, and during the course of each individual day I could feel my stomach puffing up. It got pretty unbearable - by each afternoon I was crampy, gassy, and super uncomfortable.

I'd guess the hand washing will make a big difference, as well as trying to keep your hands away from your face/mouth - I think what did me in was the flour everywhere... no escaping it.

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@ Terri O...yes, I have discovered that cooking is not the same as well :( It was very strange to not be able to taste the food I was making my SO to make sure it was okay...I don't like that at all!

@ psawyer...wow. I never thought of that, I somehow thought hand sanitizer would help remove the gluten. Damn. I HATE washing my hands...I know that sounds awful, I've always washed them at important times, but I have this weird neurotic thing about being wet...I don't like my face being wet, either; if I'm at the pool, I have to have a towel nearby. Anyways, I guess "important times" has now expanded into...all the time :( :( :( I don't get a break to sit down and eat, so I usually just take bites when I can. With my yam I figured out it would help if I held the yam with a paper towel (I usually bring things to eat with my hands, it's easier/fater), so I guess that's one strategy. Grrrrr this is so frustrating! The amount of drink I serve! I'll have no skin left LOL UGH it's all just SO much. I'm a nervous person, I'm sure I put my hands/fingers in my mouth more than I even know, though I've been trying really hard not to. So many things to change, it can be very overwhelming at times :(

And I feel you on the overwhelming part - I still have not come near sorting that one out yet!!

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On the handwashing? Um yeah, it has to be soap and water. I handed a cookie to my sister's child and then used sanitizer and sat down to eat my "safe" food next to her. I was sick for a week. Then PSawyer set me straight on the hand sanitizer not working.

It takes just particles to make ya sick. I feel for you. On a lighter note, yeah, you will be getting over that, I hate to be wet feeling. My son was raised with hand sanitizer too and this was a shocker to him. But he is washing his hands regularly now and feeling lot's better! ;)

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@ PSawyer--thanks for the laugh this morning! "if alcohol could kill gluten we could drink beer!" Oh man...I sooo wish! :) Terri O

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As a side note, make sure your hand sanitizer doesn't have gluten! I was using Bath and Body Works hand sanitizer before eating lunch at work (not to remove gluten, just because of germs) and then realized both my Japanese Cherry Blossom and Apple Glow sanitizers had wheat amino acids in them!

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