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Please Help A Newbie! (Glutened On Holiday?)

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I'm hoping people with experience can help me. I'm new to all of this.


I've been gluten-free for five months for treatment of Chronic Fatigue/ Fibromyalgia. Despite not having positive blood tests, my physician encouraged me to try being gluten free as I have a high ANA and very low ferritin. For the past three months I've been feeling better than I have in years.

Current Situation:

I'm on vacation in Europe with my husband. Traveling has been challenging. The other day I ate nearly a full basket of bread and pastries that the hotel told me was gluten free (after days with no bread products, I went a little crazy). I'm starting to think that perhaps it was just normal bread. Since that breakfast, I've been feeling awful. Worse than I did before starting the gluten-free diet.

Day 1 - diarrhea and cramps all day

Day 2 - fatigue and scary-bad acid reflux

Day 3 - body aches all over, headache, fatigue...can't move from the hotel room.

Is this what being 'glutened' feels like? Could it have been the bread? How long will I feel this way? Is there anything I can do to feel better?

We have only two days left and I haven't left the hotel. Please help!

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It does sound like you have indeed been glutened, where abouts are you in Europe? In italy they don't seem to understand that it can't even have been sitting next to normal bread, actually he didnt believe me when i said i couldn't consume wheat or gluten... So italy is probably the worse place to eat anything that may have wheat or gluten in. I would avoid all of them until your trip back.

Even cross contamination can get me to the state it sounds like you are in! Or just inhaling normal flour particles by accident!

Try and have some plain boiled rice with maybe some fried vegetables. Bananas and drink lots of water. It should subside soon.

Maybe when you get home try and ask for a biopsy (painless) to check for celiac disease, my mum had hundreds of negative blood results finally got a biopsy and was definatly celiac!

Hope you feel better soon.

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Well, for one, there's a REALLY obvious difference in taste between regular and gluten-free bread. If it tasted like gluten-free bread, it was, but there's always an XC chance. If it tasted like regular bread, then it wasn't gluten-free, that is unless Europeans have somehow discovered the secret to making regular-tasting gluten-free bread.


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Thank you so much for your reply.

We're in Geneva, Switzerland....we actually contacted the hotel about our situation before we came here and they said it would be no problem. When we arrived that morning they seemed to know us by name and brought a basket of "gluten free" pastries to our table. I was like a kid in a candy store: gluten free Swiss chocolate croissants, who wouldn't eat them?

I'm pretty sure looking back that maybe only the croissants were gluten-free and that the bread in the basket was regular. No one seems to know what we are talking about when we ask for gluten-free food. Last night I had to send back an entree and they replaced it with fish wrapped in pastry.

Today my stomach has calmed down, but I feel kind of flu-like...without the flu.

As for the biopsy, I don't think I can have one now I've been eating gluten-free for almost six months. There is NO WAY I would ever try a gluten challenge at this point.

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Well I'm new and have only been eating gluten free for a few weeks, but from what I've read here and in books, if it tasted good enough to eat the whole basket, it wasn't gluten free. I imagine if it was truly gluten free, it would not have been soo tasty. However, perhaps when you have been gluten free for a period of time your tastes change and you forget was yummy bread tastes like. At least I hope so.

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