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pinktulip103

Worsening Symptoms-Morning Sickness

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I was diagnosed with celiac disease in late June of this year through positive bloodwork and biopsy. After starting a gluten-free diet (completely gluten free kitchen), I started seeing my migraines go away immediately (within the first week) and digestive issues mostly normal within a few weeks. Everything was going well until the last few weeks. I started having reactions more and more frequently. My diet was still pretty limited (trying new things slowly) and then I had a horrible reaction to a rice-based pasta that was labeled gluten-free. I felt sick within 5 minutes of my first bite with a horrible migraine, gas, nausea, and by the next morning had diarrhea. About a week later, I ate some wild rice (labeled gluten-free) and had a very similar reaction. I have eaten white rice and Zatarain's brand gluten-free spanish rice before and after these events and felt fine. I had a similar, but slightly different reaction with cornstarch (Argo brand). Same symptoms but onset was not until the next morning (12ish hours later). The past week and a half, I wake up every morning with a migraine and nausea (minus the diarrhea). My home is entirely gluten-free, I have not attempted to eat out at any restaurants since diagnosis, I use gluten-free toothpaste, lip balm, face cream, etc. I am wondering if I am reacting to my birth control pill that I take right before bed (it contains an ingredient derived from cornstarch). I seem to tolerate other corn products just fine (in fact, I always eat corn chex cereal to alleviate my nausea). Is it possible to have a reaction to cornstarch but not other corn products? Also, is it possible to be sensitive to some forms of rice but not others? While this "morning sickness" has been going on, it seems to get worse and worse. At first it only lasted an hour or two and then I was fine. Then it lasted for 4-5 hours. Now I have felt like crap most of the day. Woke up this morning and could barely get out of bed, felt better by late afternoon, but started feeling ill again a few hours ago (this is the first time the "morning sickness" has returned before morning and I haven't taken my birth control pill yet). I am definitely not pregnant. My kitchen has been totally scrubbed down and I use new cookware. I feel like the only thing I have ingested in common every time I get ill is my birth control pill but I just don't know how to figure this out. It seems unlikely to have a sensitivity to cornstarch but not other corn products, based on a quick internet search. I have talked to my doctor and dietician and both seem confused and think the cornstarch/rice issues are actually accidental gluten cross contamination. If anyone has any opinions or advice on how to figure this out, I would really appreciate it! Thanks!

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I would wonder if there could be wheat in with the rice in the "wild" rice....and the rice pasta would

be questionable about manufacturing conditions...also maybe what you are getting is a low blood sugar reaction?

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I am also a Type 1 diabetic and my blood sugars have been fine (I check it 6-8 times per day including first thing in the morning). My doctor seems to think it's just gluten cross-contamination from somewhere. I just got my blood drawn to test my Transglutaminase IgA again and should have the results by tomorrow. If my levels were 37.3 about a month or two before I started the gluten-free diet and I believe I have been completely gluten free for 2.5 months, should my levels be normal now or does it take more time than that? Thanks!

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Okay, thoughts...

1. Gluten free products are not actually free from gluten. They are allowed to have up to 20 ppm concentration of gluten and if you are in the USA, gluten-free food is not currently regulated. So a company that tests its food for gluten before selling it can say it has gluten-free food. A company that just doesn't add gluten 'on purpose' and doesn't test its food can say it has gluten-free food, but it has a much higher risk of getting out a contaminated product without anyone realizing until they get sick.

2. Because gluten-free foods are allowed to contain low levels of gluten, the more of them you eat, the more gluten you get. Some people have no issues with this, but some have to limit the processed gluten-free foods that they eat. So it could be that on the days you eat more processed gluten-free foods, you'll go over your gluten threshold and get sick (no way to really tell what an individual's threshold is except trial and error, right now).

3. 'Naturally gluten free' foods, if you are in the USA, can be full of gluten. A random study on 22 naturally gluten-free grains and flours found 7 were over the 20 ppm limit. One of them was over 2,000 ppm, actually. If you have some 'naturally' gluten free products, they might be contaminated.

4. Some celiacs react to gluten-free oats pretty much like they do to gluten, and many gluten-free foods are processed near or with gluten-free oats (including gluten-free rice. One brand uses oats as a cover crop, for example). If you find out you react to gluten-free oats, calling up gluten-free companies to ensure there is no gluten-free oat contamination may be helpful.

5. Medication is...well, their gluten free status can be frustrating. They don't have even the suggested FDA standards to aim for. I would post about the brand of the medication (and the manufacturer) and see if anyone else is having issues with it, or has had issues in the past. Or make the pharmacist call up and double check that this is still considered gluten free.

6. Re: reactions to corn starch. On reading a lot of corn allergy blogs, I have seen some people seem to react to some types of corn and not others, including some that reacted to more processed corn more than normal corn. Weird stuff. No one had an explanation for why it was, only that it was happening to them. Suppose the only way to tell would be to get some plain corn starch and experiment a little.

7. I would start keeping a food journal, because it could be something unexpected, too. Some people react to annatto, a food dye, with gastro symptoms. Some react to xanthan gum that way. Some reaction to other common additives that we'd just never suspect unless we have it written down to look at. And for some of us, these reactions tend to start after going gluten free. Dairy, soy, nightshades, and corn seem to be among the most common food issues people are having.

8. And..it could be what the docs suggest, accidental cc. Maybe if you have any pets that get glutened food? Or someone eats gluten on the way home and brings gluten cc into the house? But honestly, eems less likely. If you are eating corn chex just fine, then you are likely not a really sensitive celiac. With the care you are taking, it seems more likely it's a company that is making a mistake rather than you.

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