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Glutened Tuesday, Still Sick Saturday ... And Angry

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I was vacationing this week in Santa Fe, New Mexico and eating every meal out. It went well for a few days, but Tuesday dinner I was clearly badly glutened and have been sick since. My primary symptom is a throbbing headache that starts by feeling that I've been bludgeoned in the back of the head. I also have D, but not as bad as some of you get it. The inflammation also settles in my joints giving me joint pain that I do not ordinarily have.

It just isn't letting up. I think a waiter lied to me about a "flourless" cake. He swore to me that it was gluten-free. Now I think it wasn't even flourless.

I am completely miserable. First, is there anything I can't do to expel this stuff from my bloodstream faster? I've been avoiding painkillers because I don't want my liver tied up processing that instead of working on the gluten. I may have to change my strategy here; I can't take the pain much longer.

Second, I am going to write a nasty letter to the restaurant owner. What can I say that will make any difference? I feel like anything I write will just be dismissed.


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Sorry you're sick. :(

It isn't your liver that processes gluten so feel free to take painkillers. The gluten is long gone with the D. The problem is an autoimmune attack and you will have symptoms until your immune system settles down and the autoantibodies are gone again. You could try natural anti-inflammatories like bromelain or MSM. L-glutamine has some nice gut-healing properties.

I don't think a nasty letter is the best course of action. First, it will likely be dismissed because you can't prove what was in the cake. Even worse, it might make the owner re-think even trying to provide gluten-free food. That doesn't help the rest of the gluten-free community.

The problem was probably the chef or waiter, who may not understand how sick celiacs get when they make a mistake. The time I wrote a restaurant I explained how ill I got, and exactly what steps had to be taken to make the food safe for people with celiac in the future. (Clean knives, cutting boards, pots, utensils, prep area away from any baking, separate menu, ideally served on different-looking plates so both customer and staff can tell gluten-free.)

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