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GlutenFreeAustinite

Cross Contamination?

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Hey everyone,

So I've been gluten-free for a year and a half, and I've been pretty lax about cross contamination. I share a toaster/condiments with my gluten-eating family, will eat stuff not certified gluten free (after checking the ingredients, of course), etc.

I've never noticed any traditional "glutening symptoms," but I don't know if there's a chance I could be feeding myself minute amounts of gluten that are harming me, but not enough to have negative effects. I often have stomachaches, mild ones, but I don't know if that's related or just from something else.

Any suggestions?

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I would say the "mild" stomach aches could be related. While you are probably not getting a big hit of gluten all at once the low levels can eventually add up and cause symptoms. If you want to stop the immune reaction and damage(yes even little amounts from cc can keep inflammation/damage going) you need to me more conscious of cross contamination.

Get yourself a new toaster and either get new condiments to share with rules about not cc'ing them(squeeze bottles work great)or buy your own. You very well may need to go through your kitchen and clean it because cc is likely everywhere. Replace any baking items and spices/herbs that could have cc. Don't use wooden spoons/cutting boards/pasta strainers that had gluten on them, you may need to buy separate because of this. You will need to replace the waffle iron if used for gluten. I personally won't allow any regular flour baking in the house. All baking and shared meals are gluten free. My husband has a dedicated shelf in the pantry, drawer in the fridge and space on the counter for his gluten items. Otherwise the majority of the kitchen is dedicated to gluten free. I have two boys and myself gluten free and I feel it is important for the kids to have full access to the kitchen and not worry about cc. My husband is great and takes great lengths to be careful. So far this works for us.

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I didn't change the toaster at first either. But kept getting sick. I didn't wanna believe I would react to traces of gluten possibly found in foods that were technically gluten free but made on shared lines. I have now found that indeed I do react to those things. I walked the toaster oven to the dumptster wearing gloves. I now never, ever eat anything made on shared lines. I have DH though, so my reaction shows up pretty quickly and I also get neurological symptoms of depression and anxiety. So now I avoid all possible traces of gluten and I went Paleo. It is very hard but it works.

My son is 17 and gluten free Celiac one year. He became lax and wanted to eat a couple of french fries from his friends' box of Arby's fries. He did. He fell asleep the minute he got home, was irritable and moody for a day and a half. I suggested he was reacting to gluten and he said no way - he has believed he is not as sensitive as I am. A couple of days later he said he was sorry for the way he acted and he now believed he was glutened but could not believe it was from the fries. I'm glad he is figuring it out now.

It certainly is a process to first to accept Celiac, then to learn to be Gluten Free, then to learn to be Really Gluten Free, then to learn to believe in Trace Gluten and the evils of Cross Contamination. Once you "get" it though, you really start to feel way better. I always wonder about those who think they are gluten free but really aren't because they don't know they are reacting to CC and trace gluten. I have visible and immediate reactions both skin and neurological. But I wonder how much damage is done for those who don't feel it right away or who don't eliminate the shared lines foods. It is a puzzle for sure finding all the places gluten can hide in your world. Just think how much better you might feel if you didn't have stomach aches? And maybe, just maybe, other things might improve that you didn't even know were bothering you. It is very difficult to be sure. But all the ways of getting contaminated that have been written about here are really true. I believe I have tested almost every one of them either directly or inadvertantly and I can tell you that CC is an issue for me. It is amazing how strong the reaction can be. I'm one year gluten free and now getting really good at looking for traces of gluten because I hate the way I feel when it "gets" me. I hope you can get your own toaster and condiments and see if you feel better.

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