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Chuck1004

Newly Diagnosed Cross Contamination Question

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Hi all,

I was diagnosed yesterday as a Celiac. I'm waiting for the biopsy report in the mail and wasn't told anything as to the extent of the biopsy findings, other that the biopsy and the blood test results led to the diagnosis. The only blood level on the panel that was elevated was the ttg iga at 45.

The doctor told me over the phone to look up information online pertaining to the new diet and followup in six months. I never thought of cross contamination until I started doing research last night. I would describe myself as asymptomatic to this point, although perhaps I'll change my mind after being gluten free for a while. How should I approach the cross contamination issue to start? I've read everything from throw out your pots and pans (wife the chef would cry) to having your own wooden spoon (no biggie) to strip search visiting out of town guests in the driveway for any crumbs before they enter the house (problematic).

My fear is doing the diet, remaining asymptomatic and still incurring damage because of CC. I'm loading up my kindle with books on the subject but am I correct in assuming that while the intensity of symptoms may vary from person to person, significant damage may happen in the asymptomatic?

Thanks!

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Hi all,

I was diagnosed yesterday as a Celiac. I'm waiting for the biopsy report in the mail and wasn't told anything as to the extent of the biopsy findings, other that the biopsy and the blood test results led to the diagnosis. The only blood level on the panel that was elevated was the ttg iga at 45.

The doctor told me over the phone to look up information online pertaining to the new diet and followup in six months. I never thought of cross contamination until I started doing research last night. I would describe myself as asymptomatic to this point, although perhaps I'll change my mind after being gluten free for a while. How should I approach the cross contamination issue to start? I've read everything from throw out your pots and pans (wife the chef would cry) to having your own wooden spoon (no biggie) to strip search visiting out of town guests in the driveway for any crumbs before they enter the house (problematic).

My fear is doing the diet, remaining asymptomatic and still incurring damage because of CC. I'm loading up my kindle with books on the subject but am I correct in assuming that while the intensity of symptoms may vary from person to person, significant damage may happen in the asymptomatic?

Thanks!

You should replace porous cookware (nonstick)/storage bowls (plastic) and cutting board,colander, along with wooden spoons. I also got a new can opener because the old one is still used to opn canned pasta in our household.

Replace your scratched non-stick cookware. That stuff isn't good for anyone eating from it. If you have nice stainless steel. or similar, it should be fine. Maybe get a nice cast iron skillet? Get a new tooth brush.

Not getting a strong reaction from cc will make it harder to know if you are being strict enough, but once you learn what to be careful with you should do ok?

I don't think you'll have to strip-search guests? :D

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Everyone is different. I barely replaced anything in my kitchen and I did just fine. I replaced wooden spoons, my toaster, a wooden cutting board that badly needed replacing anyway and my colander because I wasn't sure I'd gotten all the bits of pasta out of the holes. I also replaced a seasoned wok because it smelled of soy sauce I couldn't figure out how to get the seasoning off well enough. You probably want a separate toaster for gluten-free bread.

A lot of people say to replace nonstick stuff but I can't figure out for the life of me how gluten is supposed to stick to it. I think it's urban legend. As Bubba's Mom says, you're not supposed to cook on scratched nonstick because flakes of it will get into your food. (Ew.) That's a more general health precaution. Strip searching guests for crumbs sounds highly amusing but I don't think it's necessary. :lol:

More importantly, I would suggest you get ALL wheat flour out of the kitchen. It's fine, gets in the air, and is guaranteed to CC the whole kitchen. It's safest if your wife and family buy whatever breads and baked goods they want premade or use gluten-free flours. You will need separate condiments if the rest of the family is eating gluten. Crumbs on butter or in the mayo jar are a big problem. Some people look for squeeze containers, others mark the gluten-free stuff with brightly colored tape. With the cutting boards and wooden spoons and whatnot, again you need separate ones for gluten-free if there is gluten being cooked in the kitchen. Also pick up extra dish towels. You're going to want to grab a fresh one a LOT if there is gluten in the house because you have to assume the towel in use is CC'd with crumbs and you'll want to wipe down the counter before you make a sandwich.

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Thanks for the excellent replies! A concern is my wife is a pastry chef and works with flour all day long. The concern now is will she be "tracking" it home even if she doesn't use it at home? In the event she does use non-gluten free materials in the kitchen is it possible that scrubbing the heck out of the area will suffice or am I going to get contaminated if I walk anywhere near it?

Why do I see myself in a hazmat suit??? :-D

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LOL! Your wife couldn't possibly have a more problematic profession, though on the bright side I bet you get some amazing gluten-free goodies. The conservative route would be for her to change clothes and wash her hands and face when she gets home from work. I don't know whether a problematic amount of flour would get into her hair. I know when I worked at a mall cookie company bits of dough seemed to get everywhere, and we didn't even work with flour. The premade dough was shipped to us. Hehee. I guess you do need to strip search after all. ;)

I personally wouldn't want to be in a kitchen where someone is baking with wheat flour until a few hours later when the flour had a chance to settle and I felt like I could clean it up. I just don't see how anyone can handle flour without it getting into the air and if you breathe it, you eventually swallow it. Perhaps I'm paranoid as there are people in the food industry with celiac disease and they must get exposed to flour. I just figure the more I can avoid traces of gluten like flour in the kitchen, the better.

There are some great gluten-free pastry recipes. Have a look at this blog. http://www.tarteletteblog.com/

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Had to jump into the end of the conversation here because I was laughing out loud. My nickname to family and close friends is "bubble girl" -- on top of all my food issues I am allergic to heat and exercise so my husband and sons joke about making me a suit like Mr. Freeze wore in Batman to ride my bike and run in the heat of the day :)

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I'll propose the strip search idea tonight and hope for the best!!!!!! :-p

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I'll propose the strip search idea tonight and hope for the best!!!!!! :-p

I volunteer to help if it's needed. :)

You'll also need to be careful of kissing contamination. Wifey is probably going to test her pastries sometime during the day. She needs to brush and rinse her mouth before you kiss to avoid you getting exposed.

You should wash your hands before eating if there is gluten in the house. Also if there are pets that eat gluten containing food. Pets like to spread that stuff around, and cats lick their fur often. So petting them can get gluten on your hands.

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Chuck, I'm not trying to stir the pot or cry wolf but I got to thinking......

The 1st time you posted here you said your wife was a chef & that she wanted to do a trial month gluten-free diet because of her rash. But that when the month was up she was still itching like a madwoman. Now you mention that she is a pastry chef. This puts a whole new light on the trial gluten-free diet for her. Follow me here. She goes to work & gets exposed to all kinds of gluten, it's also in the air & she doubtless inhales it, it gets on her skin, particles fall upon her lips & she licks her lips. My point is she can eat gluten-free at home all she wants but if she's being exposed to gluten at work then the gluten-free trial diet is in question. There are many here who have had similar jobs & had to quit because of the exposure to gluten. Just something for you & your wife to think about as far as her trial going gluten-free went.

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I'm laughing because we just had the kissing question before you posted that as I am surrounded by cats! Whoops.

She eventually switched to a different lotion that she uses more frequently throughout the day and her rash and itch are both gone. A point she raised was if it was a gluten issue would she have the rash more on her hands than her legs and arms, or would that not even be a factor?

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Not really a factor where on her body she gets the rash. DH is dh & can appear anywhere on the body.

Example in time progression over 3 or 4 years:

I first had the odd blister on the backs of my hands. Later I had it on the backs of my calves --- one or two here & there. Then it would appear on my thighs. Then a few in my scalp. Then they became more frequent wherever. Mine are almost always bilateral. Then this past April I had the mother of all mothers of outbreaks. It began on my back & wrapped around my sides & then covered my front from under my breasts all the way down to the nether feathers. This all happened in one day. Since that time it has been just about everywhere. Even had it in the curves of my ears.

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P.S. I'm very glad to hear that she solved the problem by changing lotions.smile.gif

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I'm laughing because we just had the kissing question before you posted that as I am surrounded by cats! Whoops.

She eventually switched to a different lotion that she uses more frequently throughout the day and her rash and itch are both gone. A point she raised was if it was a gluten issue would she have the rash more on her hands than her legs and arms, or would that not even be a factor?

HI Chuck,

The cats do like to share their saliva a bit don't they? Muffin the cat-head here eats BG (Before Grain) brand cat food now. Their are other grain free cat foods available, too, I think one is Blue Thunder or some such thing. If Peoptr the pro pet food advisers stops in he would have a good suggestion.

Not really a factor where on her body she gets the rash. DH is dh & can appear anywhere on the body.

Example in time progression over 3 or 4 years:

I first had the odd blister on the backs of my hands. Later I had it on the backs of my calves --- one or two here & there. Then it would appear on my thighs. Then a few in my scalp. Then they became more frequent wherever. Mine are almost always bilateral. Then this past April I had the mother of all mothers of outbreaks. It began on my back & wrapped around my sides & then covered my front from under my breasts all the way down to the nether feathers. This all happened in one day. Since that time it has been just about everywhere. Even had it in the curves of my ears.

@Chuck,

DH in this context is dermatitis herpetiformis, A skin condition that celiacs get sometimes. There is a section of the board devoted to it. There is quite some debate about the possibility of topical gluten causing a DH reaction. The usual thinking is that the gluten needs to be ingested into the body for the DH reaction to start. But that isn't a proven theory that I know of. Not that am a DH expert or anything. I am sure not. There is also the possibility of a wheat allergy though, and that could cause topical reactions, I am purty sure kind of - sort of. I know for me if I get outside and there is high pollen count it can make my face skin irritated until I wash it off. So it makes sense to me that wheat on the skin in the case of an allergy could be irritating. Please imagine a whole bunch on "IMHO's" throughout this paragraph. The more scientific among us may violently disagree. But maybe they are busy reading other threads... :ph34r::huh:

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Hi all,

In terms of the DH, it was something my wife looked at when she was trying to figure out her skin issues. When she looked at pictures of DH, it looked nothing like what she had, which appeared more like eczema, although I'm sure that's not the most reliable way of doing things! Matters were made worse for her because before we got to a dermatologist, her PCP put her on a sulfa-based cream for a burn on her arm that she had a horrible allergic reaction to (we thought it was an infection), and it took us a few days to realize that the growing rash was the size and shape of her bandage.

We're going to transition into a fully gluten free house by the next couple of weeks to hopefully eliminate cross contamination, but as was said here, there's nothing we can really do about her work, for her or for me. The only saving grace is she works for Whole Foods which delves more into the gluten free areas than other bakeries or supermarkets, but unfortunately, it's not a gluten free kitchen there. Fingers crossed!

As for the cats, of course, it's not that simple. I adopted two cats last year, and a month later the cute one had an intercession and needed emergency surgery. They weren't sure if a particular allergy contributed to her belly issues so they have her on a hypoallergenic diet, which cuts down on the available options of what I can feed her.

I may decide to just live in the shed before the week is over. :)

Could I trouble anyone here to offer a second, and perhaps third opinion on the biopsy results I received in the mail?

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