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birdie22

Boo! Think I'm Reacting To Smaller Amounts Of Exposure

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I've been gluten-free since November, so 7 mos. It took about 4-5 months to see real consistent improvement in my symptoms. I keep a daily log of food and symptoms. Unfortunately so far this month, things are starting to get slightly worse, minor in comparison to where they were before gluten-free, but still a noticeable recurrence. I'm thinking it is from household exposure in my non-gluten-free home. I work in education and therefore have the months of June and July off. During this time I'm home full time with my 2 small children (2.5 and 5). Hubby and kids are gluten eaters. Hubby does 99% of the cooking. Dinners are almost always gluten-free for all and during the school year, hubby feeds the kids breakfast and they get lunch at daycare/school. Hubby packs his own lunch and I pack my own lunch and get my own breakfast after they've left for school/work. On weekends, hubby usually make the kids lunch. So for 10mos out of the year I don't have much contact with the rest of the family's gluteny goodness. I don't share condiments. And my symptoms gradually improved.

But, now that I've been home full time for the past 3 weeks I've been doing the kids breakfasts and lunches. This means handling frozen bagels, toast, wheat bread sandwiches, wheat tortillas, etc. I'm very careful about fixing their meals separate from mine and washing my hands well after preparing their meals. But, it must still be problematic because since June 10 I've had 4 small canker sores (1 at time about 1 every 4 days) and seen a small increase in headaches, fatigue, and looser (but not D) stools. I also occasionally use a shared toaster (I know, I know) but haven't had a problem with that before. At first I thought the canker sores were caused by a big intake of strawberries. We picked a huge lot of them and the 1st canker sore appeared the next day. But now that I've had 3 more and I'm not eating strawberries that's not the issue. Nothing else in my diet has changed and I don't eat a lot of gluten-free substitute foods. Of course hubby doesn't understand that I could still be getting gluten. When I told him about the canker sores he said, "Well, you can't blame those on gluten."

So, I'm guessing I need to bite the bullet and get a 2nd toaster. Any other suggestions (other than taking the whole family gluten-free which I don't think I can do just yet) to help reduce my exposure?

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I've been gluten-free since November, so 7 mos. It took about 4-5 months to see real consistent improvement in my symptoms. I keep a daily log of food and symptoms. Unfortunately so far this month, things are starting to get slightly worse, minor in comparison to where they were before gluten-free, but still a noticeable recurrence. I'm thinking it is from household exposure in my non-gluten-free home. I work in education and therefore have the months of June and July off. During this time I'm home full time with my 2 small children (2.5 and 5). Hubby and kids are gluten eaters. Hubby does 99% of the cooking. Dinners are almost always gluten-free for all and during the school year, hubby feeds the kids breakfast and they get lunch at daycare/school. Hubby packs his own lunch and I pack my own lunch and get my own breakfast after they've left for school/work. On weekends, hubby usually make the kids lunch. So for 10mos out of the year I don't have much contact with the rest of the family's gluteny goodness. I don't share condiments. And my symptoms gradually improved.

But, now that I've been home full time for the past 3 weeks I've been doing the kids breakfasts and lunches. This means handling frozen bagels, toast, wheat bread sandwiches, wheat tortillas, etc. I'm very careful about fixing their meals separate from mine and washing my hands well after preparing their meals. But, it must still be problematic because since June 10 I've had 4 small canker sores (1 at time about 1 every 4 days) and seen a small increase in headaches, fatigue, and looser (but not D) stools. I also occasionally use a shared toaster (I know, I know) but haven't had a problem with that before. At first I thought the canker sores were caused by a big intake of strawberries. We picked a huge lot of them and the 1st canker sore appeared the next day. But now that I've had 3 more and I'm not eating strawberries that's not the issue. Nothing else in my diet has changed and I don't eat a lot of gluten-free substitute foods. Of course hubby doesn't understand that I could still be getting gluten. When I told him about the canker sores he said, "Well, you can't blame those on gluten."

So, I'm guessing I need to bite the bullet and get a 2nd toaster. Any other suggestions (other than taking the whole family gluten-free which I don't think I can do just yet) to help reduce my exposure?

Yes, celiac does cause mouth sores, at least in my family. Try increasing your vitamin C intake to help prevent them. It's obvious to me that you shouldn't be touching the kid's gluten-containing foods. Since the tendency to develop celiac is inherited, you and your hubby should give careful thought to whether or not you want the children to have gluten. As an interim solution, maybe wear plastic gloves when you feed the kids? And yes, get a new toaster. Good luck. I know family members can be tough to convince because I am the only non-celiac in our family and after 3 years my family says I still don't get it because I want to eat gluten while away from them at work.

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disposable "lunch lady" gloves for making gluten lunches?

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You are probably just getting more exposure to little crumbs. Maybe there are ways to minimize the spread of crumbs and amount of touching you have to do. Here are some thoughts & some are things I do but my kids are older. I think a 5 year old could help.

ERC:

Eliminate gluten foods as much as possible.

Reduce Look for lessmessy gluten food- Ritz crackers make a lot of little crumbs & Wheat Thins make bigger, easy to see crumbs.

Contain - keeping toxic waste in one known area

Have the kids get the bread out of the bag. Or have Dad put the amount you need for lunch in a sandwich Baggie and let the kids put them on thier plates at the table. You just plop the turkey and cheese on. Or go with no bread - give them " healthy" crackers. Just pour out of the box.

Let the kids place the bread in the toaster. Use tongs to take out straight to plate.

Roll the turkey up around some cheese and secure with a toothpick.

Or cut meat or hot dogs into chunks and give them a toothpick to eat with.

Use fruit snacks or popcorn instead of gluteny cookies.

Popsicles

Apples with Pb or Carmel sauce

Celery with pb or Cheez Whiz or cream cheese

Serve pasta with gluten-free noodles to all. Cost you $2 more but you could have left- overs for lunches. corn pasta can be cheaper.

All food, gluten or not, is at the table or outside to eliminate crumbs.

Get a dust Buster and let the kids chase crumbs on the floor. "Power tools "are more fun then a rag or broom.

Eat outside as much as possible.

Prepare gluten foods on only one counter or the kitchen table.

Make some gluten-free cookies that freeze well like these ( also they can help you) :

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/t/recipe?id=8714020

Got to go get the recipe link. Be right back to add on. OK I'm back!

Let the kids " cook". If you are making chicken nuggets, let them take some out of the package ( at the table) and put on the cookie sheet. You slide them off with a spatula or fork.

See if they will eat Chex and coco Pebbles ? Check the Pebbles. I don't eat them but I know there is one. These could be breakfast or a snack.

Make a snack mix with Corn or Rice Chex, peanuts, M& Ms, etc. no need to make one with seasoning. They will like them plain.

Lunches don't have to be sandwiches. Might have to expand the kids food choices.

The ERC Plan also works with spouses and other people you live with. This plan is being offered for a limited time at no cost to you. However, you will not recieved a t shirt or coffee mug or Ginsou knives if you order today. :lol:

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You are probably just getting more exposure to little crumbs. Maybe there are ways to minimize the spread of crumbs and amount of touching you have to do. Here are some thoughts & some are things I do but my kids are older. I think a 5 year old could help.

ERC:

Eliminate gluten foods as much as possible.

Reduce Look for lessmessy gluten food- Ritz crackers make a lot of little crumbs & Wheat Thins make bigger, easy to see crumbs.

Contain - keeping toxic waste in one known area

Have the kids get the bread out of the bag. Or have Dad put the amount you need for lunch in a sandwich Baggie and let the kids put them on thier plates at the table. You just plop the turkey and cheese on. Or go with no bread - give them " healthy" crackers. Just pour out of the box.

Let the kids place the bread in the toaster. Use tongs to take out straight to plate.

Roll the turkey up around some cheese and secure with a toothpick.

Or cut meat or hot dogs into chunks and give them a toothpick to eat with.

Use fruit snacks or popcorn instead of gluteny cookies.

Popsicles

Apples with Pb or Carmel sauce

Celery with pb or Cheez Whiz or cream cheese

Serve pasta with gluten-free noodles to all. Cost you $2 more but you could have left- overs for lunches. corn pasta can be cheaper.

All food, gluten or not, is at the table or outside to eliminate crumbs.

Get a dust Buster and let the kids chase crumbs on the floor. "Power tools "are more fun then a rag or broom.

Eat outside as much as possible.

Prepare gluten foods on only one counter or the kitchen table.

Make some gluten-free cookies that freeze well like these ( also they can help you) :

http://abcnews.go.com/GMA/t/recipe?id=8714020

Got to go get the recipe link. Be right back to add on. OK I'm back!

Let the kids " cook". If you are making chicken nuggets, let them take some out of the package ( at the table) and put on the cookie sheet. You slide them off with a spatula or fork.

See if they will eat Chex and coco Pebbles ? Check the Pebbles. I don't eat them but I know there is one. These could be breakfast or a snack.

Make a snack mix with Corn or Rice Chex, peanuts, M& Ms, etc. no need to make one with seasoning. They will like them plain.

Lunches don't have to be sandwiches. Might have to expand the kids food choices.

The ERC Plan also works with spouses and other people you live with. This plan is being offered for a limited time at no cost to you. However, you will not recieved a t shirt or coffee mug or Ginsou knives if you order today. :lol:

LOL!

Thank you for the very thoughtful reply! I had a total aha moment in that I definitely can get my kids more involved in the food prep. They love to help so things like taking the bread out, putting things on plates or baking sheets will be easy and fun for them.

We do all the food prep on our kitchen island so at least it's all contained to one spot and I can easily move my food prep to a different spot. We also always eat at the kitchen table so no food in other rooms. For the most part the kids gluten foods are limited to bread, frozen waffles, and frozen bagels. They love gluten-free cereals, nut thin crackers, etc. We rarely have any gluteny baked goods in the house (although hubby brought home cupcakes the other day from work that someone gave him and the girls managed to get cupcake crumbs EVERYWHERE around the kitchen table and I just about had a fit). If we bake we bake gluten-free...rhubarb crisp, strawberry shortcake, cookies, etc are all done gluten-free. And like I said, dinner is almost always gluten free for everyone. If we have a normally gluteny side dish, like pasta salad, hubby is now making that with gluten-free pasta. I think that's why hubby doesn't think that my issues would still be gluten related. He knows I'm not eating it and there's very little of it in the house. But, honestly, I think it has to be my increased exposure. That's the only thing that has changed recently. Since going gluten-free in November I was at work full time 5 days a week. June 1 I started being home full time 7 days a week. By June 10 I had my first canker sore in months and other things started creeping back in. 4 canker sores in ~14 days is a new record for me. I used to just get 1 a month. Thankfully they are tiny and only one at a time. Still definitely a noticeable change.

As for testing, yes, I am going to see about having my 5yo tested. She gets periodic canker sores (like a couple a year) just like I did when I was a kid. She also has infrequent BMs, like every 3 days, and so is on miralax. Her 5yr check up is in a few weeks. It will be interesting to see what turns up since I'm sero-negative.

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LOL!

Thank you for the very thoughtful reply! I had a total aha moment in that I definitely can get my kids more involved in the food prep. They love to help so things like taking the bread out, putting things on plates or baking sheets will be easy and fun for them.

We do all the food prep on our kitchen island so at least it's all contained to one spot and I can easily move my food prep to a different spot. We also always eat at the kitchen table so no food in other rooms. For the most part the kids gluten foods are limited to bread, frozen waffles, and frozen bagels. They love gluten-free cereals, nut thin crackers, etc. We rarely have any gluteny baked goods in the house (although hubby brought home cupcakes the other day from work that someone gave him and the girls managed to get cupcake crumbs EVERYWHERE around the kitchen table and I just about had a fit). If we bake we bake gluten-free...rhubarb crisp, strawberry shortcake, cookies, etc are all done gluten-free. And like I said, dinner is almost always gluten free for everyone. If we have a normally gluteny side dish, like pasta salad, hubby is now making that with gluten-free pasta. I think that's why hubby doesn't think that my issues would still be gluten related. He knows I'm not eating it and there's very little of it in the house. But, honestly, I think it has to be my increased exposure. That's the only thing that has changed recently. Since going gluten-free in November I was at work full time 5 days a week. June 1 I started being home full time 7 days a week. By June 10 I had my first canker sore in months and other things started creeping back in. 4 canker sores in ~14 days is a new record for me. I used to just get 1 a month. Thankfully they are tiny and only one at a time. Still definitely a noticeable change.

As for testing, yes, I am going to see about having my 5yo tested. She gets periodic canker sores (like a couple a year) just like I did when I was a kid. She also has infrequent BMs, like every 3 days, and so is on miralax. Her 5yr check up is in a few weeks. It will be interesting to see what turns up since I'm sero-negative.

Messy things, like cupcakes, can be eaten outside. Then the kids brushed off, guess where? - outside. I learned this from a lady wih day care in her home. Those kids ate outside if the weather was at all good (between 45-100 degrees, no lightening, etc). The kids liked it, too.

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