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      Frequently Asked Questions About Celiac Disease   09/30/2015

      This Celiac.com FAQ on celiac disease will guide you to all of the basic information you will need to know about the disease, its diagnosis, testing methods, a gluten-free diet, etc.   Subscribe to FREE Celiac.com email alerts What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease? - list blood tests, endo with biopsy, genetic test and enterolab (not diagnostic) Celiac Disease Screening Interpretation of Celiac Disease Blood Test Results Can I be tested even though I am eating gluten free? How long must gluten be taken for the serological tests to be meaningful? The Gluten-Free Diet 101 - A Beginner's Guide to Going Gluten-Free Is celiac inherited? Should my children be tested? Ten Facts About Celiac Disease Genetic Testing Is there a link between celiac and other autoimmune diseases? Celiac Disease Research: Associated Diseases and Disorders Is there a list of gluten foods to avoid? Unsafe Gluten-Free Food List (Unsafe Ingredients) Is there a list of gluten free foods? Safe Gluten-Free Food List (Safe Ingredients) Gluten-Free Alcoholic Beverages Distilled Spirits (Grain Alcohols) and Vinegar: Are they Gluten-Free? Where does gluten hide? Additional Things to Beware of to Maintain a 100% Gluten-Free Diet Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes Where can I buy gluten-free stuff? Support this site by shopping at The Celiac.com Store.

Inhalation Again - At Work - Very Worried
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9 posts in this topic

Dear all,

 

Someone at work cooked some biscuits and popcorn in the microwave last Friday afternoon and it literally smelled like sitting in a bakery for about 3 hours afterwards as the air conditioning is very poor in our offices and the smell just permeated everywhere.

 

Ever since then I have had stomach issues (D on saturday, severe cramping yesterday and now today even a small bit of blood and mucus.)

 

I know others have found that inhaling gluten is enough to cause a problem, but seriously do you think it could have caused this? There is nothing else obvious which has changed, although there is always the chance it is a stomach bug I guess (hope).

 

I am very concerned that my family - and indeed my employer if this keeps happening - are going to start to think I'm losing my mind (which I am absolutely not - of that I am sure!)  No-one here in the UK believes that smelling gluten could possibly be enough to trigger a reaction, but I'm starting to really think it might do. I am fairly sure I also react to the smell of toast.

 

Thanks so much for any replies. I am really worried because this could make working in an office with other people as well as relationships extremely difficult.  But I can't see that there is anything II can do about it over and above what I already am (prepare all my meals from scratch, no grain, no dairy, no soya, hyper vigilant about cc.)

 

Best wishes, Carolyn

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Unless you work in a bakery where flying flour is a concern, i wouldn't worry about it.

 

It is very possible that you picked up a virus that is going around (and they can produce very similar stomach issues).

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Smell shouldn't be glutening you. Not sure how popcorn would have gluten but it does smell along time. If they were making the biscuits in a mixer with flour flying, I could see that the flour would be in the air and could get in your mouth and swallowed.

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Perhaps you were cc'ed from something somewhere.  I was in Costco over the weekend and there was a baby in a cart (cute as can be) eating cookies and they were ALL over the cart.  I thought to myself glad I didnt get that cart after that kid was in it.  Could be anything really.  

 

Whatever it was, I hope you get to feeling better very soon!  Hang in there!  Living amongst the gluten eaters in this crazy world is tough sometimes.  :)

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When I come here I click on New Content and I think that many others do the same.  If you are asking a question pertaining to super sensitivity, it is a good idea to put it in the body of the post too.

 

Typical celiacs have no problems with the smell of gluten.  Many super sensitives have reported issues.  It may just be because when you smell it, it is around and some got into the air somehow.  It may be that the tiny amount necessary to hit the smell receptors is also enough to initiate a reaction in some people.  

 

I think of myself as just about as sensitive as they come and I haven't ever experiences glutening from smelling gluten, but I won't discount the possibility of it happening in others.  

 

Things in the nose can get to the stomach, they are connected.

 

I have noticed that biscuits tend to have a floury coating on the outside and that could have gotten into the air.  If you are worrying about people thinking that you are crazy saying that you are reacting to the smell, don't say it.  You can say instead that you are reacting to the tiny amounts that get into the air when it is taken out and handled.

 

It can be very difficult to react to lower amounts that those around you.  I've been called crazy myself a few times.

 

I hope that you feel better soon.

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I have to be very careful with airborne exposures, as our family has wheat allergy in addition to celiac. We use Zyrtec for relief of bad exposures after trying for a long time to avoid, avoid, avoid....but sometimes it cannot be entirely avoided. My kids tell me it helps with their tummy distress, but it can be hard to make sense of kids reports....or maybe just hard to take at face value. If my office space gets bad, I just leave. I have also worked to keep my desk as far from the kitchen as possible, and that issue is discussed with my employer. Sometimes it is enough for me to go work in a conference room for a bit while the air dissipates. Hope that helps. Good luck figuring out what works for you. If I were in the States I would have a HEPA filter at my desk, but HEPA filters are so much harder to find here in Australia (Western Australia anyway).

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The scent or smell of baked goods (already baked and warmed in a microwave) wouldn't cause a reaction.  If there was a chance of flour hanging in the air, then that could get inhaled and cause symptoms, but baked goods are safe to smell.

 

Now, the microwave itself--do you use it?  If so it's possible you got contaminated that way.

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The smell of baked goods come from aromatic compounds that can make it into the air.  Gluten is a heavy protein that cannot do this - and cannot trigger a smell sensation through the nose.  So, the smells are not going to gluten you.  I'm not saying that airborne flour can't gluten you - I believe it can.  But smell and airborne flour are two very different things.

 

But if you're staying away from that microwave, and that coworker is staying away from your desk (and keyboard!), then you should start looking for other sources of contamination or consider that you've gotten a stomach virus.

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Thank you very much all for your replies.  I don't use the microwave myself so it's not that.  Perhaps it is just an almighty coincidence and it is indeed a stomach virus - hope so.  I am going to look into air filters - that was a good thought - thank you again.

 

Best wishes, Carolyn

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