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Felidae

Response From Parmalat Canada

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For anyone in Canada:

Dear Ms. L.,

This is to acknowledge receipt of your e-mail to Parmalat Canada. We had experienced technical difficulties and we are not sure if you have already received a response. We apologies if you have already been answered and please accept our sincere apologies if you have not yet received an answer.

Thank you for taking the time to write to us regarding our products. In response to your inquiry, recent updates in regulations have changed the definition of what can be declared as a "gluten free" product. As a result of the changes in the regulations, we have reviewed our products and, under the revised regulations, only our Beatrice Sensational Soy Original, Vanilla, Chocolate and Sensational Juice Blends can be described as gluten free.

Thank you for contacting Parmalat Canada.

Sincerely,

Consumer Response,

Parmalat Canada

This is insane! Parmalat produces a ton of dairy products under various names. This would eliminate a lot of dairy that I can purchase at a reasonable price.

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Whoa that IS crazy! :o

~lisa~

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Gluten in milk?!?! That IS insane! That doesn't make any sense. And what regulatory updates are they talking about?

Meanwhile, here's the letter I got from Yoplait.

Dear Mrs ____,

We aknowledge receipt your comments concerning the gluten in the Yoplait products.

We want to certified you that all the Yoplait Products are gluten free.

More information about all the Yoplait products are available on yoplait.ca our new Web site.

Once again, thank you for your comments and please be assured that Yoplait is continuously working to be the first to offer consumers innovative products of the highest quality.

Sincerely yours,

Marie-France Laurin

Consumer Service

YOPLAIT

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I hope they are wrong, because just when I thought i found enough varieties of food that I can live like a normal human, I dont need some company cutting down that supply, especially not when it comes to milk products! :unsure:

~lisa~

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Yeah, what a stupid response. I wonder if it is like the warning labe "may have been in contact with gluten"? The Dairyland website lists their gluten free items. I emailed Saputo (parent company of Dairyland) for their gluten-free status too.

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I couldn't find the Dairyland list, I ended up emailing them. No response yet.

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Guest BellyTimber

It sounds as if the change in description is due to the change in regulations.

I don't know what regulations have changed but it's my guess it may be either:

- sweeteners/fillers made from wheat like maltodextrin, dextrose which are known to be extremely (I mean extremely) low in gluten residue but which might conceivable disagree with those sensitive to wheat (though I have not definitely heard of that)

- cross contamination isues

There should be a standard for cross-contamination which should be lower than the codex standard though in practice items meeting the codex standard will often be far below the legal limit on the codex standard.

The items referred to in the letter may have contained as much gluten etc in the past as they will from now on, but the "goal posts" allowed for them to be described differently then.

What is unhelpful about the letter is that it does not explain explicitly what proportion of what residues is in what product and whether that is in fact a change from previously or not.

You should regard the actual ingredients list as more authoritative than any "contains" or "free" box.

The company owe you another letter clarifying these issues.

Maybe when they've sent you it you can go back to using some of those other products if they didn't cause you ill health before.

We have this kind of goalpost moving all the time in the UK.

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Wow! I am glad that I read this post! I just checked the Yoplait website and this is what they have on it:

Do Yoplait products contain gluten?

We carefully analyze all of our ingredients (presence of wheat, rye, barley, triticale, spelt, oats and malt) to ensure they do not contain gluten. Our products can therefore be safely consumed by people with celiac disease.

I've noticed "modified cornstarch" on the list of ingredients of both Yoplait Creme & fruit and Spring Valley. Has the cornstarch been modified with gluten?

Modified cornstarch is used to stabilize yogourt and does not contain gluten.

And I thought my Yoplait days were over! Thank you for mentioning this! :D

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I love Yoplait. At least they know what they are putting into their products. What I don't understand about Parmalat is why products like milk and cheese are not gluten-free? Are there products made to a lesser standard or do they just not know what is in their products. As if being gluten-free in Canada is not hard enough. At least we have Yoplait for yogurt and Kraft for cheese!

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I sent Parmalat an email this morning (and left a message after many rings of the phone) and in the email I posted the pertinent part of Felidae's letter from the company and then I said, "Are you saying that all of your milk, margarine, and yogurt products contain gluten?"

I left it at that. Except I did say how I was looking forward to a response soon.

Emailed Dairyland this morning also, and got this reply:

Thank you for your e-mail regarding our gluten free products. Below is out list.

GLUTEN FREE PRODUCTS:

Dairyland & Baxter Milk All white & flavoured milks are gluten free except chocolate milk - see below.

Dairyland & Baxter Chocolate Milk Corn gluten only

Dairyland & Baxter Whip Cream Gluten free

Dairyland & Nutrilait Plus Microfiltered Milks (Skim, 1%, 2%) Gluten free

Dairyland Plus Omega Milk Gluten free

Dairyland Ice Cream Mix/Milkshake Mix Gluten free (mix only as sold to customer).

Dairyland Frosted Malt Mix NOT gluten free (has corn, wheat, oat, rye, barley).

Dairyland California Yogurt Mix Gluten free

Pacific & Alpha Evaporated Milk Gluten free

Dairyland & Baxter Sour Cream, Dairyland Yogurts, International Delight They have corn gluten

Dairyland & Baxter Cottage Cheese (Plain & fruit flavoured) Gluten free except the cott. cheese combo fruit does have CORN gluten.

Dairyland & Fraser Valley Butter - salted & unsalted Gluten free

Dairyland & Baxter Egg Nog Gluten free

Dairyland & Baxter Buttermilk Gluten free

Meadowvale Margarine Gluten free

Armstrong & Saputo Cheese: Shred, Cheddar, Light Cheddar, Mozz., Feta, Nibblers, Slices (processed and Provolone), Fat Free Slices, Parmesan Grated Cheese, Saputo Cheese Strings & Saputo Cheese Heads, Saputo Ricotta Cheese, Bari & Stella Whey Ricotta Cheese Gluten free

Saputo Blue Cheese MAY CONTAIN TRACES OF GLUTEN

We hope that helps.

Sincerely,

> Deborah Elke

> Consumer Relations Coordinator

> Marketing Department

> Saputo

>

> Saputo Foods Limited

> 6800 Lougheed Highway

> Burnaby, BC, Canada V5A 1W2

>

> Tel: 1-800-672-8866 / Fax: 604-581-4106

> delke@saputo.com

> www.saputo.com

I love how there's a typo in the first sentence. And what the heck is corn gluten?!

It's a start. After all that, I decided to let Kellogg's know we need gluten-free cereal too. No response from them yet. The first time I wrote to them I got a letter that said (and I'm paraphrasing here) "We don't make gluten free products and we never ever will so P.F.O." :P

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FYI - Corn does have gluten, which is really just a generic name for the protein in grains. It's not the same protein structure as wheat, rye, or barley gluten, so we can eat it without problems.

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Good, I was hoping someone else would email Parmalat. Maybe the person who responded to me was mistaken. The more people that bug them the more info. I think we'll get. Thanks for the Dairyland list.

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My email from Parmalat was addressed to "Dear Valued Consumer".

Here's the response:

Dear Valued Consumer,

This is to acknowledge receipt of your recent call to Parmalat Canada .

Thank you for taking the time to write to us regarding our Sensational Soy Products. In response to your inquiry, recent updates in regulations have changed the definition of what can be declared as a "Gluten Free" product. As a result of the changes in the regulations, we have reviewed our products and, under the revised regulations, only our Beatrice Sensational Soy Original, Vanilla, Chocolate and Sensational Juice Blends can be described as gluten free.

Thank you for contacting Parmalat Canada.

Sincerely,

Consumer Response,

Parmalat Canada

Of course, I didn't even ASK about soy products. Here's MY response to them:

Thank you for your prompt response, but I am not writing about soy products, I am writing about milk, cheese, yogurt and margarine and butter products. For example, does a 4L jug of homogenized milk also contain gluten? Does your chocolate milk contain gluten? Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley (malt), oats, triticale, spelt and kamut. My son cannot ingest gluten, he will get very ill.

I am looking for a list of gluten free products from your COMPLETE line of products, including Astro and Beatrice yogurt, Lactantia spreads, Parkay spreads, Black Diamond cheese and cheese strings, Sargento grated cheese, etc.

I would appreciate a gluten free list for ALL products falling under the corporate entity known as Parmalat. So, a gluten free list for all Beatrice products, all Black Diamond products, all Astro products, all Lactantia products, etc.

Thank you.

We'll see what happens. They need me to buy their products after all. I am a Valued Consumer.

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That's a great email Linda. I looki forward to seeing how they will respond to that.

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I agree, good email.. I HOPE you can get a good response too! I say we all keep pressuring til they give in :P

~lisa~

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My email from Parmalat was addressed to "Dear Valued Consumer".

Here's the response:

Dear Valued Consumer,

This is to acknowledge receipt of your recent call to Parmalat Canada .

Thank you for taking the time to write to us regarding our Sensational Soy Products.  In response to your inquiry, recent updates in regulations have changed the definition of what can be declared as a "Gluten Free" product. As a result of the changes in the regulations, we have reviewed our products and, under the revised regulations, only our Beatrice Sensational Soy Original, Vanilla, Chocolate and Sensational Juice Blends can be described as gluten free.

Thank you for contacting Parmalat Canada.

Sincerely,

Consumer Response,

Parmalat Canada

Of course, I didn't even ASK about soy products. Here's MY response to them:

Thank you for your prompt response, but I am not writing about soy products, I am writing about milk, cheese, yogurt and margarine and butter products. For example, does a 4L jug of homogenized milk also contain gluten? Does your chocolate milk contain gluten? Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley (malt), oats, triticale, spelt and kamut. My son cannot ingest gluten, he will get very ill.

I am looking for a list of gluten free products from your COMPLETE line of products, including Astro and Beatrice yogurt, Lactantia spreads, Parkay spreads, Black Diamond cheese and cheese strings, Sargento grated cheese, etc.

I would appreciate a gluten free list for ALL products falling under the corporate entity known as Parmalat. So, a gluten free list for all Beatrice products, all Black Diamond products, all Astro products, all Lactantia products, etc.

Thank you.

We'll see what happens. They need me to buy their products after all. I am a Valued Consumer.

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

I don't know how many of you know about Tofutti brand products butthey are totally dairy and lactose free. I have emaild them as to what of their products have gluten in them. So far from their site it appears that all entree's, and cakes and cookies do. Their hard cheeses don't seem to have casein in them which would be just grand. I am waiting for their reply back and will post it when it arrives.

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Guest BellyTimber

I've no idea what products you are discussing.

But do some hard cheeses not contain casein?

I thought milk without casein was impossible?

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BellyTimber, Parmalat is a large dairy products manufacturer in Canada. And they have stated that virtually none of their products are gluten-free.

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Okay gang, we can all stop buying anything from Parmalat. Here's the response to my e-mail (text of that e-mail is in an earlier post)

"Dear Valued Consumer,

This is to acknowledge receipt of your recent reply e-mail to Parmalat Canada .

In response to your inquiry, as previously mentioned in our email, only the

Sensational Soy Beverages can be listed as Gluten Free under the new regulations from the CFIA. Therefore under the new regulations, none of our other products can be listed as gluten free.

Thank you for contacting Parmalat Canada.

Sincerely,

Consumer Response,

Parmalat Canada

Reference #93335"

Since this is the second time they have referred to ONLY Sensational Soy being gluten-free I guess that we can assume that nothing else is. Peculiar, but there you have it. I'd be interested to see the new CFIA regs Parmalat is talking about.

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Sorry for the ridiculous length of this post.

Here's a link to the CFIA info:

http://www.inspection.gc.ca/english/bureau...ae.shtml#7-15-7

it says:

7.15.7 Gluten-Free Foods [FDR, B.24.018, B.24.019] (Amended 31/01/97)

A food is not permitted to be labelled, packaged, sold or advertised in a manner likely to create an impression that it is "gluten-free" unless it does not contain wheat, including spelt and kamut, or oats, barley, rye, triticale or any part thereof.

A food represented as "gluten-free" must declare the content of energy value, protein, fat and carbohydrate on the label (B.24.019). (see Section7.3 and Appendix II)

7.3 Third-Party Endorsements, Logos and Seals of Approval (see Annex 6, Appendix II) (Amended 31/01/97)

The following summarizes the policy on the use of third-party endorsements, logos and seals of approval in labelling and advertising:

Endorsement by private organizations could contravene subsections 3(1) and/or 5(1) of the Food and Drugs Act. Endorsements which state, suggest or imply that a single food or brand of food is "nutritionally superior" to or "healthier" than other foods are considered misleading, since health is imparted by the total diet rather than by individual foods. An endorsement which suggests that a food may prevent a Schedule A disease is false and is specifically prohibited.

The policy does not apply to the gluten-free symbol of the Canadian Celiac Association or the food choice values of the Canadian Diabetes Association. (see Section 7.15.7)

Appendix II: Policy on the Use of Third-Party Endorsements, Logos and Seals of Approval

Introduction

The Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) recognizes the need for collaboration among government, industry and non-government organizations in nutrition and health information programs and the desirability of providing useful information on labels and in advertising by manufacturers and third parties. It is, however, CFIA policy (as stated in Section 4.1.8 of the Guide to Food Labelling and Advertising) that logos, seals of approval and professional endorsements on food labels or in food advertisements should be used with caution to ensure that consumers are not misled as to the merits of the product involved.

Endorsements by private organizations could contravene subsections 3(1) and/or 5(1) of the Food and Drugs Act. Endorsements which state, suggest or imply that a single food or brand of food is "nutritionally superior" to, or "healthier" than, other foods are considered misleading, since health is imparted by the total diet rather than by individual foods. An endorsement which suggests that a food may prevent a Schedule A disease is false and is specifically prohibited.

Background

Increasing numbers of foods sold in retail outlets, in restaurants and food service establishments bear third party endorsements which imply nutrition or health-related benefits.

In view of the growing trend by manufacturers, retailers, restaurateurs and advertisers to enter into joint arrangements with health agencies and related organizations for the purposes of product promotion, there is concern that the proliferation of logos and seals of approval may lead to consumer confusion and, additionally, that the consumer is unable to judge the merit of the endorsing organizations. The criteria for describing foods in labelling and advertising have been established by regulations and guidelines. The development of alternative systems for describing foods may weaken the fabric of the regulatory base necessary for consumer protection. In this context, a clear policy is needed.

Policy Goal

To describe the conditions under which the name, statement, seal of approval, symbol, logo or other proprietary mark of a third party, suggestive of nutrition and/or health benefits, may be used on the label of, or in an advertisement for a food in a manner which will avoid misleading consumers.

1. Scope

1.1 This policy applies to the use of third party endorsements suggestive of a single food's or brand's nutrition and/or health-related benefits on food labels or in food advertisements including those in retail outlets, restaurants and food service establishments. The policy does not apply to logos, etc. of organizations providing health and nutrition information for groups or classes of foods in retail outlets, restaurants and food service establishments.

1.2 This policy does not apply to the use of the gluten-free symbol of the Canadian Celiac Association or the food choice values of the Canadian Diabetes Association (see Section 7.15.7 for requirements triggered by "gluten-free" claims or logos). These are intended only to provide information about a food's composition for consumers with celiac disease and diabetes respectively. These symbols are presented in such a way that only persons with celiac disease or diabetes recognize the symbols and are unlikely to be perceived by the general public as being endorsed by a health organization. Consideration may be given to additional exceptions on a case-by-case basis.

Blah, blah, blah.

I also got an email from an advisor at the CFIA a few days ago. Here it is:

Your e-mail of October 25, 2005 to Ronald Burke, Director of this Bureau

has been forwarded to this office for reply on the status of the

initiative to enhance the labelling requirements, under the Food and Drug Regulations,for added food allergens, gluten sources and sulphites in foods sold in

Canada.

The proposed regulations are still under development, but progressing

steadily. Your suggestion to require a bold font for declaration of the

added food allergens, gluten sources and sulphites will be considered as

the work continues on these proposed regulations. We anticipate

prepublication of the proposed amendments in the Canada Gazette, Part I, early next year. We will add your name to the list of

individuals to be notified when these proposed regulatory amendments are

published in the Canada Gazette, Part I.

If you have any further questions, I can be contacted as shown below.

Dennis Lein

Senior Advisor/Conseiller principal

Food Regulatory Program/Programme de la réglementation des aliments Bureau of Food Regulatory, International and Interagency Affairs/Bureau de

la réglementation des aliments, des affaires internationales et

interagences

Food Directorate/Direction des aliments

Health Products and Food Branch/Direction génerale des produits de santé

et des aliments

Health Canada/Santé Canada

Phone/Téléphone: 613-957-1751

Fax/Télécopieur: 613-941-3537

E-mail/Courriel: Dennis_Lein@hc-sc.gc.ca

---

To: <Ronald_Burke@hc-sc.gc.ca>

cc:

Subject: gluten free labelling

Hello,

I was just reading information on labelling from the following website.

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/label-etiquet...alergene_e.html

I wonder what has happened since then. Will all sources of gluten be

clearly labelled? Regarding item -b- if the name of the allergenic food is not already identified in the common name of the derivative, then the name of the allergenic food would have to appear in brackets following the ingredient; may I suggest having it in bold after the list of ingredients? For example: contains: gluten. I would even look forward to a contains: wheat or contains: barley malt or contains: oats.

It is increasingly difficult for someone purchasing food for a person with

Celiac Disease to narrow down the list of ingredients and pinpoint what

the ingredient is made from.

My five year old son was diagnosed with Celiac Disease two months ago, and

I have spent many hours reading labels and calling 800-numbers to check on

ingredients. Many times (for example) barley is at the end of the list of

ingredients and it would be VERY helpful if all the gluten containing

grains/starchs and ingredients such as "natural flavourings" were clearly

spelled out and in bold print.

I realize that people with Celiac do not suffer from an anaphylactic

response upon ingesting gluten, but the danger to their health is just as

serious as the people with reactions to certain allergens.

Please continue the push to have gluten clearly labelled on ingredients lists. Tens or even hundreds of thousand

of people will thank you for making their daily lives that much easier.

May I also encourage you to continue to push for proper labelling on the

prepackaged confections (commonly known as one bite confections that are

sold individually) as well as on the labels of prepackaged individual

portions of food that are served by a restaurant or other commercial

enterprise (airline) with meals or snacks.

Thank you,

Linda

Which STILL doesn't explain why the heck Parmalat says their milk is NOT gluten-free.

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A food represented as "gluten-free" must declare the content of energy value, protein, fat and carbohydrate on the label (B.24.019). (see Section7.3 and Appendix II)

This silly regulation may be the problem. Milk, by its very nature, is somewhat variable in these values. So, if they are not able to put this unrelated information on the label, then by a literal interpretation of the rule, they can not tell you ("represent") that the product is "gluten free".

God protect us from our government!! :angry:

BTW, they did not say that it is not gluten-free, only that they can not say that it is gluten-free. :huh:

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BTW, they did not say that it is not gluten-free, only that they can not say that it is gluten-free.  :huh:

<{POST_SNAPBACK}>

You're right...but they COULD say that they haven't ADDED anything to it, and that it is plain old milk with vitamin D. (Yeah, yeah, they have to add the vitamin D. You know what I mean. B) )

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I'm kind of regretting that I started this topic at all. Thanks for looking into the CFIA regulations.

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    • I am sorry that I was not clear.    I only mentioned  your diagnostic background, not to discredit you, but because without any lab results (other than a positive gene test), how can you be sure that gluten (shampoo containing wheat protein) was the actual culprit (not a guess) of your symptoms?  It is common for celiacs to receive follow-up antibodies to monitor their dietary compliance.  This is not perfect, but it is the only tool in the toolbox for now.   My husband has been gluten free 12 years prior to my diagnosis.  He went gluten free per the poor advice of his GP and my allergist.  So, I am not trying to discount your diagnosis at all.  I am just trying to see if other lab tests (e.g. liver tests that were elevated previously for you when you were still consuming gluten) were measured after your shampoo exposure.   I am curious because I have had issues over the last year.  I was glutened last January, had the flu, a tooth infection, a cold and a tooth extraction, three rounds of antibiotics (verified to be gluten free) within a month or so.  Like, you, I am very careful.  I have no idea as to how I was exposed.   The last time I ate out was a year ago and even then it was at at 100% gluten free restaurant.   My hubby did not have any symptoms at this time.  He is like my canary.    I went to my GI and my DGP IgA was off the charts even some three months later.   My celiac-related symptoms diminished in three months, but I struggled with autoimmune hives for six.  My GI offered to do an endoscopy in the summer.  Instead I chose to follow the Fasano diet.  I still was not feeling well.  In December, my antibodies were 80.  They were either on a decline or they were increasing again.  I opted for the endoscopy.  My biopsies revealed a healed small intestine (you could see the villi on the scope too).  But I was diagnosed with chronic gastritis and had a polyp removed.   So, all this time I thought my celiac disease was active, but it was NOT the source of my current gut issues.   Again, my apologies.  I just wanted to know how you know for SURE that hydrologized wheat protein from someone else’s shampoo and conditioner could reach your small intestine to trigger an autoimmune reaction.  Maybe, like me, Gluten was not the actual culprit.    
    • The reason I think it was the shampoo? Process of elimination. Our house is almost entirely gluten free (except for this shampoo which slipped through the cracks until I read the ingredient label). My husband has bread that he eats at lunch, but he practices something that resembles aseptic technique from the lab when he's making his sandwiches. He's been doing this for years now and I've never been glutened from within my home. The previous week I hadn't eaten out, I cooked all my food, I don't eat processed food and I never eat something from a shared facility.  Usually if I get glutened it's a single dose sort of thing and it follows a very predictable course, to the point where I can estimate when I got glutened within 24 hours of when it happened. However, this time, I was feeling achy and arthritic and moody for about a week before it got bad enough for me to recognize it as the result of gluten exposure, at which point we went searching and found the shampoo (and conditioner, which does leave more of a residue than shampoo), which he immediately stopped using. Within three days I was feeling back to normal (which is the usual course for me).  Sure, it could have been something else, but I know how sensitive I am, and, as silly as it sounds, it was the only thing that made sense. The other thing you said: You're correct, mine was not a rock solid celiac diagnosis, but I have no doubt that gluten is the problem. I was SICK. I went through two different gluten challenges in an effort to get a more straightforward diagnosis during which I was a barely functioning human being. Consuming gluten may not have given me blunted villi or elevated antibodies, but it did inflame my gut, and actually started to damage my liver. If you look at my diagnosis thread, I had elevated liver enzymes, which have been correlated with celiac disease in the past. There was no alternative explanation for the liver enzymes, he checked EVERYTHING.  I too am a scientist and I have spent a lot of time with the literature trying to make sense of my condition.  https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26150087 I also have no doubt that gluten was damaging my intestines in some way, as any prolonged gluten exposure in the past has inevitably been followed by a severe FODMAP intolerance that goes away once I've eliminated the gluten and given myself a month or so to heal.  I also had a very fast diagnosis following the onset of symptoms (~1 year) so it's possible that the disease never had a chance to manifest as full celiac. I wasn't willing to eat gluten long enough to find out. As a result of my diagnosis, hazy as it was, I am *meticulously* gluten free. It is not a fad for me. I don't occasionally cheat. It is my life, for better or worse. All of that being said, I'm not sure what my diagnosis has to do with your question. You say you're not trying to be rude, but when you bring up my diagnosis in a thread that has nothing to do with diagnostics, it seems like you're trying to undermine the validity of my disease or the validity of my input in this forum. If I'm being hypersensitive, I apologize, but that's how you came across on my end. I'll admit that the fact that my diagnosis wasn't more straight forward does make me a bit defensive, but I promise that even if I didn't have a solid diagnosis, I interact with the world as though I did, and I'm not out there giving people the wrong idea about celiac disease by not taking it seriously. If there was a connection between your question and my diagnostics that I missed I would appreciate you giving me the chance to better understand what you were asking. 
    • I am just curious.  As a scientist (and I am not trying to be rude), how can you determine if hydrologized wheat protein from your husband’s shampoo was actually the culprit?  If I recall at your diagnosis, you were seronegative, Marsh Stage I, gene positive,  but your doctor still  suspected celiac disease.  You improved on a gluten diet.  Other than observation, how do you really know?  Could it not be something else that triggered your symptoms?   I firmly believe that even trace amounts of gluten (under 20 ppm), can impact sensitive celiacs.  But traces of a protein within a shampoo from someone else’s hair that was rinsed?    
    • I also can't have dairy but through a series of experiments and a lot of research I think I've pinpointed my problem. It may or may not be the same for you, but I thought I'd share.  There are two kinds of beta-casein protein A1 and A2. We'll call A1 "bad casein" and A2 "good casein". The two proteins differ only in a single amino acid, but this is enough to make it so that they are processed differently in your guy. Bad casein is actually broken down into a casomorphin, which is an opioid peptide. That does not mean that milk gets you high, or is as addictive as heroin, or anything like that, it just means that it can interact with opioid receptors (which the gut has a bunch of). It's worth noting that opioids cause constipation due to their interaction with the opioid receptors in the gut, and that a lot of people feel like cheese and dairy slow things down, but any connection between the two is pure speculation on my part at this point.  Now here's where things get weird. The vast majority of milk cows in the western world are derived from Holstein-like breeds, meaning black and white cows. In a few select places, you'll see farms that use Jersey-type cows, or brown cows (Jersey cows produce less milk than Holsteins, but many connoisseurs feel it's a higher quality milk, particularly for cheese).  Holstein-like cows have A1 and A2 casein (bad and good), however, Jersey-type cows only have A2 (good casein), unless their genetic line involved a Holstein somewhere in the past, which does happen.  A company in New Zealand figured out how to test their cows for these two genes, and selected their herd down to cows that specifically produce ONLY A2 (good) casein. You might have seen it in the store, it's called A2 milk. Some people have had a lot of luck with this milk, though it still doesn't solve the problem of cheese.  I have suspected, due to trial and error and a few accidental exposures, that I have a problem with A1 casein, but not A2. In line with this: I am able to eat sheep and goat dairy without any difficulty, so at least I can still enjoy those cheeses! I am also fortunate because I'm apparently not too sensitive, as I can still eat cow-milk butter. The process of making butter removes *most* (read: enough for me) of the casein.  However, if I eat cow cheese or a baked good with milk, I get really sick. It's a much faster reaction than if I get glutened. Within minutes I'm dizzy and tired and my limbs are heavy. I have to sleep for a couple of hours, and then, over the next couple of days, I'm vulnerable to moodiness and muscles spasms and stomach upset just as though I'd been glutened (though the brain fog isn't as bad). I actually haven't tried A2 milk yet, mostly due to lack of availability (and motivation, I don't miss milk, I miss CHEESE). However, last year, when I was getting ready to go on a trip to Italy, I had a thought. Once, in the recent past, when I'd been testing dairy, I'd had a slice of parmesan cheese. Miracle of miracles, I was fine. I didn't feel a thing! I was so excited that I ran out and got some brie to eat as a snack. That did not go so well... Turns out parmigiano reggiano is made from the milk of the Reggiana variety of cow which is, you guessed it, a brown cow (they say red). I did a little more research and found that dairies in Italy predominantly use brown cows. So I decided to try something. As some of you may know, Italy is something of a haven for celiacs. It's one of the most gluten-free friendly places I've ever been. You can say "senza glutine" in the smallest little town and they don't even bat their eyelashes. You can buy gluten free foods in the pharmacy because they're considered a MEDICAL NECESSITY. If travelling-while-celiac freaks you out, go to Italy. Check out the website for the AIC (Italy's Celiac society), find some accredited restaurants, and GO NUTS. While I was there, I decided to see if I could eat the dairy. I could.  Friends, I ate gelato Every. Single. Night. after that. It was amazing. Between the dairy being safe for me and the preponderance of gluten free options, it was almost like I didn't have dietary restrictions. It was heaven. I want to go back and never leave.  So that's my story. Almost too crazy to believe.  TL;DR: Black and white cows make me sick, brown cows are my friends.
    • I'm a scientist, and I did a little research into the study. Looks valid and it was published in a respected journal.  http://www.gastrojournal.org/article/S0016-5085(17)36352-7/pdf The science looks solid. As someone who didn't have a super clean cut diagnosis before going gluten free, I'd love to see something like this become available. Then again, there's no doubt in my mind that I can't have gluten, so any additional testing would be purely academic. But like I said, I'm a scientist. I can't help myself. 
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