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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.

Trace Amounts Adding Up Over Time?
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11 posts in this topic

Has anyone experienced tiny amounts of gluten adding up over time ending with a sudden reaction "out of nowhere"?

My son (gluten and many other intolerances) has had an intense reaction after being symptom-free for 6 months. Since there is no obvious source of gluten, I am wondering if he could have ingested gluten in tiny amounts over  a long period of time, for example from "gluten-free" foods (gluten-free Rice Krispies etc.) or from sticking his fingers into his mouth at school.

Is it possible to have a full-blown reaction once the accumulated amount reaches a certain level?

 

Thanks for any input!

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I've always wondered if this occurred. I always tell myself that's what it is when I can't find a source. I'm following to see the replies!

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I was glutening myself with small amounts about a year and a half ago - a few french fries  with wheat starch on them off my son's plate every few days. I slowly felt worse and worse but I did not have a sudden intense reaction; my reaction snuck up on me.

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I believe, based on experience over the last 6 years or so, that trace amounts build up slowly to cause a slowly worsening reaction.  I don't think that there is a big tipping point to full blown symptoms.  I think that there was a larger consumption in play.  There may have been a crumb picked up somewhere, or perhaps a batch of some product with some contamination in it.  I hope that it was a one time event and symptoms will resolve.

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Thank you, everyone, for your input!

The problem with my son is that - once he gets abdominal pain his intestines are already so backed up that it is a several-week long and painful process to get back to normal.
But true, a larger contamination is likely at play as well, and I am trying to figure out what it was.

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It's a several week long process to get over a glutening for me too.  I need to watch that I don't get impatient and limit my diet further than necessary.  I hope that you get things figured out.  It can be difficult. 

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I do think that small exposures over time result in a tipping point and a larger reaction.  I find that if I eat out at resturants too often, even eating gluten free, that the more I eat out over time the worse the reaction.

 

So, if I eat out once, I might not have any reaction at all, except perhaps one extra BM that day, but still normal.  If I eat out 2 days in a row or 3 days in a row, my stools get progressively looser and more frequent and higher chance of feeling nauseated and stomach rumbling. 

 

I am very careful when I do eat out to only order food that is gluten free and try to avoid cross contamination as much as possible (i.e. nothing from a fryer that would have gluten items in the same fryer)

 

I just know that I can't eat out too often or at least need to space it out a bit to avoid getting a larger reaction. 

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It seems to make sense to me.  I lived on a low carb diet for about 6 years to control what I thought was hypoglycemia.  When I went back to work 3 years ago, gluten started creeping back into my diet slowly.  If they ordered Jimmy John's at lunch or Pizza for a dinner meeting I felt like I had to have a little. 

 

Slowly some of the symptoms started coming back.  I couldn't figure out why my carpal tunnel was all of a sudden flaring back up when it hadn't bothered me for several years or why I was getting the DH rash again that had been gone for so long, I didn't yet know it was DH.  ...or why I was having mood swings, dry eye and vision problems and so on and on.  Suddenly the reactions got very violent and it was easy to see that eating pizza was what put me in a near coma for 24 hours. 

 

That it was cumulative would explain why the build up to more violent reactions. 

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Thank you so much for all your helpful comments!

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Aww... Poor kid!

This has definitely happened to me! I was using a face cream a couple of months ago that was labeled gluten free. I usually pay really close attention to how I feel after using new products and I felt okay! So I kept using it. After 2-3 weeks I started feeling really crampy and fatigued. I finally wrote the company and they said they used "gluten-removed " products, which I do react to! I stopped using the cream and voila , I was all better :). The company however, refused to give me my money back :(

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I was just wondering the same thing. Over the last month I have started feeling crappier. My neck and back pain has flared up like crazy plus pins and needles, feel nauseous, super tired and headaches but couldn't figure out why..turns out it was the taco seasoning i bought 2 months ago.  I ate it at least once a week for those 2 months and it gradually snuck up on me. It has now been 10+ days and i haven't drank much at all (not like me) last week I couldn't finish more than one glass of wine and lately I still wake up feeling hungover without drinking!

 

HELP!

 

Does anyone else have slow reactions like this? I was surprised I didn't have at least a D episode after eating the tacos each time. 

 

background info: gluten-free since July 2013, last time i ate a bite of bread was 9/2013 diagnosed celiac 1/9/2013

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