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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 Celiac.com's FREE weekly eNewsletter   What are the major symptoms of celiac disease? Celiac Disease Symptoms What testing is available for celiac disease?  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 What if my doctor won't listen to me? An Open Letter to Skeptical Health Care Practitioners Gluten-Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes
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:huh: When Logan spotted his first vending machine last weekend, he was desperate to buy something from it. So, because he has eaten Reese's Peanut Butter Cups in the past without reactions, I hoped the Reese's Pieces would be a safe treat to get for him. After buying the box, I carefully read the ingredients and still felt they would be safe for him to eat. SO I let him eat the whole box, which when you are the youngest of four kids, is a treat in itself! :D

Well, I am very sad to say that later that evening Logan had the most severe reaction symptoms I've ever seen him have. :( He was literally doubled over with abdominal pains, and had about 4 bouts of liquid diarrhea, liquid with little dark coloured "bits" of stool-matter in them. His entire trunk and arms and legs was covered in a prickly painful rash. And his poor little cheeks were the brightest scarlet red I have ever seen them. His 5 year old sister said "Look Mommy, Logan's cheeks are bleeding!" (they weren't but they were violently red and hot to the touch) He was unable to settle for bedtime, from the uncontrollable hyperactivity, until I finally went to bed and cuddled him to sleep.

I WANTED TO CRY!!!!!!!! But instead I gave him some antihistamine and felt like a creature.

The only thing I am sure (and aware) that he had ingested out of the normal routine foods he eats is the Reese's Pieces. I called the company today, and the rep assured me they did NOT have any wheat products in the ingredients, nor were the candies in any undeclared contact with wheat, ie on the equipment, as "of course they are aware of the main allergens, and label appropriately."

Now I am a little scared. If it was not the Reese's Pieces he was reacting to, I don't know what it was! At least if I could pin it down to them, I could make a point of having him avoid them in the future. How do I protect my baby from a villain I am unaware of? (and for the record, Logan has eaten peanut butter and roasted peanuts from the shell many many countless times with no reactions, so I don't think the nuts were the problem)

Has anyone else who is sensitive to wheat, had any sort of reaction to Reese's Pieces? If not, do you have any suggestions, thoughts, ideas?

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Terri-Anne,

I am SO sorry to hear about Logan's awful reaction to Reese's Pieces! I don't like them myself, so I haven't tried them recently, but I can tell you that I reacted to Planter's dry-roasted, unsalted peanuts not too long ago. They, too, are supposed to be gluten-free, but I reacted--and then about six hours later, my baby reacted too (when the gluten came through the breast milk)! Yet I eat peanut butter just about every day with no trouble at all. The only thing I can think of, if the company claims that there is no potential for cross-contamination in their factory, is that the peanuts may have been partially processed (e.g. shelled) in another facility and contaminated there. Or maybe the truck that hauled them across the country had carried a load of wheat or barley previously. I REALLY doubt that they scrub down the insides of transport vehicles! It makes me extremely sad and angry, but I don't trust ANY packaged nuts, beans, gluten-free grains, or dried fruits anymore unless they have an allergen declaration on the label!

I hope Logan feels better soon! My older boy recently ate an entire box of gluten-free-cereal-that-wasn't while I was sick and napping, and it has taken him a few weeks to get back to normal. We went over to visit friends while he was in the middle of his reaction, and their little girl SO kindly offered him some of her spaghetti. Well, we managed to intercept him after he had nibbled just one inch off of one noodle, but by the end of the meal his cheeks WERE bleeding! YIKES!

Good luck to both of you as Logan recovers!

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I eat reeses pieces all the time. I have never had any trouble with them, and I am very sensitive to any ingestion of gluten. Possibly your kiddo had a reaction to the dyes used in the coatings. I would re-read the label and see what ingredients are new to him within the product. Do some detective work and see what you come up with.

Also along the lines of peanut allergies, it could STILL be a possability that the peanuts were the culprit. With that sort of allergy you can have it, and not react for quite some time, and then have a severe reaction. When you keep eating the nuts your body sort of weakens each time you eat them and finally you will just react. You might want to have him tested for nut allergies. Just a thought.

-Jessica :rolleyes:

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I wonder whether all Reese's Pieces are made in a single factory or whether there are multiple facilities around the country that make them. It's an interesting question in general, and it may explain why only some instances of various snack foods seem to be contaminated.

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Terri-Anne,

I don't want to play the devil's advocate here but consider that maybe it wasn't a wheat issue at all but a bacteria issue from something else. What I mean is that the reaction you described, while it can be celaic symptoms, is also exactly what would happen if he picked up food poisoning from somethin as well, even more so with a fever (you said his cheeks were hot).

Consider what other food he ingested within 24 to 48 hours of his reaction, that's how long it takes for a food born illness to cause a reaction. It doesn't have to be anything out of the norm from his usualy diet, butmaybe something that was re-heated one too many times, or was left out on the counter for a bit too long, or not cooked through, like chicken or pork.

I work in the restaurant industry and have gone through many classes regarding sanitation and food born illness (jokingly called FBI) and have really noticed the similarities between a celiac disease reaction and food piosioning. The differences seem to be in the severity of the reaction and also in the fever.

Anyway, I could be way off, but it's something to consider if you are certain there was no other contamination. And I wanted to suggest it because my son also eates reeses pieces all the time without any problem, and he is very sensitive to any contamination, so it could be that simple.

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Thinking along the same line as Kathleen, perhaps the candy had been in the vending machine for a while and gotten bacteria somehow...? just a thought. Every once in a while I get a reaction from something too and I have no idea where it came from. Yucky.

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Thanks for your replies.

I can see where you are coming from, suggesting perhaps food poisoning, as Logan's symptoms may suggest. But as you can see from my signature, Logan has a histamine type wheat allergy versus celiac type wheat intolerance, so the symptoms he had were typical of his reactions, except much more severe than normal.

I have no idea what may have caused his reaction, but here we are a week later still suffering from a nasty bout with asthma, which I am sure stemmed from that reaction.

They say one can "out grow" a wheat allergy. I can only hope!

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I am a celiac since 2006--tried reeses pieces and had immediate reaction--bloating, pain, etc. Researched it and found some indications that the carnauba wax may have been the culprit. It does not have gluten in it, but many folks with celiac sprue also react to this ingredient--avoid it.

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but I can tell you that I reacted to Planter's dry-roasted, unsalted peanuts not too long ago. They, too, are supposed to be gluten-free, but I reacted--and then about six hours later

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I have to second the concerns about the food dye. My husband has always had an intolerance to Red no. 40 dye. He hardly ever consumes it now, especially since I had to go gluten-free (most of our food is now cooked from scratch at home). He recently bought a juice drink that was bright red, drank it without reading the label, and had a scary reaction- he started to get light-headed, then he said he could feel his throat tightening up. We're thinking he's lost whatever tolerance he built up over years of eating junk food. He's a fully grown man and a few ounces of that beverage worried him enough to consider a trip to the ER; if your son is small, maybe all of the dye on the candy overloaded his system.

I just re-read your post and you mentioned hyperactivity, which is one of my husband's main symptoms from getting a Red 40 dose. Even if he's exhausted he has to get up and move around because his muscles spasm and hurt. He's also been prone in the past to bad bouts of GI distress, which have cleared up a lot over the past few years. Since his health started improving well before I went gluten-free, I conclude that he was probably reacting to things like Red 40 and the reactions cleared up when we switched our diet from highly processed foods to more basic ingredients and home cooking.

I read recently that a lot of people are allergic or sensitive to tartrazine aka FD&C Yellow #5. My husband doesn't seem to react to that one, but I'm betting both that and Red 40 are in the Reese's Pieces and either one (or both) could have affected your son.

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I am a celiac since 2006--tried reeses pieces and had immediate reaction--bloating, pain, etc. Researched it and found some indications that the carnauba wax may have been the culprit. It does not have gluten in it, but many folks with celiac sprue also react to this ingredient--avoid it.

Could you give me more information on this? I had reese's pieces about three weeks ago and got very sick but thought it was due to the fact that it was from a topping bar at Orange Leaf. I used them today in a gluten-free cookie mix and am now experiencing the same sickness

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Could you give me more information on this? I had reese's pieces about three weeks ago and got very sick but thought it was due to the fact that it was from a topping bar at Orange Leaf. I used them today in a gluten-free cookie mix and am now experiencing the same sickness

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Please be aware that this thread was begun in 2004. Many, if not most product information found here is out of date and likely inaccurate.

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I know...but I saw updates in 2011....and I had the same problems that everyone else seems to be having. and it is the only thing that i ate today that i haven't had since i went gluten free.

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I had a reaction this past week, and feel that it also traced back to the Reese's Pieces I ate a handful of. I re-read the bag, and found that they have changed their ingredient list to include Modified Corn Starch. Previous to this viewing, this was not included, or I wouldn't have eaten them. I continue to find this happening over and over again with foods that were previously safe for me to eat. Has anyone else encountered this?

Thank you,

Kitty

Celiac diagnosed in 2010, eating gluten-free for almost 3 years.

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I had a reaction this past week, and feel that it also traced back to the Reese's Pieces I ate a handful of. I re-read the bag, and found that they have changed their ingredient list to include Modified Corn Starch. Previous to this viewing, this was not included, or I wouldn't have eaten them. I continue to find this happening over and over again with foods that were previously safe for me to eat. Has anyone else encountered this?

Thank you,

Kitty

Celiac diagnosed in 2010, eating gluten-free for almost 3 years.

Corn starch should be safe for Celiacs.

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I always knew Reese's pieces to be unsafe for celiacs. Justin's makes great peanut butter cups in regular and dark chocolate if you're looking for a safe peanut butter chocolate fix. They have them at Whole Foods and our local Bel air.

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I have also had a reaction to the reeses pieces while I can eat the cups with no problems, Hershey's does provide a gluten free list of products on their website, the cups are on the safe list but the pieces aren't, so maybe it depends on your sensitivity level. www.thehersheycompany.com/brands/special-nutrition.aspx#/Gluten-Free

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