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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.

Wheat Allergy And Grain Alcohol
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23 posts in this topic

Hey guys! I'm struggling with determining whether or not vodka is wheat free. I used to have bad reactions to all regular vodka until I started drinking potato and grape vodkas. Now I am under the impression that vodkas are gluten free but not wheat free, which in that lies my question. So, is vodka wheat free?

See, I tested negative for celiacs but tested high on the wheat allergy. So I stay away from the grain completely.

Thanks for any advice!!

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Wheat is gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat. So if it's gluten-free, it's by default wheat-free.

Celiacs may not be "allergic" to wheat in the traditional sense but we still can't touch it either.

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Some celiacs like me who think that they are sensitive to low levels of gluten also think that they react to distilled alcohol from a gluten grain source. I do fine with potato vodka.

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From what I understand the reason some alcohols that are grain based are gluten-free is because the offending gliadin protien (is that right?), which is one protien within the gluten protien (which is a dual protein), is broken down during the fermentation process. Similar to the way it is broken down in aged cheese. (eww dairy... I know ;)

Depending on where you fall on the sensitivity/intolerance continuum and what parts of the wheat or gliadin protien you are actually reacting to you may be senstive I ways others are not. I have been wondering latley about the volatile omega 5 particle and how it relates to airborne sensitivity or delineating between what might be celiacs vs. wheat allergy, or both. Or perhaps another offending compound within the protien. There is so much information out there and I have so much to learn. However, I am SUPER sensitive all of a sudden and it really sucks.:angry:

Just a few weeks back I had a shot of whisky. Bad call. I even spilled some on the skin around my mouth and got a NASTY little rash. I actually thought I had herpes or something. It itched, burned, was red with small blisters and it just went away. I have had other forms of DH but that was diferent and I felt other affects right away, even through the affects of the alcohol - and I am a total lightweight!

What is interesting though is that when I have airborn reactions (controversial I know - do a search on this site for more info ;) I get the same strong symptoms I had when I had that shot of whisky (in order of appearance): coughing, excess mucus, swollen throat, asthma, light-headedness, dizziness, confusion, irritability, anger, anxiety,depression, nihilism, apathy, fatigue, tremors/twitches, DH, muscle/nerve pain, migraines.....and more DH ;) This is what I have figured out so far anyway. Argh.

Good Luck!

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My understanding is the distilling process in making any distilled alcohol, vodka, bourbon, scotch, and a few others are safe to drink. The distilling process does not allow the gluten protein from the wheat, rye, or barley to survive the distilling process. You still need to be cautious. You may be experiencing an allergy to alcohol because of a potential liver issue. Talk to your doctor.

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All gluten free products are wheat free, but not all wheat free products are gluten free. As vodka is gluten free, it is therefore wheat free.

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They are really starting to take a hard look at distilled alchohol and whether or not it is true that the proteins are broken down. There are 70 some proteins in wheat that can cause an issue. It may be that gliadin is broken down but some people are reacting to Beta gliadin instead or some such.

Your body is the best indicator as Muffy has already figured out.

I think I'll be staying away from all grain based alchohols from now on. Homemade Hard Cider here I come! B)

:D

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They are really starting to take a hard look at distilled alchohol and whether or not it is true that the proteins are broken down. There are 70 some proteins in wheat that can cause an issue. It may be that gliadin is broken down but some people are reacting to Beta gliadin instead or some such.

Your body is the best indicator as Muffy has already figured out.

I think I'll be staying away from all grain based alchohols from now on. Homemade Hard Cider here I come! B)

:D

I never ever ever liked beer (go figure) or hard liquor, so wine is my fav. However, I recently tried Glacier Potato Vodka from Idaho in a granita recipe. http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/01/dining/01minirex.html It was great not to worry about gluten contamination.

So look for a potato vodka.

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All gluten free products are wheat free, but not all wheat free products are gluten free. As vodka is gluten free, it is therefore wheat free.

is all vodka gluten free though? I usually buy smirnoff, last night, my husband bought me "mr. boston vodka" and I felt terrible after one drink. I didn't have anything to eat, so I assumed it was from that drink.

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It seems some super sensitives can not tolerate the grain distilled vinegars and alcohols - you may be one of them. Try gin or Bacardi - that's what I do :P

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I have a wheat allergy too! Welcome to the board. It's nice to see another wheat allergy here, even though i suspect many of the Celiacs to have a wheat allergy/Celiac combo, like Muffy. She described many of my wheat allergy reactions when she talked about the whisky.

It's all so confusing, isn't it?

What Muffy said, made a lot of sense to me and I can totally relate.

Me personally, I cannot drink any alcohol at all. Which is Ok, I don't like it. It makes me feel terrible.

Again, welcome to the board!

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It seems some super sensitives can not tolerate the grain distilled vinegars and alcohols - you may be one of them. Try gin or Bacardi - that's what I do :P

Gin is generally derived from rye. I believe there are some brands derived from other sources (ie Cold River in Maine which makes potato vodka and gin) but don't know how common that is.

I found this thread because I had some Sake this weekend and have not felt well since. It was a "premium" sake made from a high quality rice grain, but I didn't check to see if it was Junmai (meaning additive free). I have since found out that they sometimes add barley for flavor, so only Junmai Sake is safe.

Also, turns out barley is used to create the koji enzymes that are added to create Sake - so it's distilled two times over, but still a potential issues for highly sensitive folks?

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Wodka is safe for nearly every celiac. I'm highly sensitive (even under the 20 ppm limit), and I have experienced reactions to grain-alcohol products.

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Wodka is safe for nearly every celiac. I'm highly sensitive (even under the 20 ppm limit), and I have experienced reactions to grain-alcohol products.

Ellie, your statement is confusing. Vodka may be safe for many celiacs, but some highly sensitive celiacs (or highly allergic wheat-allergic people) state that they avoid grain-alcohol products. I do, just because I hate getting sick. Grain-based alcohol may not make me sick but I don't want to take a risk.

A good tasting, reasonably priced alternative to Chopin vodka is Luksusowa, which tastes great. Also Teton Glacier is good but more expensive.

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creesal, several vodkas are in fact wheat free, because they're not made from wheat. You have to check the website of the distiller to find out its origins. Some are made from grains, some are made from potatoes.

Here's a list of some of the more common vodkas, and what they're distilled from

http://www.martinimuse.com/vodka_brands_and_types.shtml

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I'm not a celiac, but I have a wheat allergy. I just discovered it 4 days ago, and it's very high. I've been researching, and here's another list of products with vodkas and a few alcohols listed from the grain type and the distilled type

 

http://foodallergies.about.com/od/wheatallergies/f/vodka.htm

 

I was wondering what other drinks are wheat free??

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Wheat is gluten. Gluten is a protein found in wheat. So if it's gluten-free, it's by default wheat-free.

Celiacs may not be "allergic" to wheat in the traditional sense but we still can't touch it either.

 

Hey I think you have this backwards and just want to clarify so make sure other people don't get confused and cause harm. Gluten is a protein found in wheat, yes. But that does not mean wheat is gluten - there is no logic in that. People who are allergic to wheat have an allergic reaction to the entire wheat itself. Typically food allergies are a response to a protein found in that food, so if you test positive for a wheat allergy but not celiac disease you are probably reacting to a different protein found in wheat (this is the case for me). People who are allergic to the gluten protein are allergic to the gluten protein. 

 

I'm not sure what you mean by the traditional sense of an allergy, but I know that alcohols can be distilled to the point where gluten is present in such a small amount that it is considered gluten free. This does not say much to any other proteins in wheat that others may be allergic to, so I would make sure to double check. The gluten protein may be gone, distilled, removed, or what have you, but that does not necssarily mean it is safe to consume if you have a wheat allergy.

Bottom line, wheat does not equal gluten.

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All gluten free products are wheat free, but not all wheat free products are gluten free. As vodka is gluten free, it is therefore wheat free.

 

This is backwards too - gluten is found IN wheat, so if a product is wheat free where would the gluten be coming from? It doesn't make sense for a wheat-free product to have gluten in it, because the wheat holds the gluten protein. If a product is gluten free, the gluten protein may have been distilled or removed, but it could still be wheat free.

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Gluten is found not only in wheat but also in barley and rye.  Might this be the confusion?

 

Colleen

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Gluten is found not only in wheat but also in barley and rye.  Might this be the confusion?

 

Colleen

 

That can definitely confuse people. Like I was trying to say, gluten is a protein and it is not just wheat. Celiacs need to stay away from wheat, barley, rye, and anything else containing gluten. People with wheat allergies need to focus on staying away from wheat. I just want to stress that understanding what you are allergic to is important because consuming the wrong things can have negative affects on your body that you may not be able to see. It never hurts to see a dietician or allergist (or both!)

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I am not sure what you don't understand about these 3 year old posts. Something can be labelled "wheat free" but still contain gluten. Most commonly, I have seen " wheat free" bread that is not gluten-free because it contains barley. If something is labelled gluten-free, it must be wheat free, barley free, rye free.

People with Celiac are not necessarily allergic to wheat. A few might be but Celiac is not an allergy.

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This is backwards too - gluten is found IN wheat, so if a product is wheat free where would the gluten be coming from? It doesn't make sense for a wheat-free product to have gluten in it, because the wheat holds the gluten protein. If a product is gluten free, the gluten protein may have been distilled or removed, but it could still be wheat free.

 

 

That can definitely confuse people. Like I was trying to say, gluten is a protein and it is not just wheat. Celiacs need to stay away from wheat, barley, rye, and anything else containing gluten. People with wheat allergies need to focus on staying away from wheat. I just want to stress that understanding what you are allergic to is important because consuming the wrong things can have negative affects on your body that you may not be able to see. It never hurts to see a dietician or allergist (or both!)

 

 

These are pretty clearly contradictory statements, I assume you just worded wrong since you now have voiced understanding of what is correct.  Celiac disease does not function as an allergy to gluten, the biological mechanics work completely different and it is actually an autoimmune disease.

 

Obviously, a bona fide wheat allergy that acts as a classic food allergy is very serious, and some slightly different precautions may have to be made.  I shortly met one person who has a wheat allergy when I was shopping in a gluten-free food section and talked to her a bit.  Didn't get specifics on what she eats, but we talked about which gluten-free products were good and not good, and she told me she just eats gluten-free so she can know for sure there is no wheat in there.  Each person needs to do what is best for them, but remember the Celiac patients here on the forum are only experts on their own dietary needs.

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I am not sure what you don't understand about these 3 year old posts. Something can be labelled "wheat free" but still contain gluten. Most commonly, I have seen " wheat free" bread that is not gluten-free because it contains barley. If something is labelled gluten-free, it must be wheat free, barley free, rye free.

People with Celiac are not necessarily allergic to wheat. A few might be but Celiac is not an allergy.

 

Sorry if I seem pedantic, but I need to point out something, in case someone who has a wheat allergy reads these posts.

 

Just because a product is gluten free, doesn't mean is wheat free. There is a substance called "codex wheat starch" (widely used in Europe, I don't know about elsewhere) which is being used more and more in gluten free foods.

Here is a description of codex wheat starch:

 

https://www.coeliac.org.uk/glossary/codex-wheat-starch/

 

Here is a product example:

http://www.glutafin.co.uk/coeliac-students/codex-wheat-starch/

 

I have a major problem with wheat and I made the mistake in thinking that if something was gluten free it was definitely wheat free - this is not so.

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