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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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catsmeow

Wheat Allergy

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That's fabulous news.

And such a simple solution... Geez.

You hit the nail on the head. "simple solution" I would have never guessed that it could be so easy to fix. Yet, here I am, able to breath wheat without a violent histamine reaction.... :blink:

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You hit the nail on the head. "simple solution" I would have never guessed that it could be so easy to fix. Yet, here I am, able to breath wheat without a violent histamine reaction.... :blink:

Wonder why the allergist did not know this?

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My reactions are all allergic in nature, however, I see from reading that I do share some celiac reactions, which are also listed for allergic reactions. Also, my best friend who is a Natureopathic doctor, initially thought I had Celiac, but now says "no celiac" She has seen my reactions and actually did a barley/rye challenge with me. I had a delayed allergic reaction, not a celiac reaction.

Again, thanks for the info!!!!

um, what is a celiac reaction? Not sure what you mean by this.

What happened when you ate barley and rye?

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This doesn't surprise me at all-- I had an severe allergic reaction to a bee sting some years ago-- after the ambulance got me into the ER the first thing they did was shot me up with Benedryl and put a drip bag of Zantac into my IV, along with a steroid. They said that the combo works really well for bee stings. I also took the zantac for 2 weeks after the reaction to keep a rebound reaction from happening... I am really glad it worked for you.

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um, what is a celiac reaction? Not sure what you mean by this.

What happened when you ate barley and rye?

Gosh, I hope I didn't insult you :unsure: I just meant I have more of a histamine reaction versus the big D and DH mostly. here are the notes from my Barley challenge, I never made it to the rye challenge, I just couldn't get myself to go there. However, the doc who prescribed the Zantac last week thought that my barley reaction/challenge was probably CC from wheat. She said that the grains are usually contaminated with each other. We all know that this is true. That is why we buy gluten-free oats. She herself think it's a straight wheat allergy, but that I will have to be gluten-free because of CC in grains. Who knows? All I know is that gluten-free is what I'll be doing for life, regardles of the exact diagnoses.

Barley challenge:

June 7, 2011

1900 hrs

1/2 cup barley soup, no reaction except for an ant bite became more itchy.

2100 hrs

½ cup barley soup

No reaction

June 8, 2011

1000 hrs

½ cup barley soup

noon- headache, stuffy nose, joint pain.

June 9, 2011

Woke up fine. Diarrhea, 8 rounds

1400 hrs,

sinus headache

1725 hrs.

dizzy, feel sick, sinus headache

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This doesn't surprise me at all-- I had an severe allergic reaction to a bee sting some years ago-- after the ambulance got me into the ER the first thing they did was shot me up with Benedryl and put a drip bag of Zantac into my IV, along with a steroid. They said that the combo works really well for bee stings. I also took the zantac for 2 weeks after the reaction to keep a rebound reaction from happening... I am really glad it worked for you.

Wow, that is amazing. The doc said something about taking one if I am reacting, or accidently ingest wheat. Your comment confirms what she said about emergency use.

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Wonder why the allergist did not know this?

Good question...... :(

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Gosh, I hope I didn't insult you :unsure: I just meant I have more of a histamine reaction versus the big D and DH mostly. here are the notes from my Barley challenge, I never made it to the rye challenge, I just couldn't get myself to go there. However, the doc who prescribed the Zantac last week thought that my barley reaction/challenge was probably CC from wheat. She said that the grains are usually contaminated with each other. We all know that this is true. That is why we buy gluten-free oats. She herself think it's a straight wheat allergy, but that I will have to be gluten-free because of CC in grains. Who knows? All I know is that gluten-free is what I'll be doing for life, regardles of the exact diagnoses.

Barley challenge:

June 7, 2011

1900 hrs

1/2 cup barley soup, no reaction except for an ant bite became more itchy.

2100 hrs

½ cup barley soup

No reaction

June 8, 2011

1000 hrs

½ cup barley soup

noon- headache, stuffy nose, joint pain.

June 9, 2011

Woke up fine. Diarrhea, 8 rounds

1400 hrs,

sinus headache

1725 hrs.

dizzy, feel sick, sinus headache…brain fog. Stuffy nose, plugged ears, fever of 99.3 that lasted 45 min.

1800 hrs

Rumbling guts. Dry mouth. Stiff ankles

2000 hrs,

All flu symptoms have resolved, fever gone. Doc friend thinks it was a delayed allergic reaction (the fever, and histamine reaction. She no longer believes I am a Celiac.

Jun 10th

0700 hrs

Headache from hell. Stuffy sinuses, I feel like I did a year ago when I was still eating wheat.

1400 hrs- second dose of maxalt taken.

1900 hrs-still feeling horrible

June 11th-

1000hrs- My head is splitting in two. Sinuses completely stuffed up and swollen shut bad gas, feel horrible. I had to take a maxalt.

June 12th…..uggghhhh…still sick

June 13th- still sick, but starting to perk up

June 14th- Headache gone, sinuses still slightly stuffed, body is still aching

June 15th-finally feel good, except for a little joint pain

oh No, I was't insulted hon :) I was confused by what you think are "celiac reactions" as opposed to your wheat allergy--because the ones you are listing here are also reactions to gluten.

Trish, I do not think you are reacting to barley and rye because of cross- contamination from wheat.

I think you are reacting because you cannot tolerate the GLUTEN in those grains either. :blink: Just my opinion.

Rumbling guts, aching joints, sinus pain, even feeling feverish, etc.--- these are reactions to GLUTEN too. I know they are mine, anyway.

I wonder if you do not have just an allergy to wheat, but gluten intolerance. You do not have to have D or C. Some folks have no bowel issues.

You are avoiding all rye, barley, malt as well, right?

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oh No, I was't insulted hon :) I was confused by what you think are "celiac reactions" as opposed to your wheat allergy--because the ones you are listing here are also reactions to gluten.

Trish, I do not think you are reacting to barley and rye because of cross- contamination from wheat.

I think you are reacting because you cannot tolerate the GLUTEN in those grains either. :blink: Just my opinion.

Rumbling guts, aching joints, sinus pain, even feeling feverish, etc.--- these are reactions to GLUTEN too. I know they are mine, anyway.

I wonder if you do not have just an allergy to wheat, but gluten intolerance. You do not have to have D or C. Some folks have no bowel issues.

You are avoiding all rye, barley, malt as well, right?

Thanks hon...I was hoping I didn't say anything out of line.

I am absolutely, unequivocally, gluten free, No malt, no barley, no rye, no wheat, including the hidden crap that is in everything. Gluten is the devil and wreaks havoc on me. I am not in any way shape or form a gluten lite (the people I despise).

I know that I am gluten sensitive from the enterolab report, plus I have a wheat allergy. I have no celiac genes. I was just mentioning what the doc said last week, but, it was just her opinion. My med records say "wheat allergy, gluten sensitive" I believe it. And yes, I do suffer many of the same symptoms that a celiac suffers, however, many allergy/sensitive symptoms are the same. So, hanging out here is great, because I can so understand the symptoms. I didn't even have to accidently ingest any to get symptoms, I was getting them just from airborne wheat....I am SOOO grateful to have been given the Zantac. It's a miracle!

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It's funny, but when I took zantac for two weeks, when I was really, really :blink: sick and had horrid stomach pain, GERD, burning throat and mouth, lip, chest pain, awful bowel stuff, living in the the bathroom, blah blah blah.... the doctor insisted I try it....I got NO relief whatsoever. (I think I was just too far gone from villi damage at the time.)

I had read what ranitidine can do for so many ailments of the GI tract, including healing ulcers, etc. I thought it would be just the thing for me.

Turns out, I had TOO LITTLE stomach acid.... :blink: so all those years of taking Aciphex ?? and then, Zantac....well, it was not good for me at all. <_<

Fortunately, my GI tract is about as right as rain now. But it took almost a year for all that pain to subside. One small CC of gluten, and hello misery. :rolleyes:

So very happy for you, Trish that is a miracle drug!! yaaay!!!!

:)

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This is wonderful news and I am happy for you.

I have the same airborne reactions and also chemical allergies (have epi pen) and have had some self pity moments of thinking I would be better off living in a bubble.

Thanks for posting this and I will talk to my doc about it.

Wonder if it would work for the chemical reactions too?

Charlotte

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This is wonderful news and I am happy for you.

I have the same airborne reactions and also chemical allergies (have epi pen) and have had some self pity moments of thinking I would be better off living in a bubble.

Thanks for posting this and I will talk to my doc about it.

Wonder if it would work for the chemical reactions too?

Charlotte

Hi Sora, the Zantac is still working for the airborne wheat, but has not helped me with my fragrance allergy at all. I'm still reacting to fragrances just as bad as I always have, but at least it's not as hard to avoid as airborne wheat, so I am grateful. Remember, they sell Zantac over the counter if you want to test it, and if you can't get to the doc right away. The Zantac started working within an hour of taking it. It was FAST relief! I'm taking 150 mg twice daily. I hope it works for you as well.

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This is a fascinating discussion. The things you learn on the internet ! This may come in handy the next time there is really bad forest fire airborn smoke pollution here, (in CA) and the regular antihistamines just don't cut down the reaction. If I could avoid taking steroids to continue to breathe, that would be good.

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Hi Sora, the Zantac is still working for the airborne wheat, but has not helped me with my fragrance allergy at all. I'm still reacting to fragrances just as bad as I always have, but at least it's not as hard to avoid as airborne wheat, so I am grateful. Remember, they sell Zantac over the counter if you want to test it, and if you can't get to the doc right away. The Zantac started working within an hour of taking it. It was FAST relief! I'm taking 150 mg twice daily. I hope it works for you as well.

Thank you, I will get some tomorrow and try it. I have to bus everywhere and that is the worst for scents! But as you say at least it will be only one to cope with.:)

One step at a time.

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Hi Sora, the Zantac is still working for the airborne wheat, but has not helped me with my fragrance allergy at all. I'm still reacting to fragrances just as bad as I always have, but at least it's not as hard to avoid as airborne wheat, so I am grateful.

Hey guys....when I was pretty ill before DX, I developed multiple chemical sensitivities and candles, perfumes, all kinds of smells made me gag, choke up, stuff up my nose, make me nauseous and give me a headache. I felt woozy. Plus, I smelled things hubs could not and I would be pasty and choking and say "UCK! Don't you SMELL THAT???" :blink: And he would look at me like "WAAA? :huh: "

I had to stop burning my candles in the house, wearing perfume or lotions, etc. and if someone was near me with cologne, OY! Blech!

Oddly, 11 months gluten-free (and I guess, my leaking gut healing some more) I do not have as much of a reaction at all!

Maybe, in time, your sensitivity will subside as well?! I hope so!

Cheers, IH

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Maybe, in time, your sensitivity will subside as well?! I hope so!

Cheers, IH

I hope so too!

Charlotte

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Maybe, in time, your sensitivity will subside as well?! I hope so!

Cheers, IH

I hope so too!

Charlotte

If there is one thing I have learned from all the madness that was my life for years?....the human body has remarkable healing capabilities, given the right circumstances. :)

Hope you all continue to feel better and better!

IH

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I finally got to the drugstore and found the Zantac. Way too expensive for me right now. I did see that there were others like Pepcid (sp) but that they had different ingredients. Anyone know what the differences are?

They also had store brands of the Zantac that was a few dollars less so I may go that route. I still want to check with my doctor first though as I have some sensitivities to some drugs. Just want to make sure. I will be seeing her in Jan.

Charlotte

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I finally got to the drugstore and found the Zantac. Way too expensive for me right now. I did see that there were others like Pepcid (sp) but that they had different ingredients. Anyone know what the differences are?

They also had store brands of the Zantac that was a few dollars less so I may go that route. I still want to check with my doctor first though as I have some sensitivities to some drugs. Just want to make sure. I will be seeing her in Jan.

Charlotte

Zantac is ranitidine.

You can get it generic at half the cost. But you will need to ask if it is gluten-free and check to see if it is contraindicated for you..

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I finally got to the drugstore and found the Zantac. Way too expensive for me right now. I did see that there were others like Pepcid (sp) but that they had different ingredients. Anyone know what the differences are?

They also had store brands of the Zantac that was a few dollars less so I may go that route. I still want to check with my doctor first though as I have some sensitivities to some drugs. Just want to make sure. I will be seeing her in Jan.

Charlotte

Hey Sora, Pepcid is also a histamine 2 blocker. There are 4, this is what I got off of the internet:

Histamine 2 blockers are familiar to most people as the over-the counter heartburn medications Tagamet (cimetidine), Pepcid, (famotidine), and Zantac (ranitidine). Axid (nizatidine) is less well known. These drugs also come in prescription strengths. Histamine 2 blockers work by reducing the amount of acid the stomach produces.

I would think that any of them would work. Zantac is the one my doc prescribed, but I am sure she could have just as easily prescribed the others. I would try the cheapest one (after making sure they are gluten-free of course).

By the way, for the first time in a year, I accidently ingested wheat, and the reaction was quite mild. It looks like the zantac works for accidental ingestion as well as airborne. My daughter gave me a mint which is usually a safe one, but this one was a different flavor and it had wheat maltodextrin in it. She yelled for me to spit it out a few seconds later, just long enough for me to bite into it and get it stuck in my teeth. I never swallowed, but I am sure I got it sublingually. I rinsed and rinsed and rinsed my mouth. The reaction was very mild, it only lasted 2 hours, with no long term reaction (usually a week of misery). I felt fine 2 hours later, and fine the next day. My reaction was agitation/mood swing, plugged ears and sinuses, sneezing, slight tightness of throat, no hives...OMGosh...NO HIVES!!!!! cognitive disfunction (brain fog), and an itchy face and mouth. This is amazing. I did not have to use my epi-pen!!!!!!!! :D

You might have noticed that I changed my name. I wanted a more creative name...plus I love cats!!!

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Zantac is ranitidine.

You can get it generic at half the cost. But you will need to ask if it is gluten-free and check to see if it is contraindicated for you..

Thanks for that reminder. I find I am still learning that I have to check for wheat in non food products.

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catsmeow, I noticed the change in pic but didn't realize until you mentioned it.

I love cats too. Just lost my CH baby about 3 weeks ago. :( His name was Sora.

I still have one but I am thinking she may have a wheat/gluten intolerance. I need to change the food anyway but I am very poor right now.

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To all that know me and all of you fellow sufferers of wheat allergies who also suffer debilitating airborne reactions like me; I have finally found a solution and I hope and pray it keeps working. I've been airborne reaction free for a week now, so I thought it was time to share.

The story:

I went to a new doctor last week about a ladies issue I was having, and while in the appt. I was having an allergic reaction. The doctor noticed and asked me what I was allergic to. I told her "wheat" and that maybe the coffee shop down the hall was baking stuff. She said, "maybe, but I happen to be wearing wheat germ based beauty products, so I think you are reacting to me" She was shocked by how sensitive I am and asked how long I had been suffering with the airborne reactions. I told her since April, right after I had my gallbladder out, and cannot eat wheat either, I've been gluten free for 20 months.

She asked me if anyone has ever put me on a HISTAMINE 2 BLOCKER. I said, I didn't know, I had never heard of histamine 2. So, she looks through my prescription history and saw allegra, zyrtec, claratin, benadryl..and says, "No, you have never been on a Histamine 2 blocker, only histamine 1 blockers".

She explained to me that Histamine 2 is produced in the stomach and can make food allergies worse. She said blocking histamine 2 will help knock down the airborne reactions by blocking histamine 2. I hope I got her explanation right, it was confusing and went way over my head. However, I've been on zantac 150 mg twice daily for a week now, and it

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Catsmeow, this is amazing news. I am so happy for you! I am wondering if this works with seasonal allergies as well given that many of them would be considered 'airborne'? Also, my husband is going through an episode of IBS...can't stay out of the potty. I don't think he has Celiac but I do wonder if he is reacting to some type of food intolerance. I am wondering if taking an antihistamine and the zantac together might give him some relief???? Thanks to everyone for the great information.

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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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