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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? - 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 What if my doctor won't listen to me? An Open Letter to Skeptical Health Care Practitioners Gluten-Free recipes: Gluten-Free Recipes

Puffy Face And Cornstarch
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Hi everyone,

I'm in my 10th week since coeliac diagnosis/going gluten-free and I'm progressively becoming familiar with my many 'glutening' symptoms.

One of the symptoms I've noticed is a swollen face. If I've been glutened I get swollen cheeks and puffy eyes. Basically, I look like a hamster!

However, I've noticed I get these symptoms whenever I eat anything with cornstarch in it too. And possibly also soya too. Basically, whenever I eat any processed foods, even if specifically gluten-free. (I have found myself intolerant to gluten-free processed foods, like bread and pasta, and pretty much anything that's processed tbh! Also lactose, egg and white potatoes...)

Is it normal to get a glutening reaction to foods that you are intolerant to? I've read that cornstarch contains gluten, is this true?

Sorry for the confused ramblings, I think my cornstarch reaction may include the classic coeliac mind-fuzz as a symptom too....

Thanks,

Hannah

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To be sure to sort out whether it is an allergic type reaction or not. If it isn't, it is entirely normal to have a gluten type reaction to many types of foods. This does not mean it is contaminated with gluten, it means you have an intolerance to that food. It is quite possible that the reason you aren't tolerating any processed foods is because you are having an issue with one or more of the ingredients in it. Lactose is an extremely common and normal intolerance early on and something you may "grow out of" as you begin to heal, or you may not. Only time will tell.

And no, there is not gluten in cornstarch. While I have seen one container of it once marked as gluten free, it was silly, because it is born gluten free. (Or should be unless contaminated through the manufacturing process.)

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How do I find out if it's an allergy or intolerance? Surely if it's a similar reaction as a glutening then it must be an intolerance?

Ack, life has become so complicated since coeliac disease raised its ugly head....!

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This is the mayo article on food allergies. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/food-allergy/DS00082 You mentioned a swollen face, which is what I think set both of us to thinking it was possible. You'll just want to keep alert for any of the additional symptoms that point to it being an allergy as opposed to an intolerance. If it is an intolerance, it sucks, and you want to avoid it, but if you accidentally eat some it'll suck and you'll get over it. If it is an allergy, it could become life threatening at any time. There is also a mayo article describing the difference between an intolerance and an allergy. http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/food-allergy/AN01109

Don't get paranoid. Just file it away and keep it in mind so that you don't get taken by surprise one day by an allergy you didn't know or suspect you may have.

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This is the mayo article on food allergies. http://www.mayoclini...allergy/DS00082 You mentioned a swollen face, which is what I think set both of us to thinking it was possible. You'll just want to keep alert for any of the additional symptoms that point to it being an allergy as opposed to an intolerance. If it is an intolerance, it sucks, and you want to avoid it, but if you accidentally eat some it'll suck and you'll get over it. If it is an allergy, it could become life threatening at any time. There is also a mayo article describing the difference between an intolerance and an allergy. http://www.mayoclini...allergy/AN01109

Don't get paranoid. Just file it away and keep it in mind so that you don't get taken by surprise one day by an allergy you didn't know or suspect you may have.

Thanks for the information, I'll keep it at the back of my mind...

Incidentally, someone just suggested to me that I go for Vega testing for food intolerances. Does anyone know anything about the reliability/validity of this?

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I used to think that I was "fine" with corn....but I have since cut it out (along with other grains, along the way) and weird symptoms and reactions started to disappear. If you're interested, there are lots of blogs that share Paleo recipes (grain free - so, corn free, along with other sources of gluten), and this may help.

My youngest used to get inflammation in his face. He'd snore terribly too... (Inflammation within and out'). And then there were they "mystery" UTIs. All gone now.

I hope you feel better soon.

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I get puffiness - all over, but on my face only when it's really, really bad. My mother calls it "moon face." If I have a bit of cornstarch, say in a cup of hot chocolate, I am ok. But if I eat a couple of servings of corn, like a bag of popcorn, then it gets me.

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Thanks guys, I found some quite interesting articles online that explain a lot of the reactions I've been experiencing...

http://www.coeliacsmatter.com/digestive_conditions_coeliac/gluten_intolerance/glut_int_articles/gluten_no_grain_no_pain_rose.html

(scroll down to What Is Gluten And Where Is It Then?)

http://celiacdisease.about.com/b/2012/04/25/study-finds-some-evidence-for-corn-cross-reactivity-in-celiac-disease.htm

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