Reactions will almost always vary in anyone who suffers from celiac disease. And i’m pretty sure if you have googled all those reactions, the internet would tell you, that you were dying. I would suggest not over panicking and call your practitioner instead.
I’ve come to know and what to expect my reactions will be over the years. I would like to preface this by saying that I am in no way a medical professional. I am not an expert by any means. I just know my own body and how it will react to gluten/wheat.
Before my diagnosis I would suffer with many symptoms, from headaches to stomach aches. If I have been in contact with gluten/wheat by touch for example I will break out in a rash. If i touch my children’s food that contain gluten without washing my hands right away, my fingers will start to swell like blisters and hurt from the pain. If i have used a body wash, or lotion without fully knowing that it contains gluten, then my body will break out in a rash that looks like little blisters and itch like crazy. A lot of people actually think it’s pretty crazy to have a reaction if your not ingesting it into your gut, however things that contain gluten that you touch will be absorbed into your skin. My celiac is the type that is so severe, I will have a reaction on the outside of my body.
In terms of ingesting food, what will happen? I have become more sensitive as time goes on. As hard as I try to keep from myself from gluten, things do happen and when they do it is not pretty. If something becomes cross contaminated and/ or I ingest by accident a tiny piece of gluten, then I will get a really bad migraine. If by chance I have had a meal, that was confirmed when out to eat to be gluten free and was actually not, then I will be sick in a matter of 20 minutes tops. Usually when this happens, my reaction feels like food poisoning.
Reactions can last for days or hours. It all depends on how much gluten you have had. Usually for skin reactions, I choose to take Benadryl. If Ii have ingested gluten by mouth, most times I feel sick for almost 24 hours. I always keep a supply of gluten free crackers in my pantry and ginger tea to help calm down my stomach.
Having these reactions are not fun and most of the time I am pretty good at keeping myself from being glutened. It does happen on occasion though, so try not t be too hard on yourself!
I have been down a long road with trying to keep my reactions at bay as well as avoiding cross contamination. It’s hard. So I explained above how I my body reacts when exposed to gluten via ingestion or by skin contact. Recently however, I had a particular instance while making my mother’s famous sausage bread recipe! It’s a family recipe that I don’t like to share with others, but make it for holidays and other small occasions. Ok back to my story, now I know I should not be touching the dough or the flour, so for that reason I wear thin gloves and still wash my hands afterwards. During the process of rolling and kneading the dough, you have to roll it in flour. It didn’t even occur to me that the flour was airborne! Within 20 minutes of preparing the dough, I became very sick. I couldn’t believe that i’m so sensitive now that I need to wear a mask while working with flour that isn’t gluten free. I know, your probably saying why the hell haven’t you just switched and used all gluten free items!? I totally get it. Being a celiac, we should have an entire gluten free house, but with 4 other people in the household who still eat gluten products, it makes it that much harder to cook completely gluten free. I will say this, I definitely keep all my specific appliances and dishes etc to myself. I have my own row of gluten free food in the pantry on the top level so nothing with gluten is above it as well. I am slowly starting to replace all my cleaning products to gluten free ones! Just know that if you have just been diagnosed with celiac, this is a long process and takes a while to learn the “celiac” ropes. Stay positive, and work slowly!
I hope my readers will find this post helpful.
Until Next time…
The Celiac Corner