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I am finding it bothersome that I don't know WHY my body embarasses me like this... Any knowledgable types around who can explain exactly what processes are going on when I react like this to gluten?

(14 Posts)
AbricotsSecs Tue 09-Jun-09 23:18:45

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thumbwitch Tue 09-Jun-09 23:45:19

HMD - not sure I can answer why your bod reacts in such a specific way, but the over-reaction when a bit of gluten enters an otherwise GF zone is not uncommon.

I have a friend who was diagnosed with a wheat intolerance (not gluten, specifically wheat) so she gave it up, lost weight, stopped having headaches, lethargy, ongoing cold-like symptoms, grumbly guts etc. Trouble was, bread was her favourite food and one day she was seduced by a half-baguette from a bakery, took it home and scarfed it down. Within an hour, her face, eyelids and throat swelled alarmingly and she developed a rash on her chest. Her guts went into overdrive and she had to be off work the next day (she'd done it on the Sunday) - I went to see her after work and her face and eyelids were still very swollen, as though she had been punched everywhere.

I explain it to clients etc as the bod grumbling along with an ongoing intolerance but just getting on with it, then it breathes a huge sigh of relief when it stops having to deal with it. So if it encounters "it" again, the bod screams NOOOOOOoooooooo!!!

Having said that (and you might have already known all that) - there is some evidence now that certain gut bacteria play a role in gluten intolerance/allergy/coeliacs disease. The bacteria have receptors for the gluten and may ingest it - activation of the bacteria causes the gut immune system to activate against the bacteria and the bloating and gas (and possibly excess water --> runny poo) would be as a result of the immune reaction to, and subsequent destruction of, the bacteria.

here is something about this if you like scientific papers.

AbricotsSecs Wed 10-Jun-09 07:44:19

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ABetaDad Wed 10-Jun-09 08:25:47

HoochieMomdukes - I have been GF/LF for 6 weeks and have to say that on the odd occassion I have acidentally eaten the wrong thing I feel absolutley rotten. I have become a lot more sensitive.

n the upside, I have lost 5 kg in those 6 weeks of GF/LF which shows how bloated my body was before. Like you my lethargy has gone though as well as wind and all the other symptoms you describe.

nightcat Wed 10-Jun-09 11:02:30

Have you tried probiotics? Along with g/f & low sugar diet, they are often recommend to rebalance rogue bacteria that hang around the gut from many years that had grown on fermenting gluten that many of us can't digest.

Another possibility is fungal overgrowth, esp if you have any external symptoms (my ds has, I am considering Nystatin). Fungi like fermenting stuff in our gut and they also live in a oxygen-suppressed environment (like our gut). When an opportuntity of fermenting something presents itself, they flare up with joy..

It's not true what many drs tell you, that after 3 months you recover from years of problems; it takes a long time to correct absorption, calm down the immune system, rebuilt deficiencies and address imbalances.
Glad you are feeling better tho, it's a great feeling isnt'it!

AbricotsSecs Wed 10-Jun-09 13:06:27

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AbricotsSecs Wed 10-Jun-09 13:10:59

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tatt Wed 10-Jun-09 17:34:07

can't answer your question - but would recommend keeping a supply of either Biocare Glutenzyme plus or some of the enzymes like Peptizyde from mandimart. They reduce the damage from accidental exposure.

Don't know yet which suits me best - peptizyde is so expensive I'm saving it to try on holiday when being gluten free is much harder. I'll let you know....

AbricotsSecs Thu 11-Jun-09 13:52:44

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becstarlitsea Thu 11-Jun-09 14:01:48

Have you been diagnosed with coeliac? If you are (I am), then the reason why is here

If you don't have coeliac, then it's just that your body isn't used to gluten, so you're getting a funny tummy because you're eating something you're not used to - just like when you go on holiday and eat unfamiliar food.

If you don't have a diagnosis, it's probably worth getting one either way, especially if you don't pay prescription charges. I got all my gf pasta, bread etc. on prescription when I was pregnant. Not worth it now though...

AbricotsSecs Thu 11-Jun-09 14:29:22

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becstarlitsea Thu 11-Jun-09 14:38:58

I know what you mean and can totally sympathise. When I accidentally eat gluten I'm horribly ill too (in my case as well as the bloating and pain, I tend to pass out a lot if I've eaten gluten, and then get nutritional deficiencies (so far I've had potassium deficiency, magnesium deficiency, and... wait for it... scurvy! Yes I am the Dread Pirate Becstar..) Also I often get viruses as my immunity seems to crash).

I was tested while I was still eating gluten. Then my sis and my mum were tested (both positive). Then my sis's doctor wanted to do an additional test so sis had to do the eating gluten for 6 weeks again and she did complain bitterly throughout. But when my other sis told her GP that we were all coeliac and that when she stayed GF she felt a lot better, he said 'well you probably are then' and was prepared to give her a diagnosis on that basis.

At least you know what causes it - I was so glad to find out the problem and to be able to do something about it too. When I got scurvy (wasn't diagnosed coeliac at the time) I had a long sanctimonius lecture from my then GP about how I should eat my fruit & veg and I said 'But I do, I really do!' and he looked like me like I was claiming to be a non-smoker while reeking of fags... Oh those happy days...

tatt Thu 11-Jun-09 15:43:13

HoochieMomdukes I've had a negative blood test but have problems with lethargy and brain fog if I eat gluten (not just wheat, have tried rye too). If I eat gluten then I will probably fall asleep after the meal as it sedates me that much.

Since my blood test was negative I decided to try Biocare when I went on holiday and eat meals with gluten in when avoiding it was really difficult. This was fine at first so I carried on with it but after a couple of weeks I found the problems returning and assumed it was a restored gut being damaged by gluten again. So now I keep it for things like eating out, where I don't want to worry about possible contamination or if I feel tired, check labels more carefully and discover I missed something.

However I'm going on holiday again in the summer so this time I'm going to try Peptizyde. If it works I'll be able to eat gluten, if not I may go back to eating gluten for months and ask for a biopsy. So far I've tried Peptizyde twice (just to make sure it won't make me worse) and in the short term its fine.

The enzymes help to digest gluten. They don't get all of it so they aren't suitable for people who are coeliac. However for those who are intolerant they are worth a try.

The scientific paper was really interesting because I may be deficient in vitamin D.

AbricotsSecs Sat 13-Jun-09 00:49:03

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