Gluten Free Diet But Not Getting Better – Gluten Residue | Allergy

Gluten Free Diet But Not Getting Better – Gluten Residue

by Allergy Guy

Have you started a gluten free diet for your celiac disease or gluten allergy?  Are you still sick?  There are several reasons for this. One is gluten residue in your diet.

Some with celiac disease experience a quick recovery from symptoms when they go on a gluten free diet.

But what if you get only a little better, or don’t get better at all?  There are several possible reasons.  Here’s one:

You may still have gluten in your diet, despite your best efforts.

As I’m sure you know, gluten is in wheat, barley, oats and rye.  I’m sure you’ve also noticed that these ingredients, and their derivatives, are staple ingredients in all kinds of food, from reasonably healthy food (for the non-gluten-sensitive) to decidedly unhealthy food for everyone (like the pox of processed food that some people seem to subsist on).

Food is not the only place gluten is found.  Besides “non-food” food like fast-food restaurants and industrially produced snacks, gluten can also sneak in with pills.  Some medications and vitamins used wheat products as filler.

If you take communion, be aware that communion wafers are made with wheat.  Please make alternate arrangements with your church to receive a gluten-free wafer that has not come in contact with wheat in any way (including wheat-based communion wafers).

Gluten Slip-ups At Home

It is easy to get small amounts of gluten into your food at home.  If other members of your household are still eating wheat, double-dipping can contaminate items like butter/margarine, honey, jam etc.

Use your own toaster for gluten free bread rather than share the same toaster used for regular bread.

Crumbs left on the counter in the preparation of one meal could contaminate the next.  Make sure everything is cleaned properly before preparing a gluten free meal.

Be careful to check the ingredients of all food that you buy, especially if you switch brands.  In the never-ending quest to make food cheaper, without making it so nasty as to loose customers, some manufactures adulterate food that should be wheat-free. 

I’ve recently seen rick crackers with wheat in them.  Some potato chips have wheat in them.

Gluten slip-ups when eating out are a whole other topic, which I’ll cover separately.  For now, I suggest you eat home cooked food until you recover, if at all possible.

If you have celiac disease or a gluten allergy and a gluten free diet is not improving your condition after two months, you may still be getting gluten into your diet. 

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1 Thai Agnes September 6, 2010 at 01:41

Want to add a sneaky (was for me!) source of gluten: soy sauce!!! Not many people know that it contains gluten, but it does, and this means no Chinese food for me. However, I can still have Thai food, if and when I tell my server (or the owner) ABSOLUTELY NO SOY SAUCE. Just yesterday, I had Thai food and no reaction! I was sooo happy. Thai cuisine does not seem to rely on soy sauce as heavily as does Chinese cuisine. I have also discovered many foods including hot sauce, which had a label that said “Made on equipment shared with wheat products” So I didn’t use this hot sauce. This just shows how easily you can get contamination.
This summer I was in Europe for 2 months, and found that their labeling is much more informative than what we have here. Some manufacturers will be very good at letting you know whether their product has gluten or other allergens, but it seems to be completely voluntary.
I was laid over in London Heathrow for about 6 hours, and had to find a place to eat. I went to information to find out about gluten free dining. I was told I could choose between a number of restaurants. The Italian restaurant had a separately printed menu just for gluten free dishes. I was happy. On the other hand, I was sick in Greece almost every time we went out to eat. I took the precaution of bringing my gluten free bread with me and I was glad I did, because I couldn’t find any gluten free products anywhere. I found out, that if you are a celiac in Greece, you get your food from your local pharmacy because you get it by paying a co-pay, and not full price. Your food is dispensed like a prescription medication there.


2 Allergy Guy September 7, 2010 at 13:00

You are right about soy sauce. Note that wheat-free tamari sauce is available. Tamari sauce is similar to soy sauce. Not all types are wheat-free/gluten-free, even from the same brand. Read labels carefully!

Very interesting stories from Europe! Thanks for the info.


3 smilinggreenmom April 3, 2010 at 18:42

These are great tips! Our

These are great tips! Our son had food allergies and we have to be so careful! A yummt thing that we tried a few months ago was Kamut Khorasan Wheat since there are some wtih gluten issues that can eat it since it is an ancient grain and we found out that it works for our son. We love it! I think it is very important for all of us to share our tips to make life with food issues even easier.


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