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Celiac--cookware

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I think I can posted 3/5/2014 07:41 AM

So my daughter was diagnosed with celiac disease last summer right before she went back to college. She's been amazingly better going gluten-free--no anxiety, emotional outbursts, very chipper. She came home this weekend and somehow got glutened--she cried, she had diarrhea, she was exhausted. All I can figure is that my cookware has residual gluten. The implications are staggering. I don't mind getting special cookware to be used just for her, but this means she is so limited now. Eating out, traveling--what a pain in the ass. She will need to bring food with her everywhere.

It just makes me sad. She is already pretty introverted.

tushnurse posted 3/5/2014 09:23 AM

Nope not buying it. You don't have residual gluten if you washed your pots and pans.

You got gluten from something you made.

It is very tricky, and requires lots and lots of label reading. It also takes some episodes of hit and miss to not misstep and get some gluten from something. Check any spices/mixes you used, flour can be a filler, that we miss.

Gluten Free is a very common eating habit at this point and time, and is very easy to stick to when you eat out. Most places have a gluten free menu, and if they don't a true Glugan (like vegan) knows what they can and can't have.

This will only limit her in her life she allows it to.

Just my thoughts from a medical professional who worked with patient with Celiac and gluten free diets long before it was a common thing.

InnerLight posted 3/5/2014 09:47 AM

I don't think it was the cookware either. I think there are so many ways that wheat flour can get into foods.

'Gluten free' products are allowed to have a small amount of gluten in them so watch out for those.

Also check hair products. Many have gluten in them as they add body to hair. I have known some to be sensitive to skin contact of gluten like this.

There are special digestive enzymes that can help break down gluten for ooops moments like these. It's good to have them on hand and see if they can help tho you would have to take it within a half hour or so of eating the food.

Emotionalhell posted 3/5/2014 15:43 PM

Is it possible it was a cross contamination .
For example.. Do you use the same butter container that you use to but on regular wheat bread for cooking.
Or air a pot of noodles with the same spoon you use to cook her food?

ZooMa posted 3/5/2014 17:22 PM

Also cross contamination can come from your kitchen sponges.
I had to ban gluten from my house...not getting sick anymore!! :) It's been months since I've been glutened. I eat paleo and prepare all of my own food.
Lost 60lbs though...without even trying!!
...now I'm trying to gain 20lbs back. Not easy eating paleo...
I did replace my non stick pots. You can't get the gluten out of them. Stainless you can.
I also have to cook using foil on the grill. Haven't been able to purchase a new one.

Mama_of_3_Kids posted 3/5/2014 20:33 PM

I agree, it's probably more of a chance of cross-contamination. DD has been GF for over a year and we use the same cookware (after it's been washed, obviously). DD is able to go out to eat with us, to many places, and when I fix a meal that includes gluten I simply omit it or use a GF substitute (example...last night we did BLT's and she had a BLT salad).

I think I can posted 3/6/2014 06:55 AM

Thanks, guys. I know for certain every ingredient was gluten free. I checked and I have double checked. I do think it was cross contamination. I don't have the cleanest kitchen. I'm thinking maybe the iron skillet--apparently they are porous. I'm going to seriously clean every square inch and buy a steel frying pan for her and use metal spoons. Also the colander is plastic--I'll get one for her gluten free pastas. Tushnurse I respect your knowledge base, but I've read many reputable sources about needing to avoid cross contamination. Or maybe we agree--but you don't wash iron skillets with soap--it ruins the seasoning. You just scrub with water.

circe posted 3/6/2014 07:26 AM

We have two celiacs in our house, and we ultimately just made our entire home GF, but before that happened we made sure that we had a separate toaster that was only for GF bread, and we had separate butter, jam and peanut butter because people tend to dip knives in a few times while spreading and that always gets crumbs in the butter or jam. We never separated our cookware, and if we were in doubt about stuff like the bbq grill, we just put a piece of foil over the surface and poked a few holes in it.

Your daughter will become accustomed to it, I promise. After the adjustment period and a healthy dose of fear in the beginning while eating out and traveling, it really does become second nature. We've traveled and lived in various places around the world and really it's not that bad, we don't even notice it anymore. It doesn't feel limiting at all. There's always meat and fruit and vegetables and nuts and or dairy in grocery stores to fall back on without having to make yourself understood or ask someone ingredients, for the shy.

I'm really sorry your daughter got sick!

tushnurse posted 3/6/2014 07:52 AM

Your daughter will become accustomed to it, I promise. After the adjustment period and a healthy dose of fear in the beginning while eating out and traveling, it really does become second nature. We've traveled and lived in various places around the world and really it's not that bad, we don't even notice it anymore. It doesn't feel limiting at all. There's always meat and fruit and vegetables and nuts and or dairy in grocery stores to fall back on without having to make yourself understood or ask someone ingredients, for the shy.

Well said.

I could see a possible cross contaminant with a cast iron skillet, as they do not recommend using soap on them. I too use them in my cooking, but I also am a bit of a scrubby nut, so I do use soap on them after every 4-6 use, just a bit, once well seasoned it doesn't effect it much.

One other thing to consider is she may have gotten glutened outside your home. Did she go to a friends, stop and eat on her way home? You may not be the guilty part in this is my point.

I think I can posted 3/6/2014 15:33 PM

Ohhh, I'm pretty sure it was me. I'm definitely not a scrubby nut. I'm more on the "everybody's got to eat a peck of dirt before they die" end of the spectrum. (Don't get me wrong, I have a cleaning lady every two weeks, but my counters get kinda crumby.) I think the butter could also be a big issue. She has a toaster at college, but here she used the oven without putting foil on it--that could do it.

I am relieved to hear that this might be fixed with some simple precautions. Thank you all SO much for your ideas and compassion. We've certainly had much worse shit to deal with in our lives (me and her) and this won't kill her. My niece is type 1 diabetic--that's much more serious healthwise.

Thanks to all.

naivewife posted 3/6/2014 15:44 PM

Celiac family here too. You mentioned that you were "going to start using metal spoons." If you were using a wooden spoon in any of the cooking, that likely was your problem. Also like someone mentioned, the toaster is another common tool of cross-contamination. And yeah, the scrubby thing, cutting boards, a crumb on the counter etc. In a way I'm lucky we all have Celiacs and are a gluten free home because I think it's very easy to cross-contaminate in a non GF kitchen. One of the reasons we have not yet ventured to a restaurant since the diagnosises.
You mentioned she's in college, just curious, does she eat in the dining hall? Just wondering how colleges handle things like celiacs. I have a niece who is also celiac who will be attending college in a few years.

I think I can posted 3/6/2014 18:58 PM

Yes, wooden spoons and iron skillets--I grew up in the South!

Although she's on a food plan at college, and they have gluten free options, she has anxiety issues and doesn't always like the options and hates to check on questionable foods. She mostly cooks herself in the dorm kitchen with her own pots and pans.

Now that she 's gotten through the first semester with celiac (and is much less anxious!) I'm going to push for her to eat at the cafeteria more. Her college is pretty granola, so they are supportive of alternate food "lifestyles"..... Your niece should take the opportunity to talk to celiacs currently at the colleges she is considering.

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