gluten exposure

Gluten Exposure and Your Body: Here’s What Happens

For most people, eating wheat is no big deal; in fact, for many people, a bagel, muffin or toast is the first thing they reach for at the breakfast table. But for people with celiac disease, even a tiny particle of gluten can cause a cascade of painful reactions that can persist for days afterward. Gluten exposure is  of constant concern for celiac folks, but just what  happens when our bodies are exposed to gluten?

The symptoms a person with celiac disease may experience after being “glutened” can vary, but for the average person, it goes something like this:

Almost immediately after the gluten is consumed, the reactions begin, often as a feeling of becoming flushed with a drop in blood pressure. Shortly afterward, symptoms of reflux may occur followed by intense fatigue and stomach pains, gas and bloating which persist for the remainder of the day. At night, insomnia is not uncommon, and the following day is often marked by gut pain and cramping and frequent bowel movements which are often loose or runny. Moodiness, irritability and anxiety are pervasive, and many people experience problems thinking which they describe as “brain fog.” Itchy rashes and joint pain are not uncommon. For most people, the symptoms persist for two to three days before finally clearing up: A hefty price to pay for consuming a minuscule bit of gluten. 

As a person suffering from celiac disease, you probably are familiar with your own set of symptoms. But do you know why they occur? Here’s a quick snapshot of what’s going on inside your body when you get “glutened”:

The primary mechanism causing gluten reactions is gliadin, a protein found in wheat. There are three primary “varieties” of gliadin, two of which have been associated with celiac disease. The amino acids found in gliadin are what trigger the autoimmune reaction that precipitates celiac disease and its effects.

When someone consumes gluten there is a complex cascade of events including the innate and adaptive immune systems resulting in the production of autoantibodies. This results in the eventual destruction of the villi, the tiny, fingerlike projections that line the small intestine. Villi are critical to nutrient absorption. Thanks to their shape, villi vastly increase the amount of surface area that’s able to absorb nutrients: As a hollow tube, the small intestine would have a surface area of about 5ft2; the villi increase that area to an amazing 3,200ft2.

Two primary anti-gliadin antibodies are associated with celiac disease: immunoglobulin A (IgA) and immunoglobulin G (IgG). In a healthy immune system, immunoglobulins identify and neutralize foreign bodies like germs, but in an autoimmune disease like celiac disease, they turn on the tissues they would normally protect. In blood tests for celiac disease, IgA is found far more commonly than IgG, and there’s a good reason: IgA is directly involved in the immune processes of mucosal tissues like the lining of the small intestine, and in mucous membranes, it’s found in abundance. When celiac disease is triggered, these antibodies attack the villi instead of providing protection from foreign invaders.

At first, the damage to the small intestine can be minor and may go unnoticed. But over time, the villi become more and more damaged, eventually flattening out so their ability to absorb nutrients is decreased. By that time, most people have experienced some of the “side effects” of celiac disease caused by nutritional deficiencies. Several of which we’ve covered in previous articles.

Of course it is always best to avoid gluten altogether. Easier said than done when eating food that you have not made yourself. To control their gluten exposure more and more people are opting to test for gluten in their home or place of work. We found GlutenTox Home test kits so impressive  we decided to make them available to our customers. We are currently offering the Home test kit on our website and on Amazon.com/ GlutenTox  Each kit contains five tests making it easy to test multiple foods. For more information about cross contamination and how to control it read Is My Food Really Gluten Free? and Is My Cookie Really Gluten Free?.

Every person’s experiences with celiac disease will be different. And can be a cause of much anxiety for those who are learning about how gluten effects their bodies.  We encourage you to share your own experiences in the comments section to help others find the support and comfort that comes from knowing they’re not alone. What does it feel like when you get “glutened”

Gluten is Poison

The social side of living with celiac disease

Celiac Isolation… Is It Inevitable?


This original article is made possible by Gluten Free Therapeutics. Our mission is to educate, inform, and provide the most effective nutritional products possible to allow those with celiac disease and serious gluten intolerances to heal their bodies. CeliVites complete line of superior gluten free supplements includes multivitamin/multimineral supplements, iron supplements, and calcium supplements for people living with celiac disease. All CeliVites products are designed to help you heal, restore and rebuild your body, because going gluten free isn’t enough! 


Comments ()

  1. lorraine says:

    Great article! As I have celiac also I like to read as much info as I can..I have been accidentally glutened on a few occasion and it is the worst feeling ever!! Keep up the good work!!

    1. Deb Shepardson says:

      Had I only known years ago that the gluten was causing my issues…my life would have been so different. The migraines were the worst of all the symptoms.

      1. Anita says:

        I was diagnosed with Celiac 2 yrs ago. For close to 30 yrs I’ve had chronic diarrhea & severe migraines. Took handfuls of meds. Told every Dr my symptoms, finally one listened. After diet change, pills gone & not the 1st migraine. Not all my symptoms (diarrhea) have disappeared, still learning everyday, especially the cross contamination. I’m now 59 & making the best of it all. I hope u find some relief, wish there was a cure.

        1. GFT staff says:

          Anita,
          Your story is all too common in terms of the slow progress to diagnosis. If you have been gluten free for two years now you should see some improvement in your symptoms if you are not getting contaminated with hidden gluten. It can be a long road to recovery but there are many people with celiac disease who have found good health and are living a fabulous lives. Take care and don’t give up. You say you with there was a cure, there is eliminating gluten is the cure.

    2. Phyllis Stevens says:

      I have been told for years that I have IBS..everytime I eat, it just runs right thry me in explosive diarrhea & its just got worse every year. About six years ago I started a gluten free diet, dairy free, nut free, fruit free…still had a lot of problems with diarrhea & frequently would have “accidents”. Now I’m on taking Lotronex..It has helped some, but not all the time. I know I’m not retaining nutrients & have been loosing a lot of weight. I’m 5″
      I’m 5 feet & three inches tall & right now I weigh 109 pounds..I’ve lost about 10 pounds in the last six months…I don’t want to go out anywhere because I don’t Know if I will have problems…:(

      1. Cindy Lou says:

        Phyllis, I am so sorry…I know how you feel.Total gluten free lifestyle can be a challenge.. Cross Contamination is a real problem . I am gluten free with all my food and also personal products. hate the price of the GF products, but the option of being glutened is so much worse! I have found that restaurants are a real risk, even ones with GF food choices. I buy Gf lipstick online. Contacting companies is time consuming also but I want to KNOW a product is really gluten free. At home.. separate toaster, I keep my food in separate containers with pink lids 🙂 Also keeping jams , butter and the like separate helps too. There are some good gf flour mixes for baking and sometimes the cookies are a bit crumble, but good. When I make a cake I ad a dollop of sour cream to the mix, comes out moist. I really hope to begin to feel better! I had lost 30m lbs before my doc diagnosed Celiac. (other doc was no help at all!)

      2. Christine says:

        Consider other proteins that can also bind the same receptor. I found that soy was a big problem for me as well as coffee, chocolate, and egg. I completed an elimination diet protocol and systematically picked out the foods that I had a problem with. What it means for me is no processed food at all and no eating out. I am the same height and have finally leveled out at 118 lbs. It took me a while to figure everything out, including changing my toothpaste!

        1. Susan Kruse says:

          Chocolate… I too suspected chocolate, until I found out that some chocolate have a soy ingredient in them “Soy Lectin” and some chocolates do NOT have the soy. The non-soy chocolate seems to be ok with me. Have you thoughts on this?

      3. Kathy says:

        Phyllis I am still working through some issues myself, have you considered SIBO? Read this article, I hope this helps you. 🙂 http://www.mindbodygreen.com/0-11020/10-signs-you-have-small-intestinal-bacterial-overgrowth-sibo.html

      4. Becky Atkins says:

        Phyllis – I would pursue further testing. I kept having issues and it turns out I also have Crohns. Once I cleaned up the cross contamination and got treatment for the Crohns, I feel good most of the time.

      5. montana says:

        you should go on a paleo diet, which I primamrily gluten, dairy, and soy free…. it’s way better because most people don’t realize soy id just as bad for you as dairy…

      6. Pam Hunt says:

        I just read your post from a year ago. I am just like you in that I have taken some form of GI med for the last 18 years to help control IBS or “dumping syndrome” as I’ve been told. Just recently I have discovered my intolerance to gluten. However, I took Lotronex also. I am a surgical nurse and work with GI physicians that have seen ischemia of the bowel from LOTRONEX. In fact, the day my GI doc found out I was taking the medication he made me promise to stop taking it that day!! The last I knew it was not FDA approved and you must sign a waiver to take it. Just wanted to share the info with you if you weren’t aware.

      7. Leah Raeihle says:

        You may want to look into trying an elimination diet, such as the AIP diet to see what your sensitivities are. That would give you the opportunity to clear out any possible allergens and then slowly reintroduce items back to see if you are reactive. There is lots of information online and on Pinterest about the AIP diet. The best of luck to you!

      8. Patti Ann says:

        Phyllis,
        I’m sorry that you have this too. I’ve had problems since 10 years ago….mild at first, then so bad I thought I was going to die. I’m better now as long as I avoid all gluten.
        Although I know that every person is different…what helped me when it was really bad, and may help you is:
        For one day, eat only applesauce, as much and as often as you like. Applesauce has pectin, which absorbs impurities (toxins) and also returns the bowels to regular movements…stops diarrhea and clears up constipation as well. Drink purified water, and drink regular tea with one teaspoon honey added for taste (and healing). And take a probiotic every day, which helps to get the good bacteria in the digestive system to fight the bad bacteria (which also causes diarrhea)
        Day two and day three…continue with the above, but now you may try adding cranberry juice. I like Ocean Spray Cranberry Pomegranate 100% juice, no added sugars. It is sweet and you may like to add purified water to it, to suit your taste. (Note: my son is allergic to cranberry juice. It gives him a stomach ache, even though he doesn’t have gluten problems! Like I said, every person is different.)
        On day two and day three, you may also add cooked white rice to your diet.
        Hint: buy a couple of GLASS jars of applesauce, so you don’t run out. Get the kind that doesn’t have high fructose corn syrup if possible. Also try to avoid plastic containers, as they have toxins in them.
        Wishing you healing and good health!!!

        1. GFT staff says:

          We love the generosity of the community in sharing their experiences. We do want to add one important note here. Taking probiotics is indeed a personal decision between you and your health care provider. The insight that all people are different is an important distinction. There has been much scientific investigation regarding the use of probiotics for celiac patients. The data questions the wisdom of celiac patients using probiotics. There is also evidence that most if not all probiotics have some level of gluten in them. Please proceed with caution if you decide take them. Do your due diligence and talk to your doctor.

      9. camilla Lardi rizzotto says:

        My sister experienced this and was diagnosed with ulcerative colitis. It’s awful but she now takes medication and continues to liv with disease with less stress. All the best.

    3. Sarah says:

      I recently have found if I eat gluten I get extremely sick so I had to go on a diet

  2. oril perkins says:

    your house need to go full no gluten if you are a true celiace Iam one for 5 years nothing come in to are home if it is not gluten free no eating any where but home

  3. Nikki Adams says:

    It depends on how much gluten I get. Large amounts, like salad dressing on a salad….I get severely sick like food poisoning. Took bread off a sandwhich ones, got severely sick like food poisoning. There are times where I think I get just a tiny trace, and I have the more common side effects like cramping, diahhrea. I wish I never had it!!!

    1. terry keever says:

      I get all my salad dressing from ALDI’S food stores

      1. Lori says:

        For Salad dressing, I squeeze a wedge of lemon over my salad, sprinkle with salt and pepper and eat! Very fresh tasting and healthy.

    2. Deanne says:

      Nikki, I have the same kind of reaction to gluten…I was just diagnosed 3 years ago, and it seems the more I get gluten out of my diet, the more senssitive I get with any tiny exposure. If I get a good dose of it, I end up so sick (like food poisoning) and eventually end up in the ER for rehydration…it is horrific! I try to cook at home always, except for a few restaurants I have been successful without getting sick…its a crap shoot though, and even my husband now hates to go out anywhere, because since he started eating ONLY my gf food, he feels so much better and then feels bloated and sickish after eating restaurant food. Fortunately, I love to cook, so making the transition to gf eating has been simpler for me…I use Better Batter gluten free flour blend, (or a blend of my own flour alternatives) and I can make any recipe I used to make, from garlic cheddar biscuits, to cream puffs or banana bread…sky is the limit! Its more diffficult when you don’t like to cook…or if you have a lifestyle that requires travel and regular eating out in restaurants. All I know, is that this is certainly the most difficult health challenge I have ever faced in my life of more then 5 decades! Blessings to you on your journey!!! 🙂

      1. Caryll says:

        LOOKING FOR RECEIPES CANT eat anything

        1. ~Wendy says:

          There are a lot of gluten free recipes out there, I use this one for bread, I used Bob’s Red Mill 1 to 1 flour and it turned out excellent! http://www.onegoodthingbyjillee.com/2013/03/finally-gluten-free-bread-that-doesnt-suck.html Also check out Bob’s RM Website they have recipes on there that go with their flour, and I have had success with Pintrest having Great GF Recipes… Here is one for hamburger buns too, I used Coconut oil in place of palm… http://www.thepaleomom.com/2012/05/recipe-nut-free-sesame-hamburger-buns.html

      2. Priscilla says:

        I have just started gluten free, dairy and egg free also tomato free diet the past 3 months. Feeling some better. But, having a hard time finding eatable recipes for breads, cakes,pies and tasty foods. I’ve had a lot of expensive flops. Can you help with any recipes? I appreciated your story. Thanks so much. Priscilla

    3. Patti Ann says:

      I make my own salad dressings…LOTS of good recipes on Pinterest and on the Internet,

    4. Julie says:

      I make my own salad dressing by sprinkling 1 tbsp of green olive juice and 1 tbsp of rice vinegar over salads. It’s amazingly delish.

  4. NIC says:

    I’m always exposed inadvertently or accidentally and usually in restaurants (even those that offer GF items!) or private homes. What I experience is: a dull pang on the left lower abdomen that begins within 15 minutes after ingesting and continues on through all the other symptoms–it’s also the last symptom to go away. Then i experience slight or some nausea followed or along with a dizzy spell, my thinking becomes muddled. Then serious lower abdomen pain that comes and goes. Whether a bathroom run is needed or not, the dizzy spell becomes a fainting spell and I sometimes lose consciousness. Diarrhea begins and is often non-stop for anywhere from 12 to 36 hours. For several days–worst case a week, I’ve flu-like symptoms and am not able to do much other than rote stuff–no problem solving, do decision-making. It’s a miserable state that only gradually moves on–until the next accidental intake. I’m very cautious about what I eat or drink anywhere and question servers and chefs as much as possible even coming across like some kind of nut but it appears my recourse for avoiding these incidents is to eat only my own or my family’s cooking. Puts a damper on a social life since I find myself declining invitations pretty much in self-preservation.

    1. GFT staff says:

      Nic, we are so appreciative of you sharing your story. We know from our own experiences and those of our customer that your description is all too common. Eating gluten is a huge drain on your system not to mention the social and work aspects that you so accurately describe. As far as sounding like a nut in a restaurant, if those servers had to endure what celiacs do when cross contaminated they would not think nut, they would admire you for taking such good care of yourself. Thank you so much for sharing and we at GFT wish you and all of our customers the best of health.

    2. Caryll says:

      You are the only person, so far, that has been close to what I go thru. I have been lucky, tho, I have found something I can take and it has taken away my problem….I am so thankful that I can now handed my problem without over the counter meds.

      1. Jo says:

        What OTC meds are you taking?

    3. Ann says:

      Hi Nic,
      Your symptoms are very much like mine! I pass out, too, especially after eating eggs. Almonds, soy, eggs and gluten are all off my list of things I can eat. Dairy only in small doses. I got tired of turning down invitations, so I usually just have a cup of tea, tell folks I have many food allergies and that I could be very sick if I eat the wrong thing, and tell them I’m perfectly comfortable having a cup of tea and so they should be comfortable, too. For pot-lucks, I bring my own and serve myself first, so even if someone uses a spoon from the macaroni and cheese in my gluten free whatever, I don’t get sick. My friends are even aware by now, so if they are serving food they’ll let me take mine first. I’ve eaten a lots of restaurants, and been sick several times, even from something as simple as a tossed salad. There are two local places I go, and they know me and are always very careful. Never been sick at either. I consider this an opportunity to grow- I am pretty shy, and have had to learn to be my own advocate. It gets easier! And as I eat more naturally gluten free foods like fruits and vegetables, the rest of my health gets better, too. The hardest thing is the Holiday season, when everyone is eating so many goodies at parties that I can’t have- but in a few weeks that will be done. Be the nut, Nic- people in restaurants are there to SERVE you, not the other way around!

    4. Jennette Watson says:

      Hi,I read your post and I am almost the same as you with my symptoms. It is so difficult…ruining my social life. I have been glutened twice in one week,my symptoms have lasted 8 days now and I still can’t eat anything. I’m now wandering if it’s food poisoning…but my instincts tell me,it gluten. Symptoms are straight after I have eaten offending food. Have you any tips for me? I am feeling pretty desperate. Thanks …sherbertj

    5. Susanna says:

      How were you diagnosed? did you go to a Gastroenterology Doctor? do you have celiac? did it develope in the middle of your life? I think i’m struggling with gluten but the symptoms have persisted- maybe i’m not being careful enough? Maybe its something else not food related?

  5. terry keever says:

    How do you make gluten free foods taste better?

    1. marjean says:

      The best way to make gluten free food is to not eat it, make everything..My friend has celiac also and thought that gluten free food was the way to go..To me gluten free food is good in a pinch..like a sandwich..I make my own gluten free waffles, etc..otherwise a lot of fruits, veggies..If I want a cake, and HAVE to have one, I take a regular recipe and change the ingredients.

    2. montana says:

      I love udi’s products(freezer section), I find they taste great and I love RP’s GF pasta!!!! and I cook mostly everything else!!!

  6. Laura says:

    I know I have been “glutened” when my heart races and I get a dull but persistent knot right below my sternum. I never had any of the classic celiac symptoms like diarrhea, but joint pain, migraines, heart palpitations and stomach pain were constant for me. I was diagnosed with celiac disease as a result of an exploratory endoscopy because the doctor thought I had stomach ulcers. I can usually tell the next day when I go to the bathroom, because the color and smell are off (sorry, I know that is gross).

    1. Karen says:

      Laura,

      Like you, I have the rarer celiac symptoms. I was recently diagnosed after having strange symptoms for many years. Racing heart, nervous anxiety, joint/nerve pain, headaches, and eczema on my hands that leave open cuts. I’ll also have nausea when “glutened,” but I don’t have the severe diarrhea and flu symptoms.

  7. Arlene Corso says:

    The first attack felt like I was dying. Stomach pain, vomiting, diarrhea, extreme fatigue, muscle aches, couldn’t sleep. I was dizzy, couldn’t keep my head up. Everything I tried to eat made it worse! Tea and TOAST…Now if I get sabotaged, I get diarrhea, bloating, and just overall crappy feeling. I am overly cautious when I do eat out and I don’t like to travel to far from home when we eat out! I still spend many hours in the bathroom.

    1. priscilla besemer says:

      hi arlene i was finally diagnosed in 2000 after going to 4 gastro doctors. i had lost 49 lbs now that i am glutenfree i have gained 40 lbs very hard to lose st. have diarrhea if i get the least amount of something i dont know is bad afraid to go out to eat or go to family affairs i have bms with no warnimg dr. says its IBS NOW .i have to go to have bm shortly after eating .thanks for listening you have any ideas for me thanks P.K BESEMER

      1. Caryll says:

        I may be able to help you. Contact me

        1. Jeny says:

          Hi Caryll, I’m wondering if you could share what supplement you take to ward off an attack’s symptoms

  8. betty vanbuskirk says:

    I don’t have celiac but a gluten intolerance and when I get gluten I have the same thing, any ideas what to take to help with the pain . thank you

  9. Mary Bell says:

    I was diagnosed at the age of 48. My main symptom was anemia which resulted in various other symptoms. I was severely fatigued and couldn’t sleep because of restless leg syndrome. I had bone pain as well. I feel 95% better since going gluten free. I would never cheat and risk the way I felt before.

    1. Rho says:

      Mary Bell has your RLS gotten better? I’ve been gf for 2mos and no improvement.

  10. karen gonzales says:

    boy, all these things are sooooo true. Sometimes I go off gluten-free and eat pizza or a bread roll or hamburger and I really pay for it. It hits so hard sometimes, horrible. I am 66 and have a hard time sticking to my own rules NO GLUTEN

  11. Sara M. says:

    After wheat gluten weakened my stomach, thru out the years I have developed allergy also for . SOY , beans ,peas, nuts (except macadamia), black pepper, anything hydro.. preserved, molasses , mushrooms and GMO foods.
    Symptoms :
    within 12-24 hours : migraine, stomach blows up, gas, than frequent uncontrollable visits to the bathroom,soft and a lot of BM with very bad pain and cramps, lasting up to 20 minute each time, maybe 5x that day. Beans , and mushroom comes with throwing up.Being close to a toilet is a must. Pain is so bad, have to lay down with heat pack on the stomach and sleep.
    Can last 2 days, depending on the kind of gluten or soy.
    I found soy and SOY LECITHIN just as dangerous for me as gluten.

  12. Vicki says:

    I was not diagnosed with celiac until I was 58 years old. Had been diagnosed with IBS years before. Had many years of discomfort prior to that. I developed, overnight it seems, migraine headaches, dizziness, weakness in addition to the gastric complaints. After I began following a gluten free diet I noticed the joint pain and numbness, tingling and foot pain, as well as the itchy skin went away. I realize I had been suffering from gluten reactions for many years, but attributed them to other things.

    It is so important to read labels. Watch for hidden ingredients (caramel color, modified food starch), and extenders in spices.

  13. Celia Swann says:

    I remember the last biscuit I ate. My Mother had made them for my husband and me. My symptoms then were extreme lethargy. I could not stop yawning. My eyes watered and made this stringy crap for days! And the brain fog could only be described as “thick as pea soup”. And those were the ” Good ol Days”!
    It progressed from there to, after the first bite of anything containing gluten, my stomach would start making noises that could be heard in the neighboring state! I heard a lot of, My God, Was that you!? Now, mind you, it never went anywhere. The gas just built up til my stomach was distended til it was taut like a drum.
    Pure misery
    I figured out myself what gluten is and eliminated it from my diet. (sigh)
    My symptoms also include topical exposure issues as well. A minuscule crumb on my lips will cause a huge, ugly, painful, slow to heal blister. I have many scars from this kind of exposure.
    I will also get raised itchy blotches on my skin from flour on surfaces or that is airborne.
    And I am one of those people that gained weight due to vitamin and mineral depletion and insomnia.
    I recently started a vitamin and mineral supplement called celi-vites. I’m crossing my fingers that maybe I will start to feel closer to normal soon.
    I am blessed that my immediate family does understand the severity and will accommodate my needs.
    I pretty much don’t visit other people in their homes any more. I just can’t

    1. Shawny Muise says:

      I also have the itchy bumps and hives really bad..does yur feet and hands itch really bad after having gluten

  14. Jessie says:

    I get reflux so bad I feel like I can’t breathe within 10 minutes. Within the hour I usually have tightness in my chest, shoulders and back. It’s not uncommon for me to have an asthma attack, and I always get a migraine. And my favorite symptom: I get agitated and MEAN. Like really mean. Like the dogs leave the room mean. The agitation easily lasts for 12 hours. Then the next day I’m pretty much on the toilet all day.

    What fun! All of these awful symptoms just to go out to eat with friends and pretend to be “normal.” Aye.

    1. Bill says:

      Jessie-

      It’s good to see someone else who gets the agitated and mean/angry symptoms! That’s my main symptom- I get frighteningly angry, over the most miniscule things.
      And since it takes a couple days for the symptoms to kick in, it can be hard to pin down when/where I got glutened.

      Mostly, I don’t get any of the other symptoms, that most folks seem to get. Some anxiety & racing heart.
      But mostly, it’s just that my brain just goes haywire for a couple days. And it really sucks when it happens.

    2. Patti Ann says:

      Me too! It is horrible. The first time for me it was so bad…I had to vomit before I could breathe free again.

    3. Patti Ann says:

      I notice the reflux for me is really bad if:
      I’m really hungry and gobble down some food.

      It is better for me to sip a little water or warm tea first. And then to chew each bite of food 30 times. My esophagus and tummy are so much happier then!

  15. Val S says:

    My symptoms are very much like above, except that I get severely constipated instead of it flushing out. I WISH it flushed out, because of the constipation, and the inability to get rid of the gluten there, my symptoms last up to 2 weeks!
    I’ve found taking large doses of magnesium and vit C can help flush my system, but I have to catch it quickly.
    My 7 yr old experienced the above earlier this week, because she thought just a couple crackers would be fine, no matter how many times we’ve explained to her it’s not.

    1. Patti Simon says:

      I too get constipated from eating gluten. Joint pain, muscle spasms, headaches, stiffness are also part of the reaction. I don’t have an immediate response to gluten. It seems to build up in my system and after a few days of eating gluten the symptoms start. Trader Joes has a fair selection of gluten free products and they are inexpensive

    2. Patti Ann says:

      I have the constipation problem also. Last year, after about a year of taking additional magnesium and C, so that I could “go”, I had a very different problem as a result of that. I had two spinal compression fractures. Very painful . After much reading, I learned that too much calcium and magnesium block the absorption of manganese. And manganese is needed to hold the calcium and magnesium in the bones.
      So I backed off of calcium supplements and try to eat a balanced diet that includes foods rich in manganese, calcium, and magnesium.

      1. rachel says:

        Hey there. i get SEVERE constipation as well, but like you mentioned, magnesium could be very life threatening. so as soon as i figure i’ve been glutened, i will take some activated charcoal to localize the antibodies and toxins, l-lysine to start the rebuild of damaged cells, and either drink peppermint tea for the rest of the day or if i dont have time to make tea, i will add a SINGLE drop of peppermint essential oil to a bottle of water to get my digestive track digesting again. after i get that peppermint in my system, i feel 10 times better.

  16. P. Slaughter says:

    I read over these comments and see a bit of myself in each story. Migraines, joint inflammation and pain, lethargy, additional food allergies, stomach and intestinal pain, diarrhea, etc.
    I have always had a slow metabolism, so my reaction time is a little slower, earliest onset being about 3-5 hours later, but the agony lasts for up to a week.
    The first diagnosis I got in my 20s was IBS. The medication they gave me for it worked, for a little while. Then it didn’t anymore, no matter what dosage they gave me. They even considered I might have Lupus, but that test came back negative. A childhood friend suggested a gluten free diet and it worked. Until we went on vacation and I ‘cheated’ and went through the worst 48 hours I had since I got food poisoning that landed me in the hospital for dehydration. After that I was ‘NO Gluten’. It was my chiropractor that suggested I might have a gluten sensitivity or even Celiac. I DEMANDED the IgA and IgG test, but had to consume gluten for a month (according to my doctor) for it to be conclusive. She did a blood draw anyway, and I tortured myself by eating something with gluten (even the thought makes my stomach flip while writing this) every other day. It took 10 days for the lab results to come back- after a year of a GF diet the first blood test showed Celiac.
    I have noticed that the more time that passes with a dedicated GF diet, even the slightest exposure now can trigger a reaction. I have to have GF EVERYTHING- laundry soap, lotion, shampoo, soap, makeup, etc. I have to search an online formulary EVERY time I get a new prescription for something (I finally have my pharmacist on board with an alert on my file- thank goodness for Electronic Medical Files- to NOT use any formularies that use gluten as a binder), have to know all the possible ‘ingredient names’ for gluten/gluten containing products, and eat out at a very few select and LOCALLY owned restaurants (local folks are a lot nicer about it that the corporate chains) with the exception of our Red Robin here in town. My husband is gradually switching over, simply to help reduce anything accidental here at home.
    Two of my 3 adult kids have Celiac. My sister, my aunt, and my cousin have NCGS. My mother died of complicated issues her doctor thinks could be related to undiagnosed Celiac or even NCGS, considering the high rate of issues our family seems to have with gluten.
    It sucks, but I have become a much better kitchen wizard because of this stupid disease!

  17. Patty says:

    Sometimes my friends still ask; “Don’t you ever cheat?”
    And of course my answer is always, “NO! It is not worth it!”
    The difference between diabetes and celiac disease, with diabetes you can cheat.

  18. Jeneen says:

    I have CD… diagnosed both by blood tests and colonoscopy. Other than a bit of fatigue, I don’t have any symptoms when I eat gluten. Is this common? My biggest tells are my lab results… I have to have an iron infusion about once a year and my Dr said for me this is more of an absorption issue.

  19. Lhynn says:

    I learned I had it 4 years ago..I had since 2005 ..two autoimmune diseases..Graves and Hashimotos..both thhyroid based…anyhow found out by just reading I probably had Celiac…I started gf and after a year or more my graves disease went into remission..no antibodies..since working on the Hashis..reading I found glutin probably causes Hasimotos..I had I thought IBS most of my adult life..wow were the drs wrong..all the time it was glutin..go gf if you have any kind of autoimmune issues…yopu will be doing yourself a big favor!!!

    1. GFT staff says:

      You so right. We wrote a five part series on the autoimmune connection with CD. here is a link to the hashimotos article if you are interested in learning more. http://www.glutenfreetherapeutics.com/living-gluten-free/medicine-research/hashimotos-thyroiditis-celiac/

  20. Carole says:

    learning I had Celiac & Colitis was a blow at my age(71) after years of eating just about anything, especially Italian, I found it a chore to change my lifestyle & eating habits. At first I was very diligent about what I ate, even dining out was ok for a while.but dating became a problem. I did not tell each date I was Celiac as I wasn’t sure how exclusive the relationship would become. So naturally I cheated a lot & luckily for me no symptoms appeared to agitate me & my stomach……..
    I will continue to watch what I eat, but not give up what I love forever…….

  21. Karen says:

    I was recently diagnosed after my integrative Dr. considered my symptoms and looked at my blood work. My B12 is severely low, and so is my vitD. I don’t have the classic symptoms after being “glutened.” Mine involve a racing heart, feeling very shaky and weird throughout my whole body (nervous), nausea, joint pain, headache, and eczema on my hands that result in open cuts. I also have related sensitivities to soy and corn. When I was nursing my son (for 3.5 years), I would get ductal blockages after eating wheat and corn derivatives (usually at restaurants or underlying ingredients in “healthy” GF foods. I have to cook everything from scratch. My son has similar issues now, but his are related to eggs, almonds, wheat and dairy. I can consume dairy in small amounts. It’s also important for people like us eating meat, to always be mindful of eating grass fed animals or truly free-range chicken.

  22. Denise says:

    What can I do to treat my broken skin, itchy and rash skin reaction to gluten? I am miserable. I cant afford to eat gluten free wheat products. I have a limited diet and if bread is taken away I am down to not much available to eat at all. I am in serious trouble here. Please help. Thank you! BTW I also have MS.

    1. GFT staff says:

      Denise, we understand your dilemma. There must be many people who face this challenge. The only way for you treat your celiac disease is to completely eliminate gluten from your diet. There is no way to heal as long as your body is exposed to gluten. There are some very good gluten free breads on the market. You can also find excellent gf pasta. Fresh fruit is always gf and has lots of fiber. MS and CD are related so treating your CD will be very beneficial for you. Try to find affordable gf foods and stick to it. You should notice a vast improvement to your health over time. Just a hint amazon now has a gluten free food store and the prices may be less than a traditional food store. the link is: http://www.amazon.com/Gluten-Free-Food-Flour-Snacks-Baking/b/ref=amb_link_425683482_4?ie=UTF8&node=2204829011&pf_rd_m=ATVPDKIKX0DER&pf_rd_s=merchandised-search-leftnav&pf_rd_r=00SGR5H8MXGS21WQ7VFH&pf_rd_t=101&pf_rd_p=2004658342&pf_rd_i=16310101
      You my find it helpful. Two of our favorite brands are ancient harvest (great pasta) and enjoy life (wonderful cookies, bars and lots of stuff).
      Thank you for your comment and we all wish you well on your road to recovery.

    2. Patti Ann says:

      Denise,
      Yep, it’s difficult, but just don’t buy any baked goods. Buy only fruits, vegetables and meat and dairy. Instead of sandwiches, make lettuce wraps. Use big leaf of lettuce instead of bread. For breakfast…2apples with 2 glasses of milk, or 1 cup of yogurt. Don’t ruin your health eating gluten! Buy a loaf of Udi’s GF bread and toast one slice for a treat. It tastes better toasted.
      Even better is baking your own GF bread using eggs, vinegar, and flours such as barley, tapioca, rice, teff. You can google a recipe or check Pinterest. It sounds weird…but I love this homemade bread, tastes better than any other!

      1. Tracey says:

        Barley has gluten in it

  23. Elizabeth says:

    I have been living gluten free for about 4yrs now…I was not diagnosed with Celiac Disease but know that Gluten is the culprit for my symptoms….I wish I knew what my threshold was for gluten because sometimes I react and sometimes I don’t, but when I am glutened it can take hours to three-to-five days for sypmtoms to appear and go away. Your article accurately describes what my body goes through even with gluten intolerance.

  24. Pamela says:

    Can one be tested for Celiac if you are already on a GF diet??

    1. Trista says:

      No you cannot. 🙁 You would have to go back on gluten for a week, to get accurate results.

  25. Shirley Parker says:

    Great info but that’s only half of it. A lack of calcium, one of the main problems, can lead to osteoporosis in later life, also heart problems. A ‘funny’ heart is one of my first symptoms. It can also trigger miscarriage and still born babies. Ulcerative colitis and bowel cancer can be a result of an undiagnosed coeliac condition. My brother nearly died from the former and my niece passed away 6 years ago from bowel cancer. Very scary stuff. Not to be viewed lightly.

  26. Anita Windham says:

    Finding doctors that are more aware of Celiac Disease in a small town is tough. Even my dentist said he’d have to research it himself. It kills me when someone says I’m gluten sensitive then goes & orders a hamburger? WHAT?? That burger isn’t worth severe stomach cramps & diarrhea. I never cheat on my diet, can’t afford the consequences. Groceries are easier to find now, if it’s not labeled GF it’s not going in my buggy. Never eat off plastic plates, they harbor cross contamination, glass only. I carry my own salad & baked potato if we go out to eat. Most restaurants approve, also in my purse is note from Dr. Tough disease to have. Learning everyday. Every restaurant is like Russian roulette..yes even now it’s a crap shoot. I still Love Life, challenge me, I’ve been a fun loving fighter all my life.

  27. sue laterra says:

    WI was diagnosed in 2003 after suffering a multitude of symtoms for years.When I am ‘glutened’, the reaction is very severe:
    *Violent vomiting for up to 6 hours afterwords
    *Painful & intense diarrhea during that dame time
    *Gut wrenching pain that has me moaning and crying
    Dizziness
    For days afterwords, I am sick and barely able to function with continuing diarrhea.
    It is difficult to explain to non-celiacs when at work, party or any function where food is served & you are expected to eat. Lets face it, there is a certain percentage of people that think celiac disease is bogus.

    1. Jane says:

      My response to being glutened is exactly like yours. I tried riding it out but found that I couldn’t. I had the be taken to the ER via ambulance as I could no longer make it to the bathroom.
      My gastroentologist advised me to go to the ER at the first signs which I do now.
      The vomiting is nothing like regular vomiting. It’s as if my entire body is throwing up at one time. And the gut pain is horrific.
      At the ER, they give me IV fluids, nausea Ned’s, morphine and cramping meds. It seems worse on my body each time. I feel as though my insides are shredded. This can’t be ok for us.
      I am so careful but restaurants do not have my concerns. Each time I have been assured a food is gluten free.

      1. Melissa Butterworth says:

        Hi Jane,
        I am sitting here googling being glutened, because my stomach hurts to much to go to sleep. I have been diagnosed for over 10yrs but my sensitivity is getting worse. I now have symptoms like you. Todays episode is mild compared to some I have had.I was half asleep and accidentally bit into my sons non GF muffin, I spat it all out and tried to rinse my mouth and teeth, but as I was out, I did not have access to a toothbrush.I have had neck and back pain because of the violence of my vomiting. On occasions I have vomited up blood usually then accompanied by bad diarrhoea. I sympathise with you and hope someday we can find something to at least alleviate or prevent the worst of the symptoms.I will follow your gastros advice and prevent myself at the ER when I have had a bad attack, with three children I cannot take days to recover.

    2. mandy says:

      Thank you for your symptoms. My specialist says vomiting is not part of ceoliac disease, but last two episodes have had this result. It’s very confusing.

  28. Laura Jones says:

    I came across this article after being glutened at one of my favorite restaurants today. I was diagnosed with celiac disease a couple years ago after a colonoscopy and bloodwork. At 51, it’s been a huge lifestyle change.

    Currently, my joints are aching, running a slight fever, nauseated, itching all over, irritable, headache and horribly fatigued. The big D will come soon enough.

    I really go out of my way to avoid gluten, but these things happen, so I try not to beat myself up about it. Lots of fluids and lots of rest are the best medicine. One can only hope they come up with some sort of treatment in the near future.

    Wishing all of you the best

  29. brent says:

    Can sympazise. I have coeliac and the other day I got glutened and its the worst feeling ever. The feeling of not being able to move around is terrible. That’s my symptons though. better now but hope it never happens again and they find a cure for coeliac.

  30. Jen says:

    Glad to find this site. I am nearly 62. Tummy troubles off and over the years, just thought “oh well, I have my mom’s stomach.” Been diabetic for 43 years-doing not too badly. My diabetic nurse said I needed a celiac blood test seeing my feratin level so low. She was right. My dr. has known for 15+ years about the low iron, never twigged. Took my diabetic nurse a rose after I got my positive results-so thankful to know what has been going on and going gluten free. Not to happy about my dr missing this for so long, especially with what it can lead to. (He has been great with the diabetes stuff.) Diabetic nurse has also ordered an ECG and bone density test.Been gluten free a week and then used Hys Seasoning salt-been a bad night and day. Trying to be really careful. Not a pioneer, though, like some of you who have not been taken seriously for years. Oh my.

  31. antoinette crill says:

    I am new to the Gluten free lifestyle and am adapting. There should be a club… Hi, My name is Antoinette and I’ve been gluten free for 3 months.
    I travel frequently for work and I have discovered to ASK lots of questions before ordering. You have to be a detective and find hidden gluten Something as innocent as broccoli can have hidden gluten… Cheesecake factory cooks broccoli in the pasta water
    I HOP puts pancake batter in the scrambled egg in the omelette.
    Many restaurants have a disclaimer that the food item is gluten free but they cannot prevent cross contamination.
    SO I LEAVE… I don’t risk getting sick anymore especially when I’m traveling.

  32. Anita says:

    My experience is different than any I have ever heard or read. This is a long story, I apologize. I have had multiple symptoms consistant with Celiac disease for well over 20 years (although I didn’t know they were assoc w/ it until I was dx’d), migraines, muscle pain, brain fog, stomach issues, etc. I was dx’d with fibromyalgia in 2002. That explained my symptoms. In 2012, I had SEVERE diarrhea for a month while I could not keep anything in my stomach more than a few minutes. I had multiple tests, all of which came back “normal”, except the test to indicate the need for a biopsy for celiacs. At the time, my GI told me diarrhea wasn’t a symptom of celiacs! I didn’t know better. By coincidence just before the diarrhea started I had a scope done because of pain I’d been having and everything looked fine so I just let it go. Fast forward to 2014, and a new Gi I was back because of severe pain in my upper abdomen that had been going on for several years that I thought I might try to resolve once again. He said, you Need a biopsy! And, yes, I have celiacs.
    Now for the unusuall partAfter 2 years of a very strict gf diet I still have all of the symptoms I had while eating gluten. So, I thought I would see if maybe it would be worse if I ate gluten. No change at all. I know that there can be long term damage if I don’t continue gf, so I am, but it is much harder when I don’t see any immediate benefits or ramifications when I dont!

  33. Kirsten Papp says:

    I cannot have any part per million. Saying something is gluten free at 20 ppm or less is complete BS. Any ppm is not gluten free. Also watch out for “natural flavorings”. They are made from malt barley extract, which is designed to bring out the flavor of the food. On top of that, I am one of those Celiac’s reacts to corn too (it’s a grain not a vegetable).
    My Celiac attacks last about a week after exposure and these are my symptoms: nausea, skin issues (flakiness, break outs of milia (little white bumps that expel if poked) & occasional cysts, “chicken skin” on arms and chest, eczema) digestion issues(diarrhea, cramping pain), fatigue, loss of appetite, headache, swollen lymph nodes, problems concentrating, and include constant muscle & joint discomfort(constantly “needing to” stretch muscles & pop joints with no relief). It makes death seem welcoming. The last time, I ended up passing out after being in agony for 5 hours and waking up feeling a lot better. My body had to “reset” itself. Although, stiffness of joints and muscles after the discomfort is gone is not uncommon and mind fog lasts a week.
    I would have taken pain pills, but most pain pills have gluten and corn as binding agents and taking pills when nauseous is iffy at best. I take baby Aspirin when I only have pain and drink coffee because it is a natural anti-inflammatory.
    I refuse to eat at peoples houses now because they do not know how to look for the hidden gluten items.

    1. Kirsten Papp says:

      I forgot to mention that I have been gluten free for about 2 years. Celiac’s has also causes me to be infertile and have 8 miscarriages. I am praying for the miracle of being able to have my own biological children. If you are a praying person, please pray for me and my husband. We would love to have children. (Adoption is not an option for us.)

    2. GFT staff says:

      Hello Kristen,
      From what you are describing you may fall into the highly sensitive category. A percentage of folks with CD do have a heightened reaction from any source of gluten. We have experience with this. You may find our article called” What we eat as a highly sensitive celiac”, on our blog site helpful. We list what foods and personal items we have found to be safe after years of research and testing. You are correct about some medicines containing gluten. A tip for you is that we have found Tylenol to be safe. it is the only pain reliever we use.
      We wish you the best and thank you for sharing your story.

  34. Carol Chandler says:

    Wow so many shared stories, I was diagnosed 2yrs ago but even now get caught out and am just recovering from being glutened. Been a horrible 2 days with all the symptoms previously mentioned. Thank you to everyone for some good suggestions, will even check my script pills now

  35. Hurting bad. says:

    I am so sick right now. Reading these comments helps me know… maybe I am not dying. I have convinced myself I must be dying. Has anyone felt that bad. My head can’t think. I hit a wall I am down. Can’t think. I lay in bed and can’t sleep because my body is in so much pain. In one day and a gallon of water I can see an immediate change. I write this and yet I enevidabily will eat gluten again. Like I am in some denial. Then I research and read your comments and it makes it real. I must be celiac. History of enemia. I feel I am incapable of functioning. You would think I would believe it’s real. The comments are so helpful. Thank you.

  36. Hurting bad. says:

    I know know I have had this my whole life. I am over 50. So I am just learning. It seems it is getting progressly worst does it build and build to get worse? A Dr once told me that I don’t need a test. My chart screams Celiac. I went 6 months without gluten. Then I went to take the test where they sample your fila. The test came back negative …. so that gave me the excuse to start eating it again. Now I am so sick. I just threw up. It is now debilitating me. Any thoughts.

    1. Judy Bedwell says:

      My gastro doc told me I would have to go back on gluten for several weeks before he does a biopsy of my intestine in order to get a true Celiac positive reading. I’ve been off gluten for 3 years and told him I wouldn’t knowingly go back to eating gluten as it gives me terrible side effects. I’ve had a couple of blood tests and they come back negative but I drank some wheat grass and had an awful attack years ago which I didn’t connect the dots to having a wheat issue. Have had acid reflux disease since I was a kid.

  37. Hurting bad. says:

    Also, is it possible you get so sick you are not making good decisions? Can it really be that bad? Your judgment goes? Focus ? Depression. Weight gain. I don’t recognize myself. In tears.

    1. Patti says:

      I feel the same way.I can’t think straight I’m never well,Gluten sensitivity goes along with all these autoimmune disorders I have…how about you?

  38. Patti says:

    I got so hungry I ate a few graham crackers. I had been on a Paleo diet. This morning I woke up with severe diarrhea and threw up buckets right now. Stupid move on my part. First bad food I’ve eaten since I have been on the new diet. NEVER AGAIN!I CAN’T EVEN THINK TODAY.AND, I’M IN BED, BETWEEN GOING INTO THE BATHROOM! SO DIZZY, AND BUZZING IN MY EARS…..

  39. Jennifer says:

    I’ve been gluten free for almost two years now. I’ve cheated a few times. When I cheat, sometimes I get sick and sometimes I don’t. When I do get sick, it happens about two days after I have eaten the gluten. For example, if I eat it on a Sunday night, I wake up sick on Tuesday morning. I am usually sick all day with flu like symptoms. Joint pain, muscle pain, very tired, nauseated, loss of appetite and cramping in lower stomach. The day after I am sick, I usually feel fine. This has happened to me three times. The first time I don’t know what triggered it, the second time it was baked frozen lasagna and the third time it was baked frozen scones. I have cheated and eaten homemade baked gluten food at family gatherings (such as pie crust) and have not gotten sick, so I’m not sure if there is something in the processed food or if it was just the amount that I ate? I went gluten free after I was diagnosed with Graves Disease. After I went gluten free, my thyroid did get better, but then it got bad again. (Recently I read that flouride can cause thyroid problems. I also read there is flouride in tea and I drink a lot of ice tea. I just recently stopped drinking tea and using flouride toothpaste, so we’ll see if that helps.) I also went gluten free in hopes that it would help my psoriasis. I think it has helped a little, but it’s not fully gone. One thing that it has helped though is my anxiety. I use to be so nervous that I couldn’t even drive a vehicle. After going gluten free, I have no anxiety and I can drive again. It’s so nice to have that freedom back. Another thing I’ve noticed is that I’m not as tired as I use to be and I have a lot more energy.

  40. Jennifer says:

    Oops, I should have used spell check before I posted the above. I meant to write “fluoride”. Also, another reason I went gluten free was because I had stomach problems and was always constipated. That went away after going gluten free.

  41. Ashlie Wilson says:

    I haven’t been diagnosed yet but I get attacks often when I eat any gluten or anything with dairy. It hurts immensley and feels like a war inside my stomach. Almost like I’ve been starving myself for a couple days when ai haven’t. It’s a burning emptiness. I get the migraines and can handle them but this sensation is the worst of it all. I’ve almost had my appendix taken out because of it. Luckily a doctor swooped in last minute to stop the surgery and took an MRI/SCAN of my entire mid-section and found it entirely inflamed. After that, still, no one has figured out if I have celiacs or not. My half sister does and finally got diagnosed. But mine is still a case yet solved. I get the muscle joint pains, and to the point they thought I had rheumatoid arthritis. But I got a positive and negative testing on that. Whenever I get the attacks, it’s the pain in the stomach, the joints, the muscles, head feels like it’ll snap off, vomiting, etc.
    Hopefully, I’ll be diagnosed soon. I’ve been in and out of tastings and bloodwork since I was 17 until now I’m 22 turning 23 in November.. So.

    1. Michelle says:

      Ashley, all my testing came back negative so my doctor suggested going GF to see if it helped. I did it and after a month my symptoms were gone. Now when I have been exposed I know within minutes.

  42. Michelle says:

    I have been gluten free for about 8 years as a “suggestion” from my gastroenterologist because all testing was normal and there was no explanation for my pain. I was recently at an event and was served a “gluten-free dish” which contained farro which I had never had. (I now know that farro is a kind of wheat.) Here I am 7 days later still will bloating, abdominal pain, diarrhea, abdominal tenderness, insomnia, fatigue and indigestion. People need to realize how seriously food sensitivities can be. Don’t ignore your body.

  43. dale says:

    I was diagnosed with dh almost 2 months ago, I never noticed diarrhea until now, does your body need to adjust to gluten free or does it take time to filter out?

    1. GFT staff says:

      Dale, the majority of newly diagnosed with CD feel much better after going on a gluten free diet. However, continued or new gastrointestinal symptoms could be the result of continued exposure or new problems. We suggest that you to double check your gluten exposure as well as discussing this with with your medical professional.

    2. Keith Smith says:

      Dale
      It took about 3 mos being off gluten to clear my skin rashes. It could be different for each person but it takes time to heal your gut. Best of luck.

  44. Rose says:

    Wow, this post has been going for over two years! I’m undiagnosed CD. I had all the bad symptoms my whole life and have been subject to all manner of tests from brain scans to colonoscopies. Not one Dr picked it up, I am now 58. I spent most of my life suffering crippling migraines that would have me lose three days at a time, regularly swollen stomach, irritable bowels, anemia, skin-rashes on my calves and sometimes elbows, lethargy, brain fog, joint aches, insomnia, terrible intestinal cramps. And I was such a healthy eater but I couldn’t seem to get enough nutrition. It was the rash that finally got it sorted. I was having a mole removal and I asked the Skin Dr about the rashes on my calves. I said I thought they may be an allergy to midgies. He asked a couple of questions then said “you have leaky-gut”. He didn’t get to elaborate as it was a busy clinic and he got called onto the next patients but when I got home I googled it. I was thinking “leaky gut? What kind of a thing is that?” Anyway, through some online searching I pretty quickly worked out that gluten was the culprit, and I was sure it was CD because my symptoms are so crazy at even the slightest exposure to gluten containing foods. Next time I saw my regular Dr I asked about a CD test and she told me I would need to eat gluten again for a while. Well, I had been gluten-free for nearly 6 months and was feeling the best I had ever! No migraines, no stomach cramps, no diarrhea and heaps of energy, are you kidding me?! No way was I going to eat any gluten for a test. I know what I know and that is enough for me!
    I am so, so careful with what I eat but I still get caught out occasionally. I’m currently suffering. I went out on Saturday night and something that was supposed to be GF wasn’t. When I get glutened I’m usually fine the first day and the symptoms come on slowly over the next day. Then it’s hell for a week. All the above symptoms, really a lot like a bout of the flu only it’s not catchy. It’s terrible and I really don’t know how I coped for so many years!
    This has been great to ‘get it all out’. I get tired of people just not understanding that if I get just a bit of it, its going to make me really, really sick, for a week!!! It’s because so many people try GF as a health choice, not because they really need to, or they are intolerant but its not so bad that they don’t mind eating the cake now and again. All they will get is a bit of a tummy ache.
    Another effect of being glutened is being a whinger ha ha. I’m just so run down, Saturday was 5 days ago and I still have a couple of days of this to go.
    Last note, thanks for inventing the new verb ‘glutened’! I love it 🙂

  45. Kay says:

    When someone asks me what happens when I eat gluten, I tell them I get severe flu like symptoms for days.

  46. Crystal says:

    I get awful anxiety but even worse is a constant nonstop coughing. It is unbearable and constant. My lungs and chest and back can so tight and tense.

  47. Becky says:

    For me I’m 49 yrs old, I was diagnosed 3 or 4 yrs ago. I really had some issues on and off in my 20’s and 30’s that were easily pushed away that it was nothing after the fact, stomach pains like burning that would last a few weeks to a couple of months and then go away for years, I honestly worried that my husband at the time was poisoning me,lol. But it went away. Then a few years ago my husband and I went on a diet that was fat free, carb free (which eliminated all breads)and sugar free along with low calorie. We were trying to look good for an up coming cruise so we did this diet for 6 mos. Well while on the cruise I ate everything gluten, pastry, breads, cakes ect. I felt great while on the 7 day cruise. We returned home and on the 8th day after cruise began I was getting ready for work and I swallowed a mouthful of coffee and my chest squeezed so hard my coffee shot up out of my mouth and I felt like an alien was ripping through my chest, by end of work week I was in bed with a fever, that is what caused me to go to the dr in the first place, I thought I caught a parasite or something since we went overseas. My dr immediately knew that wasn’t the case bc what I had experienced was an esphogile spasm, she referred me to a GI specialist that then told me I more than likely had acid reflux and put me on an PPI, that helped alot, he then did colonoscope and lab work and diagnosed me with celiac and Barretts esophagus. I have chronic inflammation from my stomach to my colon. My symptoms are not like most. Mine is chronic constipation, I have to take miralax daily or I can’t go poop for weeks to months, besides that my most common symptoms when I eat bad is my stomach burns, I mean badly, I constantly drink water ( I hate water) but I crave it and before the PPI I would wake up in the middle of the night drinking water and I have a bottle of gaviscon beside my bed for bad nights. A couple of times while on vacation we usually go about 2 weeks, I ate bad and by the 7th or 8th night I woke up with a spasm that started in my stomach and chest and spread up to my tonsils and down to my rectum. The whole path, it scared me to death I thought I was dying. It’s like a horrible Charlie horse from my rectum to my throat, guts and all. When we got back I went to my dr he did another endoscopy and colonoscope and said I have chronic inflammation in my stomach, small intestines and my colon. He said my white cell count in my small intestines were extremely elevated. I know stop eating it, I probably would if I had the other symptoms like diarrhea and vomitting. I just have extreme pain and I have a high tolerance of pain so I don’t pass the chocolate cake or burgers (only on vacation) all other times I eat good. Also I have a difference in reactions to different types of food. Idk if it means anything tho. I eat chocolate cake my stomach burns so I just drink gaviscon and drink alot of water, if I eat a burger, I’m in horrible gastric pains from burning to cramps and horrible colon spasms. I also have a vitamin B, D and calcium deficiency. Does anyone else experience the spasms or have a extreme craving for water especially at night? Also I found out I’m borderline diabetic and I’m not overweight it’s gonna be genetic for me. So my gluten alternatives turns into none bc they are usually made with carbs so that raises the sugar problem.

    1. Kate says:

      Hi Becky,

      Could your extreme thirst at night be related to the borderline diabetes? It sounds like even the occasional cake/burger is not doing you any good. So sorry about your suffering!

  48. Shannon says:

    I’m 12 years old and I’ve been going through this for about 2 years now I’m can eat something and it will go through me I hate it I dunno how I can help myself and I read a few comments and I have had blood tests and I have been told I could have celiac but it could be my periods I have went to the doctors many times and the just gave me tablets and then put my doce up and up again. It has been no help I have been to A&E and
    went children’s hospital and I dunno what I can do for
    myself I have my tablets every morning and night and I
    have an iron tablet and I have told I could have a few things I have google loads of things to. I was told I could have something wrong with my small intestine and after that I got really worried and I saw that I can get type one diabetes so I got checked and I haven’t so now I’m waiting on my blood test to get told what is going on and why I feel like this.

  49. Christina says:

    Everyone’s stories have been so helpful and make me feel a lot better about my situation and that there is support out there! I was diagnosed with celiac disease 5 years ago and I recently cut dairy out of my diet on top of eating gluten free. I buy EVERYTHING, shampoo, make up, dish soap, laundry detergent, etc gluten free based on what websites that support celiac disease and have lists. Because of my reactions to even the slightest exposure, supposed “gluten free” products I do a lot of fresh food cooking at home now I don’t take chances at restaurants. A huge dilemma I have is that I have worked for a fast food restaurant for 12yrs and am not able to change jobs at this time. I don’t eat any of the food there but still have sores and “red face” on my cheeks mainly. Also the past few months I have tingling sensations in what started my toes, but now the bottom of my feet very bad. Occasionally my fingers. Any suggestions as to what this might be?

    1. GFT staff says:

      Christina, we are glad to see that you find the comments helpful. It is great to hear from others with the same issues. We want to address your question regarding your tingling in your toes and feet. This can be a symptom of celiac disease. The condition is called peripheral neuropathy (numbness and tingling in the hands and feet). We mention it in our article called symptoms of celiac disease https://www.glutenfreetherapeutics.com/living-gluten-free/medicine-research/symptoms-celiac-disease/.
      Obviously you will need to have your physician diagnose and treat this condition. But you can let your doctor know that you have celiac disease, are exposed to gluten in your job and are concerned that you have tingling in your feet. All important points to getting a correct diagnosis.
      Best of luck and thank you for your comment.

  50. Raquel Palafox says:

    Is rice dream milk gluten free? I was just diagnosed with Celiac Disease in May 2017; I feel my life has eneded. Is there any support groups near the LAX area?

    1. GFT Staff says:

      Racheal, as difficult as it seems now as a newly diagnosed celiac you will feel a great deal better as your healing takes place. Give yourself time to rid your system of gluten; you will be suprised at the difference in how your feel.
      We looked up support groups for you try this link. https://celiac.org/cdf-chapters-and-support-groups/california/ you are fortunate to be in an area where there are multiple resources.
      Stay on the GF diet and reach out for help.
      We wish you well.

  51. Angela says:

    I know I am gluten intolerant. Aside from moving, what can I do during the season when wheat is being harvested. It may be one to two months that farms in our area heartbeat wheat. By evening my tummy is 2-3″s bulged and excruciatingly tight.

    ? wear a mask ? don’t go out ? keep windows shut ? bathe more frequently ? … any thoughtful help is appreciated, thank you. My elbow and knee joints ache unbearably. Fast heartbeat, shallow breath – don’t have much room to breath. Feet burn, tender all over.

    Happy to find your info page, thank you.

  52. Angela says:

    …harvest, not heartbeat… thanks

  53. GFT Staff says:

    Hello Angela,
    It is concerning to learn about your symptoms. We did a quick search for articles on airborne gluten but did not find much. Most of what we found looked like it may be inaccurate. Airborne gluten is very real and is one of the problems with sharing a kitchen with nongluten-free family members. The issue of harvest time in your area is interesting. Unfortunately, there is not a lot of info on this subject. We recommend that you keep searching for information on the effects of airborne gluten for celiacs. And speak to your doctor. There may have been some studies on this that you can look for in PubMed. We do know that gluten has to be introduced to the GI tract by ingestion. Your food and cosmetics may be contaminated by the gluten in the air. Washing surfaces and your hands frequently could help. Treat this time of year like germ prevention and wash everything that touches your mouth. That is what we do as we have an extremely sensitive celiac in the family. Just walking down the bread aisle in the grocery store is a no-no. The defense against gluten can be daunting, but if you are having symptoms, it may help. Good luck and make sure you tell your doctor what you are experiencing. They are the experts and are there to help you.

  54. Claire says:

    I have been diagnosed celiac and on a fully gluten free diet for 6 years now. Unfortunately I still get the odd occasions when I unknowingly eat gluten either from eating out or mistakes done by myself or family members. I always know when it has happened as approx 3 hours after a meal I start with headaches, nausea and belching followed by extremely violent vomiting. When this settles I then have diarrhoea and abdominal cramping for a day or two.
    Though extremely unpleasant, I realise these episodes will occur from time to time however I am currently pregnant with my second child, and have now had 2 incidents during the 17weeks of pregnancy. I am concerned about the effects these episodes may be having on my unborn baby and cannot seem to find any information. I am also concerned that suffering these attacks during pregnancy could predispose my child to developing allergies also but again cannot find any information on this anywhere. My first child is 2 and am is currently on a dairy free diet to determine whether he has a cow’s milk allergy causing persistent reflux but is very well in himself and growing normally, he has been tested for celiac disease and thankfully is negative.
    As a mum I would like to do my best to reduce any chances of my kids suffering from allergies and believe that not being exposed to gluten would help protect them however sometimes when busy or tired, accidents do happen. I would be grateful if anyone could give me any more information or share their experiences.
    Thanks,
    Claire

  55. Erin says:

    Reading this forum has helped me a lot. 5 days ago, I accidentally drank a beer that I thought was gluten free. Turns out, it was unfiltered and FULL of gluten. The next morning, I woke up feeling super out of it, extremely dizzy, nauseous, and with diarrhea. 6 hours later, a fever started. That lasted the rest of the day and night- fever, body aches, diarrhea. The fever was gone the next morning, but I have had non-stop stomach cramps and diarrhea since then. It’s been horrible! I thought it might have been the flu, but it’s not flu season, and my boyfriend hasn’t gotten sick (he’s shared the same bed and water cups as me, and we kissed during that time.) it has to be the beer. I have been gluten-free for 5 years now, and that’s the most gluten I’ve ingested in those 5 years. I can’t believe what a strong reaction I’m experiencing from it, it’s actually pretty insane. I’ve never had a reaction quite like this before. If I hadn’t read this forum, I would have thought I was crazy or that I had ingested some kind of intestinal parasite or bacteria. Thank you all for sharing.

    1. GFT Staff says:

      Hello Erin,
      Reading your comment makes me think we should do an update of this post. It was written a couple of years ago and while the mechanism that takes place within the body after a gluten attack has not changed, perhaps we can find some new insights to share since this post was published. The point you made about the strength of the reaction after being off gluten for a long time is a very important one. We know this to be true. The more your body heals the damage that has occurred from gluten exposure the more violent the reaction to a new exposure. This in itself may be a good topic for an article. Perhaps it would help people going through what you did to know why this happens and how to avoid it. We are so glad you found this article useful and we will keep on top of the subject for our readers.
      We are also glad you on the mend, watch out for “gluten free beer”. Gluten exposure is not be taken lightly. We wish you good health and thank again for sharing your experience.

  56. Nahanna says:

    My experience with Celiac started with Seizure,s..I had lesions on my brain and got told to take siezure meds for life and I’d never be able to drive etc..2 years on a strict gluten free diet and my siezures went away! No more medicine! BUT..from the research I’ve done and with help from my doctor, I’ve found I’ve really had leaky gut all along! My symptoms have been Diarrhea, constipation, headaches, fatigue, stomach cramps as well as more! What I’ve found out is that most anyone with any autoimmune disease has leaky gut..and it stems from toxins from our food, antibiotics, health care products, among others..so, to heal a leaky gut you need probiotics and low inflammatory foods..yes, be mindful of what brand of probiotics you get because not all are gluten free but there are plant based ones!! Pure Encapsulations brand is what I take..biggest help for me has been homemade sauerkraut! It heals your gut lining and helps to break down proteins and all your food..anyone with a leaky gut cannot absorb nutrients and vitamins very well from the food so that’s why it’s important to heal it so that you don’t end up with the symptoms I did..or more autoimmune diseases..The book titled Practical Paleo has a lot of good information that can teach anyone who is interested..but there is always so much to learn about health!! It’s never ending:) good luck to all and my inexperience is only to help give ideas 🙂

  57. Laura Petrishen-Ha says:

    Currently suffering from an accidental glutening
    I have celiacs I seriously feel like death. The pain from gluten is worse than labour..

  58. Hollie says:

    I am currently under an attack . It’s been 2 weeks . Still have nausea joint pain . Ug I hate this . The anxiety was horrible this time . I hope it never happens again.

  59. Jeanine Marie Fields says:

    I am new to this, and it sucks. Senisitive to the Gultin.I feels for everyone, got a lot to learn about this!!

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