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25 October 2006

bread crumbs

bread crumbs, originally uploaded by shaunaforce.

Did you know that as few bread crumbs as this can make me sick? That any person with celiac could have a reaction from this small cluster of crumbs?

More on this story later.


At 8:39 AM, Anonymous gaile said...

oh no. I hope you didn't get glutened!

At 9:15 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

yeah. I know from personal experience. blech.

At 11:12 AM, Anonymous Suzanne said...

Shauna -- what a GREAT visual! People just do not realize ... and this pretty much makes it crystal clear. I think I'd like to carry a copy of this picture along with me to restaurants and family gatherings.

At 2:00 PM, Blogger GrewUpRural said...

You don't have to remind me about those little crumbs. They are the worst.

At 9:59 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, yes, those crumbs. Like the ones that appear on the salad the waiter brings me after I've ordered *very clearly* NO croutons. Especially lovely to know that someone dug around my salad to take them off as an afterthought. I've taken to making sure the waiter knows "I am very allergic to wheat. I will be VERY sick if there are any croutons or crouton-remnants on my salad." Seems to have done the trick so far...

At 5:47 AM, Anonymous emma said...

Can you really be that sensitive? I have celiac disease and had to go on a week's normal diet once for a test (long story) - I was deliberately eating a lot of gluten and couldn't tell.

I thougt that was the difference between an allergy and intolerance (celiac disease is the latter) - with intolerance you don't get sick immediately, no anaphylactic shock but long term, hardly perceptible damage.

Btw, I've become a regular reader and really enjoy your blog.

At 12:30 PM, Blogger debbie k schnell said...

I know all about those crumbs, and not being able to kiss my honey after he's been drinking a beer...that one I had to learn the hard way!

At 9:27 PM, Blogger Shauna said...

Gaile, Anonymous, Suzanne, GrewUpRural, Anonymous II, and Debbie, I hear you. It truly is amazing how little it takes to make me feel sick. To make us all feel sick. And Gaile, to answer your question, I did get glutenized, because of an insensitive waiter. I'm going to tell the story in a few days.

Emma, actually, yes, I am that sensitive. And many of us are. Since I was diagnosed, nearly a year and a half ago, I have not eaten a full bite of gluten. I have never cheated. I have never been tempted. Because of this, I feel SO healthy that I can tell immediately when I have some gluten in me.

Dr. Peter Green at Columbia says that all it takes is 1/8 teaspoon for the celiac to feel sick, and for us to be damaged by it.

Some of us are more sensitive than others. Certainly, I don't go into anaphylactic shock. It's more subtle. I have a blotchy red rash all over my throat and face. I get a headache. I feel logey and tired. That's all in the first fifteen minutes. It's always the same. And then, the next two days, I have terrible intestinal troubles.

That's why people have to be so careful about cross-contamination. About a little barley flavoring in something that seemingly doesn't have gluten. Or a smidge of flour on top of candies.

From what I understand -- and I am no doctor, but I have read, extensively -- the people who can eat gluten and not feel much reaction are actually more in danger, because they are doing damage to their system (more than hardly perceptible) and not knowing it.

Be careful!

At 2:34 AM, Anonymous emma said...

Shauna, thank you for the reply. By 'hardly perceptible' of course I didn't mean it is to be taken lightly! All I meant was that, just as you say, for many celiacs it is hardly possible to tell if they've eaten gluten or not.

I didn't have many symptoms before diagnosis (from what I've read this is not uncommon). Since then (and I DO follow the diet strictly; the above mentioned week was a medical test) my stomach feels a little worse, if anything (probably for unrelated reasons).

I just wanted to point out that the experience of celiac disease varies greatly and is not always that straightforward.

And I guess I am even a tiny bit jealous (!!) that some of you can be so certain when you've eaten gluten althought the reaction is definitely unenviable and I hope you don't have to suffer it ever again.

At 5:50 AM, Anonymous Suzanne said...

Shauna writes:
"the people who can eat gluten and not feel much reaction are actually more in danger, because they are doing damage to their system (more than hardly perceptible) and not knowing it."

You bet your bippy on that one! I hate my gluten reactions (and they are many, and they are awful), but I am strangely grateful for them. The latest news out is strong associations between celiac disease and dementia and TB. Hey, hon, that's not a path I care to mess with! I never purposely ingest it -- yet, I've had more inadvertent exposures than I care to count.

Cannot wait to read your account of the "insensitive waiter." Just looking at the breadcrumbs in that basket gives me the willies. Besides the fact that you are actually in love with the Chef -- how wonderful to have a restaurant where you feel safe eating!! :-) I am such a romantic, eh? I love my husband, but I am JEALOUS of your chef's RESTAURANT! {HUGE GRIN}


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