Cross-Reactive to Gluten Foods/For Crying Out Loud in the Mud

“For crying out loud in the mud!”, I once heard one of my mom’s friends say that when I was a child.  I thought it was so funny, that she added “in the mud”!

Anyway, that was the day over a year and a half ago when I came across a list of foods that gluten intolerant people may not be able to eat due to cross-reactivity because of a similar “molecular signature”.  Some foods have molecular structures that closely resembles gluten. So, when you consume one of these foods your body might think it was gluten; which foods varies with individuals.

Now understand this. I was looking for answers as to why I might have been having GI issues even though I was being very careful avoiding gluten. And dairy. And corn. The latter being one that I have more recently discovered that I react badly too.  I had added rice to that list and had been avoiding that as well.  But then I had the opportunity to eat it.

I started doubting myself.  Maybe I am a weird hypochondriac.  Maybe it is okay to eat some of these foods that I am denying myself. So I ate some of the forbidden. NO, not the forbidden three: gluten, dairy, corn.  Just a little inocuous grains like quinoa and brown rice.  Why can’t a person eat some rice, for heaven’s sake. Then a couple of days later I ate two gluten-free, dairy-free cookies made with some rice flour that a friend bought special for me.  The next day, some twiggish pretzel-like grain things. And one more day later, I wasn’t feeling so good.  Sluggish, increasingly belchy since that first GF/DF cookie. Nauseated. No appetite. Next day even worse. Gastrointestinal distress galore.

So, I did some more research and what I came across was that there are a bunch of other foods that gluten intolerant people may not be able to tolerate because the molecular structure is so similar to the gluten molecule; therefore if you eat one of these foods your body may mistake it for gluten.

This is where I start crying in the mud.  Or thinking about driving my car off the road.  Just thinking, fleetingly.  Here is the list: coffee (I know, groan, deep gutteral groan), eggs (come ON!), chocolate (ouch), quinoa, amaranth, buckwheat, tapioca (feeling of despair, what will I thicken things with), rice (oh no!), potato (what???), corn, soy, sesame, hemp, millet, oats, teff, and yeast.  There are more in the dairy category, but I already divorced myself from those, so, not worth mentioning.

It almost seemed like too much. For crying out loud in the mud!  But, bottom line, I am pursuing health, and if that is what it takes, then that is what I need to do.  And I will do it. Because what is worse, is not feeling functional. And I want to feel good.

So, just a head’s up.  If you have already eliminated gluten and dairy, and are still having issues, then consider these other foods. It seems that all of us GF’ers are different; what bothers me may not bother you, and vice versa.  You will have to experiment, or be tested.  Sorry for the bad news.

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