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Gluten is In More than Food

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As many of you know, I avoid eating anything that contains gluten. Obviously, I avoid breads, cakes, cookies, pasta, etc., but gluten appears in more products that you would ever suspect. Did you know that gluten can be found in mayonnaise, salad dressings, and pizza sauce? But it’s also found in more than food!

Recently I ran across a very interesting article about gluten being airborne. Some studies have found that by inhaling gluten, you can experience the same symptoms that you have when you ingest it. In this particular study, two farmers spent time in a closed facility feeding their cattle a mixture of barley, wheat and other grains, and researchers found that these farmers “were potentially exposed to over 150 grams of gluten-containing dust particles per day, which they were inhaling and ingesting.” Wow!

For the last few months, my house has been undergoing a major renovation (ok, a minor renovation that became major, but that’s another story), I noticed every time I went over to check the progress, my head would become stuffy and my joints would ache a little more. Much to my surprise, when I read the above-mentioned study I found that drywall material contains…you guessed it, gluten!

People with pets can also inhale gluten when they pour dry dog or cat food into the pet’s bowl. By the way, I subscribe to the idea that if gluten isn’t good for people, it’s probably not good for pets, and you can buy wheat-free pet food. Natural Balance and Blue Buffalo are two great brands.

Other non-natural food and product additives can mimic gluten, tricking your body into thinking you’ve inhaled or ingested the protein. Shampoos and conditioners contain gluten derivatives, lipsticks, lip balm and cosmetics can also contain gluten.

People with Celiac Disease or gluten sensitivity sometimes need to watch for other additives that have the same effect on your body as gluten. For instance, after eating canned nuts and cashews I would suffer joint pain, what I found is that these products contained cottonseed oil. When I ingest cottonseed oil, my body mistakes it for gluten causing me to experience the same symptoms as if I’d just eaten a piece of bread.


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