Ever been at a restaurant and come face to face with a suspicious looking glaze or sauce? Ever been told that the soy-sauce is wheat free by a shifty looking waiter? Ever decide to go ahead and snatch a couple of sweet potato fries off your friend's plate even though they look suspiciously crispy?
I have!!! And my body proceeds to beat the crap out of me as a result.
Examples of punishment: Skin between my baby toe and its neighbour cracks, bleeds and generally makes me regret being born (EVERY SINGLE TIME), hives, sinus troubles, itchiness in places I won't mention here.
How do YOU know you've been glutened?
I get soreness and stiffness in the joints of my hands.
Regarding restaurants...as a chef I can tell you that no matter how diligent the efforts of everyone working there, unless it's a gluten-free place, the stuff is EVERYWHERE. You have to be very selective about what you order and even that is no guarantee. My staff is well trained, we have labels and lists and charts and special pans and special plates, but we also bake our own bread and dredge hundreds of pieces of chicken and veal, make gallons of sauces and soups and our own croutons. It's in the atmosphere. No one can truly guarantee a completely gluten-free plate unless that is what the restaurant is all about. It's the reality of the situation.
My legs ache like crazy, I get itchy patches of scaly, red skin, I feel mentally fuzzy (adding two plus two becomes a challenge) and I get bone-weary tired -- and not the typical it's-been-a-long-day-and-I've-worked-hard kind of tired. I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia 17 years ago and even then I felt like it was a cop-out "catch all" diagnosis which only told me what my symptoms were but not a thing about the root cause. I saw several specialists over the years but nothing helped with the pain and fatigue. It seemed to me as long as the doctor had a label then they were done investigating and had no reason to dig deeper to really figure out what was going on. Although my kids were diagnosed with celiac disease years ago their symptoms were very different so it didn't occur to me that gluten could be an issue for me, too. It wasn't until I went gluten-free last year when I started a primal diet that I realized my issues all along had been gluten! Now when I get exposed to some I wonder how I lived that long in such pain. I was so miserable but had no idea how to fix it so I just had to deal with it. Looking back I feel like I was just struggling to exist, it was hard to enjoy life feeling like crap everyday. Now as long as I stay away from gluten I feel great and have such energy and clarity of mind. Wooohoo!! I definitely don't appreciate accidental contamination or the type of attitude some restaurant staff have about food sensitivities, like "a little won't hurt". Gluten is eeeeevil.
First I get a weird "feeling", the only thing I can describe it as is my Spidey Sense, then I notice I have frothy belly, a bit of cotton mouth and then my guts begin to take over everything from my body temperature to aches and pains, my over all mood because quite..umm...mean...my partner at tht time sends for an old priest and a young priest.. .http://mindreels.files.wordpress.com/2012/05/exorcistkarrasmerrin2.jpg?w=627&h=355 and then the battle begins...for the next 3 days this guy http://25.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_ljxunxf0u31qd42rao1_500.gif dances his way through my GI and I curse whom ever sprinkled me with their gluteny fairy dust..grrr....
Immediate symptoms after I've been glutened? Joint pain, fatigue (can hardly stay awake), hemorrhoid flare up, head ache, extreme irritability, dry eyes, balance is thrown off, and foul gas. Later (same day and next day) symptoms progress to stomach pain and explosive diarrhea or difficulty passing stool due to consistency. Also difficulty sleeping, night sweats, and restlessness.
Heartburn so bad I want to die. I knowingly consumed crap last night and regretted it at 3 this morning. My stomach is still a little uneasy, but I deserved it. And, to top it off, the chocolate cake was awful.
It feels like I ate broken glass, like I can actually feel it ripping my intestines apart. I also bloat until I look 7ish months pregnant and get some pretty interesting noises coming from my stomach. It is like listening to death metal coming from my tummy.
The first symptom I experience is a scary feeling of sudden spaciness, like it's hard to focus my eyes on anything. I feel like I'm in a bell jar, separated from the other people around me by some invisible barrier. And I feel a huge plunge in mood that comes on very fast, like a very intense despair that enfolds me. The world looks insubstantial and flimsy. This all probably comes on within an hour of ingesting a tiny bit of gluten.
Depression continues for 2 to 3 days afterwards. I also experience rashes, hives, migraines, joint pain, facial swelling, and anxiety. I hate gluten.
Itchiness (not where yours is), heart palpitations, restless sleep, night sweats, stomach pain, fatigue. I feel weird right away, but I do have a delayed response to gluten. I start feeling worse about 2-4 hours later and at my worst the next couple of days. Sometimes it takes the whole week to recover.