Additional Food Intolerance Symptoms May Appear After Going On a Gluten Free Diet
This topic of other food intolerance symptoms is not a pleasant one, but I feel it needs to be covered so that you are aware of this possibility. While it doesn't happen to everyone, it happens often enough that I believe you should know what to do if it happens to you. Below you will find instructions on keeping a food journal if you ever do begin to have a reaction.
In the intestines, there is a substance called Zonulin. It is a human protein that controls the permeability, or the spaces between cells, in the gut. In celiac disease, it causes these spaces to stay open, allowing proteins like gluten to pass through into the bloodstream, where the immune system attacks them with anti-bodies. (Not the IGE Allergy antibodies, rather IGG or IGA antibodies usually). This then, is the reason why celiacs tend to have leaky gut syndrome.
When proteins are allowed to pass into the bloodstream and reach the immune system, it sets up a reaction. It often causes the body's immune system to overreact to other food proteins as well. This is why so many people with gluten intolerance or sensitivity also react to the protein casein, in dairy.
While I don't have hard numbers, it is well known that many celiacs are also intolerant of yeast. It is common for soy and egg proteins to cause food intolerance symptoms as well. Some people also become intolerant of corn.
Some people react to other grains, but are fine with legumes, yeast and eggs. For people with this situation, a Paleo Diet might be helpful.
I can only speak of my husband and my own experience in detail. Both of us react to gluten and casein. After being gluten and dairy free for about 5-6 weeks, and finally feeling much better, I found a gluten free bread recipe that looked good. I decided to make it. The bread came out great, and I was thrilled. I, having had no bread in over a month, ate 3 slices, just plain.
Within a couple of hours I began having bloating and cramping in the upper abdomen. The next time I made anything with yeast it happened again. So I knew it was the yeast. My husband didn't have any problem with the yeast as far as we know. It was a gluten free brand of yeast. (Red Star). These food intolerance symptoms lasted about 4 days.
So I had to start looking for ways to bake without yeast. I did find some quick bread recipes, and for a few weeks I made those instead. About 3 months after going gluten free, I began to get a very itchy rash every time I ate anything with eggs, which lasted 2-3 days. The first symptom I noticed was my ears felt hot, then I began to itch. Benadryl helped some. No cramps, no gastrointestinal symptoms, just hot ears and the rash. So I avoided eggs for 2 weeks and then tried baking an item with one egg in the recipe for a whole loaf. I still reacted.
We had been using Natural Balance margarine. It had some soy in it. About 6 months after going gluten and dairy free...you guessed it. This one induced gastrointestinal pain and the itchy rash.
There are very few options out there for margarine without soy or dairy. The only one I've found is Fleischmann's Light in the tub. It says it contains soy, but I spoke to the company. It is produced on the same line, but no soy is added. Just a chance of cross-contamination.
Note: Earth Balance has recently come out with a soy free margarine and it's good!
My husband did not react to these things until later. He can have eggs, but not every day. He starts to have food intolerance symptoms if he has them often. He gets nauseous and very tired, but no rash. He tolerates soy, and we don't know about yeast, because I am the one who bakes, and I don't use yeast anymore.
Gluten and probably casein will be life-long issues. Will I ever be able to have eggs or soy or yeast again? I don't know. Sometimes it's permanent. Sometimes, if the leaky gut heals, they can be tolerated in small amounts. I may try in a couple of years. The eggs would be the one I'd like to have back. Baking is much easier with eggs.
Why didn't I react to them in the beginning, or even before going gluten and dairy free? I think the immune system was so overwhelmed by the reaction to the gluten and dairy, that these other foods were not causing much reaction. Once the immune system had no more gluten and dairy proteins to attack, it began reacting to other, less harmful proteins. Anyway, that's my theory.NOTE: If you have a known food allergy, do not use this method. Intolerances or food sensitivities are different than allergies. Intolerances do not induce anaphylactic reactions that could be life threatening. If you experience any difficulty breathing, or throat swelling, then it is an emergency; seek medical help immediately!
How to Use a Food Journal
If you do begin to react to something once going gluten free, you need to do some checking. First, make sure you are not accidentally getting gluten somewhere, like a medication or lipstick. (Or a pet).
If you are sure you have eliminated any potential for gluten in the diet, then you can keep a food journal, and write down everything you eat and drink for a few weeks. Note any food intolerance symptoms after meals. They could be delayed by hours or even days. Include mood changes and headaches, brain fog, etc. This may help you narrow it down.
If you come up with two or more things it could be, stop using all of them for at least a couple of weeks. Then bring them back one at a time, about a week apart. Eat small amounts at first, increasing daily unless you get symptoms. This will help you figure out which one is causing your food intolerance symptoms.
Once you figure it out, if you need help adjusting a recipe, let me know. I've probably already got a workaround.(You can use the contact form on this website).
Enterolab also has a test that checks for antibodies to yeast, soy and egg.
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