1

votes

Does one crumb of gluten really cause intestine damage in people with celiac disease?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created January 09, 2013 at 1:37 AM

i asked my rheumatologist today and he said that people become paranoid about cross contamination and that if you stick to a gluten-free diet, the small amount of gluten resulting from cross contamination isn't enough to damage your intestines.

is this true?

F15e0bae42dbf0b8cfc71e62902497b4

(2036)

on January 21, 2013
at 03:20 PM

1/8th of a teaspoon of regular all-purpose flour is gonna have about 10 mg of pure gluten in it. the 1/10th of a baby aspirin is a great visual. I generally go with "one breadcrumb per meal" because that's more accurate to what it takes to make someone feel sick. and it gets the point across about just how careful I have to be. (though I have been noticing that after 2 years of gluten-free, my reactions to very small quantities started becoming shorter if not any less intense)

94480caec9fbbaacc386d86a45efa720

(1007)

on January 21, 2013
at 02:01 PM

Thanks, moonablaze, you're right. I added that. 10mg is a *lot* less than an 1/8th of a teaspoon generally speaking since milligrams is a weight measure and teaspoons are a volume measure, don't you think? I tend to think of it as a tenth of a baby aspirin but that reference isn't meaningful for everyone. There is a reference Dr. Guandalini from U of Chicago's celiac center made to seeing mucosal changes in some celiacs at 8mg per day but that was in one of that center's newsletters.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on January 20, 2013
at 03:50 PM

Moonablaze, are you fairly recent (under a year) into the gluten-free diet? I'm more sensitive than other celiacs I know, getting sick on stuff that tests just barely positive on a test sensitive down to 10ppm. I have found that I've gotten a little less sensitive with time, and that the reactions have calmed down a bit, too, so that a small glutening will only cause one bout of urgent diarrhea, rather than days of explosive diarrhea. So hopefully as you heal up you don't get hit quite so hard when you get glutened.

F15e0bae42dbf0b8cfc71e62902497b4

(2036)

on January 20, 2013
at 05:31 AM

celiacs dont generally get anaphylactic shock, it's not an allergy, its an autoimmune disorder. you sure your friend wasn't allergic to wheat?

F15e0bae42dbf0b8cfc71e62902497b4

(2036)

on January 20, 2013
at 05:28 AM

10 mg per DAY. that's 1/8 of a teaspoon of flour spread over a full day of food. “Multiple studies have shown that an exposure of 10 mg per day (equal to 1/8th of a tsp of flour) of gluten is a safe level for the majority of people with celiac disease. “How does this translate into the total amount of food eaten in a day? If a gluten-free food has a contamination level of 20 ppm, a person could include up to one pound (16 oz or 448 grams) of those food products before the consumer reaches the safe level of 10 mg."

F15e0bae42dbf0b8cfc71e62902497b4

(2036)

on January 20, 2013
at 05:26 AM

denatured alcohol is gonna have been distilled at some point and distilled liquors are gluten free.

F15e0bae42dbf0b8cfc71e62902497b4

(2036)

on January 20, 2013
at 05:24 AM

EXACTLY! I had a few drops of a sauce that was less than 1/10th soy sauce and I was sick (like, can barely walk to the bathroom sick) for 3 days.

Ed71ab1c75c6a9bd217a599db0a3e117

(25472)

on January 09, 2013
at 01:35 PM

Cyrex labs data has shown that one exposure can lead to nine months of antibody production by altering your T cell response.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on January 09, 2013
at 02:43 AM

I would really love to see a research study that collected this data from a large sample. I'm really curious how sensitivity breaks down across the population (and whether and how much it changes over time and over the healing process).

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8 Answers

2
Ae8946707ddebf0f0bfbcfc63276d823

(9402)

on January 09, 2013
at 01:42 AM

There is a distribution of sensitivity across a population. I'd guess some sort of bell curve, where one tail of the curve, the people are super sensitive and even a very small amount can cause damage. The other tail, the people can handle huge amounts of gluten, and the mass in the middle where the majority of people can handle some small amounts without significant damage. Of course, who knows if the curve is symmetrical, probably not.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on January 09, 2013
at 02:43 AM

I would really love to see a research study that collected this data from a large sample. I'm really curious how sensitivity breaks down across the population (and whether and how much it changes over time and over the healing process).

1
D87cf7bb07cfc85acf7203c17065d239

(268)

on January 20, 2013
at 03:26 AM

Celiacs are supposed to avoid every crumb of gluten even if they don't have a reaction. And some people can have seizures or go into shock from a invisible amount.

1
383127951e2e17f23b584cd3842bb796

(835)

on January 09, 2013
at 03:48 PM

this is kind of related, but i was wondering if the denatured alcohol in palmolive dish liquid and other household products is gluten-free.

F15e0bae42dbf0b8cfc71e62902497b4

(2036)

on January 20, 2013
at 05:26 AM

denatured alcohol is gonna have been distilled at some point and distilled liquors are gluten free.

1
24a0a0d5073f0a77c3737ef9d0e4c426

on January 09, 2013
at 12:37 PM

Regardless of how it outwardly effects you, if I were celiac I would be militant.

1
96440612cf0fcf366bf5ad8f776fca84

(19463)

on January 09, 2013
at 12:15 PM

Yup, even a small amount can be harmful to some people.

A few months ago, I dug out some "Blueberry Tea" I had in the back of the pantry. I had this since before going paleo and didn't think to read the ingredients. Gave me all sorts of symptoms and I couldn't figure out what the cause was until I read the box. It contained barley malt! Got chills/sensitivity to cold, acid reflux, brain fog. All from a single tea bag which contained mostly dried herbs and a tiny amount of barley.

1
7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on January 09, 2013
at 02:42 AM

If you read through the celiac research literature, you'll see from the figures that there's a wide range of sensitivities. You'll also notice that a lot of people don't fully heal on a supposed gluten-free diet. I don't get biopsies all the time to check my status, but if we go by the measure of "causes diarrhea" equating to "causing damage", then yes, even a crumb can damage my intestines. I'm sensitive to about 10 ppm, so about 1 mg for a typical serving size, though I can tolerate more than that if I take a gluten-digesting enzyme with the food.

F15e0bae42dbf0b8cfc71e62902497b4

(2036)

on January 20, 2013
at 05:24 AM

EXACTLY! I had a few drops of a sauce that was less than 1/10th soy sauce and I was sick (like, can barely walk to the bathroom sick) for 3 days.

7841848bd0c27c64353c583fb7971242

(7275)

on January 20, 2013
at 03:50 PM

Moonablaze, are you fairly recent (under a year) into the gluten-free diet? I'm more sensitive than other celiacs I know, getting sick on stuff that tests just barely positive on a test sensitive down to 10ppm. I have found that I've gotten a little less sensitive with time, and that the reactions have calmed down a bit, too, so that a small glutening will only cause one bout of urgent diarrhea, rather than days of explosive diarrhea. So hopefully as you heal up you don't get hit quite so hard when you get glutened.

0
Medium avatar

(1536)

on January 20, 2013
at 04:23 AM

A friend of mine that is celiac went into anaphalyctic(sp?) shock by biting into one crouton

F15e0bae42dbf0b8cfc71e62902497b4

(2036)

on January 20, 2013
at 05:31 AM

celiacs dont generally get anaphylactic shock, it's not an allergy, its an autoimmune disorder. you sure your friend wasn't allergic to wheat?

0
94480caec9fbbaacc386d86a45efa720

(1007)

on January 09, 2013
at 03:38 PM

Only if your intestines have healed up and you're not that sensitive. See more here. Some celiacs are sensitive to as little as 10mg per day.

F15e0bae42dbf0b8cfc71e62902497b4

(2036)

on January 20, 2013
at 05:28 AM

10 mg per DAY. that's 1/8 of a teaspoon of flour spread over a full day of food. “Multiple studies have shown that an exposure of 10 mg per day (equal to 1/8th of a tsp of flour) of gluten is a safe level for the majority of people with celiac disease. “How does this translate into the total amount of food eaten in a day? If a gluten-free food has a contamination level of 20 ppm, a person could include up to one pound (16 oz or 448 grams) of those food products before the consumer reaches the safe level of 10 mg."

94480caec9fbbaacc386d86a45efa720

(1007)

on January 21, 2013
at 02:01 PM

Thanks, moonablaze, you're right. I added that. 10mg is a *lot* less than an 1/8th of a teaspoon generally speaking since milligrams is a weight measure and teaspoons are a volume measure, don't you think? I tend to think of it as a tenth of a baby aspirin but that reference isn't meaningful for everyone. There is a reference Dr. Guandalini from U of Chicago's celiac center made to seeing mucosal changes in some celiacs at 8mg per day but that was in one of that center's newsletters.

F15e0bae42dbf0b8cfc71e62902497b4

(2036)

on January 21, 2013
at 03:20 PM

1/8th of a teaspoon of regular all-purpose flour is gonna have about 10 mg of pure gluten in it. the 1/10th of a baby aspirin is a great visual. I generally go with "one breadcrumb per meal" because that's more accurate to what it takes to make someone feel sick. and it gets the point across about just how careful I have to be. (though I have been noticing that after 2 years of gluten-free, my reactions to very small quantities started becoming shorter if not any less intense)

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