Horribly Sick after eating gluten/dairy free BBQ Chips.

Answered on November 21, 2013
Created November 20, 2013 at 11:37 PM

Hi all,

Thanks in advance for reading and responding to my question. I'm at a loss. Since having my second child 3 months ago, I've had horrible intestinal/gut issues. I denied them at first, then blamed dairy and decided to cut it out. I was up throughout the night multiple nights with nausea/diarrhea/vomiting/bloating etc. After cutting out diary I thought I had improved. However, my issues were just as severe, but less frequent. At that point I went gluten and dairy free. I was much better initially but after one horrible night, I decided to go full paleo before seeing a doctor. So, here I am. I have been strictly paleo for 8 days- only whole fruits/vegetables/meats. Last night, I decided that I must have bean on my paleo taco salad (because i'm weak)... I didn't notice any negative effects and went to sleep like normal. Today, when heating up leftover taco salad for lunch, I decided that I must have brown(gluten free) rice (because i'm weak)... I still didn't notice any immediate negative symptoms but I wasn't proud of myself.

So, here's the current issue- I totally caved and ate a bag of KETTLE Organic Country Style BBQ chips. Yes, I ate the whole bag (nt. wt. 5oz)

Organic Potatoes, organic safflower and/or snflower oil. organic dried cane syrup, salt, organic tomato powder, organic onion powder, organic paprika, organic spices, organic garlic powder, yeast extract, citric acid, torula yeast, natural smoke flavor.

They are gluten free.

Within about 15 to 20 minutes of eating them I was in horrible pain. Intense lower abdominal cramping, distended stomach/bloating, and an extreme urge to have a bowel movement. I just felt AWFUL. Not one of the 'stomach pains' you could deal with if you were at a dinner party... but like... fetal position aching. I had a bowel movement which was very crampy and even now, 4 hours later I'm still achey.

I realize now that I haven't been brief. I just want to make sure that I don't leave out anything that may be a contributing factor. I just don't understand how something that is gluten free (although junk) can cause such severe symptoms.

Basically, what I'm getting at is.... do you think this reaction is just a result of my body not wanting the junk after eating such whole foods? Or would this raise a red flag hinting at something more serious? I truly stopped having ANY stomach issues while strictly paleo and it wasn't until these stinking BBQ chips that I feel like I've been hit by a truck. I would be less surprised if I had gone out and gotten a huge cheesy garlic bread pizza or something...

If anyone did take the time to read this... any input would be greatly appreciated.

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on November 21, 2013
at 12:28 AM

I'm sorry to be a little off topic here but...of course they're gluten free. They're potato chips. =p

That said, while I'm sorry that you were in pain I would not suggest going and looking for an answer to a single occurrence, at least not yet. While it was a painful point of data, it was still just one point of data. And making inferences based on a single point of data is Bad Science(tm) and will end up making your whole diet journey deeply labyrinthian as well as dogmatic. Perhaps the chips had gone bad. Perhaps the pain was completely independent of diet and you would have gotten it regardless of what you ate. It's almost impossible to tell from an isolated incident.

Mark the event. Remember it. If it occurs again begin connecting the dots. It will serve you better in the long run to be methodical and scientific in finding the causes of such distress.


On a second reading of this I realize I may sound like I'm belittling your issues. I'm just suggesting that you keep an accurate "issue" diary and begin parsing the data when you have a sizable sample set.

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