October 7, 2011 at 8:55 am #8118
We have friends that we travel with and the husband told me that he doesn't believe I can't eat food if it has even a trace of gluten in it. He is allergic to dairy (throat swells etc.), and he says he can have a trace and it doesn't bother him. I tried to explain that it isn't an allergy like he has, but I was lost for words that would explain it enough so he would understand. We are probably going to travel with them again this winter and I would like to have a good quick explanation. I know what I believe and why, but am not good at putting it into words. I tried to explain about delayed reaction and he didn't buy it.October 10, 2011 at 9:58 am #9399
His problem is not your problem. People are different. If he really wants to understand, have him watch the first Glutenology video. It is not a simple one liner answer that can be given. Expecially if he is already resistant to hearing the truth. Bottom line: different people react more or less violently to allergies (delayed or acute) and intolerances.
All the best,
Dr. OOctober 10, 2011 at 5:29 pm #9405
I wish the world were such that you didn't HAVE to explain or justify your existence, but alas that is not the case. I sometimes think the only dinner conversation I ever have revolves around my diet! With that said, though, here is how I try to explain.
The name of the game is chronic inflammation. Chronic inflammation leads to chronic disease. Even the tiniest amount of gluten will set off the cascade of reactions in your body that will lead to inflammation and disease. By avoiding gluten, you are not only trying to avoid feeling ill in the short term (like a stomach ache or diarrhea if you get those symptoms), but more importantly, you are trying to keep your level of chronic inflammation below the disease-producing level. Any small piece of gluten can cause an inflammatory reaction that can take up to three months (I believe that is the accepted time) to calm down–and all the while that inflammation is causing damage and making you feel less than good.
Your friend's allergy is different in that the cascade of reactions in his body from milk products releases histamine which causes the throat-swelling, etc. Histamine is rapidly cleared from the body and the immediate symptoms subside. Obviously, his threshold for histamine release is above the “trace” amount. His allergy and your gluten intolerance are two totally separate animals.
If size is the issue, have your friend think about viruses and bacteria. They are incredibly small, yet can do so much damage in the body if perceived as “foreign” by the immune system.
I hope this helps you to enjoy your vacation!
MarthaOctober 10, 2011 at 8:11 pm #9407
Martha, Thanks that last paragraph is a really good one (the whole post is good too, but I told him all of that already and still said, he thought I would be fine eating just a trace) I love the last paragraph though I will try and explain it that way. I am to the point where I am going to tell him, I would appreciate it if he would keep his comments to himself, we obviously don't agree and I am happy and healthier (MUCH healthier) eating the way I do.
I recently fell off the wagon and ate some BBQ sauce and some miracle whip (on several occasions) and I now have acne, joint aches, hot flashes and just plain blah feeling. I KNOW I have done it to myself and I am back on the wagon today. I pray I don't ever do that again, it isn't worth it. I was doing so well, with my diet and feeling so good, I just said to myself, oh a little bit won't hurt, because I am healed now. Yea well I learned my lesson!October 11, 2011 at 6:47 am #9409
Those lessons are tough ones to learn, aren't they?
Good luck staying on the wagon – for good!!
MarthaOctober 19, 2011 at 11:47 pm #9420
I was thinking about this and remember something I heard or read somewhere once, to the effect of “you have to think of gluten as rat poison”….would you ever willingly consume even a trace? Would you bring it into your kitchen and onto your cutting boards, pans etc and trust that you can wash it away. Sounds very extreme I know, but seems to be the reality of it for some people (including myself). Maybe he would understand this Lori!
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