Be Wary – Gluten Free labelling does not always mean Gluten Free

gluten free

I get excited when I come across a new ‘Gluten Free’ product that I have not seen or tried before. There are certainly a lot more choices now than there were when I was first diagnosed 5-6 years ago.

But unfortunately I’ve ended up in  pain and discomfort more than I would have liked and in hospital on  one occasion from eating foods that were labelled gluten-free.

The very first time I had a severe reaction, I was in Sydney with my sister.  One particular night I was almost doubled up in pain and started vomiting. Of course I blamed the Thai or Indian curry that we had eaten the night before thinking I’d managed to get a dose of food poisoning, except my sister and her hubby remarkably were not affected! The pain  lasted another 2-3 days before disappearing.

On returning home I continued to consume my gluten-free products and within 2 -3 weeks another bout of pain hit me but this time no vomiting. My stomach felt like it had been stretched and pulled like a balloon. I then had to mentally go through what I had been eating over the last month to try to decipher what could be causing this pain. I narrowed it down to a particular ‘gluten free cranberry bar’ that I had only started eating within the last month.

My first thought was, ‘it can’t be – they are labelled gluten free’ and I had been enjoying them, but my gut instinct – excuse the pun – was that this ‘gluten free bar’ was indeed the culprit. I pushed that box to the back of the pantry and stopped eating them. Within a matter of weeks and months it was confirmed that they were the culprit as I had no more pain for the next 3 years. I believe the problem ingredient’s were rice bran ingredients be it oil or syrup.

Since then I have dutifully avoided anything with rice bran ingredients listed, until…..

Fast forward 3 years and I was looking for dairy free milk alternatives and come across BonSoy Soy Milk. Different websites claimed that Soy Milks were generally gluten free so I thought I would be safe and started drinking it every day.

Approximately 2 -3 weeks later I ended up with more or less the same symptoms that I had got with my first severe attack while I was in Sydney. After an overnight stay in hospital and the Dr’s running numerous tests to see what was causing the pain, I was sent home with no real answers. The only food that I could put it down too was the one thing I had only recently started consuming – BonSoy!

So one more ‘gluten free’ food product was added to my do not consume list and since then I have had no more painful episodes.

Frustrating yes, as now when I purchase anything labelled ‘gluten free’ I always double check the ingredients to make sure there is nothing listed that might potentially upset my digestive system.

With so  many more companies trying to jump on the bandwagon with ‘gluten free’ products, it will be a case of consume with caution.

I do know that each of  us are different, so what might effect me, may not effect you. So here’s to you  and me living a gluten free lifestyle without pain and discomfort 🙂