Friday, August 14, 2015

What Is Gluten?

A little over a week ago my body decided to have a hissy fit about something and I broke out in a rash. The weird thing is, I feel fine otherwise. My first thought, had I eaten something new and weird? No. Had I used new soap or detergent? Nope. The only thing I could think was that I'd bought a new shirt at a store that I will not name (but have never had a problem with before) that smelled like wet dog to the Nth degree. But that was two weeks ago and how could that possibly effect me still now and be getting worse? In panic mode I threw the shirt out because I will always wonder what that gross smell really was and if wearing it again would result in this itchy-red annoyance.

Claritin and Benadryl have done nothing and my bloodwork came back fine. So what was causing this? Then I really started thinking about my body. I have had issues for a few years now that I came to think of as IBS. Which, if you have IBS you know is really not a fun thing to have. I'll spare you details. But then I started thinking, what if it's not actually IBS but really wheat intolerance or Celiac's? And then, being the food-obsessed person that I am, I started panicking.

(Sidenote: Trader Joe's has really delicious chocolate chip cookies that are gluten free. So there's that.)

What foods have gluten in them??? If I do have an allergy to wheat/gluten what will that mean for my dining experiences? No more baking bread. No more pizza. I only had deep-dish pizza once in my life! Does pasta have gluten in it? It must, because you knead the pasta dough (not too hard so you don't tear the gluten). Ok, so no pasta. What about gnocchi though? No brioche. No toast. Jesus take the wheel.

I imagine myself out for brunch with my girlfriends perusing the menu and turning to my server. "Yes, I'll have the Eggs Benedict, but can I have it without that amazingly buttery bread underneath and can I also get a large hanky on the side for all my tears?"

And then the most horrifying thought. DOES MARSHMALLOW HAVE GLUTEN? I don't know what's actually in marshmallow but a life without Fluff... I will have to get another cat to console me and then we all know it's downhill from there.

So I'm being prescribed a new med for the next week and if nothing changes I will go back in for further testing. For the love of pasta, pizza and (OMG what about cereal?!) every other food that I have yet to realize contains gluten, please let me NOT be intolerant.

Happy Eating!

* Post Script: Marshmallow is safe. No gluten. Sigh.

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