Hidden ingredients

Hi can you tell me what things ( other than the obvious) I should be looking for in ingredients? I know baking powder, I read something about mono somethings. Also what about 'flavourings' do they have to state if they contain gluten. We pretty much live off meat/fish/chicken potatoes/rice and fruit and veg and buy all the free from stuff. But me and son still having symptoms.

I definately react to something in the mesa gluten free flakes cereal and gluten free oats.

11 Replies

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  • Maybe also look at soya as a possible allergen

  • Yes I was wondering about that but that really won't leave us with much to eat or drink! We have a lot of yoghurts and soya milk. Ive had almond milk but finally realised after research it was bringing me out in coldsores all the time.

    What would the children eat/ drink? How would we get calcium etc ( I can't tolerate brocolli, lentils and the like at all I get severe gas cramps)

    Any advice appreciated. Went to GP last night who wouldn't even refer me to dietician, they said he wasn't underweight enough.

  • Dairy contains the casein protein that is similar to gluten. I've had to go both dairy and gluten free to get rid of my symptoms.

    Have you looked at the "paleo diet". It is what cave men originally ate and what our bodies evolved to digest.

    No processed food at all.

    Mostly meat and vegetables.

    I'm completely off all alcohol and only drink water, black coffee, orange juice or apple juice.

    Also look at what kind of oil you are using. Palm oil is cheap but hard to digest.

  • Yes the kids are dairy free but I like a bit of naughty stuff lol. Yes the only time I've felt well is doing the Makers diet ie eat only what God made nothing man made. Trouble with paleo is the kids need more carbs for energy to grow (and me when I have low blood sugar)

  • Have you loooked at PaleoMom on feeding children?

    thepaleomom.com/paleo-for-k...

  • Labelling has to state any gluten containing ingredients or if the product has been made in a factory that handles gluten. Unfortunately some additives in ready made gluten free food can cause problems: emulsifiers, cellulose and gum can affect a sensitive stomach. I find that xanthan gum acts as a laxative.

    You could try keeping a food diary to see if you can pinpoint any particular problems. Gluten free oats don't suit everyone and should be avoided until your insides have had a chance to heal. I think the Mesa flakes may be made from several different "grains" so it's difficult to know which one may be the problem.

  • Soy is fine to eat - I have never found any article that says it contains gluten. Some Coeliacs can react to oats, even if they are marked gluten free, as oats have very similar properties to gluten. It really does depend on how sensitive you are - however if you have had a reaction, then it is best not eat them further. More on Oats here: coeliac.org.uk/gluten-free-...

    In terms of flavourings, be aware of ingredients like barley malt, most commonly found in cheap cocoa-cola drinks, gravy and in flavourings for crisps, and some spices (e.g. some Schwartz spices like 'Spicy Italian' and 'Cajun Extra Spicy', and 'Pilau Rice seasoning' contain wheat and barley (some of the others in the range are fine, but I've been caught out a few times - so it's best to read the label for hidden barley malt just in case the ingredients change, which they do from time to time). There have been some cases where even some herbal or green teas can contain barley malt or gluten. The Yogi tea range has 4 flavours that contain gluten. They say: "four of our current recipes contain barley malt, and therefore gluten: Calming, Healthy Fasting, Kava Stress Relief and Stomach Ease". More here: yogiproducts.com/faq/#quest...

    Also, some sweets like liquorice, although naturally gluten free, is usually mixed with wheat flour when turned into sweets, so one to avoid if you can.

    Some hot chocolate beverages (powder or those served in cafes), can also have traces of barley in them, so be aware when grabbing a coffee from places like Starbucks. I asked them for their allergy menu the other day, and the really nice lady there showed me that some of their flavouring syrups had high levels of barley or gluten in them. For example their Gingerbread Latte, and their Molten Hot Chocolate has gluten. A lot of their Frappuccinos and some of their other toppings also have gluten. You can see more from their allergen listings here: globalassets.starbucks.com/...

    Also be aware of fillings to things like sausages, which can have breadcrumbs in them. Good if you're already avoiding them when doing your weekly shop, but also be aware that your son could be innocently consuming the non-gluten free ones with his school dinners, as well as gravy with gluten, cheaper cocoa cola, vinegar with barley or crisps with gluten in their flavouring.

    Hope this helps a bit. It's also good to have a read of the Coeliac UK list on reading labels here:

    coeliac.org.uk/gluten-free-...

    They have an excellent app that you can hold up to a scan foods in the supermarkets to check if they are safe. More here:

    coeliac.org.uk/gluten-free-...

  • Great thanks for the info :)

    yes I just got the coeliac shopping book through.

    School are aware of his dietary needs.

    What about fillers and such in medicines? I know most of my meds have lactose in them I need to take a lactose tablet with them. What about vitamins and such?

    Can I take my super green powder with wheatgrass in it?

  • Vitamins can be a bit of a minefield at times, as although lots have labels that say 'gluten free', some are actually made in factories that produce products with gluten, so cross-contamination can occur.

    In a related issue, there was a massive controversy about Probiotics and lots of Coeliacs getting glutened last year - do a Google search for 'probiotics and gluten', and you'll see all the articles.

    In terms of vitamins, I always tend to buy mine in Boots, as they are really clear about gluten-containing ingredients. For example, I bought some vitamin B12 complex online last year, and only after I'd taken it (and glutened myself!), did I realise that it was also made with Brewer's Yeast, which is manufactured with pure wheat and gluten. Click on the 'Additional Info' tab here, where in the longer more detailed list of ingredients, you'll see "Brewer’s Yeast Powder (Wheat/Gluten)". hollandandbarrett.com/shop/...

    I was told by Boots, that their plain B12 had been specially manufactured without the Brewer's yeast, and after double-checking, was able to take that, without any reactions.

    In terms of fillers, this can also be a bit of a minefield. Some fillers in vitamins are sourced from wheat, corn, barley, rice or potato, but their label names do not reveal their source. E.g. Dextri-maltose (barley malt), or Maltodextrin (can come from corn, wheat, potato, rice - but not always clear which). Some thyroid medications have gluten- or corn-based fillers, which cause immune cross-reactions for patients.

    In terms of your super green powder with wheatgrass, I found the following article - basically it's complicated. On paper, it should be gluten-free - but again, there are serious cross-contamination issues. If you're still feeling ill, it's advisable to stop taking it, as you could be doing yourself harm. Perhaps find an alternative. Here's what it says:

    "This is complicated: Pure wheat grass and barley grass (just the grass, with absolutely no seeds) do not contain gluten, the protein that is thought to cause reactions in celiac disease and possibly in non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

    That's because gluten occurs only in the grains — i.e., the seeds — produced by the grass plants wheat, barley and rye. (For a more detailed explanation of this, see my article What Is Gluten.)

    Several different brands of multi-vitamins include wheat grass and/or barley grass as ingredients, yet the companies advertise these products as gluten-free. I've also seen products like green smoothies that contain wheat grass and/or barley grass, but are labeled or called gluten-free.

    However, you need to be certain any supplier is using absolutely pure wheat grass and barley grass to make a product in order for the product to be considered truly gluten-free. This turns out to be much more difficult than it sounds, and at least one expert recommends avoiding these products due to the high risk of gluten cross-contamination."

    More here: verywell.com/are-wheat-gras...

    Hope this helps.

  • I'm not sure what you mean by 'baking powder' - unless it has added gluten is should be fine. Specific gluten-free versions are available if it's a major concern.

  • Thanks for ur replies guys. We were about to decorate our gluten free muffins with sprinkles and thought I best check, theyve got wheat flour in too!

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