Spices?: I find that following a gluten... - Gluten Free Guerr...

Gluten Free Guerrillas

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Spices?

nomorebeer profile image

I find that following a gluten free diet is very difficult because I have always had a love for spicy foods, but to make up for not going out to eat, or buying takeaways, we always cook our meat, fish, and vegetables with plenty of spices added.

But I’m still getting Coeliac symptoms like bloating, stomach cramps, brain fog, etc, and just can’t work out why.

I have only eaten things that I know are 100% GF, and yet I am still suffering, most of the spices in our spice cupboard are either Schwartz or Stonemill, so I decided to google “are spices gluten free?”

This is what these two brands say on their websites:

Stonemill:

Stonemill Kitchens strives to meet our customers' needs, however because all of our plants make hundreds of fresh recipes from thousands of ingredients, we cannot guarantee a “gluten free” manufacturing environment for any single product.

Schwartz:

In general, our pure Schwartz herbs and spices do not contain added gluten as they do not contain bulking agents such as flour. However, Schwartz products are produced in a production unit which handles gluten. So cross contamination, although unlikely, may occur.

It might not be these spices that are causing my symptoms, but I’m running out of ideas because I’ve tried cutting out other things like dairy products, etc, but still I’m suffering.

Has anyone else had problems with spices?

23 Replies

Like you I love spices, often find the spices must contain wheat flour as a bulking agent, due to the symptoms I get. Even when I find a packet or tub of spice that doesn't I can buy the same again and find it does contain gluten. It really is a lottery. And an expensive lottery at that.

Spices are a common "may contain" problem. I often buy Natco ones, the coeliac in our house is ok with them.

Also, there are a few other things to consider. Do you still eat oats? Some coeliacs have problems with oats (even the GF ones).

Is everyone in your household GF? If not, do you have a separate food prep space/utensils/cookware? Did you thoroughly clean out your kitchen when you were diagnosed, and replace things like wooden spoons?

nomorebeer profile image
nomorebeer in reply to Cooper27

Thanks for the reply.

I very rarely eat oats, and when I do, they are supposedly "gluten free".

Just me and my wife in the house and she eats what I eat, everything is prepared at home from gluten free ingredients like meat, fish, and vegetables.

I was diagnosed about twelve years ago and all utensils etc have been replaced, so hopefully there shouldn't be anything in the kitchen that would effect me.

Maybe my stomach is just too sensitive for the spices?🤭

Cooper27 profile image
Cooper27 in reply to nomorebeer

Ah that's fair enough. So spices are definitely it then!

I dunno if there's a bit of a cross reaction link with some spices. My partner gets a bit of a coeliac reaction to chipotle chillies.

nomorebeer profile image
nomorebeer in reply to Cooper27

Yes, I believe many people who are not coeliacs experience problems with spicy food.

Cooper27 profile image
Cooper27 in reply to nomorebeer

I meant my partner is coeliac and gets a coeliac reaction to some specific spices :)

nomorebeer profile image
nomorebeer in reply to Cooper27

👍

Have you thught about having a private blood test for cross reactive foods?Well for me rice, dairy and buckwheat tested positive. Would never have thought of rice. It is used in so many foods!

It might save you.a lot of trouble.

nomorebeer profile image
nomorebeer in reply to penelope2

That might be an idea, how do I go about having a private blood test done?

penelope2 profile image
penelope2 in reply to nomorebeer

You will need a therapist to advise on appropriate blood test and where to go to have it done, and who will also be experienced in interpreting the results.I suggest maybe a nutritional therapist who has experience and knowledge of gluten. Try the BANT website and do your research and ask questions about their knowledge.

This of course comes at a cost which must be taken into account.

After lots of research I found a very experienced NT who had written much on this subject. Her understanding of the process, interpretetation and knowledge of what gluten can do to the body was very useful.

She even knew about gluten Ataxia which many doctors and health professionals do not.

Finding the right person has been life changing for me. For obvious reasons I cannot name her.

Good luck.

Hi. Unfortunately there’s many foods can cause bloating and coeliac symptoms if you’re sensitive to them. Also the high FODMAP foods like onions and garlic could be contributing.Rice can cause bloating if your sensitive or have become sensitive to it. Spices tend to be classic allergy. I’m allergic to some spices.

The best way to know, unless your GP is willing to test for allergies, is to do a weeks elimination diet and see if your symptoms go away. So if you suspect the spices cut them out strictly for 5-7 days. Then reintroduce. If no change it’s not the spices and something else.

Hi nomorebeer,

I love spice cayenne pepper, fresh ginger, chilli. I accidentally grabbed my non usual make of cayenne pepper and was ill. That was a few months ago so binned straight away. It would be great if it were labelled.

I’ve gone the whole hog, had hair analysed for other intolerances (£30.00). Gone low histamine and had gut microbiome tested. One of the best things I found was Toxaprevent. For the first time in my life, I can eat and tolerate garlic. No bloating, uncomfortable. But that’s me.

Good luck

nomorebeer profile image
nomorebeer in reply to Narwhal10

Lol, I'm a baldy, so that rules out having my hair analysed for other intolerances 😉

Whoops sorry, I did think about that when typing it. There’s also skin tests available. 😊

nomorebeer profile image
nomorebeer in reply to Narwhal10

That's ok, I'm sure I could find some hair to be tested if I choose to go down that route. 😀

Have you tried grinding your own spices? Whole spices can often be washed and dried before grinding, so should be safe; fresh herbs, chillis etc can be washed, prepared and frozen. Also has the advantage that whole spices don’t stale as fast as ground - plus if you know they’re gf and you still react, it must be the spice that’s the problem…

Thanks, I think that would be a good idea, but as from yesterday, I have cut out all spices totally to see if I feel any better after a week or so, if I do feel better, then I will gradually reintroduce them (maybe whole) one by one to see which spices could be causing the problem.

Good luck!

Hi nomorebeer, I use Taste Sensation - they're great, wish I'd discovered them when first diagnosed but didn't come up in searches. Clearly states any contaminants for each spice, and they have a food standards certification for it. Cheaper than supermarket too.

I’ve found Barts are pretty good – at least I’ve never knowingly reacted – and their website says they are "confident that the risk of cross contamination is effectively managed".

Thanks for the heads up, do any supermarkets stock them?

Their site says Waitrose, Ocado, Co-op, Booths and Amazon. Or online at bart.co.uk. (I promise I don’t work for them!) At least the FAQs on their site show awareness of the issue, which is quite rare!

Thanks, we have a Co-op where I live, I will check them out

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