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Cross-Reactivity Issues in Gluten-Free Diet

Cross-reactivity is “the reaction between an antigen and an antibody that was generated against a different but similar antigen (from foodallergies.about.com).” Translated: the occurrence of a body with a developed allergy to, say for example, gluten, reacting similarly to another agent, such as dairy, nuts, etc, is cross-reactivity. This issue is common among those with food allergies, and especially those with gluten sensitivities.

Cross-Reactivity Among Food Allergens (image courtesy of http://ainotes.wikispaces.com)

In a live, moderated discussion on Find Me Gluten Free’s Facebook page, many individuals had questions about their personal symptoms/reactions on a gluten-free diet. Gluten-Free Remedies answered their questions, and helped shed some light on the subject of cross-reactivity. Here are some insights:

Question 1:
How come sometimes my symptoms are different from being exposed to the same gluten products? I was diagnosed “gluten sensitive” due to already being gluten free for a while before being tested. Sometimes I can eat gluten with no problem (in small amounts), and sometimes I feel the effects right away and hard…” -Ashley

Ashley, the dosage can be a factor–how much of one gluten product you eat. Preparation can be a factor as well. Also, pay attention to the other products you are eating at or at the same time. Many people who are gluten sensitive are also sensitive to dairy, eggs, and corn.

Question 2:
I saw an article yesterday, it was about sugar in gluten free baked goods, and saying more than a tsp of sugar was bad for even people with celiacs….what is a proper amount of sugar for someone to consume that is not bad for our health???? I use raw cane sugar….shows that it has 2 g of sugar. Is this safe to use occassionaly??? I’m not a big sweets eater, but like it in my tea and coffee…..”- Kim

Kim, sugar can trigger a yeast overgrowth in the gut especially in people who are gluten sensitive. Really your better option over sugar is using a natural sweetener like xylitol.

Have more questions?? Send them our way! We proudly partner with integrative practitioners who are licensed and happy to answer your inquiries.

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