Where can gluten hide?


Recently, I posted about the strangest places that we have found gluten since living gluten free, and realized that there are a lot of places that people may not think about to check.  Here is a quick list of where to find it and how to avoid cross contamination at home.

First, is to obviously remove all your basic food products that contain gluten.  This will typically be your cereals, oatmeals, pastas, bread and bread based products.  But, also make sure that any opened spread you have, peanut butter, jelly,  jams, sauces or butter, that have been touched by a knife that has been put to bread get tossed.  There is no telling whether or not these spreads are safe since bread particles could have been transferred over.  This goes for cream cheese as well.  When in doubt, throw it out!  Your health is much more important that trying to salvage something.

Check your appliances!  Toasters and toaster ovens will never be clean enough to use safely again.  REplace them for peace of mind.  Also, check your pots and pans.  If there are scratches on your pots or pans that have previously contained gluten items, get rid of those too.  There is no way to be sure that you have cleaned every tiny crevice well enough that gluten is not hiding in there.

Cleaning supplies! This can be tricky, because many times, companies do not list their ingredients completely on the labels.  You will need to check your cleaning chemicals, detergents, dish soap, dishwasher soap and anything else you use.  If the product does not specify, call the company and find out.  Or, you can go with more specialized gluten free or all natural companies instead of conventional ones.  Just remember, routinely check your products because companies can change their formulas at any time.

Now it is time to check those bathroom products!  Make up, sunscreens, lotions, perfumes, deodorants, body sprays, soaps, shampoos, conditioners, self tanners, tanning lotions, hair dyes, even bug sprays.  Check all of these things, and be diligent in keeping up with any manufacturing changes.  They happen a lot in this area.

And probably one of the worst places gluten can hide, in is your medications and supplements.  Check all your OTC medications, everything from pain medicine, to allergy medicine, to cough syrup.  Usually medications that are safe will say gluten free on the label.  Check supplements too, especially kid vitamins.  If you are on prescription medications, be sure to ask your doctor about the gluten content of your medications.  Often, if  there is, your doctor can set you up on a different course of treatment to avoid it.  Just be careful about asking pharmacists, in my experience they often are not as well versed in medication contents and gluten.  Obviously, this does not mean that there aren’t some that do know, but in my experiences, I have often found that I am more well versed in the topic than they tend to be.

One more area…pet foods!  Depending on your level of sensitivity, it may be best for you to feed your pet gluten free as well.  I have heard of people having reactions from pets who eat gluten.  Often times it winds up being s skin reaction once the pet has licked the affected person.  This is not something that effects us directly.  But this is something that you will want to think about depending on the severity of your symptoms.

Hope this helps, please let me know if there are any places that I may have missed!

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Posted on April 24, 2013, in Food Labeling, Food Sensitivity, Gluten free, Important Information, Reading Labels, Trials & Tribulations of Food Allergies and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. I’ve been feeding my cat gluten-free food for AGES, even before I went gluten free 🙂

    I’ve found pharmacists to be more knowledgeable than doctors regarding medication, and they also usually have direct access to the manufacturer to find out. My experience has been the opposite of yours – most of my doctors seem to have no clue.

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