Posted by: Nancy | July 14, 2007

GlutenEase – updated!

 I have mixed feelings about writing about this.   On the one hand I want people to know that this helps me.  On the other hand I don’t want people to think that this is a cure or a way to eat gluten. 

 The best way to put it is that for me, taking GlutenEase (note the fancy linkage) for a glutening is like taking DayQuil for a cold or flu.   It helps.  It helps a lot.  But in the end you still don’t feel good.  It’s just not as bad.   Basically, it takes the edge off and I can go on with my life reasonably well. 

 GlutenEase isn’t something that’s been FDA approved, of course.  So anyone taking it is taking it at their own risk.  The ingredients, although identified and explained, are a mystery as far as long-term effects, etc.  

 I’ve always felt reasonably comfortable taking herbal supplements because there is generally a long and extensive history of how herbs effect people, and any potential side-effects or contraindications are easily identified.  Not so with GlutenEase, so it’s something I would only take after a glutening and not to get all experimental with trying to eat something gluteny.  I’m not willing to find out in 10 years that the magic that makes this work also causes liver damage or something.  Sorry.  I’ve spent too many years being sick to take that kind of chance.   Plus, there’s no way to know if GlutenEase just blocks the symptoms while the gluten is creating harikari in your intestines, nervous system, muscles, bones, etc.  or if it really does stop the reaction completely. 

 For me though, I’ve decided that occasional use for accidental glutenings is worthwhile.

 I do have kids who are also gluten-intolerant.  And there is no way I’d give them something like this.  My concerns about my using it are multipied 100x for them.   On the rare occasion we all get glutened, I don’t take GlutenEase.  I’d just feel too guilty feeling better while they’re still miserable. 

Nancy 

 ** UPDATE **

 Since this is one of my most popular posts, I wanted to give an update on it. 

I have had one heck of an awful month with getting glutened.  I think I got glutened 6 or 7 times in one month!!   That’s more than I usually get glutened in six months!    I’ve replaced some things in my kitchen – a wooden spoon, an old wisk (that was a stupid thing to keep), a soap dispenser that may have become contaminated and the dog food.  One or all of them may have been the culprit.   Let’s just say thank goodness for glutenease because without it I would have really been up a creek. 

 So here’s the bad news – I’m dairy intolerant again.   My villi are wearing down. 

You may not be familiar with villous atrophy in celiac disease or why the reoccurance of dairy intolerance is important here.   This is how it was explained to me by some sciencey-types:

 When someone has celiac disease, the main symptom that they look for to confirm the diagnosis is the wearing away of the lining of the small intestine.   A healthy intestinal lining actually consists not of a smooth surface, but of millions of tiny finger-like projections called villi.   Those villi are actually what absorb nutrients from the foods we eat.   When someone has celiac disease, those villi are attacked and destroyed.  Sometimes they are just worn down, and sometimes they are completely destroyed down to nothing. 

 Interestingly, it’s at the very tips of the villi that the enzymes to digest dairy are produced.   Which is why it’s often true that a person who has been diagnosed with celiac or gluten intolerance is also intolerant to dairy.   Once gluten has been removed from the diet, in most cases the villi begin to heal and actually grow back.  Including those little tips that help to digest dairy. 

 You can see where I’m going with this. 

 I think it’s pretty obvious that although Glutenease does help control symptoms, the intestinal damage IS still happening.  And it doesn’t take long at all.  Kind of surprising what can happen in a month. Which proves out the concerns I had about it initially. 

 I still believe it is useful and I will continue to use it just as I have been.   I still don’t think I’m doing anyone any favors by not being able to get out of the bathroom and/or the bed for days if I’ve been glutened if I don’t have to be.   Just being able to live my life anyway, despite not feeling well, is enough of an improvement for me. 

 I think that this just underlines that there is currently no treatment other than strict adherance to the gluten-free diet. 

 I also wanted to invite everyone who stops by to visit the rest of my blog.  Just click up on the title – Nancy’s Place or here and it will take you to my main page.  If you scroll down, I’m doing a series right now on how to create a shared kitchen for people who live in a household with GF and non-GF people. 

Have a great day everybody!

 Nancy

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Responses

  1. […] I agree with Nancy. I would never ever use this so I could eat gluten, but I am interested in having some on-hand for when I do accidentally “get glutened.” I’ll have to see if I can find some (my local health food store doesn’t carry it) to keep for emergency situations (and no, emergency situations don’t include “I really want to order pizza”). […]

  2. Hello! I just bought some GlutenEase to help when I accidentally ingest. It does seem to ease the pain and range of symptoms I typically get – not sure if it’s a placaebo thing or truly an aid. Meantime, how did you post the logo “I blog gluten free”? I’d love to add that to my wordpress blog.

    Thanks!
    Leah

  3. Hey Leah –

    Thanks for commenting. 🙂 I used Glutenease several times before I decided if it was actually working too.

    Here’s the link for the blog button.

    http://glutenfreegoddess.blogspot.com/2007/02/gluten-free-bloggers.html

    I’ve also restarted my blog. I’m doing a mom blog / gluten free blog. The content from Nancy’s Place is over there too. I just forgot to put a post here directing people over there. Oops.

    http://www.youllcrackyourheadopen.com

    Nancy


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