It’s peculiar but instructive: re-exposure phenomena triggered by wheat exposure after being confidently wheat-free. The exposure can be intentional, as in “Just one won’t hurt!” or it can be inadvertent, as in “That gravy looks okay.”
Typically, someone will be wheat-free for at least a week. Re-exposure from, say, salad dressing or seasoning mix then triggers wheat re-exposure fireworks.
The most common re-exposure phenomena to are:
—Gastrointestinal distress, bloating, and diarrhea that can last hours to a couple of days. (People with celiac disease can have problems for months, however.) This response resembles food poisoning.
—Joint pain–characteristically in the fingers and/or wrists
—Upper airway phenomena such as asthma and sinus congestion
—Emotional effects such as anxiety in females, irritability or rage in males
—Appetite stimulation–What I call the “I ate one cookie and gained 30 pounds” effect. Eating one cookie does not, of course, cause 30 pounds of weight gain. But just one exposure can set the appetite-stimulating machinery in motion and days or weeks of increased appetite for junk carbohydrates can result, thanks to the gliadin-derived opiates of wheat.
And the symptoms that initially went away with your wheat-free adventure can return in all their glory, such as migraine headaches, depression, mental “fog,” sleep disruption, and seborrhea.
The longer you are wheat-free, the more violent the reaction. It is a fitting reminder of just how inappropriate modern wheat is for humans. It reflects our inability to consume the seeds of grasses.
On again, off again; on again, off again: Like pushing a button, you can start or stop the process at will. This represents incontrovertible proof of your individual intolerance to the Evil Grain.
Anyone want to share their re-exposure story?