You double check your ingredient’s list.
You wash the fruit coated with corn and wheat based wax.
You wipe up gluteny-crumbs before you let the baby eat at mother-in-law’s table.
You make sure your rice brand doesn’t share fields with wheat.
You read a study saying that out of 50 subjects, one person with celiac disease reacts to 10 ppm or less, and you know that your kid is one of them. One that has to be more careful than others.
Then you have a period of three weeks where she just isn’t herself. Her gluten symptoms are there. You stop taking her to other places. You beat yourself up for making bread with non-gluten grains in case they are cross-contaminated. You feel bad every time she has a hard time in the bathroom and can’t figure out why it isn’t going away.
Since you are renovating your bathroom, you have this little bug in your ear reminding you that you read something once about drywall dust and wheat starch. But you figure, hey, I’m cleaning and shop vaccuuming with a drywall filter 8 times a day. It *couldn’t* be that.
Yes, well, thank you google.
Apparently, gypsum (drywall) does in fact contain wheat starch. And at least three blogs/forums I read have celiacs reporting that they felt undeniable gluten symptoms after tearing up old drywall.
What’s more, the tile grout and cement you used? Cement products can now contain wheat starch or corn starch, especially the pre-mixed ones.
And all the mold-inhibiting claims on the new bathroom products, like cement board, caulk, grout? Derived from wheat.
So wheat is in the air and on the floor around here, and one way or another found itself in to her system. And it’s not like we don’t wash her hands! Or let her play in the bathroom while it’s under construction!
She stands at the door, in the hallway, gleefully saying “dirty here!” since that’s what she’s been told.
So if you google drywall and wheat starch, or grout and wheat starch, you won’t find places dramatically and emphatically stating that you will get glutened while renovating your home.
You’ll find MSDS sheets and patent submission forms barely mentioning that the wheat starch is there.
You have to put the pieces together yourself, and when you mention this to your kid’s allergist, there is a good chance they will think you are nuts.
Guess what the plan is for today? Putting up the new drywall. I may have to take a day trip. Hubby might be on his own. I don’t know. It’s not like it will be the end of the world. She’s getting over it. But it’s awfully hard to keep a two year old in one room for a whole day, and it’s also hard to do something that you know is making her sick.
What’s funny is that the products that use the wheat starch are often the “green” ones. Wheat is certainly more eco-friendly than other things. It’s just not necessarily more super-sensitive-celiac friendly! Wheat or chemicals, wheat or chemicals? Maybe Ada should move to an undeveloped Caribbean island.