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Nitrates, Gluten or Both?

April 1st, 2010

The thought of going on a strict elimination diet and slowly adding things back in, one by one is crossing my mind now. After avoiding gluten for over a month, aside for a few incidents of getting glutenized (a.k.a. glutened), I have finally felt some relief from my fibro pain.

In going gluten free I have naturally avoided things like pepperoni pizza and lunch meat that have fillers. When I went to Pizza Hut on Wednesday for a class field trip I sat and watched a couple of my sixth grade students stuff themselves with pepperoni pan pizza. They each managed to eat four breadsticks and eight slices of pizza. I warned them about the bus ride home repeatedly, but they continued shoveling it in. I can’t believe the stomachs of 12 year old boys. Corbin will surely eat us out of house and home.

Alas, I just smelled the pizza, carried in my own salad dressing and requested a side of pepperoni for my salad, while sipping my unsweetened tea. My reaction to my lunch was this, intense heartburn, my arms felt like they were on fire, and I started feeling the muscle aches all over. This is not my typical reaction to being “glutened”. Normally when I am accidentally exposed to gluten I have intense stomach pain, followed by constipation for about 3 days, bloating, swelling of my joints and itching skin. Sometimes I’ve noticed a swollen tongue. I know this sounds like an allergy, but I went to the allergist and he found I had none. I suppose my spring and fall sinus infections are just imagined. I was diagnosed with non-allergic rhinitis (which has gone away since going gluten-free), given a prescription for Flonase and sent on my way. I never used the Flonase by the way, so I can’t tell you if it helped. What has helped was going gluten-free.

My search for the root cause of my Fibromyalgia definitely is pointing to gluten, but my fibro flared up when I ate the pepperoni and drank tea in a slightly different way. Maybe it has been a combo of the nitrates in lunchmeats and the gluten in bread that has been making me so sick. What else do I need to avoid? I’m re-reading this article on WebMD about the 7 Foods to Avoid for Fibro. Caffeine is also listed as a trigger and I do notice a prickly sensation when I drink tea or coffee, almost like my skin is crawling. So I am back to the drawing board a bit.

The next big challenge is my first holiday dinner gluten-free. Think I can celebrate Easter without getting glutened? We will see. Maybe the Easter bunny will bring me some gluten-free candy.

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  1. April 2nd, 2010 at 01:15 | #1

    Hi Kelly, I’m so sorry your trip to Pizza Hut was such a trial! I, too, am worried about making it through Easter gluten-free. If the Easter Bunny bounces your way with any useful tips or gluten-free goodies, I’d love to read about it.

  2. April 3rd, 2010 at 20:38 | #2

    That’s bizarre that you reacted so severely to the pepperoni. Maybe you’re sensitive to MSG, which is probably in the pepperoni.

    I just conducted an interview with a woman who resolved her fibromyalgia in two weeks by going gluten-free: http://joanneunleashed.com/2010/04/can-change-in-diet-cure-fibromyalgia-pain/

    I went gluten free about seven months ago, and it took about two months for chronic back pain that I had lived with for 25 years or so to go away. It’s such a drag that gluten is in almost everything. Best to stick with pure meat, fats, and veggies.

  3. August 21st, 2010 at 17:10 | #3

    I know I’m going to drive you crazy with so many comments, but I’m enjoying reading your blog.
    For some people it can take up to a year (I’ve even heard 2 years) for their gut to heal from gluten poisoning. I was reading that you also had a rash for a long time. Were you tested for Celiac’s Disease. I admit I wasn’t, because I was already eating GF and the test would have been wrong unless I went back to eating gluten for at least 2 weeks, they preferred a month. I said no way. My doctor agreed, he said since I had the rash and my symptoms cleared up so well with the GF diet, he knows I have it.

    But getting back to this post, I read the 7 things to avoid for Fibro. I was happy that I’ve already cut out all Nitrates, MSG, most of the time sweetners but I have to admit I am a Diet Coke addict (but I only drink one or two a month and they are always caffeine free) as long as I drink a lot of water it seems to be ok. Usually all I drink is water, or herbal tea. I don’t have a problem with potatoes, or eggplant (I think, I don’t eat much eggplant my hubby hates it), however tomatoes sometimes really get to me. If they are raw, or in big hunks I don’t tolerate them at all. I not only feel bad but my stomach will break out in a rash. I love tomato sauces though, if I have too many, I know it. However, did you know that tomatoes of different colors are more easily tolerated? And tomatillos aren’t in the tomato family at all.
    I haven’t cut out yeast, but come to think of it I don’t eat it very often.
    I try to eat organic fruits and vegetables, we eat grass feed beef (usually local), and all natural or organic chicken.
    And I have to eat a low sodium diet because of the Meniere’s disease.

    Sometimes I seriously back slide, but never with the Gluten. Sometimes you can’t find organic. you know.

    Oh, be careful with your spices. Most plain spices are gluten free, but when they make blends they often aren’t, I just found out that many dry mustards aren’t GF. Luckily, the one I’ve been using is, Coleman’s

  4. August 21st, 2010 at 18:30 | #4


    You are not bothering me at all with your comments. I love being able to connect with people that are going through the same things that I am. It makes me feel not so alone in this world. My family has seen me suffer, but it is impossible for them to understand everything that I feel. You are somebody that is living the same nightmare that I am. Social networking online continues to amaze me. I love that I have a voice and a way to meet other people that are experiencing the same trials and tribulations. The hope is that we can figure out how to heal ourselves. Thanks so much for sharing!

    I am noticing a big difference when I don’t eat grassfed beef. I have also noticed a difference when I eat yellow or orange tomatoes, rather than red. I haven’t researched that yet though. I wonder if I could eat heirloom red tomatoes without a reaction. Is the acid, or is it the genetic modification of our food?

    Spices do often cause an issue for me, but I have tried buying them from the health foods store, not in mixes and I will sometimes still react to them. I think I may have other hidden allergies yet to discover. Thanks for the tip about the mustard.

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