Health Setbacks GF Cold Medicines

This is a bit more personal than usual.  I've had a series of health setbacks and wanted to share what I've learned.  First I had an infection that I had to see an urgent care doctor about.  My doctor was not available briefly.  That delay cost me a lot in recovery.  I have frequent infections and I try my best to avoid antibiotics. But sometimes it's unavoidable. 

While recovering from the infection, I learned that there's gluten in many over the counter medicines.  So I wasn't getting any better even though the infection wasn't the problem anymore.

Then I noticed that my vitamins were making me react badly.  After some close examination of the vitamin, I couldn't confirm it had gluten in it.  But I was reacting to something in it.  

My eating became disordered as pain mounted, and I sought out comfort foods, usually high in carbohydrates. Eating too many carbs is counterproductive for me, but when my body feels horrible anyway, it's hard to be a saint.  I'm definitely human.

In an attempt to curb the carbs and not eat a high calorie meal late at night, I bought some pickles that clearly stated they are gluten free.  Pickles can sometimes stop a craving for me.  Except this brand wasn't certified gluten free and the vinegar didn't say "distilled."

So while recovering from the gluten in OTC cold medicines, I started to feel better.  Then I ate pickles that weren't strictly gluten free!  After talking to the company, it turns out the vinegar is distilled after all. It's made from corn too.  So I'm wondering if corn is an issue now.

It's been a roller-coaster.

The point is, things like this happen in Celiac disease.  It's not my fault, or your fault or anyone's.  The disease's only treatment is a diet that would be called "unsustainable" if it wasn't required.  The first diet that helped me, before I knew that gluten was the culprit, was the Ketogenic diet.  It accidentally avoids many sources of gluten, but isn't safe for Celiacs unless it's done strictly gluten free.  That diet is often called "unsustainable" and it's simpler than the Gluten Free Diet.

I think it's important to acknowledge what a bizarre and unnatural thing it is we're being asked to do.  And it's important to keep seeking other treatments for Celiac, Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity, and any disease (Gluten Ataxia, EDS, Crohn's or Migraines triggered by gluten...etc)  that requires a strict gluten free diet.

Resources for gluten free cold medicine, etc:  

Cold Medicines
Allergy and Sinus
Upset Stomach Medicines
Country Life Vitamins are Certified Gluten Free
The Gluten Free Prescription Drugs List 

Kirkland and Amazon have now started labeling many generic versions of expensive allergy medicines gluten free.  Here is an example. If you check the customer images, someone observes that this Amazon Basics product looks very much like a Kirkland one. You can't beat the price of it though, as of this writing, it's $16 for 300 pills of the same active ingredient as Zyrtec.

 Many Up and Up Target branded medications are labeled gluten free.   

CVS also has several store brands labeled gluten free, but they may change labeling at any time, always check every time you buy the same item.

Note:  Benadryl is often said to help when you have been exposed to gluten.  The manufacturer of it says that only the liquid capsules are definitely gluten free.  Their cost, at the time I replaced mine was over 10 times the cost of the regular generic tablets.  I suggest you look into a compounding pharmacy and ask them what they can do, if anything, about this dilemma.  As soon as I'm well, I will do that myself. People with Celiac need to have OTC drugs that are gluten free covered by insurance, because this is an undue burden.

I also want to say thank you to the websites out there that collect and provide this information.  And thank you to Gluten Free Watchdog for keeping on top of this issue.

Remember there will be a Gluten Free  and Allergen Free event in Raleigh this weekend, please attend and help them make it a good one. 


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