I tried these Glutenfreeda Instant Oatmeal packs for four days. With all of that reassuring copy plastered over the packaging I thought I was finally going to get over my fear of cross contamination with oats. After all they sell this. At Whole Foods. Legally. Apparently. People eat it. Apparently. If people got sick from it it would hardly stay in business, right? It’s named Gluten-freakn-freeda ffs! Where could I go wrong?
Let’s count the ways:
Early problems (Day 1-2): Sores in mouth. Itchy swollen inner ears. Inflamed lining of eyelids. Palms itched and peeled. “Knee-pits” itched. Tops of feet itched. I enjoyed the oatmeal so much I handwaved the early signs away though. Maybe I burned my mouth on that potato I ate the other day. Maybe some of that salt from my bath got in my ears. Maybe I had normal-people allergies with my eyes. The news said mold was high. Maybe I got my hands into something while cleaning the bathroom. Maybe the new office chair I bought irritated my knee-pits.
Later problems (Day 3-4): Mouth burning and itching along with sores. Throat sore and constricted feeling. Hurts to breathe deeply. Brick on chest. Eyes need drops all the time. Feels like pink eye. Palms finished peeling. Now just burn and itch and are sweaty. Especially the webbing of the fingers and the crease lines where additional peeling has started. Hive on index finger. Rough skin on the backs of arms. Red splotches on neck that itch and burn. Knee-pits a constant inflamed feeling and sore to touch. Elbow pits getting the same way. Back of neck and down the shoulder blades rough blistering rash. Like floor burn. Unmentionable areas unhappy. Inner ears sore, crusty feeling, and burning. Scalp itches. Glands behind the ears and near the base of the neck swollen. Thirsty all the time. Hungry feeling even after eating. Joints hurt. Hot flashes. Tired. Foggy brain. Irritable.
This product was the only abnormality in my diet this week. I ate a packet every day. Yesterday I ate two. Today I felt horrible. An antihistamine helped, but just to take the edge off. I took a shower and it seemed to have done nothing. The only good thing from all of this is that while I know my stomach is messed up to some extent because of the thirst and hunger are key signs at least it isn’t so bad I’ve bottomed out and can’t eat dairy. I’ve had a dull headache, but not a migraine.
So… was it gluten? I certainly looks like it. Not a heavy hit since it didn’t seem to trigger a dramatic kill off of my stomach by my own immune system like it has before. Something is happening in there, but this was more of a “silent” reaction. Like I got as a teen. The cross contamination between wheat/gluten and oats from field to facility to kitchen might just be too strong for me. However it is I am now cured of my curiosity about oats.
Does this mean no one with celiac should try it? It’s up to you, but if you start to see signs something isn’t right and you are eating this it might be the cause. I just saved you some CSI work. Just because it says gluten free a million times on the packaging doesn’t mean you have to eat it.
Rating: Gluten Fail