|photo credit: Edwin Land via photopin cc|
Alcohol and grains have been the two items that I’ve really had to figure out purely by trial and error. Perhaps, they are linked since most alcohols are made from grains. According to this article that I just read on Celiac.org there shouldn’t be an issue, but there obviously is.
I’ve talked to a number of other people who are Celiac, have a gluten allergy or a sensitivity and every one of them has reported that they can’t have certain alcohols. Other than beer, I’d never really even thought about gluten in alcohol; and, since I don’t like beer, I never gave that much thought. Yet, about six months after I stopped eating gluten I had a mixed drink with whiskey in it for the first time in quite a while. Whiskey used to be one of my go-to alcohols, yet this time I noticed that I instantly got an upset stomach when drinking it. Then I thought about it and realized whiskey is made from wheat. I’ve run into this once or twice more since.
Most recently, I was out with my husband and another friend that has a gluten intolerance. We ordered the signature drink at the restaurant where we were eating, not even thinking about what it had in it. I’d had it many times before, although not since I started avoiding gluten. As we sat enjoying our drinks along with our chips & salsa, I noticed that my stomach was feeling really funky. I hadn’t even had half of my drink and yet I was feeling like I really needed to somehow soak up the alcohol before I got sick. I pretty much gorged myself on food and yet it didn’t get any better. Then when we were finished eating we noticed that my friend had developed a flush. We’d discussed how this happens to her sometimes with some alcohols but had never figured out which ones, so we asked to see the menu and determine what was in our drink. Whiskey.
Since I’ve eliminated gluten, I’ve mostly kept to wine (and had little to no issues), for mixed drinks I stick to Rum, Tequila or Gin. I think that as with any food intolerance, you really have to do your own tests. The best route is to eliminate any items that MIGHT be an issue, and then one at a time try them. Sometimes you might have an immediate reaction, other times it might take a day or two, so it’s best to wait a few days between trying different potential allergens. This is one of the reasons that I really think the Whole 30 is a great idea for those of us with Fibromyalgia or other reasons to suspect we may have a food intolerance. It is a really simple way to eliminate foods that may cause issues, and slowly re-introduce them in a way that allows you know which foods (if any) are having a negative effect.