Cross reaction is a term that many celiacs may be familiar with, especially if you haven’t completely healed on your strict gluten free diet. Perhaps you were diagnosed as celiac and started to feel a little better but you still have a bunch of symptoms and still don’t feel like yourself. It’s possible you have developed further food intolerances but what if the cause is a result of cross reaction? What if your immune system thinks that some non-gluten things ARE gluten? Then you would still have a gluten response, still get symptoms and still feel like crap!
The idea of cross reaction in relation to celiacs not completely healing seems to be coming up more and more in recent months and has intensified in the last few day as the gluten free community has been throwing around the idea that celiacs possibly shouldn’t be drinking coffee. Don’t be ridiculous, you may be thinking. Coffee can’t possibly contain gluten! This was my first reaction too and we’re right of course, coffee doesn’t contain gluten but if you’re celiac then you’re body may mistakenly think that it does!
An article published last year by Dr. David Clark states that recent research reveals that 10% of coffee is a protein which cross reacts with gluten antibodies. This means that some celiacs may have an immune response to coffee similar as they would with gluten. How terrifying yet fascinating! Our immune systems are clearly very confused as am I. Whilst there is clearly something to it, I’m not completely sure whether or not I can get behind all of this cross reaction stuff quite yet. I’ll need more research and concrete evidence before I start ruling out things I know to be naturally gluten free.
What are your thoughts on all of this? Are there certain gluten free foods that your body cross reacts with? Would this stop you drinking coffee? And what will be the next thing they discover contains proteins which may react with gluten antibodies. If our bodies can think that coffee is gluten what else could they mistaken for this evil, damaging protein? Is anything completely safe?