Coffee and Gluten Intolerance


Yep. It’s what you think it is. What my kids call the ‘case of gluten’ at Starbucks. Amazingly – this isn’t the temptation I desire.


I used to wonder if coffee had enough health benefits to justify having a cup a day.  I liked the boost it gave me… especially after a long night of designing, or shooting… or before a workout.

But when I gave up lactose in January, I also gave up my lattes from Starbucks…  I tried my VIA packets through April, but after going gluten-free – they seemed to give me similar effects to gluten.

Bloating, gas, pain…

Upon further research at the time, I read that two things can happen…

One is obvious:

1) You’re allergic to coffee for a short time, as your leaky gut heals.  (meaning your body treats and attacks it like gluten when it enters the body, but this isn’t forever)

The other… is more difficult to track…

2) You’re unable to have roasted coffee ever, because of the risk of cross contaminated coffee grounds with a form of gluten in processing. (This can happen in a restaurant, or within processing of the actual product – which can explain why sometimes one might have a strong reaction, and other times it might be more subtle depending on the amount cross contaminated.  This also depends on your sensitivity level).

So for four (long) months, I gave up coffee…  I stuck to my tea…. and water.

We were happy…. my tea and I.

But after I got cross contaminated at Chipotle.  Honestly… my tummy hasn’t been happy with much, a majority of the time, if I’m not eating meat, fruits and veggies.  Especially any time I eat grains.  I’ve cut out corn, and some beans, and I would try no grains for a majority of the time (which helped the most!)  I drink raw apple cider… and that helps too… probiotic day and night (gluten and lactose free)…  but it’s REALLY hard to never eat grains.  I knew the chronic inflammation in my gut wasn’t good…  but I’ve tried to soldier through.

Somedays were good, most were not.  I wondered if this was just it – this is how my gut would be from now on?

I decided if that was the case… maybe I should try coffee again.  Maybe coffee wasn’t REALLY an issue…  maybe it was just those VIA packets, vs. having coffee already brewed that wasn’t instant.  I could have hope right?

I tried it in Chicago… which some of my friends thought was a little crazy – and maybe it was… but it was a celebratory coffee after our appointments at the university.

I got a plain, black, dark roast coffee from Starbucks.  I drank half of the grande… and literally fell fast asleep while reading over our appointment records.

That SHOULD have been my first clue.

But I just thought I was tired, we had gotten a few hours of sleep and we had been traveling…

I wasn’t bloated…  I thought I was fine.

So I had another, the next day…  I was still tired – but I’ve been battling increasing fatigue since that last time being glutenated…

So I continued having them… for a whole week.

What I noticed was this…

My finger nails all split, fell apart and suddenly were weak and thin – my fingers hurt, and the skin on my hands was cracking again.

My eyes began twitching with muscles spasms all week, and this weekend my eyeball was swelling when my retina would try to open/close.

Fatigue grew at an alarming rate – I fell asleep twice one morning (briefly) while the kids were working on reports for school…

Tip. Over. Tired…

After I had plenty of sleep the night before.

What in the world?  I mean, I’ve been struggling with fatigue… but this was insanity.

I hated to admit it.

It had to be the coffee.

Then one night we were working late again – and my husband asked me if I was ok.  He could *smell* that something hadn’t been quite right…  I mean, it hadn’t been “right” most of the time – but that night…

It was down right awful….

and I looked 8 months pregnant… again.


It *was* the coffee.

… and then I walked back through my week.  The fatigue, the eye twitching, muscle pains, gunky pink-eye, my nails – my stomach, the swelling in my hands, and joints – and Saturday my eye began swelling and it was very painful… all of it… it was enough to put it together… to get back on track.

Maybe it’s not meant to be, and if that’s the case – it will be ok.

But I’d be lying if I didn’t say I wasn’t disappointed. 

I am.  It was a rough week last week…

I love fall… boots, sweaters… cozy… and COFFEE. 

At least… the SMELL of coffee.

Thanking God for my sense of smell!!  (and for a NEW week!)

“I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from Him.”

Psalm 62:1



Posted on October 16, 2012, in Celiac/Gluten Sensitivity, Change, Our Struggles and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Hot chocolate?

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