I was checking out the ever-wonderful Heidi of Adventures of a Gluten Free Mom on facebook the other day, and wanted to share a link she posted.

The link was to one of Dr. Vikki Petersen’s videos, on the difference between cross-contamination and cross-reactivity. It’s an important one, and I highly recommend watching the video – especially if you just aren’t feeling as good as you think you should, despite being safely gluten-free.

In a nutshell, here’s what Dr. Vikki goes over:

Most of us are familiar with the idea of cross-contamination (and many of use are also familiar with the act of it, sadly). However, sometimes a person can have a bad reaction to a food, even though that food really is gluten-free. In those cases, the problem is not hidden gluten in the food – it’s that the person’s body is mistaking some other molecule for gluten.

Often in cases where the gut is especially traumatized (but also in other situations), there are a number of foods – dairy, other grains, etc. – that can trigger a negative reaction. Happily, there’s a blood test that can tell you if you’re reacting to any of 24 different commonly cross-reactive foods. Heidi’s helpfully given the name: Array #4, from Cyrex Labs.

Even more happily, a few months away from whichever other foods prove damaging will generally give the gut enough time to heal – and those foods can then be reintroduced (still staying away from public enemy #1, gluten).

Of course, there are also many people who find that they have a legitimate, permanent aversion to other foods (soy, corn, dairy, etc.) – so it seems prudent to speak with your doctor or dietician, instead of trying to self-diagnose or designing your own elimination diet.

Have you found any cross-reactive foods since being diagnosed? Were you able to bring them back into your diet?