Gluten War – Pub Crawl

For two days I woke up feeling slightly better than the day before. Most noticeable symptom I’ve focused on was a stiff pain in my ankles each morning when I’d stand up. Some days (in the past) it was so bad that I would dread standing up, and when I did I’d hobble across the floor like an old woman, and not be readily able to straighten my lower back, either. But for the past two days, that just went away.

Last night I went on a Snuggie Pub Crawl in the Third Ward, which was a blast. Met some really, really nice people. But I digress. I had intended to do some homework before I left to figure out what was safe to drink, but we did too many things in West Bend and I just ran out of time. So then I figured I could ask the bartenders which beers were gluten-free, or if they didn’t have any, which alcohols were distilled from something other than wheat, barley or rye.

Poor idea. They pretty much, across the board, didn’t actually know. Most made their best guess. One gave me the drink her gluten-free friend always drinks. (A Sapphire martini, not my drink of choice!) At one bar, after telling me he didn’t know which beers were gluten-free, the bartender had a realization and came back to me and said, “Bud Light is gluten-free, it’s made of rice!” And since I’ve toured the Bud Light facility and yes, what he said was true, I happily ordered a Bud Light. But then the owner of the bar we originated from, Dawn from Club Charlie’s, came by and said, “that’s not gluten-free!”

I looked it up today and there seems to be some argument about it. Yes, it’s made from rice, but barley is also used in the process. Budweiser says the barley proteins are converted in processing; celiac experts say no, they’re not.

So, whatever. All I know is when I came home last night, I was gassy again, another symptom that — my friends who know me well can back me up on this — I’ve suffered from for years. This morning my ankles didn’t hurt as much as they once did, but were perhaps slightly stiffer than they were yesterday.

And I’m not sure if this has anything to do with anything, but last night before bed, and now this morning, the tops of my feet are incredibly itchy. Like, maddeningly so.

Symptom? I guess it’s time for more research.


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