Celiac Disease / Uncategorized

Wherein I Risk My Life to Test a Theory

First of all let me just say that my GI doc would be APPALLED at what I did last night. I’m sorry Dr. Nowain. You are right, and I am wrong. I am the worst patient you have ever had, and you would be well within your rights to eject me from your roster. Still.

My sister-in-law told me — and I since verified and disproved it on the Internet — that Corona is wheat-free. After ascertaining that this beer does not contain wheat, but it does contain barley (thanks, Wikipedia! Ummmm….), I dismissed it as an option. After all, barley is all gluten, all the time. But then I had this thought: What if it’s only wheat gluten that bothers me? (I just heard Dr. Nowain sigh, and the Celiac Associations ban me from their secret meetings.)

I’ve seen people on various forums say they have no issue when drinking the Mexican lager, so my magical thinking made me give it a shot. After all, we have a ton left over from a taco party and my husband can’t drink it all, no matter how hard he tries. So I popped open a cold one and threw a lemon slice in and went to town. Fourteen hours later, I’m still doing fine. I did get a sudden headache when I was about 1/4 into the bottle, but it went away so I’m thinking it was just from all that brow furrowing as I concentrated on my gut. The real issue is whether or not this is hurting me without giving me a violent outward reaction.  Perhaps I just guaranteed a stroke at age 55. And you know what? Totally not worth it. Because what I forgot when I got excited about having “normal” people things is that I don’t even really like Corona.

I mean, with a lime it’s okay on a hot day. But a sitting around and drinking beer, it is not. As a going up to the bar and ordering beer, it’s basically for frat guys. I prefer the IPA family, and alas, I’m guessing all that gluten is what makes it delicious.

After you are forced to go gluten-free, you kind of lose the right to be picky. While I’ll be sticking to gluten-free beer when I indulge, if I’m stranded on a desert isle and a tray with two Coronas with lime wedge suddenly appear, I will enjoy a cold one without fear. Who am I kidding? Some fear. I’ll still be neurotic in paradise. Either way, whoo-hooo! Beer!

Image via April L. Sanders/Flickr

6 thoughts on “Wherein I Risk My Life to Test a Theory

  1. I definitely have a barley problem. Back when I didn’t understand my diagnosis I ate a package of cookies that said ‘wheat free’ on them. When I later got sick I fished the package out of the trash and saw that they were full of barley flour. I even have a problem with gluten-free oats. I can handle very small amounts of them, but not well enough to eat them without anxiety. My gastro doc told me that I am the strictest patient he has, and he flat-out told me that I didn’t need him anymore.

  2. As a homebrewer who recently went GF, I can tell you that the vast majority of beer does not contain wheat. Barley is the main grain used in basically all beers. Obviously, some beers use wheat and other grains for flavor, but if you can handle barley gluten (and maybe a little potential cross-contamination), you don’t have to suffer through Corona. Of course, I’m GF for rheumatoid arthritis, not celiac, so I don’t have to be nearly as strict.

    • I’m way too excited by this comment. I just tried Pacifico this weekend, because it also hails from Mexico and I was totally fine. Bonus is, I like it better than Corona. But still, I need me an IPA to really feel like I’m getting a beer. Do you know of any? And THANK YOU, oh beer master.

      • Haha, no problem. So, the only IPA I love that I know for sure does have wheat is Lagunitas. I’m pretty sure Red Hook’s Long Hammer IPA is wheat free, but I’d call to double check. Good microbreweries will be happy to tell you what goes into their beers. Here’s a list of the grain bills of some popular beers.
        Basically Two-Row, Pale, Crystal, Munich, and most of the other things you see are all barley. A quick google search will tell you what is in anything you don’t recognize.

  3. Pingback: I Ate Barley & Lived to Tell the Tale | Gluten Is My Bitch

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