Category Archives: Giving searchers answers

The new pic in the header, school stuff, etc.

  • A couple of you have asked about the pic in the header.  Yes, it is of my hubby Martin and me.  It was taken in November of ’06 at the La Posada in Winslow, AZ, on our 12th anniversary celebration.  Notice the baby seat/carrier in the LH background?  That was Audrey.  With this new layout, I tried about six or seven different pics, and none of them would take!  I had the exact number of pixels called for, didn’t work.  I tried them bigger, I tried them smaller, I tried a direct upload to WordPress, I tried uploading them to Photobucket…  None of them worked.  Then, I tried this pic, and inexplicably, it worked, and at that point, I was thinking, “Whatever.  It worked.”  So…  I’m glad y’all like it!
  • I had a doc appointment this morning, for myself, which meant — yet again — not much school got done.  This whole week has been shot, with me primarily taking care of sickly small children.  But, today, I came home and had Ethan do a chapter in Story of the USA, which happened to be on the Alamo.  One of the assignments was to create a skit/play about the events.  Both the other boys are familiar with the story, so they participated as well.  Nerf dart guns in hand, they were done planning in about 2 minutes.  Unimpressed, I told them, “You can’t just shoot each other and then have whoever is playing Santa Ana say ‘I win.'”  Three boys’ shoulders slumped.  I had read their minds.  Hahaha!  So, they planned it out a little better, taking 20 minutes to decide on their stage set-up, plot outline, choose characters and dialogue.  Even 2yo Audrey got in on it;  her line was, “Oh, no!  The Mexicans are attacking!” which sounded like, “Oooooooohhhh!  The Mexcicoooooo ummm  ummm ATTACKING!!!!”  It was cute.  I should have taken pictures.  It really did seem like one of those ‘homeschool moments.’  Then, after lunch, everyone did double-lessons in math, and we called it a day.
  • Speaking of school, Ethan has about one week of material left in Core 3.  We’ve been working on it for…. umm… two years.  It actually took us about 18 months to get through the first 17 weeks of material, and about five months — which includes my three week ‘maternity leave’ with Fiala AND an additional two weeks we took off around Christmas — to do the final 19 weeks.  Why the big speed-up this year?  We dropped Latin.  It was time-consuming.  It was beneficial, and I wish we could continue, but it was TOO time-consuming.  So.   Anyways.  We plan on using the $$ from our tax refund to get Core 4, but that’s another 3-4 weeks away, so I’m planning on crafting him a special-interest unit study.  We got a catalogue in the mail, which is primarily (it appears) for adult continuing-education-type courses.  I had Ethan go through it — not because I intend to order something from the catalogue, but to find out what he’d like to learn.  I thought he might surprise me, and, whaddya know?  I’m flabberghasted in his choice.  He chose a course called Lost Christianities:  Christian Scriptures and the Battles Over Authentication.  Basically, it’s about the canonization of Scripture.  He’s eleven years old.  He’s seriously interested in this.  I’m elated.  I’m still uncertain where I’ll get my source materials;  we still haven’t been back to the library after my $100+ fine, and our own city’s new branch library’s opening has been pushed back, once again, to March 7.  We’ll probably just go back to the “old” library.  I look forward to finding some resources next week.  It’ll be a fun study.  (His second choice?  The American Civil War.  I told him, “Um, that’s in Core 4, so we’ll be studying that in a couple of months anyways.”  His third choice was Understanding the Brain.)
  • Fiala is still very sick.  Everyone else is recovering/dramatically improving, bless God.  But, it pains me to see her ill.  Plus, it’s looking like our Friday night Valentine’s date night is in jeapordy.  😦

Gluten-free Communion

A reader sent me a question about being gluten-free and taking communion.  It’s such an interesting topic, I decided to make a whole blog post about it.  First, I’ll write what I do, then follow that up with a number of alternate ideas.

My church celebrates communion only once a month.  We pass plates containing wafers — which are really oyster crackers — and mini-cups of grape juice.  (Vineyards aren’t known for their formality, after all!!)  I partake.  Here are the things that led me to my decision:

  1. I pick one out that is broken.  I literally pray as I do, “I believe; help my unbelief.”  In other words, I so want to take the Body of Christ into mine, and I have faith that He’s not going to do me harm.  But, at the same time, I don’t want to go foolishly ingesting a bunch of gluten.  So, each time I take communion, I pray — right then — that the Father would protect me from its ill effects, or quickly heal any adverse reaction.
  2. I have read (though I can’t find it right now) that a healthy celiac’s body can typically weather a storm of 1/8 gram of gluten and not suffer ill effects.  A whole saltine is roughly 3 grams.  Imagine a saltine cut into 24 pieces.  My broken piece of oyster cracker is likely not much larger than that.  I figure that communion is one more reason for me to be 100% faithful to the gluten-free diet, so incidental exposure, like in communion, isn’t difficult on my body.
  3. Plus… once a month, tops, is not much exposure, even if it does do me harm!  I sometimes miss communion anyways, due to taking care of my crying baby in the nursery, or I’m off in the children’s ministry leading worship, or I’m home that Sunday with a sick child…  So, I probably only take communion twice every three months, at most.
Ener-G gluten-free communion wafers

Ener-G gluten-free communion wafers

By nature, I’m the sort who doesn’t like to raise a fuss over myself.  If I were, I might insist on gluten-free communion wafers.  Here in the U.S., the easiest brand to find is Ener-G, and they’re available from many online retailers.  They’re about $8-9 for a pack of 50.  Alternately, if I went to a smaller church, I would probably buy them myself for everyone to take.

(I’ve also been to two different Lutheran churches who — as their own standard — have g.f. communion wafers.)

I’ve also read that a number of other people take their own bit of wafer, g.f. bread, or just a piece of rice cake with them, and use that for the Eucharist — either serving themselves in their own seat, or giving it to the pastor/priest beforehand, or whatever fits in with the communion protocol of their particular church.  (There are some ideas here.)

However, it just might not be something that you can work out with your priest/pastor.  In other words s/he might be unable or unwilling to make an exception for your diet.  In the mid-1990’s, the Vatican barred celiacs from serving as priests (really!) because according to the Catholic church, communion wafers must contain gluten.  (Read more about celiac Catholicism here.)

If some apparently unworkable situation is the case with you, don’t let it stumble you.  God the Father knows your heart.  Pray about it, and I’m sure you can come to peace before Him regarding communion.

My love/disdain for Christian Book Distributors

I love Christian Book Distributors.  Sort of.  I love their books.  Well, not all of them, but I love that, in one website, I can find a wide selection of reasonably-priced books (which, of course, are mostly Christian in nature), a fantastic selection of homeschooling texts and materials, fair shipping charges, and the best customer service of just about any large company I’ve encountered.

Since we order from them frequently, they often send catalogues.  Reams of catalogues.  Homeschooling.  Clearance.  Children’s Products.  Sale.  Holiday.  Members Only.  Every.  Conceivable.  Occasion.  Or.  Category.  Only the Oriental Trading Company rivals them for catalogue-proliferation.

Actually, most of the catalogues do get perused by someone in our family.  However, one of them that gets thrown immediately into the recycle bin is of CBD’s Gift and Home selections.  To me, virtually everything in that particular catalogue is the embodiment of the word insipid.  It’s full of plush toys (mostly for grownups), resin figurines, Thomas Kinkade paraphernalia, scriptural plaques, woven throws, and Precious Moments “collectibles.”  Almost all of these products have on them somewhere, a Scripture verse or reference, or some kind of inherently Christian name, making that lap desk a Christian lap desk.  IMO, it gets rather out of control, and devolves into the ridiculous.     

(I’m not the only one who shares such opinions:  Erin posted a short, funny blog about Teddy Ruxpin’s Fervent Cousin, the “Interactive Prayer Bear” found in one of CBD’s catalogues.)

What brings this to mind is this:  someone found my blog by searching for:  “BUY ON LINE CHRISTIAN GLOUTEN FREE PRODUCTS.”  What, exactly, would Christian gluten-free products be??  In case CBD wants to start a new line, I suggest:

  • A large g.f.  cookie with a decoration of:  “Congrats on Your Recent Diagnosis” written in g.f. icing, with an appropriate Scripture reference. 
  • A “Sorry That, Barring a Miracle, You Won’t Get Well Soon” card, complete with, again, an appropriate Scripture verse. 
  • A resin plaque in the shape of a cross, engraved with “Bless This Gluten-Free Home.” 
  • A woven tapestry throw, depicting a bountiful Thanksgiving scene, but with sheaves of rice instead of wheat, and a small, dense-looking loaf instead of the puffy, golden, “regular” kind of bread, with, yet again, an appropriate, woven Scripure verse.

Anyone have any other suggestions? 

By request: Mike Bickle gets me a glass of water (and I almost get abducted by a trucker)

In another post, while referencing IHOP, I mentioned that Mike Bickle had once given me a glass of water.  My friend Lisa asked me to expand on that, so:

It started by me being lured to Alaska by my Aunt Phyllis.  She promised me that boatloads of money could be mine by processing fish.  Pay was fantastic for a college student:  $18-27 an hour, and I could live with her, so I would have no expenses, except for my plane flight.  Wow.  So, early May through early August of 1992, I was a resident of Ketchikan, Alaska.  However, due to the vagaries of the various fishing seasons, there wasn’t much work for me;  it turned out that, that year, most of the money was to be made right when I left, and into the early autumn.  So, I left Alaska with only about $100, or what was left after paying for my flight.  It was still a fantastic summer, and I have no regrets about going.

The reason I left when I did was to attend a worship festival — think Woodstock for Christians — that was to take place in Langley, British Columbia the first week of August.  You can find all sorts of outdoor, multi-day festivals for all sorts of music now, but back then, fifteen years ago, they were pretty uncommon.  The festival was put on by the Vineyard in Langley, and was to have all the really influential Vineyard worship leaders at the time, including Brian Doerksen, Kevin Prosch, Andy Park, Terry Butler, the violet burning, and others.  I was so looking forward to it.

The only problem was that my flight placed me in Seattle, not Langley (which isn’t too far from Vancouver).  I thought that it would be relatively easy and relatively inexpensive to find a place to stash my big duffle bag and get a bus ride to Langley.  Well, that turned out to be a, “NO” on both accounts.  There were no overnight lockers in the Seattle airport, and the cheapest place to keep my bag for the five or six nights I would be gone wanted $40, which just wouldn’t do.  I had only that $100, and that had to get me to Canada and feed me for a week, so I couldn’t spare it.  I did find a bus ticket, but I couldn’t find a route from Seattle directly to Langley, only to the US/Canada border.  I had to stay overnight in the Seattle airport, and by the time I had paid for a couple of meals, some snacks for the trip, and my bus ticket, I was down to less than $40.

I figured that, once I was inside Canada, I could find another bus to take me to Langley.  I envisioned a rather metropolitan place, as the map showed towns dotting the roads from the border along the roads into Langley;  it appeared to me that all of it was just one big suburb of Vancouver.  I was wrong.

I also had a bit of worry from the multiple signs on the bus, and at the border crossing, informing those coming into Canada that no one would be admitted with less than (I think it was) the equivalent of $100 Canadian, which was about US$140, fully $100 more than I had to my name.  I tried not to let my face belie my beating heart, as I stood in line and listened to the border guard grill each bus passenger — he was asking everyone how much money they had.  Finally, it was my turn, and the guard unzipped my giant duffle, and smilingly asked where I was headed.  Thankfully, all my accomodations had been taken care of beforehand, and I could honestly give my destination.  It was the dorms of a local college, and he wanted to know what was going on there in early-August, before classes started.  I told him about the worship festival, with which he was very intrigued.  He couldn’t imagine a bunch of folk getting together to sing “church music” for days on end.  We talked about that for a while, and then he zipped up my bag and sent me on my way.  Whew!!  No mention of money, bless God.

However, on the other side of the border crossing was nothing.  Just grassy fields, a few trees, and some long, straight roads with hardly even any cars on them!!  I had eight miles to go — it was eight miles to Langley.  The bus departed, and I was the only one who had not continued on it.  It was obvious that the border wasn’t a bus station;  there were no continuing lines, as I had thought there would be.

So, I started walking.  This wouldn’t have been a problem — I was in good shape, and very used to walking.  However, I had an insanely large and unwieldy duffle bag, and I was wearing a pair of relatively new jump boots (combat boots).

The day was gorgeous.  It was still mid-morning, and the air was cool, the skies clear, and the green land around me gently undulating.  However, it didn’t take long at all until I was very uncomfortable — hot, sweaty, and nursing a number of painful blisters.  My shoulders ached from the piece of heavy luggage I was hefting.  And the shirt I was wearing was a very dark green tee, almost black, which, of course, made me feel even hotter.  I wasn’t hungry;  I had enough snacks.  But I was very thirsty, and there was nothing in sight — no houses, let alone any stores.  There were a few farms, set back from the road, but I was not going to go knocking on any doors asking for water.

Finally, about two miles out from Langley, there was a gas station.  I got some water, and my first oddly-shaped pack of  Canadian cigarettes.  I was somewhat refreshed, but also very, very discouraged.  I was tired and hurting, and still had one quarter of my “walk” to go.

I was walking along a two-lane country “highway,” and a semi slowed down and pulled to the side of the road ahead of me.  As I pulled up alongside it, the trucker inside opened the door and called out to me, offering me a ride.  Knowing it was foolish, I accepted, hoping that Canadians were less crime-prone than Americans.  I told the man my destination, knowing that it would only take a couple of minutes to get there.  I immediately started getting uncomfortable when he started making complimentary comments about my appearance.  Then, he said he knew a “back way” to my destination, which would make it “easier” for me.  I said nothing, and started praying like mad.  We sped down the road, passing what I knew was my turnoff.  He said his alternate route was just a bit further on… just a bit further… just up here…  I stopped praying, looked him in the eye, and said with way more authority than I felt, “Stop right now and let me out here.”  Amazingly, he stopped.  I got out, panting my prayers of thanks and relief to God.

Consulting my map, I saw that he had taken me a good three miles past my destination.  Not only had I nearly been abducted, but the whole event added yet another mile for me to travel.

Finally, I stumbled up to the church.  I knew I wasn’t actually staying at the church, but I thought maybe I could rest for a bit there, and find out where, exactly, the college was where I’d be staying.  The front door was locked.  A side door was locked.  Around back was one more door;  it looked like a service entrance.  I didn’t have much hope;  there was only one or two cars in the parking lot.  But the door opened.  A man looked out and said, “Can I help you?”  It was Mike Bickle.  I had seen his picture before.  I told him that I was there for the festival, and was wondering if he knew where the college was that had rooms for festival attendees.  He told me it was about a mile and a half up the road.

I burst into tears.

I hadn’t cried that whole time, but now, an absolute flood came out.  I was so, so tired.  My body hurt so badly.  Plus, the emotions of almost getting abducted just poured out.  And now, yet another mile and a half to walk?  I sobbed.

I don’t remember the exact order of things, but he started asking me questions, and found out that I’d just walked from the border.  He was shocked.  He called his wife, Diane, and asked her to get a glass of water for me.  He called to another guy, whose little red pickup truck was one of the few cars in the parking lot, and asked him to give me a ride.  He found a muffin for me.  He found a napkin, which I used to wipe my tears and my nose, apologizing.  He sat with me on a curb, and chatted with me for a bit while I ate and drank.  He told me his name was Mike, and I didn’t let on that I knew who he was.  When we got up, I said, “Thank you, Mr. Bickle” and he smiled.

The festival is a whole ‘nother story, full of fabulous, rapturous, glorious worship for hours on end, and also a minor story of unrequited love.  This is the cover of the CD from the event, thanks to this site for the pic.  That’s me, on the cover, in the middle of the photo, with my black violet burning tee (which I still own), a fabulous silver bracelet (which I, regrettably, lost), and very short hair.  The CD is still listed at, but it’s out of print.

Best cabin on the Grand Canyon North Rim??

For whoever is searching for the best cabin on the North Rim, and/or the locations of the cabins….  The cabins ARE very close to the edge — Numbers 309, 306, 305 and 301 are right on the very edge of the canyon.  The porch/patio of #301 and 306 look right out over the edge, and are by far the premier cabins.  However, they’re often booked a year in advance, so good luck with that.

The more expensive cabins (Western) are full log/timber construction, with a porch and rocking chairs, are a little more spread out and feature more attractive, natural landscaping.  The less expensive ones (Frontier) are part-timber, with no porches, and are really squeezed closely together.  However, they’re still steps away from the rim, some of them right on the rim, and right in the middle of the Canyon “action.”  The Pioneer cabins are rather in the middle, both features-wise, and pricewise.

Find the rates on this page — scroll to the bottom.  When we stayed there in May, we took whatever they had, and it was a Frontier cabin.  However, since the most expensive, nicest cabin is only $25/night more, the next time we go, if we can, we’re going to get one of the larger — and hopefully rim-facing — cabins.

From what I understand, in order to book a rim-facing cabin, you have to book over the phone, not online.  Find the phone numbers here — scroll down to Reservations. 

From the Xanterra website (manages the food/lodging at the Canyon), the more expensive “Western” cabins:

The Western Cabins  (ID:NR8043)

Audrey continues to teethe early/out of order

According to the current stats, 5.8% of the visitors to my blog are here for the post about babies teething out of order.  Oddly enough, that post seems to have some of the most info on the Web on the subject, which just seems wrong.  Surely, some dental organization can post something more authoritative on infant teething!  In the meantime, though, I’m happy to provide any help or assurances to moms of babies.

Audrey will be 13 months on May 6, and shouldn’t be teething any molars until her 15th-21st month.  However, a couple of days ago, when she was being a Krabby Patty, I swept a finger around her mouth, and sure enough, her upper left first molar has broken through the surface.  The bottom left first molar appears that it’ll break through any day now, as well.

According to this chart, which I found here, Audrey is off the chart in all directions, since she teethed her upper lateral incisors first, and was only 5 months old when she did so.  Next, at 6 mo, her lower lateral incisors broke through, a good 9-15 months early.  In her 7th month, she teethed all of her upper and lower central incisors in the space of about 2 weeks.  This new molar is her first tooth in about 5 months.



Development of Baby Teeth

Development of Baby Teeth

Both baby teeth (deciduous or milk teeth) and permanent teeth have fairly well-defined times of eruption. The ages listed are the normal ages that a baby tooth emerges.

Central incisor 8-10 Mo Central incisor 6-9 Mo
Lateral incisor 8-10 Mo Lateral incisor 15-21 Mo
Canine (Cuspid) 16-20 Mo Canine (Cuspid) 15-21 Mo
First molar 15-21 Mo First molar 15-21 Mo
Second molar 20-24 Mo Second molar 20-24 Mo

03.26.12 — Edited to add:  My daughter Audrey is now nearly six years old, and has lost five of her baby teeth.  Interestingly, she is LOSING them out of order, too — a lateral incisor fell out before both central incisors, giving her a snaggletooth look, of which she’s very proud.  🙂

Giving Searchers Answers, part 3

I often check the search terms that have led people to my blog.  Oftentimes, it’s funny.  Sometimes, it’s sad.  Sometimes, it’s sickening.  Many times, I want to be a help to others, even though it might be too late;  they’ve probably not found what they’re looking for, and are off to another source, never to return.

But, occasionally, I try:

  1. “gluten free luncheon meats”  — Most of them are g.f.  Your safest bet, though, is the pre-packaged stuff on the deli wall, not the freshly-sliced stuff.  I’ve purchased meat from the service deli, but I find it too much of a rigamarole to ask to see the packaging to doublecheck ingredients.  As always, simplest is usually best.  My current fave is the all-natural Hormel Natural Choice.  The package actually states “gluten free.”  It has no preservatives, even!
  2. “slightly celiac disease”  Well, that’s like saying “slightly pregnant.”  You have it, or you don’t.  Well, that’s not quite true.  It’s technically called “autosomal dominant with incomplete penetration.”  Usually, something that is autosomal dominant means that if you have the gene, you have the trait.  But, with celiac disease, you can have the gene, but not necessarily have the symptoms — thus the “incomplete penetration.”  Some people are symptomatic from birth (my son Wesley and myself), and some people’s symptoms are triggered by an event, usually a strenuous or life-altering event (like my friend Shellie, who developed symptoms during her — I think — second pregnancy).  But technically, if you have the gene, you have CD, and you’d be wise to adhere to a gluten-free diet, even if you don’t have recognizable symptoms.
  3. “lori bryson”  Well, I’m looking for her, too!!!  Not really.  I know where she is.  I was hoping to spend time w/ her & her family when we recently went to the Midwest, but she’s gone and gotten herself a job, and couldn’t get away.  Bummer.  I do find myself wondering who keeps looking for her, though.
  4. “celiac disease and entering kindergarten”  Well, good luck with that!!!  I hope your child self-regulates, and will keep him/herself away from gluten.  Did you know that every child entering kindergarten in Italy is tested for celiac disease??  Italy has the highest diagnosis rate, worldwide, because of this.  They also have an average diagnosis time of 2-3 weeks in Italy.  In the U.S., it averages SEVEN YEARS to get a diagnosis.
  5. “whacko homeschool”  Well, you have no biases, do you???  Hm.  I really like Tammy’s articles regarding homeschooling and all the debates that surround it.  She does her level best to present the facts, and she’s a good writer.  She’s not a Christian, that I can tell, so that doesn’t “bias” her, either.  (I’m happy to be biased towards a Christian worldview, but I know that doesn’t hold water for a lot of researchers.)
  6. “discipline + nonverbal learning disorder”  Good luck with that, too.  My 7yo w/ NLD is a tough cookie to discipline.  He just doesn’t “get it,” either positive or negative reinforcement.  The best approach, in my 3 years’ experience, is to keep in mind that preventative “medicine” is worth a TON.  Talk, talk, talk to your NLD kid, and make sure the expectations for EVERY situation is abundantly clear.  That will head off so many difficulties.  Of course, the subtleties — which NLDers don’t perceive — change with every situation, and thus the child’s interpretation will change, leading to a lot of frustration for everyone involved.  Still, talking-talking-talking is the best approach.  And for every discipline that is levelled, make absolutely certain that your child knows exactly why you’re disciplining him/her.  Don’t assume that the child understands the reasons, even if it’s a situation you’ve gone over with them 20 billion times.

That’s all for now.     

Free Rod & Staff Curriculum Samples!!

I get quite a few hits from people looking for info on Rod & Staff stuff.  R&S, being produced by the Amish, who really aren’t into technology, doesn’t have its own website.  However, I was just looking at the website of one of the online purveyors of R&S materials, and noticed a link that said “Free Stuff.”  Well, golly.  You can actually get samples of all the R&S curric from K through 6th grade, for free!  They mention that they reserve the right to limit quantities, of course, but for anyone who is thinking about using R&S for all or part of their homeschool (or private Christian school) curriculum, I think that’s a stellar offer. 

Answering searchers’ questions

  1. First of all, who is looking for lazy homeschoolers?  Hm.  I have a desire to be lazy, but in all practicality, it just isn’t possible.  I think that may be true w/ other hs’ers, as well.  It’s just not a lifestyle one takes on if one has a need to be lazy.
  2. Someone wants a magazine on gluten-free living.  There’s a great (albeit semi-pricey) one called Living Without.
  3. Someone else wants to know the names of gluten in food.  Well, anything that contains wheat, rye, barley or oats will contain gluten, as will ingredients made with/from WRBO.  You’ll find a good (though perhaps a little on the better-ULTRA-safe-than-sorry side) list here.
  4. Whoever keeps finding my blog looking for “celliac disease”, you might have better success finding what you’re looking for if you spell “celiac” with only one “L.”
  5. Whoever is looking for someone to support the statement “homeschooling is a joy” probably will not find that here.  However, I will say, “Homeshooling is incredibly rewarding.”
  6. Looking for the Christmas song about “a waffling”?  You’re probably thinking “a wassailing.”
  7. And… “are nachos gluten free”?  Well, like everything else, it depends on what goes into the nachos.  Plain tortilla chips are usually g.f., as is cheese, if it’s real cheese, and not cheese sauce (which can be iffy — sometimes contains wheat starch or wheat flour).  Also, refried beans, tomatoes, green onions and other garden goods are very likely g.f.  The biggest risk factor is the meat — if it was seasoned with, or marinated in, something that contains gluten, well, then the nachos aren’t going to be g.f.
  8. Lots of people looking for “celiac eczema.”  I would suggest looking into dermatitis herpetiformis, which is a skin condition that can look like eczema, but is unique to celiac disease, though DH tends to look more blistery than “regular” eczema.
  9. Someone wants gluten free rice krispies treats recipe.  Well, you just follow the regular recipe, but use g.f. crisped rice.  Here’s one with berries — even yummier! 
  10. Pronouncing gliadin?  “glee-AD-in”

Lots of other searchers out there looking for interesting stuff, but that’s all I can cover for now.  HTH!

Can barley give you eczema?

A searcher was routed to my blog after posing that question to a search engine.

Lemme help you out.  The short answer is:  Sort of.  Wheat, rye & barley can all trigger a skin condition called dermatitis herpetiformis.  DH can coexist (be co-morbid) with eczema, too.  DH is one of the potential symptoms of a genetic autoimmune disorder called Celiac Disease.  Most people with DH have it in addition to gastrointestinal and/or neurological disorders that are associated with celiac disease, but I know well one guy who has DH as his lone symptom of Celiac Disease.

DH is intensely itchy and not relieved with medicines that usually ease eczema symptoms.  Patches of DH usually start looking like little blisters or spider bites.  However, in my youngest son, his DH was so itchy — and he was just a baby — that he would literally chew on himself to relieve the itch (poor baby boy!!!) and it made it next-to-impossible to diagnose. 

I just did a little Google search myself, and was frustrated to find at least one site saying that DH was “idiopathic”, meaning that there’s no known cause for it.  DUH!!  Another site suggested that it is linked to a number of immunological disorders.  That, I didn’t know, but it seems very possible.   

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