5 Unexpected Sources Of Gluten That Aren't Food

09/07/2013 07:42 am ET

Even if you know to look for gluten in the less-than-obvious foods, gluten can sneak up on you in the most unexpected places.

A significant number of non-food products contain ingredients derived from grains that can be problematic with celiac disease or gluten intolerance. In fact, many are now being produced and marketed as gluten-free.

The ingredients in question are typically included as binding agents or fillers and are usually only problematic if ingested, experts told CBS News. For that reason, adhesive on envelopes and stamps used to cause problems, but today that starch-based stickiness comes from corn, Gluten-Free Living magazine reported.

Preliminary research suggests that merely coming into contact with gluten, say in the form of a hand lotion, could also cause adverse affects, Health.com reported. Plus, if it's a little one you're watching out for, you may need to be extra cautious, since kids will put just about anything in their mouths.

Obviously, food is more prominently labeled than non-food products when it comes to gluten, but that may be changing. Supermarket News reported a 43 percent increase in body care products being labeled and certified as gluten-free in 2012. Here are a few of the products to watch out for.

Sunscreen
sunscreen
Certain bottles of your favorite SPF may contain ingredients derived from wheat, like vitamin E derived from wheat germ oil, for example. A number of brands do make gluten-free varieties, however, so be sure to read labels carefully and contact the company with any questions.

Shampoo, Conditioner And Soap
shampoo
Some cleanliness products turn to compounds derived from wheat or oats for the grains' beauty benefits. The Canadian Celiac Association shared a comprehensive list of ingredients derived from grains as they appear on various toiletries and cosmetics to help you decipher the labels.

Makeup And Lotion
lipstick
Speaking of cosmetics: Various makeup products may contain gluten, and if it's in something like lipstick, which we may actually ingest, it can lead to big problems. Some makeup contains ingredients like wheat or barley extracts -- however, it can be tricky to find an actual ingredients list on the products or their websites, Health.com reported. As awareness increases, more and more companies have jumped on board to produce gluten-free makeup, but you may need to contact the company directly to find out for sure.

Medicine
pills
Certain vitamins, supplements and even medications may contain gluten. Although many more are made from corn, potato or tapioca now, according to a report from The University of Virginia's School of Medicine, some do still contain wheat. Make sure all of your doctors, not just your gastroenterologist, are in the loop if you have celiac, and check out this list of common over-the-counter products that are free of gluten for day-to-day care.

Pet Food
pet food
Fido and Fluffy probably eat pet foods with wheat in them, and we trust that you're not dipping into their bowls for a snack. But if handling your pet's food causes any symptoms -- or you have a very curious little one in the house! -- you may want to consider gluten-free pet food.

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