I Dream of Gluten. Do You??

dream of gluten

I have a few recurring dreams.

One is that it’s time for my final exam and I realize that I haven’t gone to class all year and I’m in full blown panic mode. This is odd in and of itself but add to it that I’ve been out of school for over 25 years and it makes it even a bit stranger.

A second one is that I am best friends with all of the characters from the TV show Friends. We’re not on TV or anything. We’re just hanging out. And I’m like the funniest one of the bunch. I’m not even gonna try to interpret that one. (Insecurities anyone??)

But my most recurring dream is the one where I accidentally eat gluten. I had TWO of these dreams last night.

And you’d think I could just enjoy it because…you know…IT’S JUST A DREAM.

But heck no…I totally freak out.

The first dream last night, I was with two of my brothers driving around in the first car I ever owned (a green 1976 Mercury Comet…I called it the Green Machine. I know…total dorkville.) All of the sudden I found myself eating a chocolate cookie. And then the panic sets in. I stop the car and open the trunk to find the package of cookies. Because cookies are always kept in the trunk of a car. I could not find the ingredients anywhere on the package. Meanwhile…the cookie is still in my mouth but I refuse to swallow it. Or spit it out. I finally unfold a crease in the package and all I see is the word “Gluten”. But I can’t read anything else. Does it say “Gluten free?” “Contains gluten??” No idea. End of dream.

The second dream gets a bit more odd. I’m on vacation with my family, including my dad who passed away 11 years ago. It’s always nice to see him but I always wake up bummed that I didn’t talk to him more in the dream. Anyway, all of the sudden I’m driving at night on the beach with waves crashing over my car (because of course.) Next thing I know, I’m in Jennifer Esposito’s restaurant. Not her bakery but a full restaurant. And before I know it, I’m eating a piece of marble bread. She tells me it’s not gluten free. I try spitting it out but the more I spit out, the bigger the piece seems to grow in my mouth. End of dream.

I’ve never been so happy to start my work day!

What about you? Do you dream about gluten and if so, are you at least able to enjoy the damn stuff??

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46 thoughts on “I Dream of Gluten. Do You??”

  1. TOO FUNNY!!!! I have recurring Gluten Dreams too! Mine almost always involve eating hamburger buns – go figure as I’ve never enjoyed a gummy, white bun. HOWEVER I eat, then really panic but I realize after it’s too late and I’ve swallowed that I’m not having a reaction. I THEN panic again because how am I going to explain that I can in fact eat gluten as I’m reluctant to lie about it for the rest of my life……No, THAT’S not messed up!?! I always realize that dairy and eggs are involved too (allergies to both). I’m usually left with a residual feeling of “maybe I CAN eat this stuff”.

    As far as my OTHERS, that’s right, I have a series of other recurring dreams, I too have a high school scenario of having to repeat it as I didn’t in fact graduate and we’re talking decades ago!
    High school – good times……

    What does this say about us??? I mean, I honestly still am taken aback at how INTENSE the body reacts when contaminated.

    Oh and for the record, my “last” meal would NOT be a hamburger bun . It’s be cheese stuffed pasta, washed down with a yeasty lager, followed with some butter tarts….oh and some eggs benedict…. and some…..

      1. if somebody offered me a million bucks to go back to high school, i’ll take it because i’m still in high school…

  2. Oh gosh, too many times to count!

    It’s damn scary too, especially when it’s one of those dreams that is so real, and there I am, munching quite happily on a scone, or a biscuit, or a doughnut… only to then be told it’s not gluten free.

    Clearly I don’t have the foresight to ask in my dream if the offending item is gluten free or not, I just quite happily shove it in and start chewing.

    The strangest thing is, once you know it’s the dreaded gluten, the food becomes impossible to spit out, I seem to lose all ability in my dream to chew, open my mouth, anything! It’s as though the lower part of my face freezes, argh!

    But my God the relief when you wake up and realise you haven’t eaten something you shouldn’t have, whew!

  3. Oh my goodness yes! Once I dreamed that I went to a restaurant and they didn’t have any GF food, so they made something special for me. After I ate it, they brought me the bill and it was $100. I was so mad!

    I also have the dream of taking a bite, then someone telling me it’s not GF, and I can’t seem to get it out of my mouth.

    Most of my celiac dreams lately have been centered around people ostracizing me because of my “health problems.” One the other night was actually a horrible nightmare that ended in me hyperventilating (in the dream and real life).

  4. Within the first six months of getting diagnosed with celiac and going on a GF diet I had several of those dreams – the worst one was when I ate a HUGE plate of delicious pasta and then someone came in and told me it wasn’t GF and I was totally convinced I was going to die. Because in dreams whole plates of gluteny pasta = celiac death. But oddly enough, it’s been several years now since my diagnosis and I haven’t had a eating-gluten nightmare since that first year.

  5. OMG, I am not the only one!! My “eating gluten dreams” all follow the same path. I’m having a “regular” dream about “whatever” and then in that dream I grab a piece of pizza (or whatever) that everyone else is eating and take a big bite. . .and then suddenly realize what I’ve done. I go into full panic mode in the dream and spit it out and freak out. Every single time this happens, I freak out so much in the dream, that I actually PHYSICALLY WAKE MYSELF UP. So yeah, my subconscious doesn’t even get to enjoy gluten. I guess that is hypervigilance for you. Imagine what I’m like when I’m awake and reading labels. LOL!

  6. I’ve only been diagnosed celiac since June but I’ve had one dream in which I was eating pretzels. I suddenly realize they’re not gluten free and spit them out and am worried I’m going to be sick.

    I wish it had been doughnuts or something I really miss so I could’ve really enjoyed it in my dream. As for pretzels, I’ve found a suitable substitute and am okay with them…never were my favorite food anyway!

  7. I’ve only been diagnosed a couple of months and have these dreams already. For me it’s that I forgot I have celiacs and suddenly remember and panic that I’ve been eating crackers or something.

    I also have recurrent school dreams. Usually it’s that I didn’t know it was the first day back and I’m unprepared. Generally I can’t seem to get to school on time (which often involves trying to run but my legs won’t work right and feel like I’m running through quicksand) can’t find my locker and have no supplies or forgot to do a big assignment (summer homework?). And I graduated 10 years ago so I have no excuse to still be having these.

  8. GD-


    Non-gluten dreams
    1.The college dream where they tell me I am 2 credits short, so I never really graduated.
    2. Adam Levine. I need this to happen more.

    Gluten dream
    1. Toast.

    Cheers y’all-
    Jersey Girl

  9. I have two different types of gluten dreams; one dream is scarier than the other.

    One dream is where I’m eating something only to realize it’s gluten and I can’t get all the pieces out of my mouth. Yes, complete panic sets in and I’m sweating in my dream. I had a dream like that but I was in church camp wearing right khaki pants and I immediately started to bloat. I’m not even a religious person, so the church camp sandwich dreams was weird.

    The scarier dreams are where I want to eat gluten and I’m not frightened in my dream but hungry. I wake up totally freaked out. These specific dreams only happen when I’m sick and post gluten cross contamination. I think it’s the glutomorphine receptors going haywire and stimulating funky dreams.

    Either way, I hate gluten dreams.

  10. It was a long time before I had the dreaded gluten dream other celiacs reported to me. I was eating bread and I knew I had to spit it out but it seemed to be too big in my throat. It was a squishy French baguette–the kind I used to make. (sigh)

    That was only one time. However, before DX when I was very ill, I had nightmares constantly. I barely slept most night for 3 years, often yelling in my sleep and scaring the poor hubs to death, so I’ll take a night’s sleep with the gluten dream any time over that horror. 🙂

    BTW, I have very vivid dreams. Colors, sounds and yes, I can feel textures and smell aromas. All senses are engaged. It’s like going to a cineplex and seeing 8 movies in a row and it is exhausting sometimes.

    I also often have the one where I am not prepared for a final exam or I am trying to find a room where I am supposed to teach and I am searching for it, but never get there. I have dreamed of people I have lost and those are more comforting than scary. But my all time fave dream involved a gorgeous movie star and …..well, perhaps it is best kept secret. lol

  11. Your post is so timely as I had my first dream about gluten last night. All of the women in my family were trying to get me to try this amazing bread in a bakery and wouldn’t let up. So I had a bite of the bread and then was in a panic. The weird thing is that I woke up feeling like I really had been glutened!

  12. This dream is exactly the same as my “I’m having a hot fling even though I’m married” dreams – I ALWAYS remember that I’m married before anything good happens. Same with eating in dreams….I start to dive into a huge basket of fresh, hot, steamy rolls….and then I remember that I can’t eat them or else I’ll be violently ill. Can’t even enjoy it in a dream! What the Heck?!?

  13. Not that often anymore, but for the first year or so I had ‘gluten dreams’ several times. I’d forget I needed to be gluten free, and only remember halfway through eating a pretzel or something like that. Pretty freaky.

  14. I have had several of them, as soon as I realize that I am eating a cracker that is not GF, a huge dread falls over me. That is when I wake up and am so relieved it is only a dream, and I still feel the dread for about 5 min.

    If there was a pill we could take to offset this disease and we could eat gluten; I would fly back to the East coast and find me a Grotto Pizza joint.

  15. OMG! I am glad to hear that I am not the only CRAZED celiac having nightmare/panic attacks about eating something glutenous/poisonous! I wake up shaking & very upset and then I get angry as I will worry about everything I eat/drink (more so than usual) for the next several days! Wow, this disease can be hard! So relieved this community is here to give support.

  16. In reality we went to a restaurant where a guy was going around with a huge basket of hot rolls and was throwing them to people. I got so unnerved by it that everytime he got near me I would throw my crossed arms up like you do to keep a vampire away. For several nights after that in my dreams people were throwing rolls, at home, work, everywhere, everyone.

  17. oh yes, I have these too.
    My last one was a freshly toasted, warm, chewy on the outside, soft in the middle with melty butter … REAL bagel.

    I took one bite and panicked. I immediately sat straight up in bed in a cold sweat with my heart pounding…

    Stupid gluten panic attack dreams.

  18. My recurring version is I’m eating something really good and enjoying it. It’s wonderful! And then it suddenly dawns on me…. hey… wait a minute… This is a piece of pizza! (In my 30s I also became allergic to dairy and nightshades.) And then I panic, as I realize I’ve already eaten too much of it; I can’t do anything about it. I have a version of this with bagels too.

    I’ve also dreamed about getting the “wrong” kind of cake at a party. I forgot to eat my gluten free slice! I ate the real one! How could I have been so thoughtless! In the dream I realize it’s the wrong piece of cake because it’s so moist and delicious, and I’m enjoying the party. I’m relaxed and happy. Then it dawns on me that that’s all wrong. (Sigh.)

  19. I named my first car the “green machine” too! That was 30 years ago and I had forgotten all about it until I read your post. I hope you had as much fun in your green machine as I had in mine!!

  20. I dream all the time that I eat something and after a few bites realize that I’m eating something with gluten in it. It’s never the same thing, one night it’s a cookie, then maybe a slice of pizza, brownie, etc. I always panic in the dream and try to figure out when/how sick I’m going to get. I wish for once I could just enjoy the dream gluten!! Dreams aren’t supposed to mirror real life! (Save the fact that I never intentionally eat gluten…!)

  21. I’ve woke up after a gluten dream in a panic and have to talk myself down off the glutened-ledge. “Darlena, you just woke up! You haven’t eaten any gluten. It was just a dream.”

  22. Oh yes, the dreaded dreams. Any time I am stressed, the final exam without having attended any classes is sure to make an appearance. And for some reason, I have a dream where I’m not really sure I’m pregnant, (maybe I misunderstood the doctor 9 months ago?) until the doctor places my baby in my arms. My youngest is now 16 so I don’t know what’s up with that dream!
    But the gluten dreams always involve a gluten filled product (usually one that wasn’t any good to begin with – gas station donuts anyone?) and unable to enjoy it, or swallow, or spit it out!

  23. Sometimes it’s pizza, but it’s usually a bag of Chex mix. Go figure. I have no idea why I dream of Chex mix. I make my own GF mix in the real world, but in my dreams I’m ripping open huge bags in the grocery store.
    And, a few times a month, my husband will wake up in a cold sweat from “the test dream”.

  24. Haha! I was just telling some of my friends about this. I have one about eating a whole pancake, then remembering I have Celiac’s. Whoops.Then I freak out (in my dream).

    Only when I’m stressed though.

  25. I have to share my gluten dream. I seriously thought I was alone in this insanity. I have never said one word to anyone about my dream so this post makes me feel somewhat saner.

    In mine I am eating pizza. We have a local place that is renowned for the greasiest, cheesiest, tastiest pizza this side of the Mason Dixon and I am there. I am not worried about the dust in the air, or errant crumbs sticking to my fingers and then putting the stupid fingers in my mouth, nothing. I am drooling and inhaling deep. I am thoroughly enjoying the experience.
    The waitress comes out with this enormous pan and I am dancing in the booth. THAT is my pizza!! I mean that too. MINE!!! I am not about to share. I have been in a pizza drought and she is bringing me rain, glorious, cheesy rain.
    She sits it down and then she looks at my chest and sees my badge/sticker thing. It says GF in a barred sign, like no admittance or whatever. I am shocked and then mad because she is taking the d**n thing back. I grab her by the shirt front and beg for a lick of one slice. When she tut-tuts me with her tongue and teeth I grab as much pizza as my hands will hold and I shove them both in my mouth and begin to chew, fast and furious.
    It feels like play dough and is nasty and I can’t get it to go down no matter what I do.
    I look around and see that everyone in the restaurant is staring at me. I flush red as a beet and feel like the back end of a horse. I finally swallow it and as it hits my stomach I feel the pain start. I look around for a bathroom and see a sign that has the worst words in the English language in regards to a bathroom – OUT OF ORDER!
    I have bloated so big I can’t just slide out of the booth and now I have to get out of here and everyone is still staring and I am in urgent need of a bathroom. I wake up before I need a Haz-Mat team but I am terrified. I can’t catch my breath and my heart is pounding. My hands shake so bad I can barely hold a bottle of water. And all of that I could take if only the pizza tasted good.

    O the perks of Celiac!

  26. I’ve only had one gluten dream that I remember, which I thought was really weird because since going gluten free I haven’t really craved any of the things that I thought I would miss.

    But I remember one dream I spent the entire time just eating, eating everything that I couldn’t have. Pasta, pizza, sandwiches; you name it, I ate it. And then after gorging myself it finally occurred to me that I couldn’t have gluten, and everything I’d ate had been filled with it. I woke up right away, confused as hell, and spent the next few days unsure of if I actually ate any of that or not, it was so vivid.

    So yeah, I definitely understand.

  27. Yup, I have recurring gluten dreams. I eat pasta, which I hate anyway, or bread or whatever and totally freak out. The most interesting thing is that these gluten dreams have completely replaced the dreams I used to have pre-diagnosis of my teeth breaking and falling out. They say tooth dreams are expressing a sense of powerlessness and I think it’s the same as with the gluten dreams. We can try and try and try to stay away from it, but we’re at the mercy of everything we put into our mouths and everyone who tells us it’s safe for us to eat.

  28. I dream about gluten, too. August was my 1 year gf anniversary. Starting last August I would dream I accidentally ate gluten. I would FREAK when I realized. There are 2 scenarios:

    (1) I eat something I’ve been told was gluten free but discover it really isn’t. Then I TOTALLY FREAK. I think this type of dreams are because, in real life people are always saying something like, “This turkey and dressing is gluten free,” then I discover the empty cream of mushroom soup in the trash and OOPS! “Oh! I forgot. I’m SO sorry!”

    (2) I casually pick up a cookie from a platter at a party. Usually I realize whay I’ve done as the first bite is dissolving in my mouth. I’m grabbing a napkn to spit it out, panicked.

    You ever see a toddler reaching out toward a forbidden object saying, “No. No. No?” They are talking to themselves, reinforcing the rules, even as their natural instinct is to give in and do it. I think those dreams are our way of reinforcing the taboo! I no longer walk through convenience stores quietly chanting “poison, poison, poison,” so my subconcious mind has to occasionally push the issue tobkeep me on my toes.

  29. Here’s a couple of strange ones my dad had several years before my diagnosis.

    First one: He saw a woman & child walking through a harvested wheat field & knew they were suffering from famine. The he just KNEW it was me and my son.

    A few years later he dreamed there were several members of our extended family sitting under a tree (“family tree”)…. even including some inlaws. A voice said, “These people are not supposed to eat wheat.” Daddy said he knew the group included himself and me and probably my son, and named a couple of others he thought were there. He felt the voice was God speaking.

    He stopped eating wheat after that. He used to get terrible boils and sinus & eye infections and attacks of gout. After drastically reducing wheat those ailments went away. Sometimes he gets lax about it & he’ll get an attack of gout or sonething that reminds him. He’s never been a gluten watch dog but I’m sure he is WAY healthier than he would have been without his serious wheat reduction.

    I KNEW the dream meant me. I looked up “wheat allergy” online and found out about Celiac. The things people said about “not one crumb or it’s pointless” and how reluctant doctors are to test for it scared me so much I freaked and just tried to forget. We need to be a little more careful what we say, because people who are SO sick and exhausted as I was may not be able to handle it. I truly believe cutting back on gluten 10 years ago could have slowed my deterioration and I would have maybe gained enough strength and mental clarity to make the next step when I saw improvement. Please understand I’m not advocating a diagnosed Celiac “just cutting back,” but a “baby steps” progression is defolinitely better than freaking out and giving up.

    It was several years before I got the nerve to ask to be tested. The doctor tested based on the fact that I told him I was hypothyroid and several in my family have autoimmune diseases, and my dad’s sister had epilepsy.

    My son tested negative but has the symptoms. My sister refuses to request to be tested even as she falls apart physically. One inlaw from under the “family tree” is diagnosed Celiac. Others have related issues.

    I’ll probably clean this up post this on my blog & Examiner.com since I finally took the time type it up. But you heard it uere first, on Gluten Dude. I’ll be sure to link back to this article so my readers can get the benefit of GF Dude’s wisdom & wit and all these great comments!

  30. I have never dreamed of eating gluten until just now. Woke up dreaming of eating a bite of a huge, I mean huge, pie. Took the bite, held it in my mouth, looked at my husband with panic on my face and then spit it out. In front of the waiter, no less. Waiter was so concerned he brought me a cup of ceviche. Don’t ask me why ceviche instead of pie!

    I am sure this was a response to me reading this post last night and returning from a particularly challenge trip starting this past Sunday, with being glutened no less than 3 (count them….3!) times. Quinoa salad from the deli at Whole Foods…Chipotle burrito bowl…and I don’t know what, where, when or how for the third one. I feel like a truck ran over me.

  31. I definitely do.. just the other night I had a dream I gotten tired of feeling bad all the time.If that is the way it’s going to be I might as well eat whatever I want I am going to be sick anyway!! So I grabbed a huge yeast roll , was determined to eat the whole thing . I took one bit- came to myself and spit it out.. ran to wash out my mouth. I was in a panic thinking, “oh God what have I done!!”.. I woke up a cold sweat, waiting for the vomiting and stomach pain to start.. then I realized it was only a dream- not a fun way to start the day!!

  32. I had my first gluten-related dream last night. In it I was at some sort of fancy function up high at some skyscraper, and the chef told me that the only safe option for me was this small pile of rocket leaves. I was really hungry and had made the mistake of not eating anything beforehand, so I was pretty devastated. Then I turned a corner and saw the Tenth Doctor (my favourite character in my favourite TV show, Doctor Who) hunched over a computer. I told him about my situation, he understood, and then it turned into a Doctor Who dream for what felt like ten minutes before my alarm clock went off.

    Strangely, I never touched the rocket in the end!

  33. Lol! That’s so funny. I dream of gluten sometimes too, but I dream about how much I miss it!! Thick crusty bread, lasagna from Olive Garden, or a nice pizza from my local pizza joint! OMG, I think I woke up salivating!

  34. Oh dear, I woke up this morning with the urge to google “I dream about gluten” and I was almost laughing at myself because of how absurd it seemed at the time. Since going GF 3 weeks ago I have dreamed no less than 5 times that I accidentally ate gravy or something and went in a state of panic when I realized it was probably full of wheat-based thickener. I am so glad I’m not alone lol!!! These dreams are so vivid, and darn it I wish I was having a croissant or something delicious, not gravy!

  35. Hah! I thought I was the only one in the world with these dreams! I Googled it today after having another one last night. Started out as a normal dream, then all of a sudden I had bought a normal bread and eaten an entire loaf. I remember thinking in the dream “what’s wrong with me, I KNOW I’m allergic???”
    Difference is, with my gluten dreams I ALWAYS make myself throw up. Which is something I am unable to do in real life, I hate gagging. But every gluten dream, I make myself throw up to get rid of it. In last night’s dream tho, I wasn’t quick enough and some got in my system because I can’t uldnt throw up properly.

    I think these dreams are due to being so anal and neurotic about checking everything, but in my vomiting case I think there are more aspects, like trying to get rid of feelings, emotions, etc.

    I’m glad I’m not alone in having these dreams, lol.:)

  36. Omg!!! I’ve been gluten free for 181 days and I had one of those dreams last night! I was eating a burger with a big gluteny bun and thin I realize, CRAP it’s not gluten free. I start to panic and my moms like I thought you knew it had gluten and I was freaking out because in real life I have a count of how many days I’ve been gluten free and i was thinking I would have to start over. Gosh it was scary, but at least I didn’t get itchy in my dream lol

  37. I’ve been intermittently wheat-free. After a couple years off the wagon I’m cutting it out of my diet again because the weight and fatigue and skin issues are not worth it and I know when I don’t eat it I feel healthier.

    Anyway I stumbled on this post because I just woke up from a dream that involved eating licorice, delicious cherry (wheat-full!) licorice and midway through the binge I think, “shit! No!”

    Which reminded me of a dream where I’m in front of a fridge and it has little cakes and sweet breads and I took no prisoners, and when I woke up, for a moment I thought that I actually just raided a fridge. I was mortified.

  38. Dude, why would Jenifer Esposito have gluten in her restaurant? She’s your friend , she wouldn’t do that to you!!! (And there is still no gluten free beer in the village of Haliburton. )

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Who I am. And who I'm not.

Who I am. And who I'm not.

I AM someone who's been gluten-free since 2007 due to a diagnosis of severe celiac disease. I'm someone who can steer you in the right direction when it comes to going gluten-free. And I'm someone who will always give you the naked truth about going gluten free.

I AM NOT someone who embraces this gluten-free craziness. I didn’t find freedom, a better life or any of that other crap when I got diagnosed. With all due respect to Hunter S. Thompson, I found fear and loathing of an unknown world. But if I can share my wisdom, tell my stories and make the transition easier on you, I’ve done my job.

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