The Guide You Need to Identify Gluten Hidden Forms in Products that Are Not Food

by Mariana Lessmann

Gluten-free food. You have heard that a lot right?  

If you are celiac, those may be the words you often hear the most.  

“This bread is gluten-free”, “those cookies have no gluten”, “that cake is not made with wheat flour”, “stay away of gluten-based food because that’s what makes you feel sick”.  

Phrases like that I bet you hear all the time.  

People telling you what you “can” eat in order for you to not feel sick. Waiters at restaurants trying to sell you gluten-free menus. Sometimes being celiac can be overwhelming.  

You do your best to stick to a safe diet for your celiac disease.  

But despite eating gluten-free food, you still get sick.  

Your body starts experiencing symptoms like stomach ache, skin rash, irritability, mood swings, brain fog, anxiety, depression, bloating, gas, diarrhea and fatigue.  

You get frustrated because even though you are eating a strict gluten-free diet, you are still getting sick, very sick actually.  

So something is wrong and you need to find out what it is.  

The first thing you need to know is that gluten is not only present in food. It would be easier if it was like that, wouldn’t it? But unfortunately there are many products different from food that contain this enemy you need to fight and that causes so many uncomfortable symptoms in your body. 

When buying non-food products, watch out for the following ingredients because they may contain gluten:  

  • Beta glucan  
  • Cocodimonium hydroxypropyl hydrolyzed 
  • Dextrin 
  • Hordeum distichon  
  • Triticum Vulgare  
  • Hordeum Vulgare  
  • Avena Sativa 
  • Pregelatinized starch  
  • Secale cereale  
  • Sodium lauroyl oat amino acid 
  • Sodium starch glycolate 
  • Xantham gum  
  • Yeast extract

You need to know how to recognize your enemy everywhere, so let’s start by identifying gluten hidden forms in the following products that are not food.  

1. Cosmetics

Cosmetics are a very common source of hidden gluten, so women, watchout when you put some makeup on.  

Anything you apply to your lips, whether it’s a lipstick or chapstick, gets ingested, therefore you can get sick.  

Same warning for men who are celiac, if you have a girlfriend or wife who often wears something on her lips, be careful when kissing her because you could get sick if the lipstick contains gluten and goes straight to your mouth.  

But not only lip balms contain gluten, other different type of cosmetics like foundations, concealers, eyeshadows and blushes can contain too.  

You need to read the ingredients on the label to see if there is presence of wheat, rye or barley.  

Normally you won’t find the word “gluten” on it, you will probably find their scientific names: 

  • Triticum Vulgare (wheat) 
  • Hordeum Vulgare (barley) 
  • Avena Sativa (oatmeal)

So if you are celiac, when buying cosmetics be aware of the ingredients those products contain.  

2. Hygiene Products

It may be unbelievable to think that even hygiene products can contain gluten. The truth is that gluten is in more places than you could possibly imagine. When buying hygiene products like dental sealants, mouthwash, toothpaste, shampoo, hair conditioner and soap, always carefully read the labels to see if one of the ingredients are wheat, rye or barley.  

3. Medicines

Yes, if you are celiac you should always be careful with anything you ingest, even medicines. Although it may not happen very often you taking medicines, if they contain gluten, they will make you sick. Watch out for medicines that have flavors because they are more likely to contain gluten, and ask the pharmacist to check the list of ingredients for allergens to be sure if they are safe for you. Oral medications in the form of capsules are a potential source of gluten because they contain excipients ingredients which make the tablet have a particular form. If you see any of the following inactive ingredients on a medicine’s label, consult with a Doctor because they may be sourced from wheat, rye or barley and you will have to find another alternative: 

  • Wheat 
  • Modified starch 
  • Pregelatinized starch 
  • Pregelatinized modified starch  
  • Dextrates  
  • Dextrin 
  • Dextrimaltose  
  • Caramel coloring  

4. Vitamin Supplements 

Vitamin supplements are another source of gluten hidden in products that are not food. When reading the ingredients on the label, watch out for the following terms that may be grain based fillers and may contain gluten: 

  • Wheat germ 
  • Food glaze 
  • Food starch 
  • Maltodextrin 
  • MSG 
  • Hydrolyzed vegetable protein 
  • Textured plant protein 
  • Artificial flavors and colors 
  • Natural flavors 
  • Dextrin  

5. Play-doh

If you have children with gluten intolerance, be careful when letting them play with play-doh, the popular colored mixture of water, salt and flour for making shapes, because one of their ingredients is wheat. If you want to keep your kids away from this gluten containing product, there are many ways of making homemade dough with safe ingredients.  

by Mariana Lessmann


We are Mariana Lessmann and Matt Ackerson.

Mariana graduated from Communications & Journalism in Caracas, Venezuela, and has over 10 years of experience as a writer. She has worked on Digital Marketing, and for over 10 prestigious Cable Television Channels aired in Latin America. Matt graduated from Cornell University in New York. He started his own company in 2010, and has been running it by himself since then. Matt is an expert in Marketing, Sales, and creating 6-Figure Funnels for online businesses.

Over the past year we decided to start a company together and created "Vookies", that later expanded and became "Be Breader". We have been helping celiacs around the world to optimize and improve their health by incorporating safe and delicious meals into their daily menus.


Let's start eating delicious and safe!

Your health can change today.