Excellent Article

This is an excellent article about gluten sensitivity. I am asked often why so many people seem to be developing a gluten intolerance, and why someone would want to switch to a GF diet. After all, it’s not easy or inexpensive, so there must be benefits to an individual or it wouldn’t be worthwhile. I believe everyones reasons are unique to themselves, and there is a sliding scale of sensitivity each person must figure out. Some lucky folks may try out an elimination diet and discover they see no changes at all.

I also believe we are only at the beginning of the discovery of why and how wheat/gluten is creating reactions in some people, and not others. In our society, when a person tells you they are intolerant of dairy or peanuts, we don’t question them and assume they are jumping on a fad. If someone is a vegetarian or vegan, we presume that person knows what is best for themselves, whether it be for moral or physical reasons. Eventually as more is learned, I hope things settle out and gluten intolerance joins the ranks of any other food intolerance.

Two years ago, at the recommendation of a nutritionist, I stopped eating wheat and a few other grains. Within a matter of days the disabling headaches and fatigue that I had been suffering for months vanished. Initially my gastroenterologist interpreted this resolution of my symptoms as a sign that I perhaps suffered from celiac disease, a peculiar disorder in which the immune system attacks a bundle of proteins found in wheat, barley and rye that are collectively referred to as gluten. The misdirected assault ravages and inflames the small intestine, interfering with the absorption of vital nutrients and thereby causing bloating, diarrhea, headaches, tiredness and, in rare cases, death. Yet several tests for celiac disease had come back negative. Rather my doctors concluded that I had nonceliac “gluten sensitivity,” a relatively new diagnosis. The prevalence of gluten sensitivity is not yet clear, but some data suggest it may afflict as many as 6 percent of Americans, six times the number of people with celiac disease…

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