GlutinFree Diets Gaining In Popularity

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by gapsych, Aug 20, 2008.

  1. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    GlutinFree Diets Gaining In Popularity

    This article has a balanced viewpoint. I found it interesting as I was just tested for Celiac which fortunately came out negative.


    By Kim Painter, USA TODAY

    Meet the latest dietary bad boy: gluten.
    Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye and barley. It causes some people serious health problems. But those people don't seem to be the only ones buying the gluten-free beer and brownies suddenly for sale everywhere. Consider:

    • Marketers estimate that 15% to 25% of consumers want gluten-free foods — though doctors estimate just 1% have celiac disease, the best-defined and most severe form of gluten intolerance, says Cynthia Kupper, executive director of the non-profit Gluten Intolerance Group of North America (

    • When Oprah Winfrey undertook a "21-day cleanse" this summer, she eliminated meat, dairy, sugar, caffeine — and gluten.

    • Gluten-free diets are catching on at colleges, says Dee Sandquist, a registered dietitian in Vancouver, Wash., and a spokeswoman for the American Dietetic Association.

    "There is a fad aspect," says Kupper, who also is a registered dietitian. (Both Kupper and Sandquist have celiac disease.)

    What can possibly be behind a fad that has college kids giving up pizza and bagels?

    One answer is that true gluten intolerance, once thought rare, is getting overdue attention. In 2003, just 40,000 Americans had been diagnosed with celiac disease; today, it's 110,000 — and, if everyone with the disease were diagnosed, it would be 3 million, says Alessio Fasano, medical director of the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research in Baltimore.

    Fasano and other researchers also believe that some people who don't have celiac disease — an immune disorder detected through a blood test and intestinal biopsy — do, nonetheless, have some gluten intolerance or sensitivity, causing symptoms ranging from bloating to rashes. (Note: Fasano is testing a pill that could allow affected people to eat gluten without symptoms; others also are testing medications.)

    "If you say 'Gluten and I do not agree,' you may be right," Fasano says.

    But many gluten shunners may have no real trouble with gluten, Sandquist says. Instead, they feel better because they consume fewer fast and processed foods, which tend to contain gluten. "They are eating more fruits and vegetables," she says, which is a good thing.

    Another good thing: The trend has produced more gluten-free versions of foods the truly intolerant would otherwise have to give up.

    "There are cereals, there are breads, there are pastas — the difference is amazing," says Elaine Monarch, who was diagnosed with celiac disease in 1981 and founded the non-profit Celiac Disease Foundation (

    But there are downsides:

    • Some people diagnosing themselves with gluten intolerance really have it — but, by going on an unsupervised gluten-free diet, are masking the signs that would allow a doctor to get an exact diagnosis and look for related problems, such as fragile bones, says Peter Green, director of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University in New York.

    • Gluten avoiders may end up short on vitamins.

    • Gluten-free specialty foods are expensive.

    • A poorly planned gluten-free diet also can be fattening. Manufacturers aiming for a yummy wheat-free bagel or bread often rely on fat to replace gluten, Sandquist says.

    Dietitians increasingly advise true sufferers to limit such substitutes and instead follow a "naturally gluten-free diet," Kupper says.
  2. SpiroSpero

    SpiroSpero New Member

    diet was one of the few things that really helped me. gluten destroys my concentration but I don't know through which mechanism (highly reactive peptides that leak into the blood stream maybe).
  3. bunnyfluff

    bunnyfluff Member

    I was told I had Celiac's in the begining. I was given the "gold standard" test~ endoscopy which showed my villi flattened and destroyed.

    I eliminated gluten in all forms after going to the Celiac site. Hidden gluten is very difficult to eradicate b/c it can be called "natural flavoring". While it did lift my mood, it never relieved my pain, etc.

    So, then I was told I had FMS and eventually CFS.

    But, now that I was FINALLY Dx'd with Lyme and in treatment for Lyme, I can eat gluten with no ill effects. The Lyme was responsible for destroying my intestinal tract. It is one of the most permeable areas for the spirochette to pass thru.

    I had the food allergy blood tests done, and I was surprised that gluten was not one of the "bad" foods for me. That was very telling.

    Many people have intolerances to gluten without being full-blown Celiac. Many people will never know if they feel better without gluten, b/c the hidden forms are tough to cull out.

    The best thing you can do is eat as closely to nature as possible. All of the chemicals and additives are not condusive to our health, anyway.

  4. msSusan

    msSusan Member

    I tested negative to celiac "sprue" test but I do believe I have Non-Celiac Gluten Intolerence.

    I have pain issues when I try to eat wheat, rye, barley and possibly oats (can have cross contamination with wheat)

    I take digestive enzymes but that doesn't seem to help with gluten intolerences. I also have a problem eating eggs, soy, corn, nuts and SUGARs.
  5. gapsych

    gapsych New Member

    This is really strange. I just talked to my daughter in California and she is starting a gluten free diet. I think she thinks she will lose weight when she is 100 pounds soaking wet. But knowong her she will balance it out with fresh food.

    I guess I have been blessed in that I have never had any digestion problems. I have maybe had heartburn once or twice. Not even when pregnant. Go figure.

    I do have a friend who had colitis which is now resolved with a colostomy. She is very diligent about what she eats.

    She was diagnosed decades ago, in her teens. and at that time they told her there she had a "colitis personality". Geeze, at least now it is not thought of in those terms.

    At least I hope.

    She has been fine since the colostomy and that was forty years ago.


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