Before Going Gluten Free, Read This!

July 10, 2013

Whole Wheat BreadConsidering a gluten free diet? It’s the latest trend in health, weight loss, etc., but does that mean you need to jump on board?

Maybe…estimates of how many people have Celiac Disease (a true allergy to gluten) or are just gluten intolerant are going up. But there’s an important catch…

Don’t self diagnose. Why? Because if you have a true gluten intolerance (or worse, full blown Celiac Disease) you could really hurt yourself by not knowing definitively. (Testing is pretty quick and easy, by the way). Plus, you need to make sure that you replace the starch you’re cutting out in a healthy way, which is really hard to do with American food.

People with true Celiac Disease can’t be exposed to even a speck of gluten—they need their food prepared separately, with equipment that’s never touched gluten (or that has since been very very thoroughly cleaned). For them, a definitive diagnosis is crucial since it will require a lot of maintenance to stay healthy.

But if you think you have gluten intolerance? Still get tested. Some people are misdiagnosing themselves, but others do have a gluten intolerance, and it’s often accompanied by other problems. For instance, corn sensitivity. Many people skipping gluten (wheat and other grains) are filling that hole in their diet with corn products (even unknowingly) and ending up with the same problems they started with!

Your doctor can help you figure out a diet that works with your GI Tract. Try to steer clear of filling the gap with processed sugar. It’s always best to know your problems definitively so your actions are 100% informed.

Have you experimented with an elimination diet?

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