Gluten-free has been all the rage these days. The news, social media along with the food industry have convinced us that gluten-free is our future. So does the data agree with this? Should we be going gluten-free?
What do we already know?
Years and years of data has shown us that patients with Celiac disease should NOT eat Gluten. Celiac disease is an immune reaction to products containing gluten. People with Celiac disease who eat gluten, they develop abdominal pain/distention, foul-smelling diarrhea (as if all stool didn’t already smell foul), amongst a host of other symptoms. All in all, pretty bad news! Unless you enjoy that sort of thing, in which case, you may need a psychiatrist.
What about everyone else?
Since 2015, when the anti-gluten movement picked up, researchers began to look at non-celiac related gluten sensitivity. This refers to patients who have symptoms related to ingestion of gluten containing foods without Celiac disease. These symptoms include excess pain, bloating, flatulence, belching, borborygmus (embarrassing noises that your abdomen makes), diarrhea, heartburn, and nausea to name a few.
While this is still controversial diagnosis, it is picking up momentum in the Gastroenterology field.
For those of you with NO SYMPTOMS considering gluten-free diets, be aware that there is not enough research confirming any health benefits. The only thing affected will be your wallet.
So, what should you do?
- See your primary care doctor or Gastroenterology to review your symptoms. Please do not continue to self diagnose using blogs like this!
- Keep a food journal: this would include what you ate, symptoms, and timing. There is a great app called mySymptoms Food Diary & Symptom Tracker that even runs an analysis to pick up on patterns.
- Get Checked for Celiac disease. What if it’s negative?
- Go gluten free anyways and see how you feel
- If you get dramatically better, you might have non-celiac sensitivity
- If you get marginally better, you might have multiple food allergies
If you guys have any questions/comments, feel free to let me know below. I would love to hear your thoughts.