Gluten-Free Eating - Another Fad?
There was a big article in last week’s Irish Times entitled “Irish people are wasting millions on gluten-free fad”, which you may have read. (http://www.irishtimes.com/news/ireland/irish-news/irish-people-wasting-millions-on-gluten-free-fad-says-doctor-1.3054291) It raised some very valid points, including:
People follow a gluten-free diet because certain celebrities are endorsing it, meaning people are “gullible” to dietary advice from pretty much anybody
People spend over and above for gluten-free foods, which are not always a healthier option. They are often as high or even higher in sugar than standard gluten-containing varieties
People follow the gluten-free diet without a clear need for it, and often don’t follow it strictly, making it pretty ineffective.
These raised points were very valid and certainly need to be discussed to help people understand more about gluten and following a gluten-free diet.
The condition on which the body has grown intolerant of gluten is called coeliac. A scope and blood test will confirm diagnosis. This will be carried out by your GP or consultant. While these tests are reliable, it is commonly acknowledged in the medical profession that “non-coeliac gluten-intolerance” definitely exists.
We also know that coeliac goes along with other auto-immune conditions such as diabetes, overweight, arthritis. Diabetics are routinely scanned for coeliac. Coeliac can develop spontaneously or over years.
Many people are reporting a reduction in digestive upsets when stopping gluten. This is definitely more than a perceived benefit from excluding gluten. This can happen despite a person being diagnosed coeliac.
Coeliac cannot be diagnosed by Food Intolerance tests, but these tests can detect antibodies against gluten in your blood. They are not able to diagnose a true food allergy, yet can help identify offending foods. They should not be performed alone at home, but should only be carried out with proper advice either in a pharmacy or with a qualified practitioner who has received proper training on the test.
Symptoms of gluten-intolerance are varied and often vague, including tummy aches, gas, bloating, alternating diarrhoea/constipation, muscle soreness, stiff joints, mind fog, lack of energy, low moods, general unexplained feeling of being unwell.
If you think you have trouble digesting gluten properly or wish to carry out a Food Intolerance Test contact me for help, www.grassrootsnutrition.ie