Gluten-free seems to be everywhere these days, from grocery store shelves to restaurant menus. Is it just marketing to entice people to adopt the latest diet fad, or is there something more to it?
Facts about gluten
According to recent research compiled by WebMD.com, approximately 1 percent of the population is thought to be suffering from celiac disease (http://www.webmd.com/diet/healthy-kitchen-11/truth-about-gluten). Celiac disease is a condition in which the body is unable to process gluten, a type of protein in wheat. This condition can manifest in many ways such as bloating, irritable bowel syndrome, body pain, and even intestinal cancers. It can cause very serious problems in the sufferer. In order to get relief, those suffering from celiac disease must try to remove all gluten from their diet.
It has also been estimated that approximately five percent of the population is thought to be gluten intolerant. This means that gluten causes some symptoms or problems such as skin rashes and stomach issues but is not life threatening. it is suggested that people that are gluten intolerant should try removing the amount, or eliminating altogether, gluten from the diet. These steps could help with the symptoms and improve the quality of life.
Giving up, or reducing intake of gluten has many benefits. Even those who have no intolerance or celiac disease can go gluten free. It’s important to make sure you replace the potential vitamins that might be missed by eliminating gluten. As always, check with your doctor before beginning any dietary change.
Going gluten free
As mentioned, check with your doctor before beginning any diet changes. It is also a good idea to be tested for gluten intolerance and/or celiac disease. If you suspect that gluten might impacting your health in a negative way, it’s always best to be tested by your doctor. It may be helpful to find a doctor that specializes in this so that you can be assured that the proper tests are being administered to specifically target the impact of gluten in your diet and on your health.
Benefits of giving up gluten
If you’ve been tested for gluten intolerance or celiac disease, the benefits of removing gluten from your diet may seem obvious. It’s important to remember, though, that some people who give up gluten do not experience any difference in their health immediately, while for others, change becomes apparent early on. It can take a long time for the gut to heal from the damage caused by the gluten. This is especially true if for those living with celiac disease. You will want to work with your doctor on specific protocols for diet if you have been diagnosed with the disease.
That said, it has been reported that benefits of going gluten free include improved digestion, weight loss, clearer skin and overall better health. Giving up gluten is not just a fad for those suffering with celiac disease or who have tested as gluten intolerant. It is, indeed, a health choice and not a fad.