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Let me introduce myself. My name is Mark Sisson. I’m 63 years young. I live and work in Malibu, California. In a past life I was a professional marathoner and triathlete. Now my life goal is to help 100 million people get healthy. I started this blog in 2006 to empower people to take full responsibility for their own health and enjoyment of life by investigating, discussing, and critically rethinking everything we’ve assumed to be true about health and wellness...

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September 04, 2013

This Gluten-Free Thing Is a Really Overblown Fad!

By Mark Sisson
511 Comments

Gluten FreeThis is a comment I’m starting to see more and more often. Go to any news article about gluten and the comment section will be littered with angry outbursts and outright vitriol for people who go gluten-free. Skeptical blogs love to trot out posts lambasting and ridiculing the “gluten-free fad.” And from what I can tell, nothing inspires a contemptible eye-roll like a person asking a waiter in a restaurant if they have gluten-free options. By some stretch of the known laws of cause-and-effect, the removal of gluten from someone’s diet apparently causes irreparable harm to people with knowledge of the decision and deserves unequivocal reprobation. Otherwise, why else would they care so much?

Well, gluten-free is clearly more popular than ever. More and more people are becoming aware of it. Google searches for “gluten” have been trending higher month over month for years, while the number of searches for “celiac” has plateaued. 30% of American adults are actively trying to reduce or eliminate gluten from their diets, according to a recent pollGluten-free dating sites are popping up to help gluten-free dieters match up with people who share their situation. The FDA’s just weighed in with some official standards for gluten-labeling. It’s everywhere, in other words. It’s arrived. It’s popular. And whenever anything gets popular, people immediately begin hating it. I’m not sure why that is, really, but it’s a known human phenomenon. Couple that with your already annoying co-worker droning endlessly on about this new diet she’s on, and I can see how someone might get a bit annoyed at all the gluten-free talk.

But is the vitriol really necessary? Does its popularity invalidate it as a legitimate therapeutic option for people with a sensitivity or downright intolerance to gluten? Should incurious cynics masquerading as skeptics be so quick to dismiss it?

Okay, maybe sometimes people can be a bit evangelical about avoiding gluten, and that’s unpleasant. And sometimes, people can’t give you a straight answer when you grill them on exactly why they’re avoiding gluten. I’d wonder why you felt it was your place to “grill them” in the first place, of course, but there is that subset of the population who takes umbrage at people making health decisions without conducting randomized controlled trials, being able to cite research by memory, and consulting the authorities.

I’ll also admit that the prospect of marketers taking over and appropriating the movement for their own benefit concerns me. For many people, a “gluten-free” label unfortunately bestows a cachet of health onto whatever processed food it graces. Potato chips? They’re gluten-free! Triple-chocolate brownie mud slide fudge-topped soy flour locust bean gum explosion? Gluten-free! Eat without guilt! Gluten-free bread that makes up for the lack of gluten’s texturizing power with a half cup of soybean oil? Go for it! Even foods that never contained gluten in the first place, like Cheetos, and hummus, are getting the gluten-free label to capitalize on the trend.

On one hand, it’s like the fat-free labeling craze, where you had fat-free cookies with twice the sugar, fat-free yogurt with thrice the sugar, fat-free salad dressing with whatever sorcery they incorporated to make that possible. And people ate those things with willful abandon, confident that “fat-free” was a synonym for “healthy” – and obesity rates continued to rise. Heck, the fat-free movement most likely exacerbated America’s obesity problem. I can understand why people who mistrust food marketing would be skeptical of gluten-free in general.

Of course, there is an important difference that distinguishes gluten-free from other faddish, market-driven diets: you don’t actually need gluten-free products to go gluten-free. The fat-free movement turned people off of legitimately healthy nutrient-dense foods like beef, eggs, butter, nuts, avocados, and olive oil just because they contained fat, whereas going gluten-free doesn’t remove a vital, essential nutrient or food. In fact, it can even increase your intake of nutrients, assuming you replace the gluten-containing foods with naturally gluten-free meat, fish, fruits, vegetables, and nuts rather than gluten-free junk food. In my experience, gluten-free consumers are more informed about health in general and do the former.

Amidst all the marketing speak, the gluten-free water, the gnashing of teeth upon discovering that the person you’re talking to avoids gluten, real science is being done, and any honest, literate person who looks at the available evidence on the health effects of gluten will admit that there’s something to this “fad.” And yet, I’m increasingly struck by the unwillingness of intelligent people to acknowledge the reams of research coming out every week exploring the effects of gluten on non-celiacs.

It couldn’t be that non-celiac gluten sensitivity is real and we don’t know how many people actually have it as the epidemiology is too new and underdeveloped. It can’t possibly be that gluten-free diets might reduce adiposity/inflammation via epigenetic effects (potentially reaching across generational lines). There’s no way that gluten free diets help non-celiac IBS patients who had no preconceived notions of gluten-free dieting (and thus no risk of being influence by the hype). And that case study of the child with type 1 diabetes going into remission with a gluten free diet? Let’s just sweep that under the rug and completely forget about it. Oh, what about the link between autism and non-celiac gluten sensitivity? Doesn’t exist. PubMed is a liar. Those autistic kids with GI symptoms who do respond positively to a gluten-free diet? They don’t, and the study you just thought you read is a figment of your imagination. All that hubbub about modern dwarf wheat being more allergenic than ever is also nonsense. Besides needing a stool to reach the top shelf, modern wheat is totally identical to older wheat and is no more allergenic.

Another popular canard is the “celiac is too rare for most people to worry about” one. Well, about that: the latest research out of Australia (a remarkably gluten-conscious country) shows that celiac is far more prevalent than previously thought and about 50 percent of the population carries the genetic markers associated with gluten sensitivity. Scientists used a combination of traditional antibody testing (which measures the immune response to gluten) with analysis of genetic risk factors for celiac to reach their conclusions. Not everyone with risk factors actually displayed gluten intolerance or celiac disease, of course, but the presumption is that some combination of environmental factors – inflammatory diet, damaged gut microbiome, etc. – could trigger its expression. (Epigenetics rears its head yet again.) Most people skeptical of gluten-free diets take an “either you are or you aren’t” stance on gluten sensitivity or celiac disease, while the results of the Australian research would suggest that it’s far more dynamic and that a large portion of the population can develop issues with gluten given the right (or wrong) environmental context.

Nope, forget all that research: it’s just people latching onto a fad. It’s just nearly a third of Americans going gluten-free because Miley Cyrus did it (I eagerly await widespread adoption of twerking by millions of soccer moms). It’s millions of people sticking with a dietary regimen that offers no tangible benefits and actually makes them actively unhealthier. And if there is a benefit, it’s all in their heads.

I guess it’s easier to pick on the easy targets and ignore the people with evidence. It’s easy to dismiss the entire movement because of a few misinformed trend-followers, but it’s dishonest. Look – I’m all for the denunciation of health fads and trends that don’t make sense and are based on spurious claims, but not everything that’s popular is bad.

My favorite thing is when “concerned health experts” caution against starting a gluten-free diet without talking to your doctor, paying for a test to determine a gluten allergy, and consulting with a registered dietitian. As if giving up bread, pasta, and cake for more animals and plants is a dangerous undertaking that requires professional assistance. As if removing gluten and feeling loads better only to feel terrible upon a chance reintroduction is an unreliable way to determine if you should go gluten-free.

Here’s why I welcome the explosion in gluten-free awareness, even if it all amounts to a whole lot of nothing for some people: it leads to an overall more healthy diet. Even if you can eat gluten without incident, even if your gut flora is able to cleave gluten in twain for easy digestion, you will still get more nutrients by replacing your grain products with more meat, seafood, vegetables, roots, and fruit. Sure, you’ve got the folks who go gluten-free by swapping in gluten-free versions of all their favorite foods and end up eating nutrient bereft diets full of refined alternative flours, but I think they’re in the minority for a few reasons.

First, gluten-free junk food tastes worse than the originals, although that’s changing as the market grows and food producers improve their methods.

Second, gluten-free products are generally more expensive than the regular products.

Third, in my experience, people who go gluten-free usually stumble into a Primal way of eating. The way I see it playing out is you have sweet potatoes or rice instead of rolls at dinner. You go with a real corn tortilla or lettuce wrap tacos instead of burritos. Instead of buying all that gluten-free bread that turns into dust at the slightest touch, you spend the money on meat and vegetables. You go out to eat at a burger joint and maybe they don’t have the gluten-free bun that day, so you have the patty on a salad and realize it’s not such a bad way to eat – and you stick with it.

I’ve read the studies. I’ve consulted the experts (who are actually studying this stuff). I’ve witnessed the incredibly positive changes in thousands of readers, friends, family members, and clients who gave up gluten (and most grains for that matter). Heck, I’ve felt it myself. Is there something to this whole gluten-free thing?

I’d say so, yeah.

What about you?

TAGS:  gluten, marketing

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456 Comments on "This Gluten-Free Thing Is a Really Overblown Fad!"

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Harry Mossman
3 years 3 months ago
I had gone gluten free long before the Primal Blueprint even existed, although I cheated some. But going back long before that, for many decades of my life I sneered at people claiming to have “allergies.” It was a case of denial. Somewhere inside I knew that wheat products were making me sick. After a plate of pasta, I would be very sick for 3 days. After a friend’s “intervention,” I admitted the truth. So, reacting to gluten isn’t “all in my head.” I am, thankfully, not celiac, but more than a tiny bit of bread makes me sick. Thanks… Read more »
kayceepee
kayceepee
3 years 3 months ago

Agree whole heartedly. My skin peels off of my face and my entire body swells. I’ve both knees replaced at 47 and had to have both thumbs surgically reconstructed. My fingers, toes, hips and shoulders ache for days after consuming gluten products.

Ali
Ali
3 years 3 months ago

The skin peels off your face and your joints ache? ME TOO! And everyone acts like I’m crazy… Sorry, it’s just validating to see someone else with similar symptoms, though I think yours may be more severe than mine at this time.

peggywh0
3 years 2 months ago
What a great article! Boy, it says ALL the things I have been saying for years! To make matters more interesting (??!!) I also have a bad reaction to dairy products. (But this was ignored too for quite a while until I started vomiting almost immediately – and then of course I am TOO SICK to clean up. HA!) I have had people grilling me about my (fad of) gluten and dairy intolerances (also soy products which generally make me feel decidedly unwell) (In hindsight I now realize that I have had these problems all my life and not in… Read more »
Dave
Dave
3 years 2 days ago

I think it’s the condescending attitude that adds to the doubt concerning the condition. It’s too bad that you have these reactions and I’m glad that you have things under control but “our eating plan is much more delicious, much healthier, much more interesting – in fact it is like a wonderful world of beautiful great fresh foods…”

Yes, I’m sure it is… more healthy that what??? What you ate before? or are you comparing to what those “gluten-eaters” would typically eat.

Gary
Gary
2 years 7 months ago

Dave

I don’t quite understand your gripe. The primal/paleo lifestyle is healthier!!! In comparison to every other eating plan on the planet.

It’s remarkable that in less than 200 years the “sandwich” is an accepted part of a daily diet because because of its convenience and if it’s whole grain it’s considered even more healthy. Yet it was “invented” by an individual and is now mainstream.

However for a couple of million years we ate nothing like that. So it doesn’t matter what diet she is comparing to… This is the only and Best healthy eating/lifestyle option available.

Panko
Panko
3 years 3 months ago

“…there is that subset of the population who takes umbrage at people making health decisions without conducting randomized controlled trials..”

Thank you Mark for stating this so succinctly. There are simply not enough unbiased studies to make nutrition choices based on proven fact. If there were, I’d just eat what was proven to be healthy. Since the reality is murky, I make my choices based on the science available, anecdotal evidence, logical intuition, and personal experimentation.

Laurie Willberg
Laurie Willberg
3 years 3 months ago

Cynics/skeptics bring the same utility to any discussion about health as a eunuch would bring to an orgy.
Gluten has no intrinsic nutritional value and so many people have experienced increased well-being (and weight loss) by making other choices that it’s a no brainer we can well do without it.

Mark P
3 years 3 months ago

“Cynics/skeptics bring the same utility to any discussion about health as a eunuch would bring to an orgy.”

That is amazingly well-said. So many people think they’re high and mighty for “ignoring the fads” that they are denying logic and evidence with a straight face.

My friend, who claims to be some sort of underground medical expert (who flunked general bio) laughs at gluten-intolerance and calls it a myth. Such idiots do not deserve the energy needed to argue with.

Darcie
Darcie
3 years 3 months ago

If that’s not the quote of the week on Sunday, I’ll be surprised. 🙂

Stephanie
Stephanie
3 years 3 months ago

Skeptics and cynics are not the same…. Skeptics are critical thinkers who reserve judgment until enough evidence is gathered. They weigh, analyze, and process. Cynics are just plain naysayers…the “sour grapes” kind of people…the “I don’t know enough, so I will just pretend it is your fault” dudes. I am proud to consider myself a skeptic… and once upon a time I too doubted “gluten-free” until I read studies, listened to other people, and became an experiment of one.

JC
JC
3 years 3 months ago

I sense a tad bit of sarcasm in this article 😉

Nocona
Nocona
3 years 3 months ago

Ahhh, the good ‘ol USA…where Frankenfood reigns supreme.

Madeleine
3 years 3 months ago

And unfortunately the rest of the world follows… Processed food is processed food! Single ingredient food is the way to go…

Charlotte
3 years 3 months ago

I’d say so, yeah, as well 🙂 and this: “…because Miley Cyrus did it (I eagerly await widespread adoption of twerking by millions of soccer moms).” lol thanks for the laugh this morning!

Rich
Rich
3 years 3 months ago

Who is Miley Cyrus?

Glen
Glen
3 years 3 months ago

I wish I could say that…..

Tom T.
3 years 3 months ago

I don’t think ‘gluten free’ is a fad. There are people with real allergies right? Gluten free diet will lead to the Paleo ways of eating naturally. I know for one that I need to cut back on all grains which would in turn lead to less gluten. I think that most people do understand that we need to cut back on carbs, bread and then in turn gluten. Good read, thanks!

Amy
Amy
3 years 3 months ago

It’s not a fad to those committed to maintaining their health by eating well. It is most definitely a fad to those who get their nutrition information from Cheetos bags.

The fad will pass to something else as it’s already done. In my lifetime we’ve already had calories->low fat (long time on that one)->whole grains->calories->gluten free.

There’s just no avoiding food fads, unfortunately.

Matt
3 years 3 months ago

I’m going to go against the grain here – I think it’s a fad. People struggle at losing weight and people will try anything new if they think it will help them. It’s clear that going gluten free has benefits for some. However, when you go from eating loads of CRAP to eliminating it completely, anyone is going to feel better. The same can be said of the paleo diet. When anyone eliminates the amount of CRAP in their life, of course they’re going to feel better.

connie curtis
3 years 3 months ago
There are more people with food allergies than ever before. Its not a fad and many people have to live like this and I am one of them. If I eat gluten I get sick for a month and that doesnt cover what damage goes on internally. You can find more information on that on line. You havent had to deal with this or have someone close that you see get sick because if it hits home then you will probably think differently. People can still eat crap when they are gluten free. Check out the processed gluten free products… Read more »
Kat
Kat
3 years 3 months ago

Having a full blown asthma attack and the skin peel off your face is not a fad – it is a serious alllergic reaction.

Gary
Gary
2 years 7 months ago

And your point is???

So what do you consider isn’t crap?

You’re gonna need to do better than this if you want to make statements like that

craig almaguer
3 years 3 months ago

agree

Niki
Niki
3 years 3 months ago

This is such an awesome way to keep a sense of humour about how much the world loves to hate anything new. It can be frustrating but I agree that keeping it to yourself and only offering advice in small portions WHEN/IF asked is the way to go. Thanks

connie curtis
3 years 3 months ago

I disagree. If you do that then you miss opportunities to educate. There is alot of miss information out there and sharing what you know will make a difference for others because there is alot of misinformation out there.

JennyCK
JennyCK
3 years 2 months ago
I am a type 2 diabetic (from Australia). I have been told for years by the dietitian that I should eat more bread, pasta and rice and at the same time I need to take off weight! In the last year I have started going to a different doctor, where I explained that my blood sugars rise dramatically after eating bread, rice, pasta, oats … and that I wanted to go grain free. This is the first doctor who has actually listened to what I have to say, so after of showing him results from a food diary and blood… Read more »
JennyCK
JennyCK
3 years 2 months ago

PS, the same dietitian also said she couldn’t understand why I had diabetes as I have always eaten very healthily, don’t eat sugar products, sweets, or anything much in the way of processed foods apart from whole grain bread.

Jonathan
Jonathan
3 years 3 months ago
It is interesting as a high level smell test that none of the longest lived people have anything like a Paleo or GF diet. See slide 40 http://www.nsca.com/uploadedFiles/NSCA/Inactive_Content/Program_Books/PTC_2013_Program_Book/Aragon.pdf Meaning to say, I am sure that the micro work on Gluten etc is valid but to a modest degree in the overall body. For people sensitive, sure, it matters. But if you try to sell the Paleo diet to a healthy weight, fit individual without coeliac disease, I’m not sure the evidence is very compelling it will make any difference to their health at all. Sure you can find problems with… Read more »
KitC
KitC
3 years 3 months ago

Paleo is not a high protein diet, it is a high fat, moderate protein diet. From looking at your embedded link, it is more than apparent that the author has a few axes to grind, even directly quoting from some paleo author’s books without attribution.

Let me guess; vegan, right?

Jonathan
Jonathan
3 years 3 months ago

No.

Philip
Philip
3 years 3 months ago
I started eating gluten free to support my wife when was encouraged to do so after dealing with some ‘woman troubles’. It brought her fast relief and she’d never go back. Since I wasn’t looking for relief, it would be very hard to quantify my benefits, but I’m aware of the disappearance of things that I would have never mentioned to a doctor–dandruff, a touch of eczema, a sense of vague anxiety on occasion, etc. My point is simply that research will never incorporate the observations of people like me: the solution isn’t really being attached to a quantifiable problem.… Read more »
Whitefox999
3 years 3 months ago
Hiya Jonathan, So I’ll start by saying that I love Alan Aragon, and the super-intelligent work that he does. That being said, while I agree with his points about grains, legumes, and maybe even whole-grains from an inflammation standpoint (in humans, as the link mark cites above is in rats), I disagree with a few other points. He cherry-picked some data about the evolutionarily “ancient” nature of grains, thereby ignoring studies that linked meat consumption to a far longer time scale than grains. Ex: http://www.plosone.org/article/info%3Adoi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0046414 Despite this, I’m not here to argue that the fact that meat has been eaten… Read more »
Jonathan
Jonathan
3 years 3 months ago
Thanks for the post Whitefox999…. from the responses you can see that nearly everyone is speaking from the standpoint of some existing health issue and how going paleo helped them but it is not clear to me that the alleviations of symptoms from a switch to paleo was necessarily because of the reasons paleo advocates suggest. E.G. weight loss, going from a terrible diet to one suddenly focussing on good quality food is generally going to lead to results, whether it had, say, beans or not i think is pretty irrelevant to most people. Paleo makes many claims from the… Read more »
Patrick
Patrick
3 years 3 months ago
Jonathan wrote: “…. from the responses you can see that nearly everyone is speaking from the standpoint of some existing health issue…” Actually the vast majority of posts in this thread, my own included, discussed how a change of diet, either to full-on primal/paleo, or by simply eliminating gluten first, improved a wide variety of health issues that our doctors (and in some people’s cases, even consultant specialists) had never thought to attribute to diet, and specifically to gluten. My life-long dpression, for which I’ve been offered every medical treatment under the sun, for example – improving *every day* now… Read more »
Em
Em
3 years 3 months ago
Patrick nailed every aspect of my thoughts. Being someone that was notorious for my healthy habits, counting every calorie and exercising. I never bought processed foods, absolutely no artificial adders, or even “natural” flavorings and everything had to be no more than five ingredients. I ate like this for 12 years and still was progressively getting sicker. 8 months ago I was the model student for following the conventional healthy eating methods but I was still getting sick. 8 months ago I made one change and it changed every aspect of my life. I just removed wheat/gluten. Before that I… Read more »
Joy Beer
Joy Beer
3 years 3 months ago

Yes, the contempt and accusations of “orthorexia” are discouraging when one reads it. I will say that, personally, I’ve been treated very well by anybody I’ve had to talk to about GF. I think that not being preachy to those I’m sharing with helps. I think that being gracious and easygoing when out at dinner or being hosted is the other thing that helps. I’ll keep my own counsel in the meantime, and ignore the public voices best I can if I’m enjoying my food and health.

Amy
Amy
3 years 3 months ago

Yes, it’s helpful to be the “nice/easy going” one in the conversation. It puts people in an awkward position if you’re all about only worrying what’s on your plate (or just your kids) in social situations.

Meredith
3 years 3 months ago

Thank you for this post… so very much.

Nocona
Nocona
3 years 3 months ago

Agluten for punishment?

Paleo Bon Rurgundy
3 years 3 months ago

Nice.

Julie
Julie
3 years 3 months ago

Funny!

Paleo Bon Rurgundy
3 years 3 months ago

First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they fight you, then you win.

-Mahatma Gandhi

BillP
BillP
3 years 3 months ago

Not Ghandi, rather Nicholas Klein, an early labor leader.

FireFlyFan
FireFlyFan
3 years 3 months ago

“The trouble with quotes on the internet is it’s impossible to truly know their source.” -Abraham Lincoln

Amy
Amy
3 years 3 months ago

LOL!!! 🙂

Madama Butterfry
Madama Butterfry
3 years 3 months ago

Classic, FireFlyFan. : )

LynnA
LynnA
3 years 3 months ago

Klein said:

“First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. And then they attack you and want to burn you. And then they build monuments to you. And that, is what is going to happen to the Amalgamated Clothing Workers of America.”

Dana
Dana
3 years 3 months ago

That’s “Gandhi.” PBR spelled it right the first time.

…Sorry. I don’t usually correct that, but I’ve seen people misspell both that name and Buddha so many times I’ve lost count.

Brittany
Brittany
3 years 3 months ago

Great read, I love your sarcasm/wit! “PubMed is a liar.” Haha, amazing!
I was never tested for Celiac disease, but figured I really didn’t need to after feeling substantially better with the elimination of gluten from my diet. Apparently society doesn’t agree – the attitudes and remarks you’ve described here are exactly what come my way when people notice I am gluten-free and find out I haven’t been tested for CD!

Shary
Shary
3 years 3 months ago

Medical testing is often just a formality for people who need someone with a title after their name to confirm what they already know. Testing for gluten sensitivity falls into that category. Formal testing is expensive and unnecessary. A much cheaper “test” is to heed that old adage: “If it looks like a duck, walks like duck, and quacks like a duck, it probably is a duck.”

Brad
Brad
3 years 3 months ago

Mmmm. Duck !

Chantal
Chantal
3 years 3 months ago
Although I agree that testing isn’t a ‘must-have’ especially if you know that eliminating gluten has made you feel better, there is something to be said about diagnosis. Someone with a confirmed diagnosis of celiac is at risk for a number of other health issues in the long term even if they eliminate gluten. Therefore, a diagnosis puts the individual in a better position to stay on top of their health. Without a celiac diagnosis, Drs may be reluctant to check for other potential issues related to celiac such as infertility, osteoporosis and a host of other auto-immune disorders. The… Read more »
Ally
Ally
3 years 3 months ago

Amen to that.

Melie
Melie
3 years 3 months ago
I was diagnosed by blood test as gluten sensitive seven years ago. My doc felt it was unnecessary to do the gold-standard biopsy for celiac as the blood test results made it clear that gluten was a no-go for me. Plus, lack of a clear diagnosis is plausible deniability for life insurance quotes. (Rates are higher for celiacs.) That said, I’m glad I was tested before going gf. I know my chances of cancer are higher and I know I need to be vigilant in monitoring other potential autoimmune issues. I don’t judge anyone who notices that a shift in… Read more »
Patrick
Patrick
3 years 3 months ago
That’s an excellent and detailed post! I didn’t think cutting out gluten would do me ANY good, but tried it, and within 3 days knew I’d never want to eat wheat products again… the reason I’m not willing to chace a return to eating gluten for a few weeks in order to get the tests is that I’m afraid I’ll get a false negative, and that the presence of that on my records will make it more, not less, likely that I’ll be fed wheat products if I’m ever hospitalised. It’s a bind to be in, but had I got… Read more »
Brittany
Brittany
3 years 3 months ago

Thanks for the replies – great info! But, along with being GF, I am also fully Paleo/primal, plan to be forever, and will raise my children the same way (when the time comes). So, as for testing, it will either confirm that I am on the right track for optimal health/wellness, or tell me that I don’t “need” to continue to do what I am doing. I just don’t think it is necessary for me to hear one way or another, as my mind is already made up.

Lora P. ND.
Lora P. ND.
3 years 3 months ago

The problem is that a lot of people try going gluten free for just 7-14 days and don’t see a difference when it takes some people 3-4 MONTHS for their bodies to completely eliminate the gluten protein out of their systems. I always encourage people to go for the longer period before they decide that gluten doesn’t bother them.

KMJvet
KMJvet
3 years 3 months ago

I don’t know that it’s fair to say that celiac is the only form of gluten intolerance that’s auto-immune in nature. Gluten ataxia is immune-mediated as an example. Celiac may be the form of immune-based gluten intolerance we’ve recognized for the longest time and know the most about, but it doesn’t mean other manifestations of gluten intolerance aren’t immune in mechanism. It may be more an issue that we don’t know how to test for those immune mechanisms yet.

Dana
Dana
3 years 3 months ago

Then there’s just the way wheat proteins (not just gluten but WGA and others) can cross the gut lining and really outrage your immune system, and *that* can cause inflammation, autoimmune or not. It’s bad news either way.

Karen Mortensen
Karen Mortensen
3 years 3 months ago

I have gluten ataxia, and I can tell you from experience it is not fun. If any of you who are interested in gluten free living have not read Wheat Belly by William Davis, MD, I highly recommend it. It explains why modern wheat is so toxic for our bodies (not necessarily just our digestive systems) and describes the many nasty manifestations from eating gluten.

Dana
Dana
3 years 3 months ago
I feel the same way about testing. I found a blog by a GF mom a while back and she went in and did a whole bunch of detailed food-allergy blood testing and discovered she was sensitive to LOTS of stuff. I’m starting to wonder if I shouldn’t do that. I have no trouble staying off large amounts of gluten, only occasionally getting traces like what’s in soy sauce, as consuming gluten makes me sleepy and stupid. But maybe if I knew whether or not my immune system were outraged every time I ate it, I’d be more vigilant–and if… Read more »
Lynn
Lynn
3 years 3 months ago
Get the tests if at all possible. I’d never heard of them 3+ years ago until my naturopath suggested them. Eye-opening. You’ll get several pages with a line per food item and a bar chart indicating low/med/high sensitivity. From that, I learned that not only dairy, eggs, and soy are problematic for me, but also flax, turmeric, cucumbers, and kale. For example. I would never have learned that on my own, can you imagine a turmeric elimination diet?! 😛 (Now of course I wouldn’t eat flax anyway after going primal 10 months ago.) I’m sure having that knowledge eliminated years… Read more »
Michelle
Michelle
3 years 3 months ago
I wish I could convince my friend to at least TRY gluten free for a while! She has medical background like me, and has systemic scleroderma (autoimmune based). At 45 she has an high CRP (inflamatory marker leaves her at high cardiac damage risk) an enlarged heart, pulmonary fibrosis getting worse (rapidly) so she can’t walk 100meters without being very breathless, esophageal hardening so swallowing is a problem some days and reflux is a constant nightmare. She has whole body pains, worse of course at night so does not sleep. She takes over TWENTY different medications, has a ‘portacath’ for… Read more »
Karen Mortensen
Karen Mortensen
3 years 3 months ago

Michelle, I agree about a great many in the medical community. They don’t think diet has anything to do with anything going on in our bodies. That’s why I go to a naturopath. They believe diet has MUCH to do with what’s going on in our bodies. She has helped me tremendously.

Groktimus Primal
3 years 3 months ago

Some people are just glutens for punishment 🙂

Colleen
Colleen
3 years 3 months ago

+1

Amy
Amy
3 years 3 months ago

It’s very punny today! 🙂

Alice
Alice
3 years 3 months ago
I’ve been gluten-free for over a year, and in the last six months I have tried “gluten-free” baked goods twice, once in the form of a pizza crust and a few days ago as a couple of cookies. Both times I experienced outbreaks of the same kinds of inflammation I associate with gluten. This makes me wonder what else is going on, and I wonder how successful people who simply switch their diets over to those types of foods will be. I really don’t miss or need pizza crusts or cookies, but a lot of people think life’s not worth… Read more »
Rachel
Rachel
3 years 3 months ago
Same here, inflammation for me too, which I originally put down to gluten but I think they may be separate issues, to do with poor digestion (which can be helped with Dr Christopher’s herbal formulas) and a starch/ carbohydrate intolerance which I am trying to find out more about, which I have put down to blood sugar issues. I have cut them largely out of my diet but don’t know what the long term answer to that is yet, because I also eat alot of low starch vegetables mostly raw, with fruit included in my diet and nuts. I can’t… Read more »
Marge
Marge
3 years 3 months ago

Have you researched any sites on Candida? Your food intolerances sound very similar to mine and of course the Candida diet would have you pretty much eliminate carbs altogether. Some even say no fruit for at least 6 months while you take herbs or whatever you choose to eradicate the fungi. With the proliferation of antibiotics handed out like candy for the last 30 years it would be amazing to find anyone without some degree or form of Candida.

Rachel
Rachel
3 years 3 months ago
Funny you should ask that, because I do suspect candida as a problem that I may have. I could go on with the list but may bore a few people. I figured if I find the healthiest diet possible then try and tweak it to suit me. Still figuring a few things out. People say fruit is bad some say it is good. Largely fruit is just great I think, ie apples,blueberries and grapes are excellent for diabetes( I have blood sugar issues) etc It may be possible fruit is not good with other food, some say you should eat… Read more »
peacemakerfan
peacemakerfan
3 years 3 months ago

You may likely have an intolerance to dairy if you are still having a reaction to gluten free pizza and cookies. Dairy and gluten intolerances are commonly found together unfortunately.

Margo
Margo
3 years 3 months ago
It most likely is NOT Candida.. Actually what is labeled “gluten free” may have traces of gluten. Just as some products may be LABELED as trans fat free or sugar free if they have below a certain amount, the same goes with gluten free labeling. So therefore gluten free labeled products may have traces of gluten. My sister has Celiac and found that many of those products gave her a reaction of being “glutened”. After doing some research it was discovered that some products labeled as gluten free may have traces of gluten and still be allowed to be labeled… Read more »
Tom
Tom
3 years 3 months ago

I’ve noticed the same, Alice. I’m sure there are other proteins and compounds in wheat that might trigger problems.

I think of it like BPA in plastic. BPA-free is all the rage! But we still have hundreds of other plasticizers in plastic:
Bis(2-ethylhexyl) phthalate (DEHP), Diisononyl phthalate (DINP), Di-n-butyl phthalate (DnBP, DBP) etc.

Yep, I don’t eat wheat-anything anymore. Just like I don’t eat plastic. In fact, I can’t help but imagine that spaghetti, bread, etc, is just like plastic – it’s a decoration you shouldn’t eat! 🙂

Kate
Kate
3 years 3 months ago

Lots of people are sensitive to the gums in gluten free products – xanthan gum and guar gum are both used to imitate the function of gluten. My husband doesn’t have a gluten problem, but he gets sick whenever he has my gluten free stuff – one of many reasons why we don’t buy the processed gluten free crud anymore.

Shary
Shary
3 years 3 months ago
If people would read the list of weirdo ingredients in some of that “processed gluten free crud”, they would quickly decide it isn’t something they want to eat. Moreover, most of it tastes pretty godawful. Most gluten-free replacement foods do nothing but take up space in your digestive system while providing neither flavor nor nutrition. Foods that are naturally gluten-free are a much better choice. The only GF exception I’ve ever found, on the rare occasion that I make spaghetti, is Tinkyada brand rice pasta. Their linguini and spaghetti noodles (made from rice) are almost identical in flavor and texture… Read more »
Karen Mortensen
Karen Mortensen
3 years 3 months ago

Agree! Tinkyada pasta is the best gf pasta I’ve ever tasted!

Robin
Robin
3 years 3 months ago

bionaturae is good. also trader joes corn pasta

Mantonat
Mantonat
3 years 3 months ago

Can you elaborate on what you mean by an outbreak of inflammation?

K10
K10
3 years 3 months ago
Just wanted to throw this comment out as I’m not sure that I noticed it mentioned. I am most certainly a Celiac, however due to the mis-handling of my case by the Dr’s, I was not able to be tested prior to my going gluten free and will never have an offical diagnosis. I could really care less, it was pure survival at that point. I thought I was dying. Point being that the Celiac world is getting harder to navigate because there is rampant “Gluten free, but not for celiacs” type of foods being offered by many restaurants etc.… Read more »
Howard Lee Harkness
3 years 3 months ago
Maybe it’s because gluten isn’t even the worst thing in modern Frankenwheat. Google for “amylopectin-A” and “gliadin”. For years, I had mysterious arthritis in my hands (last so-called “doctor” I complained to about that told me that since he couldn’t find the cause, it must be in my head, so I should see a shrink). It was so bad that I had to give up playing my violin in public because I couldn’t practice enough to stay proficient. I cut out grain because I wanted to be the supportive husband when my wife went low-carb — knowing full well that… Read more »
Ellen
3 years 3 months ago

Those things can often contain rice flour, and it wasn’t until I went Primal that I realized it was rice responsible for my gluten-like symptoms.

Goddess
3 years 3 months ago

Great post! Gluten sensitivity/intolerance is a measureable genetic fact for a portion of the population. Once all the marketing hype dies down, I hope this fact will remain and people with this trait will maintain a grain free diet. Paleo is good for everyone, not just the gluten sensitive. No one needs inflammation and gut permeability in their life! 🙂

Rose
Rose
3 years 3 months ago

My husband suffers from arthritis (among other things), and decided to give a gluten free, grain free diet a shot. He noticed a reduced amount of pain and greater range of movement as a result. We are both now following a primal/paleo diet!

kate
3 years 3 months ago

Let’s not forget the effect gluten has on asthmatics (says the mom of three!). The first two things to go when my kids get sick-dairy and gluten.

Julie
Julie
3 years 3 months ago
Fantastic post. I’m guilty of zealotry which in terms submits me to mockery and skepticism. The stats about celiac disease being tossed at me, the “lack of evidence” cries that are hurled at me, so on and so on and scooby dooby doo wah. I’ve learned the hard way to zip it. If people want to choose a different path for themselves, go for it. But I find myself (on my more intolerant days) wishing the people whining about headaches, joint aches, bad skin, sleeplessness, allergies, and so forth would just shut their pie holes. If I can’t proselytize, they… Read more »
Paleo Bon Rurgundy
3 years 3 months ago

I am pretty sure everyone who has gone paleo/primal goes through their own secular, nutritional proselytization period. Similar to the known stages of grieving. After that comes:

Preach not to others what they should eat, but eat as becomes you, and be silent.

Epictetus (55 AD – 135 AD)

Linda
Linda
3 years 3 months ago

Love this!
I too blabbed on about gluten & carbs when I first discovered primal /gluten/ carb free accidentally while doing the HCG diet in 2010. I won’t bore you with the details except to say I feel so damn good! I love my mirror now! Now I just keep my mouth shut, eat my veggies, enjoy my fat, forage for organic fruits while watching people half my age bloat up & complain about how bad they feel, how many meds their doctor has them on while they stuff themselves with bread.

Dave
Dave
3 years 3 months ago

I’ll only add that I don’t think the later “stage” here is better, and that people should fast-forward to it. It seems appropriate that humans would want to share what makes them happy, but that the urge is naturally self-limiting to leave room for others to share different things.

I mostly only tell my family. Since they share so many genes with me, not telling them that gluten-free helped me with migraines and OCD would be like not telling them there’s breast cancer (or whatever) in the family. They should know.

Dana
Dana
3 years 3 months ago
I actually think the preaching serves some kind of neurological function because EVERYBODY undergoing a life change goes through that stage, unless they’re a weirdo or something. I was reading a long time ago about how sincerely held religious beliefs are embedded in human memory in a much different way than a fact one merely learns. Those beliefs become hardwired, pretty much, and it’s very difficult to shake them. Well, what does a person do to reinforce religious belief? They might chant, which is repeating words and phrases over and over. They might memorize scripture verses. They might celebrate the… Read more »
Patrick
Patrick
3 years 3 months ago
It’s also a good way to drown out the incessant marketing of “heart-healthy wholegrains” – “Have A Break – Have A Kit-Kat!” “Snickers Satisfies” – “Once you pop, you can’t stop” and the multitude of other insidious marketing brainwashing we imbibe from the cradle onwards, ranging from idiotic jingles to sciencey-sounding BS about the benefits of breakfast cereals, corn sugars, soy, etc. The junk-food and drug-food industries spend tens of millions each year on their marketing to saturate our minds and normalise their non-essential, addictive foods, so a few weeks or even months spent ranting should be weighed against the… Read more »
Sue
Sue
3 years 3 months ago

“if I can’t proselytize, they can’t whine”

I think this will be my motto for a while.

Anemone
3 years 3 months ago

I’ve seen the argument that the GF trend can make things harder for people with celiac disease because standards for “gluten-free” (e.g. in restaurants) are getting sloppy, and something that might make some of us bloat up a bit might put a celiac in bed for a few days. Something to remember.

Shary
Shary
3 years 3 months ago

Most restaurants do have gluten-free options these days, which I sometimes take advantage of. I do feel better if I don’t eat grains, but I don’t have Celiac disease. A little gluten accidentally ingested isn’t going to make me sick. IMO, anyone with CD should avoid restaurants because of the high possibility of cross contamination.

Sarah
Sarah
3 years 3 months ago

Wow – seriously? I (as a celiac) should never eat out?

Shary
Shary
3 years 3 months ago

Depends on how much you trust the restaurant and their kitchen staff, and how much value you place on not getting sick.

Howard Lee Harkness
3 years 3 months ago

For somebody with full-blown celiac, eating out can be a real problem. I recently interviewed Sally Krumdiak (a highly-rated women’s MMA fighter) about her celiac. She also has other sensitivities, which may have been caused indirectly by gluten (or other toxins in modern Frankenwheat). It’s so bad that even on the cruise we were on, she had to pack her own food.

Elizabeth
Elizabeth
3 years 3 months ago

That was hard for me to get my head round too. I only go to really good places now – eat out less often but high quality – and talk to the chefs, not the waiting staff. I felt sooo awkward to start but they were always very accommodating and, after a bit of trial and error, I don’t get contaminated. It’s a journey, but starting to avoid contamination is really important. Best wishes 🙂

Sarah
Sarah
3 years 3 months ago

yes, very true, I’ve just written a similar comment (I’m a celiac) and am not so happy about the rising popularity for this reason, in a way it makes thing harder for ‘us’.

Patrick
Patrick
3 years 3 months ago
On the other hand, products and restaurants will follow the money, so if more people are requesting gluten-free, there’s going to be more incentive to offer it, and if use of the term “gluten free” hasn’t yet been regulated where you live, it probably soon will be. In the EU nothing can be labelled “gluten free” unless the product contains less then 20 parts per million of gluten, and this has to be regularly checked and verified, so the increase in demand has probably motivated more shops & eateries to fork out for the test so they can sell these… Read more »
Paleo-curious
3 years 3 months ago
I have run into this problem myself. Waiters see the fad-folks ordering gluten free this or that & then nibbling their friend’s cake, & it looks like a joke & a mere annoyance. Now when I talk to waiters I have to say “I’m not just on a diet– I have Celiac disease & I could get very sick if you just take the croutons off the salad…” etc. I hate it because it makes me sound all the more whiny & difficult & makes trouble for everyone. So though there is more overall awareness out there, I don’t eat… Read more »
Amy
Amy
3 years 3 months ago

It’s sad..but then again, honestly, much of the “fun” of eating out is gone when it’s Paleo. ((Full disclosure: I also live in the land of chain restaurants. There’s very little gourmet/indies around us.)

Sure, there’s always “something” to eat. That something being a)steak and salad or b)chicken and salad. Most restaurants seem to reserve their creativity though, for the carb heavy (and cheaper) dishes.

In that sense, it’s really not that much of a loss to stay home. We almost always eat better/more interesting dishes for less cost.

Paleo-curious
3 years 3 months ago

For me, the fun of eating out is being with my family or friends (I have never eaten out alone in the 7 years since my Celiac diagnosis!) But I feel having to explain all my needs to the waiter, chef, etc. in excruciating detail is a pain in the butt for them too. Yet if I elect not to eat at all (which I honestly don’t mind now that I’m fat-adapted!) they feel uncomfortable too. Sigh.

KD
KD
3 years 3 months ago

We have set up “out to eat” nights with our friends. We rotate whose house we go over to, so once a week (minus the host) we all “eat out”. All of us love it, and not only is it much cheaper than going to a restaurant, it feeds the social addiction. 🙂 Of course, when it’s my turn to host, everyone eats primal 😉

Paleo-curious
3 years 3 months ago

KD, that’s a great idea, especially if you have friends who really get it. My book club works that way, & funny, at first I was the weirdo with the restrictive diet but now four others (out of 11) are gluten-free, or at least gluten-aware! So I guess I owe the “fad” for that one!

Jason
Jason
3 years 3 months ago

It’s not just gluten. Carb conversations are very similar.

Colleen
Colleen
3 years 3 months ago
I think it’s a fad for many. Nor am I as convinced as Mark that most gluten free folks are eating a more nutrient dense diet. Sadly my brother’s family went this route b/c of his daughter’s skin condition but they have substituted with things like crepes made with corn starch and rice cakes topped with veg oil (formed into “butter”). Soy. Lots of corn. Etc. I have 19 first cousins on one side of the family, mostly in 40s-50s. None had gluten issues growing up. There are 38 children of those cousins, 1 is celiac, 2 are gluten free… Read more »
Paleo Bon Rurgundy
3 years 3 months ago

If it is epigenetic then in a few generations your brother’s future lineage will less likely be able to reproduce. Isn’t this darwiniasm in action?

Colleen
Colleen
3 years 3 months ago

In general, I am happy to see Darwin in action. So for my brother and his wife I really don’t care, but it’s sad to see your 3yo niece being fed a nutrient devoid diet. In the meantime, we get to pay to care for these Darwinian losers — just when I want to opt out of this flawed system we are all forced to join.

Barry
Barry
3 years 3 months ago
I generally feel better when I stay away from carbohydrates. Period. That awareness can be stimulated by the gluten-free trend, although gluten-free has nothing to do with eating less carbohydrates. I still eat gluten but not nearly as much as I did ten years ago. I have traded it in for more meat, fat, fruits and veggies. And when I make myself a small treat, I often now make gluten-free chocolate chip cookies with less sugar, higher cacao content chocolate and grass-fed butter or coconut oil. Lots of carbs? Sure. But maybe not with as much bloat or as many… Read more »
Wenchypoo
Wenchypoo
3 years 3 months ago

Am I going to eat that carrot, even though you may think it’s good for me? Not when the carrot puts me to sleep for 4 hours! My husband has the same trouble with broccoli.

Rod Hilton
Rod Hilton
3 years 3 months ago

Gluten Free and loving it! I enjoy the spontaneous “Trials” by the doubters! Keeps me sharp.
I still can’t believe that Twerking made it into the dictionary, but hey…. If Miley is doing it, it must be good for us! … The gluten Free thing! lol

Bev
Bev
3 years 3 months ago
I always wonder if every one else has the same experience with doctors that I do. I would never “consult my doctor” before doing anything health related (or otherwise, I guess), because I’m more informed. How could a doctor possibly know anything or provide me with any sound advice? The idea that we are supposed to treat them with reverence and as if they can solve problems is astounding. Seeing a doctor is just an irritating way for me to waste 4 hours of my day. They spend less than 5 minutes in the exam room with me, treat my… Read more »
Paleo Bon Rurgundy
3 years 3 months ago

Find a new doctor. The new wave of “in the know” MDs are functional/integrative medicine practioners. For example, Dr. Amy Myers (and she has a free podcast). Chiropractors are often dialed into real health.

I get where you are coming from about “doctors as leading cause of death”; however, but there is a natural bias in that logic. Similar to, “Teachers are a leading cause in education”. (Minus the old teachers protected by their union who could care less about teaching. Come on, we all had one of them).

Amy
Amy
3 years 3 months ago
Ron, it’s really not that easy to find good Docs. I’d say that Bev’s experience is typical, or at least it matches mine own. If you have a good one, count your lucky stars. Chiros are helpful, but I don’t think they are allowed to prescribe meds or give out real referrals to specialists. (Both of which, unfortunately, we’ve genuinely needed in the last 12 months) Ironically, I’ve found a reasonably good practice (my standards are set to the best I can hope for out of the current system) but we’re already thinking about moving on. They have a TV… Read more »
Chantal
Chantal
3 years 3 months ago
Absolutely agree! If you’re doctor is so old-school and out of the loop, it’s time to start investigating. I know first hand what it’s like to have a forward-thinking and prevention-oriented practitioner. I have a healthy weight, am very active (and fit), eat an unprocessed diet of mostly vegetables, fruit, meat and fish and yet my doctor was all for ordering a full blood panel…and I’m only 30. Her reasoning? Lets get a baseline reading now so that we can actually make a real assessment later on. I’ve been seeing her for over five years and I’ve yet to be… Read more »
connie curtis
3 years 3 months ago

I have a great functional doctor. I would look there but sometimes they dont even know enough.. Go to gluten free society. they have a directory of doctors and if there isnt one in your area. Suggestion the certifications to your doctor or make a trip to houston. I went to 2 other doctors and didnt get any where .. I thought I was but then started feeling bad again. I am now feeling the best ever and its taken time and some work but well worth it.

alliecat
alliecat
3 years 3 months ago
I feel the exact same way. I’ve struggled with this for years, feeling somehow guilty that I don’t agree with anything the doctors have told me about how to deal with my digestive issues and food sensitivities. But I don’t see how someone who doesn’t know you or really understand your health history, could make a diagnosis and give you prescriptions after a two minute conversation. But what I do miss about seeing a doctor, though, is being able to talk to someone who has studied these issues in depth and can give you some cohesive, sound advice and guidelines… Read more »
Mantonat
Mantonat
3 years 3 months ago

I found a doctor through the Paleo Physicians Network who is also covered by my insurance. I’m guessing there are listings for every major city in the US and probably some of the smaller ones too.

connie curtis
3 years 3 months ago

not all good. My first doctor was on that and i asked questions he couldnt answer and wouldnt do any kind of testing so if you have a good one .. your lucky

Shary
Shary
3 years 3 months ago

Bev, I agree with just about everything you said. My experiences with doctors over the years has been a case of they either didn’t help me or else they made me appreciably worse. I try to avoid them to the maximum extent possible. I am currently looking for a holistic doctor to have on hand in the event I should need one, but I haven’t been looking very hard.

Tom B-D
Tom B-D
3 years 3 months ago

My son has cystic fibrosis, so I’m extremely grateful for his doctors and the drug companies that have so greatly increased the life expectancy of people with CF (and all who have contributed to research). But even with them, we are active in the process and ask a lot of questions, go to the conferences, etc. A good doctor can answer an intelligent question. There are lots of doctors doing a lot of good, and it sounds like you have one who isn’t exactly inspiring…so yeah, find another one. Check the Paleo Physicians Network.

Diane
Diane
3 years 3 months ago

I agree with your assessment of the situation, Bev. However, if you do have a serious issue, they tend to respond a little better. Something more interesting than the standard stuff seems to make them provide a little more service than normal.

Amy
Amy
3 years 3 months ago
“Why do you go to the doctor? Do they actually provide you with anything worthwhile? I would love to know. Perhaps my experience is out of the ordinary.” As an adult, I’ve gone to the Docs because they offered me a lower insurance rate if I did their “preventive” annual visit. (Really!) I take the children for the immunizations (what a miracle) and the occasional pink eye. Other than that, I’ve had extremely similar experiences to you. I have no idea why people are so hung up on seeing MDs in particular or why they’d like to have a “relationship”… Read more »
Michelle
Michelle
3 years 3 months ago
Bec I have to agree with you! 32 years of nursing confirms many doctors have tunnel vision and are hopelessly unable to keep up with current research. Some try…and when you find them, stick with them! Most get overwhelmed and don’t bother (GPs). I went to a local surgery group to find a female GP to work with me and a bio identical hormone clinic in another State. She flat out told me she did not believe in “all that rubbish” about bio identical hormones, it was not research based (it is, I checked or I’d be psychotic on nothing!).… Read more »
Karen Mortensen
Karen Mortensen
3 years 3 months ago

Bev, I showed this comment to my husband, and he said.”Yup! My feelings exactly!” Mine, too, btw. Thanks for the well written comment.

And don’t get me started on the side effects of prescription drugs!

Ali
Ali
3 years 3 months ago
It’s for when you have an injury or treatable illness. This summer, I got a cut on my foot while camping that got pretty badly infected. I went to the doctor and got antibiotics and the infection went away. Before antibiotics, I could have lost my foot, leg, or died. When I was a young child, I had pneumonia. I went to the doctor and got antibiotics for it. Looking at infant and child mortality rates before antibiotics, that illness could very well have killed me. Oh and vaccines probably saved my life many times over, and yours. That’s what… Read more »
Greg
Greg
3 years 3 months ago

Wow, a true believer. Has your gut recovered yet, from all those antibiotics?
I guarantee that vaccines have never saved my life.

Freya
Freya
2 years 5 months ago

erm polio, smallpox? But no, we don’t need 18 before 2 years of age, or whatever it is now. Wrong forum for this debate!

Lorraine
Lorraine
3 years 3 months ago

I thought I read somewhere that it’s not the gluten in wheat that cause people problems but rather the pesticides being sprayed on wheat? Scary.

Patrick
Patrick
3 years 3 months ago

I used to eat almost exclusively organic wheat products (monitored & accredited here in the UK by various bodies) and yet simply cutting out gluten via removing wheat, rye and barley products reversed a myriad of small nagging health issues, made my hair grow thicker (something everyone is now noticing 8 months on) and generally made me feel awesome.

So I don’t think pesticides are the issue here at all.

My 2¢. 🙂

Jejunum
Jejunum
3 years 3 months ago

I always get a chuckle when those who consider tolerance and diversity virtues turn around and refuse to tolerate grains, carbs, etc.

Bread is the staff of life. If you are afraid of it, try making sourdough; the acids break down the gluten. You’re not amino-acid intolerant, I hope! 🙂

Suzanne
Suzanne
3 years 3 months ago

If you can tolerate grains and carbs, that’s awesome for you. But not everyone can. Many people can’t because of gut issues or a genetic tendency to have problems with these things.

It’s not about picking on people who can successfully incorporate grains, especially “properly prepared grains” like that sourdough bread. It’s about having to constantly defend our choices from self-appointed food nazi’s who start freaking out and foaming at the mouth about gluten free (and paleo, and Weston A. Price, and whatever) being a fad.

Julie
Julie
3 years 3 months ago

Sing it!

bamboo
bamboo
3 years 3 months ago

Good point! Did the sourdough bread thing (made from my own starter) and still had allergic reactions.

Wenchypoo
Wenchypoo
3 years 3 months ago

The whole WAPF regimen gave me reactions!

Patrick
Patrick
3 years 3 months ago
“I always get a chuckle when those who consider tolerance and diversity virtues turn around and refuse to tolerate grains, carbs, etc.” Tolerance and diversity are generally held to be good things when applied to other human beings, obviously not as blanket attitudes to everything – nobody wants tolerance of housefires or muggings, nor acquires HIV so they can have more diversity in infections. So, I fail to see the relevance, especially since most of us who’ve bothered reading this blog are well beyond seeing a buzzword like “tolerance” and instantly abandoning all critical thinking in the face of such… Read more »
Amy
Amy
3 years 3 months ago

+1

I have no idea how eating stuff that makes you sick has anything to do with living in a diverse society.

Mantonat
Mantonat
3 years 3 months ago

I really hope you are kidding. There’s an enormous difference between accepting and even celebrating differences among humans and electing to avoid eating something because it makes you feel bad. Your analogy is equivalent to saying that if we’re truly diverse, we should enjoy hanging around with drug addicts and embezzlers. Hey, they’re not bad for us even if they do bad things!

Patrick
Patrick
3 years 3 months ago

Agreed, also, bread ISN’T the staff of life – it’s highly likely that the period when we stopped being semi-nomadic hunter gatherers, and settled down to to the back-breaking process of tilling, sowing, then harvesting, milling and storing grains was when battles stopped being mainly ceremonial and short-lived, as they are even now in hunter-gatherer societies, and instead became the knock-down, drag-out nightmares, that continue to this day.

There was no incentive whatsoever to commit genocide against another tribe until we had these vast, fixed-in-place, hard-worked-for crops to maintain and protect.

Raynote
Raynote
3 years 3 months ago

“Bread is the staff of life”

Ooh, nooo! Fatty meat is the staff of life! 🙂

Elisabeth
Elisabeth
3 years 2 months ago

this is not true!

Elisabeth
Elisabeth
3 years 2 months ago

ops, this reply was ment for this post:

I always get a chuckle when those who consider tolerance and diversity virtues turn around and refuse to tolerate grains, carbs, etc.

Bread is the staff of life. If you are afraid of it, try making sourdough; the acids break down the gluten. You’re not amino-acid intolerant, I hope!

fermenting does NOT break down gluten!

Shane
Shane
3 years 2 months ago
How nice for you. For you, bread works. I daresay there are many here who share similar experiences to mine. For me, bread caused aggravating, itching, cracking, bleeding on the backs of my hands, and my legs/calves itched incessantly. That’s called eczema, if you want a name for it. I needed no diagnosis to figure this out. The doctor could offer only expensive prescription skin cream. I learned through my own reading that bread can cause eczema. I quit the bread and within a week, my hands and legs were normal. Now, I don’t need to be a detective or… Read more »
robyn
robyn
3 years 2 months ago

Love your answer Shane 🙂

Lee Graham
Lee Graham
3 years 2 months ago
Before commenting, you probably should have first read the study on sourdough bread and celiac disease. It was very small study (n=17) in Italy nine years ago and the sourdough starter and bread was custom made for the study, a blend of different grains and was not commercially available to the general public. Some members of the control group had to drop out of the study because of adverse reaction to the wheat gluten (Duh!) – the test group using partially fermented sourdough still had some damage to the intestinal tract and the test subject with the fully fermented sourdough… Read more »
KB
KB
3 years 3 months ago

Raw onions give me a migraine that will last for days, so I don’t eat raw onions. No one cares about that. But when I eliminated grains 2 years ago, bring on the unsolicited opinions! If I feel horrible when I eat it, therefore I don’t eat it, why do you even care?

Penny
Penny
3 years 3 months ago

I totally agree…I tell people it’s not a competition…it’s just a different way of life…

Jejunum
Jejunum
3 years 3 months ago

Sourdough bread with caramelized onions and butter is delicious and because of the whey the flour is fomented and the the onions cooked, might be tolerable to you. Don’t fear your food!

Nomad
Nomad
3 years 3 months ago

I don’t know if you are aware, but you are on a PRIMAL DIET site. One of the main points of the diet is to not eat grains – particularly wheat. No one cares or minds if you eat wheat, but your comments are unhelpful at best. There are plenty of bread-lovers sites where you will find plenty of people who agree with you if you have a problem with those who don’t.

Amy
Amy
3 years 3 months ago

People with celiac’s disease have a life threatening condition. I don’t think it’s the height of responsibility to imply cooking wheat based products a certain way makes them okay. The conservative course to avoid all gluten containing products, regardless of how they are cooked.

Brendan Coburn
3 years 3 months ago

Gluten free can be great for some people. But for those of us who are not intolerant or sensitive to it, I honestly see no reason to eliminate it from our diets. Limit? Reduce? Yes. But eliminate? No.

Robert
3 years 3 months ago
Try eliminating gluten 100% for just 2 weeks (3 weeks is even better) and see the difference it makes. It is rather surprising. I didn’t think gluten was affecting me either, then I stopped for three weeks. The improvements were so gradual that I didn’t fully recognize them. And then I ate half of a tortilla and I was back to my “old” normal. A young guy like you might not notice the difference as much since you haven’t had the decades of gluten slowly chipping away at your system. But after three weeks, there WILL be a difference. Just… Read more »
Lynn
Lynn
3 years 3 months ago

I agree wholeheartedly. My story exactly. I suffered from IBS all my life and finally ended up taking Prilosec for 6 years to keep my food from getting caught in my throat. Thanks heavens I found a nutritionist (chiropractor) who cared enough to listen. I have never been tested, but after a month on an elimination diet, it was crystal clear. I ate a piece of whole grain toast and 20 minutes later was in pain in the bathroom. Everything is so much improved. Don’t be afraid to try it.

Patrick
Patrick
3 years 3 months ago
I eliminated gluten with a skeptical mind, THINKING it was going to make no difference because I had no major GI problems etc., but thinking I’d give it a go… OMG, the difference it made can’t be put into words. 🙂 I would therefore rather advise people to eliminate it totally for 3, 7 or 14 days, then if they see no differences (I did after just 3 days) they know they’re not having problems. Advising “moderation” isn’t the answer, since the problems are caused by various inflammatory/immune responses that will kick in even with relatively small amounts – I… Read more »
jpatti
3 years 2 months ago
I eliminated gluten for a month. Not that I ate much of it anyways, but I didn’t worry over it particularly either – I didn’t care, for example, if I thickened a sauce with white flour, corn starch or xanthum gum. And though I generally low-carb due to diabetes, I considered a slice of good sourdough a worthwhile cheat. So going gluten-free wasn’t a huge change for me, since I have a pretty low grain intake anyway. After a month gluten-free, nothing changed for me at all. I bought a sub one day to test and had no symptoms from… Read more »
Kurt B.
3 years 3 months ago

Gluten containing foods usually have little to no nutritional value, and are thus empty calories. Not only that, but they don’t even taste good on their own. Once you conclude that pasta, bread, cereal, etc., are just vehicles for other stuff (sauce, meat, etc.) that DOES have value and tastes good, it becomes a lot easier to reduce and even eliminate gluten. The benefits have been worth it for me.

Nomad
Nomad
3 years 3 months ago

I agree! I used to really miss spaghetti. Then after reading a comment similar to yours, I decided to just make the sauce (I make a very thick meat sauce) and ate it like chili. It was great and I didn’t miss the noodles at all. Now, whenever I crave wheat, I ask myself “What is on it that I really want?” And just eat that!

Karen Mortensen
Karen Mortensen
3 years 3 months ago

Nomad! I totally agree! I love meat sauce (spaghetti sauce with browned ground beef stirred in–and other optional ingredients, if you like them, like mushrooms, for instance). I eat a bowl of it, sprinkled with parmesan cheese, and it is sooo delicious. I don’t miss the pasta at all!

Kathy Dawson
Kathy Dawson
3 years 3 months ago
I went gluten free and sugar free about 10 months ago and have seen dramatic improvements in my health. When I do cheat, I get immediate digestive pains. I would like to add that one doesn’t need to feel deprived of anything in order to eat this way. But I do think cooking one’s own food is very important. I never buy the ready made GF bread or dessert products. I make my own from a blend of flours like coconut, almond, chickpea, flax meal and rice flours. I use stevia to sweeten my goodies. I make a loaf of… Read more »
Lynn
Lynn
3 years 3 months ago

OK – please post the Flourless Chocolate Cake recipe. I am interested:)

Robert
3 years 3 months ago
Yes. This. “My favorite thing is when “concerned health experts” caution against starting a gluten-free diet without talking to your doctor, paying for a test to determine a gluten allergy, and consulting with a registered dietitian. As if giving up bread, pasta, and cake for more animals and plants is a dangerous undertaking that requires professional assistance. As if removing gluten and feeling loads better only to feel terrible upon a chance reintroduction is an unreliable way to determine if you should go gluten-free.” Also – Has anyone else noticed a decrease int he their blood pressure? Both the wife… Read more »
Andre
Andre
3 years 3 months ago

Agreed!
Even Prevention magazine said to consult a doctor first!

quote: “cutting gluten without checking with your doctor first can lead to deficiencies in important nutrients, such as fiber, iron, vitamin B12, and magnesium, says MaryAnne Metzak, CDN, a nutritionist in Southampton, NY”

I’m starting tomorrow, on payday. No doctor will be consulted.

Shauna
Shauna
3 years 3 months ago

Seriously? Iron and B12 deficiencies?

I…

they…

….I have no words. *facepalm*

Hanna
Hanna
3 years 3 months ago

of course they have to say that, think of the law suits if they didnt……

jpatti
3 years 2 months ago
Well, going gluten-free CAN be bad if you do it by replacing all the standard gluteny foods with their gluten-free counterparts. Wheat flour is required to be fortified to prevent deficiencies, rice, tapioca and corn and such are not. In the “real world” where gluten-free bread, pasta and pizza are common place, there is a reason for caution. Here… not so much. I doubt readers here are going to decide to go gluten-free via a big pile of more expensive processed foods. No one gets LESS nutrition by replacing a sandwich with a big ass salad.
Shamir
Shamir
3 years 3 months ago
Definitely NOT a fad. My wife has an intolerance to gluten. She gets itchy every time she eats anything with it! Depending on how much gluten she eats, she can get extremely itchy. To the point of not being able to sleep. So we basically cut that out of our diet. As for gluten free pastas and breads, we do indulge from time to time. But for the most part, we keep it out. We only wish that restaurants would cater more as I feel that even though there is an awareness, there aren’t really any great options. Some places… Read more »
Julie
Julie
3 years 3 months ago

ITCHY! YES!!! I just made another connection! Thank your wife for me. This past weekend I indulged in food I’m no longer used to and had skin crawlingness/itchiness that was driving me mad!

bamboo
bamboo
3 years 3 months ago

FYI – My allergic reaction to gluten – started with wheezing/runny nose, then heartburn, then GI disturbance, then skin rash. The last time I had pizza after not eating gluten for a month – I had all of that and angiodema (face/mouth swelling). It’s not something to play around with.

Serena
3 years 3 months ago

“There is a principle which is a bar against all information, which is proof against all argument, and which cannot fail to keep a man in everlasting ignorance. This principle is, contempt prior to examination.” Herbert Spencer/Wiliam Paley

‘Nuff said 🙂
Happily Gluten free since 1987

Patrick
Patrick
3 years 3 months ago

Lovely and extremely apt quotation, thanks! 🙂

mrpom
mrpom
3 years 3 months ago

Mark

Avoiding Gluten probably good. App. 70% of americans have so reaction to it. I think not eating processed foods much more important. You have to consider how what is called food has changed in just the last 30 years. Wheat in this country just 30 years ago contained about 16% proteins, While today about 3%. No wonder their is an epidemic of wheat bellies. Good article.
Thx

connie curtis
3 years 3 months ago
Mark, Thank you for writing this article because its something that if your celiac or gluten intolerant you get this type of service at restaurants. Not all of them but the majority. I dont want to eat out not because of just getting sick but because of how I am treated. Do waiters think its good customer service to feel sorry for some one who chooses to eat no grains and they cant imagine what to eat without grains in their lives. Just get how the customer eats and tell me what they can have or can be adapted. Its… Read more »
YvonneJean
YvonneJean
3 years 3 months ago

“Third, in my experience, people who go gluten-free usually stumble into a Primal way of eating. ”

This was my experience. I was searching for ways to control my very bad heart burn/acid reflux and read somewhere that gluten could cause it. That led to me reading Wheat Belly. I thought it was crazy, but decided to give it a shot. It worked, so I started to wonder what else I was missing. I then read the Paleo Diet, and from there off to Primal Blueprint.

oxide
oxide
3 years 3 months ago

My experience was a bit similar to yours. In 2007, I had been on daily Prilosec when I tried a two-month anti-Candida diet. No yeast, nothing fermented, and very low sugar. I lost five pounds and didn’t need Prilosec, but when I went off the diet, back came the pounds and the Prilosec. When I stumbled on Primal 4 years later, it looked a lot like the anti-Candida foods. Sure enough, now I’m ten pounds lighter, but more importantly, Prilosec-free.

Michelle
3 years 3 months ago
Ditto. Did trial elimination diet for PCOS in Aug 2011. My seasonal allergies disappeared and acne lessened. I continued to eat gluten off and on, so long as I didn’t respond negatively. By Thanksgiving my responses got suddenly worse. I started having GI responses to gluten, which I had never had. Plus my allergies sort of came back. Went consciously gluten-free in Dec 2011. In Jan 2012 my cycles regulated for the first time in my life. In April 2012 I suddenly became intolerant to avocados and pineapple. I realized just being gluten free was not enough to heal my… Read more »
Jay Sherman
Jay Sherman
3 years 3 months ago
I have always been a skeptic of the gluten free lifestyle. Things change and life happens. We have a son who is now 2 1/2 and was diagnosed with ASD just after his first birthday. His is a non verbal form of autism. He would just look at things and not respond when you spoke to him. Not a sound would come from him. He would not look at you when you spoke to him. he would just stare blankly past you. He also had a bad case of exema on his face. We started doing research on taking his… Read more »
Patrick
Patrick
3 years 3 months ago
Removing gluten has greatly alleviated my often-crippling clinical depression (clinical meaning not caused by anything, and not amenable to doing things to “cheer myself up” either) and makes me wonder what my life would have been like if I’d been raised without it from infancy, as I was depressed and missing school because of it (not diagnosed as such) before I was 10 years old. I’m just mentioning this to show that it’s been my experience that gluten can have HUGE effects on brain & cognitive functioning, even in the absence of the normal celiac GI-oriented symptoms. I congratulate you… Read more »
Nomad
Nomad
3 years 3 months ago
Patrick, I have had a very similar experience. I had severe anxiety so long that I truly thought it was normal to live in constant fear. I thought everyone did. I was on and off medications for years for depression and such. The anxiety has cleared up 99% since going Primal. Whenever I “fall off the wagon”, some of the first things that starts are mood swings/anxiety (have you ever sat up half the night in panic that you forgot to water a plant at work?!?) It always makes me sad when I hear people describe themselves or family as… Read more »
Amy
Amy
3 years 3 months ago
Jay – Assuming otherwise normal interactions, (which it sounds like your son is now achieving), boys in particular can talk late even without other issues. My son didn’t talk until he was 3 and then by 9, the issue was getting him to be quiet. 🙂 Ordinarily, with all the other symptoms the speech is a big cause for concern. However, if he seems like he’s “normal” (that’s so hard to describe for a 3 year old) with the diet changes then there’s a chance the late talking is just how he’s developing. I wholly heartedly recommend reading “The Einstein… Read more »
Robyne Jane
Robyne Jane
3 years 3 months ago

Yes, I totally agree Amy. My middle son barely spoke until he was three, he had the odd few words. But then at three he started talking in whole sentences.

Mary Anna Singer
Mary Anna Singer
3 years 3 months ago

Great article, thanks!

Googling around gluten-free recipes sites/blog is howI first encountered the paleo/primal concept. So I’m grateful for the gluten-free proliferation, at least in cyber-space. Grok-on!

Gluten-Free Deb
Gluten-Free Deb
3 years 3 months ago
After growing up eating all the processed, gluten filled crap that modern food chemistry pushes at the American consumer, I am now a senior adult who eliminated grains many years ago. It is amazing to me why consumers continue to each the pizza, pasta, bread, cakes, cookies, pastries, you name it – then complain how bad they feel and how fat they are getting. How they need heartburn meds, ExLax, Viagra and statins. Is it blind trust in the food industry? Is it denial? My oldest sister and an aunt both were diagnosed with colitis, then Crohns Disease in their… Read more »
Gina Cormier
Gina Cormier
3 years 3 months ago
After years of problems I was told I had IBS. No help from the Doctors. So, I did my own research and I sent for my own testing kit and lo and behold, I am gluten and casein intolerant. Not only me, but it is genetically passed down through my mothers side to my children according to the test results. Along with that, I can’t eat fresh fruit like apples, pears…. or any raw vegetable except tomatoes, cukes and lettuce. (sometimes lettuce is tricky) I have tried GF products and frankly, most of them suck or they still give me… Read more »
Paul
Paul
3 years 3 months ago

If an animal eats a gluten-containing product (e.g. chickens eating a non-pasture source of food) can that animal still be considered gluten-free?

Alyssa Tait
3 years 3 months ago

Yes, the meat product is gluten-free. There is no gluten in the end product, even if the animal has eaten gluten-containing food.

zusiqu
zusiqu
3 years 2 months ago

The meat will be gluten free… but the quality of the animal’s fat may change with the diet. Take beef: meat from corn fed cows is gluten free and so is beef from grass fed cows. The difference between the two will be in the composition of the fat.

BoboFett3
BoboFett3
3 years 3 months ago
I think you kind of touch on why people get so heated about gluten-free, it creates this wacky health halo. Additionally, I think people say really dumb things like “Oh well I was slightly allergic to gluten” or “I was really addicted to gluten” etc which is just not true in most cases. The big reason a lot of people lose weight and feel better is they stop eating crappy food. Even thought things like Cheetos are gluten free, I feel that when people steer clear of gluten the gravitate towards whole, natural foods and tend to cut out a… Read more »
Julie
Julie
3 years 3 months ago

Yes this: “The big reason a lot of people lose weight and feel better is they stop eating crappy food”. You nailed it.

In all this discussion, I haven’t even realized that my goal isn’t “gluten free”. It just happens to be that way because I go for primal. People assume I’m doing gluten free. They rarely assume I’m trying not to eat crap.

Michelle
3 years 3 months ago
I have to be gluten free and it saddens me when my parents try to “help” by asking me if I can eat low fat salad dressing, Pam spray, and other processed foods as they’re preparing dinner for the whole family. Sometimes, I ask to look at the ingredients and even though gluten-containing products are not listed, I tell them, no, I can’t. My mom is definitely drawn in by the gluten-free label. She knows nothing about cooking in general, and even less about gluten-free cooking, so for her the label is “helpful” for feeding me when I come to… Read more »
Abz
Abz
3 years 3 months ago
Gluten-free is more expensive? It’s funny when people say that. I go, compared to what? Considering, I rarely go to the doctor except for check ups. I rarely get sick. If I had to sit someone down and ask them: okay tell me your grocery list of all the shampoos and conditioners, facial washes, laundry detergent, followed by the money you spend on aspirin, antibiotics, other medications, trips to the doctor, money spent going out to eat and how much time you lose when you get sick (because time is money) over the course of a year? I’m pretty sure… Read more »
Phyllis Anne
Phyllis Anne
3 years 3 months ago
Mark, I felt the bite of a bit of sarcasm, but with my own experiences with gluten, I have some of the same sarcasm as well. Well, after having 50 years of day and night crippling abdominal pain and chronic diarrhea and finally giving in and I started wearing a diaper to be able to go somewhere fun with my husband. Then on my MDs advice was to try going gluten free for 6 months, and out of desperation to try anything I did it, and the diarrhea and pain stopped completely after about ten days, and then normal bowel… Read more »
Amy
3 years 3 months ago
I wouldn’t suggest sourdough if you truly react that horribly to gluten. The souring process does pre-digest some of the gluten and lots of the starch in wheat, but it doesn’t completely eliminate it from the bread (else sourdough bread would not have any holes in it, or a crust, due to lack of gluten to hold its shape as it rises). I’m a long time bread baker. I mastered the art of sourdough baking in a quest to find a bread I could eat, that would not give me the bloating and belly ache and the anxiety spikes, and… Read more »
Suzanne
Suzanne
3 years 3 months ago

Wow. I’m totally impressed with all that work you did!

Shary
Shary
3 years 3 months ago

Phyllis, I would skip the sour dough if I were you. You’re obviously highly gluten-intolerant, and the idea that “acid breaks down the gluten” is more than likely bogus.

Julian Greene
Julian Greene
3 years 3 months ago
I have just recently discovered that I am a classic female Aspie (Asperger’s). The interesting thing is that, as I read through the symptoms, I realized I used to have some of those symptoms but no longer do. Why? Because those symptoms were all diet-related. Since I’ve completely cleaned up my diet, many of the characteristics have abated. I hope they keep researching the Autism/non-celiac gluten sensitivity. I think it’s broader than that, but they are certainly on the right track. And, yes, people don’t have to inflict their “gluten-free” lifestyle on the world. Stay home and cook. On the… Read more »
Patrick
Patrick
3 years 3 months ago
I understand what you’re saying, but isn’t it a good thing that there’s more awareness now that gluten has ill-effects for an awful lot of people, meaning we ALL have more choice? Staying home and keeping silent has never helped anyone, especially those with non-obvious health issues – the very reason there’s more awareness about Asperger’s and the massively wide range spanned by ASD is because people didn’t stay silent, and braved the same storms of “Oh, that’s just some fad label, everyone has a ‘syndrome’ nowadays because it’s fashionable” etc. 🙂 Also, if you search up the term “gluten… Read more »
Jejunum
Jejunum
3 years 3 months ago

While certain food allergies are real (peanuts can really kill some people, for example), it is also true that the placebo effect of changing ones diet is also real. And so some people attribute feeling better to cuttingout natural, wholesome grains, potatoes, etc. in their diet, because of this well-known effect.

There is also a genetic disposition that plays a role in all of this. For example, Italians eat lots of pasta and bread and live very long lives. But high-carb diets in some populations (Native Americans, for example) results in the diabetic condition.

Patrick
Patrick
3 years 3 months ago

Do you have any links to prove that placebo applies to dietary changes, especially on an ongoing basis?

Jejunum
Jejunum
3 years 3 months ago

There are many, but I’d rather not ruin a good thing that clearly helps many people.

Here’s one:

http://paleohacks.com/questions/36820/how-much-of-paleo-eating-is-a-mental-placebo-effect#axzz2dwaShfYI

Jejunum
Jejunum
3 years 3 months ago

and this doesn’t prove anything. I have not looked at PubMed, etc. Placebo is powerful, though, and if dietary changes make us feel better, that is a good thing to an extent (pork chops don’t grow on trees, etc.).

Regards.

Patrick
3 years 3 months ago

I would think any placebo effect from dietary changes would be countered by the placebo effects in favour of gluten and wheat, especially the CW’s endless claims that it’s “heart-healthy” – which are plastered all over the cereal boxes in supermarkets – and that all cereals should be at the absolute foundation of one’s diet? 😉

If the majority of dietary voices, from family & friends, medics, the media and everyday food labelling in stores tell you something’s healthy, they are more likely to affect the psyche than the relatively few (still) voices of those who suggest otherwise.

Amy
Amy
3 years 3 months ago

I suspect you’re young or lucky or both. Dietary changes for us less fortunate are not placebo effects. It’s harder to prove on a population level, but elimination diets in individuals is the scientific method in action.

At any rate, I’m sure that my parents didn’t imagine my dairy allergy as a (very) sick infant. Even if you don’t buy “gluten free” for the general populous, celiac disease, food allergies, etc are known medical issues that don’t respond to placebos.

Amy
Amy
3 years 3 months ago
Jejunum – There’s nothing to the link provided. It’s not a study – it’s n=1 (or n=2) experience if you read the comments. If you’re used to eating a certain diet, reactions to formerly “okay” foods happen. My husband is more sensitive to carbs now that we’re low carb/Paleo. It doesn’t mean the reaction is in his head – it means that his body has adjusted to the diet and has returned to a healthy reaction to junk food. For instance, almost everyone when they start smoking has to overcome a gag/coughing reflex. This is your body’s way of saying… Read more »
Charlotte
3 years 3 months ago

Awesome article. My new doctor brought up that many people are gluten-sensitive without it showing up on tests and that people are sensitive to GMOs, too. She said it was great that I’m avoiding them. I was pleased to hear that doctors are starting to acknowledge these facts, too. 🙂

I have had people roll their eyes at me about avoiding gluten, but I feel so much better avoiding it and other carbs in general (corn and potatoes) . No more bloating or feeling lethargic!

Eva
Eva
3 years 3 months ago
Time will tell if it’s a ‘fad.’ Low carb was very popular but now not so much. Gone are most of the lowcarb special meals at restaurants. Gluten free could go the same way. Even good things don’t always stick, especially if medical science attacks them. I have always had wonderful digestion so I was not at all a candidate for celiac. I had cut back on wheat due to paleo suggestions but finally I tried a run of no wheat at all and I found that I didn’t have asthma when I didn’t eat any wheat. The response was… Read more »
BicycleGuy
BicycleGuy
3 years 3 months ago
Are there people loudly advocating low fat eating? Are there people rigidly following (or trying to follow), low fat eating? Of course. I suppose that we can call low fat eating a fad, can’t we? An official fad with lots of official backing. My lady friend suffered a lot of GI issues, and initially it was medically considered the excess stress caused because her former husband was in her care for Alzheimer’s. Her life was stressful. But after he passed away, the GI problems continued. She may have missed a clue because she went back to her native Vietnam for… Read more »
RBmt
RBmt
3 years 3 months ago
Is gluten-free a fad? Well, possibly when you see the label on products that SHOULD be gluten free. Is gluten sensitivity real? Absolutely. All I can add is my own experience. Before adopting the Primal Blueprint diet, I had regular IBS-like symptoms where I would be up all night in the bathroom. This was a near weekly occurrence with no explanation of cause. Now, after three years of eating differently I rarely have this problem. In fact, I can almost guarantee that after eating a certain threshold level of wheat products I will spend the next night in the bathroom.… Read more »
Jay Cross
3 years 3 months ago
I love this completely fact-based post on what’s fast becoming an emotionally charged topic. Also wanted to point out that New York Mets pitching star Matt Harvey credits a low-carb, gluten-free diet with eliminating his lifelong stomach pains. From a recent ESPN article: Q: What do you like about your body? MH: I take pride in not being injured. I know sometimes you can’t control that, but fortunately I’ve never had issues. Also, I have an athletic build. Looking good with your shirt off doesn’t mean anything in the game of baseball, but it’s something I take pride in. I’ve… Read more »
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