Is Gluten-free food and cooking just a fad?

It seems like everyone knows someone these days who is ‘gluten-free’. Is this a fad? Why is ‘gluten’ all of a sudden such a buzzword? One reason is because (some) American doctors are finally considering gluten intolerance and Celiac disease as a culprit for a host of maladies in children and adults such as indigestion, gas, bloating, constipation, diarrhea, mouth sores, failure to grow and thrive, inability to concentrate and mal-absorption.
It can also cause seemingly unrelated symptoms such as joint pain, headaches, ‘brain fog’, irritability, weight loss or gain, intensely itchy rash, frequent colds, anemia and arthritis. Gluten intolerance is correlated to over 100 different symptoms. Unfortunately, some people are asymptomatic. Those are the unlucky ones because in some people, untreated, on-going exposure to this protein can cause havoc in the form of lymphoma, osteomalacia (rickets) and/or rheumatoid arthritis.

Here’s the baffling thing — in Europe gluten intolerance and Celiac disease are well-known. Children are tested by the time they are five years old, but in America, people suffer an average of nine years before being diagnosed!
Gluten is a protein found in barley, rye, oats, wheat and spelt (remember the acronym BROWS). Gluten can only be traced back 10,000 years — and considering humans have been on earth between 400,000 and 1 million years, you can begin to understand how we didn’t evolve eating gluten.
Some experts speculate that we’ve reached a threshold as a species. Others suggest that since virtually every bite of food contains gluten, we’ve saturated our immune systems and simply cannot tolerate it anymore.
Gluten-free is not a fad. It’s just about time we learned more about it. If you suspect someone in your family may be reacting adversely to gluten, take them to the doctor for blood tests and then consider an elimination diet. Unlike other diseases, there is a cure – a lifelong gluten-free diet. It isn’t too hard, once you get the hang of it. For more information, please visit, alternative
Written By Jean Duane, Alternative Cook. Gluten-Free DVDs, video streams and a cookbook at alternative

3 comments on “Is Gluten-free food and cooking just a fad?

  1. My husband for many years has had a few small health problems…nothing much to really worry about. He did a bit of looking and reading and went Gluten free and these health problems have gone.
    I was in the same boat with small health problems…I didn’t read at the same time and just kept on going with my normal diet…till my husband left a web page open with some common symtoms…WOW.
    We are now both heading towards being Gluten free.
    I find it intresting “we’ve saturated our immune systems” Gluten is in so many foods today…like milk and soy. Not only are these things in so many of our foods but also the way they are ‘made’ or grown has changed too. Sprays, hormones, GE…this was not there…are we reacting to this as well as the food?

  2. I wish we were all tested for coeliac disease before the age of 5! Here in the UK, it is much like the States, and you are lucky if you have a doctor who is familiar enough with the condition to consider it. We were very fortunate that our own GP suspected it early, when my daughter was only 1, but it is common to hear of people who have suffered for years before diagnosis.
    I think that people are tested before 5 in Italy, where CD is very common.

  3. I wouldn’t be surprised if the threshold theory turned out to be accurate. For years, I watched my friends struggle with complicated allergen-free diets… and, during a particularly tricky bout of illness myself, went on an elimination diet: turns out I was allergic to wheat. Oh. Well then.
    Being GF wasn’t nearly as bad as I thought — and when my ten-year-old brother developed a milk allergy soon after, he already had a frame of reference for dealing with the psychology of it all.

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