The Wall Street Journal ran a story in their online health section yesterday about the adverse effects of gluten on people who test negative for Celiac Disease, the so-called “gluten sensitive” or “gluten intolerant.”
The story discusses a new study that provides evidence that gluten sensitivity has a very real effect on one’s intestines and immune system, in a different way than Celiac Disease. It addresses the common problem that people have of doctors being quick to judge symptoms as being “in one’s head” as soon as the Celiac test comes back negative.
The problem with gluten sensitivity is that it’s hard to pin down, the article says:
Some experts think as many as 1 in 20 Americans may have some form of it, but there is no test or defined set of symptoms. The most common are IBS-like stomach problems, headaches, fatigue, numbness and depression, but more than 100 symptoms have been loosely linked to gluten intake, which is why it has been so difficult to study. Peter Green, director of the Celiac Disease Center says that research into gluten sensitivity today is roughly where celiac disease was 30 years ago.
As of now, the only real treatment for gluten sensitivity is a more lenient form of celiac disease treatment – a gluten-free diet with the possibility of some cheating in small amounts.
The article also includes a video and a nifty chart:
I hope this opens people’s eyes to the possibility that their stomach pain might not just be indigestion or too much cheese on their pizza. As time goes by, more and more evidence seems to suggest that humans are not meant to be eating gluten, at least, not in such high quantities. Not when there are so many delicious alternatives!