I’ve seen a lot of people on the Celiac facebook groups that talk about not seeing the need for getting a definitive diagnosis. They say that since there are no medicines and no cure other than a gluten free diet, why not just go gluten free and not bother with testing.
True – today a gluten free diet is the only cure for Celiac disease. If gluten is removed and someone feels better, gluten must be the problem. And a gluten free diet is much better for people than a gluten filled diet, right? Celebrities swear by gluten free diets. Lots of books have been written about removing gluten and all problems go away – Wheat Belly is the first that comes to mind.
Maybe wheat really is the problem, but what if it isn’t. Studies show that a gluten free diets lacks fiber and some nutrients, like vitamins B and D, that are vital for human survival. Studies further show that gluten free diets, unless for specific medical purposes, can cause obesity and are not good for your heart. In processed gluten free foods, gluten often is replaced with sugar and fat – again, not so great for your heart. Gluten free diets help with symptoms from H. Pylori and SIBO, but don’t cure either. FODMAPS are often a culprit of non-Celiac gluten sensitivities. There have been studies to prove that reducing high-FODMAP foods, like gluten, reduce or eliminate the reasons people were not feeling better on a gluten free diet.
Diets are complex and how our bodies reacts to foods are difficult to pinpoint. Unless a doctor has specifically recommended a gluten free diet to help with celiac disease, it may not be the panacea to good health that people think it is.
Also, if celiac is suspected, please continue eating gluten until all testing is complete. I’ll talk about that another day.