Gluten disease is not a hoax

Gluten_Sceptic_everywhere

Gluten_Sceptic are everywhere

The gluten-free debate is getting hotter:  but gluten disease is not a hoax. It is the real thing.
I come across “believers” and “non-believers”. But a “belief-based opinion” is not how to decide the matter.  We have to deal with the facts. Only then we can be scientific about the gluten problem. The existence of gluten-sensitivity/ gluten-intolerance is a matter of data, not of belief.

 Gluten disease is not a hoax

Some people still believe that the world is flat – despite the overwhelming evidence. Well, here are a few recent anti-gluten-free statements that I have seen:
  • Gluten-free: passing fad?
  • The gluten-free hoax!
  • The great gluten-free scam
  • Gluten-free foods are all the rage
  • What’s all the hoopla about gluten-free?
  • Gluten-free imposters!
  • Gluten-free diets: Debunking the myth
Flat_Earth_Believers are common says Dr Rodney Ford

Flat_Earth_Believers are common says Dr Rodney Ford

No Gluten-illness hoax

Those launching tirades about gluten-free being a fad, and those who ridicule people trying out a gluten-free life-style are uniformed and or distorting the facts. With any food-related diet, there will be a fringe/fad elements. This does not matter and does not influence the facts. Our world is not black-and-white. Most concepts come in shades of grey that require reasoned and data-driven thought.
  • “Observations should not be dismissed because they do not conform to our current medical dogma. We are simply missing too many opportunities to help people get well.”
When it comes to gluten, undisputedly it does harm many people. However, the unanswered question is: “What is the size of the problem?

A survey this year shows that up to 30% of the USA population is either going gluten-free or substantially reducing their gluten intake. Of course some of this food-behaviour will have a fad/trend element. But, most of these people will genuinely have gluten-sensitivity. Now referred to as a “Gluten-Related Disorder”.

These gluten-diseases are only now being systematically investigated by the medical science community. Celiac-disease-expert-doctors have now recognised that gluten does in fact severely affect many non-celiac sufferers. Most doctors dealing with gluten-sensitivity estimate that it affects at least 10% of the population. Dr. Alessio Fasano, director of the Center for Celiac Research at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, figures that up to 7 or 8% of the U.S. population have some kind of sensitivity to gluten.

Eventually, the proportion of gluten-affected people is likely to be much higher. Currently, gluten-sensitivity can only be tested for by AGA (Anti-Gliadin-Antibody) tests (also known as the IgG-gliadin test). However, this test is not widely available. Also, this test is not very accurate. More accurate and more sensitive tests for gluten sensitivity are currently being developed. When these are in use, the clinical picture will become clearer. Diagnosis is currently based on “elimination and challenge” with gluten.

Research evidence shows that gluten has a hand in triggering mental illness, autoimmune disease, skin problems and gut disease. As yet, the burden of gluten on the population has not been properly quantified.

I hope that you get a chance to look at this data  Hadjivassiliou M , “Gluten sensitivity: from gut to brain”, Lancet Neurol. 2010 Mar;9(3):318-30) and
The Spectrum of Gluten-Related-Disorders
http://www.biomedcentral.com/content/pdf/1741-7015-10-13.pdf  A landmark consensus paper, by international gluten medical experts, that now confirms that gluten causes many common illnesses.
I deal with these issues in my kindle book:
“Gluten-Related Disorders: Sick? Tired? Grumpy?”
Cheers, Dr Rodney Ford.