There is some recent discussion about whether having a gluten-free diet is useful for maintaining good health if you don’t have Celiac disease. The testing for celiac disease is already limited. The testing for gluten intolerance can prove to be even more difficult. What I find in my practice is 95% of people feel better on a gluten-free diet. Symptoms that are most often improved are abdominal pain, gas, headaches, anxiety and fatigue. Eating a gluten-free diet leads to cutting out baked goods, breads, pastas, crackers and lots of other snack foods. If many gluten-free alternatives are added into the diet, commonly there is a mild return of some of these symptoms. Why? In my experience, I find most people do best without flour in their diet whether it is gluten-free or not. Basically, most people feel better on a flour-free or in some cases a grain-free diet. In essence, the jury is out whether gluten is the main culprit of many seemingly related symptoms, but most people can benefit from a balanced gluten-free diet. Hint: stay away from those gluten-free donuts! If you are interested in testing yourself for Celiac disease or possible gluten sensitivities please give us a call. As stated above, these tests are limited but they can be a good place to start in some cases.
Azure Karli, N.D.
Bend Naturopathic Clinic