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Should Everyone Adopt a Gluten-Free Diet?

hand heart on stomachFrom the GF symbol found on many restaurant menus to the grocery store aisles filled with gluten-free goodies and meals, it’s clear that gluten-free diets have become increasingly popular over the years, with many people adopting this lifestyle for various reasons.

However, there is still confusion about the benefits and drawbacks of a GF diet. Let’s look at gluten and its effects on the body, explore the indications for a gluten-free diet, and examine the challenges that come with this lifestyle change.

What Is Gluten?

Gluten is a component found mainly in wheat, but can also be found in barleys and seeds. It is a mixture of water-insoluble prolamins and has been used in cooking since the sixth century in China. Gluten is found in 20% of our food consumption, including breads, pastas, cereals, and baked goods.

Who Can Benefit From This Diet?

One of the primary indications for a gluten-free diet is celiac disease, a chronic autoimmune disease caused by gluten intolerance in the intestines. This condition affects 1% of the population. A GF diet is also beneficial for dermatitis herpetiformis, a condition that causes itchy blisters on the skin, and gluten ataxia, a neurological autoimmune disease.

Wheat allergies and non-celiac gluten sensitivity can also benefit from a gluten-free diet, as can inflammation in the body, such as irritable bowel disease and irritable bowel syndrome.

What Are Some Challenges?

Adopting a gluten-free diet requires a lifestyle change, which can be challenging for some. One of the major challenges is the cost of GF foods, which can be more expensive than their gluten-containing counterparts. Cross-contamination is also a concern, as foods made with gluten can cross-contaminate foods that do not contain gluten.

Dr. Erik’s Personal Experience

I have been on a gluten-free diet for about six months now, not because of any of the above conditions, but because I have an aversion to it. I have noticed a significant reduction in inflammation in my body, improved digestion and excretion, and less puffiness in my skin. Dr. Erik Camac of First State Health & Wellness‘s Reheboth office.

Fact or Fiction?

It was previously rumored that a GF diet was associated with coronary disease, but a study in the Nutrients Journal in November 2021 debunked this myth. However, more research is needed into the neurological and cognitive effects of this type of diet, including brain fog and autism.

Is Gluten-Free Right for You?

A GF diet can be beneficial for certain conditions and personal preferences. However, it requires a lifestyle change and can be more expensive than a diet that contains gluten. More research is also needed to fully understand the effects of this diet on the body.

If you are considering adopting a gluten-free lifestyle, call our practice today for a consultation with Dr. Erik to ensure it is right for you.


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