Originally Posted by eldergamer
Had a crazy naturopath doctor try and tell us the same thing. She was talking about how much "clearer" her mind felt since she and her family stopped eating gluten.
I hear crazy people at work and granola moms my wife knows self-diagnosing themselves with gluten sensitivites all the time.
The whole gluten-free thing is just a fad if you ask me. It's only necessary if you have a diagnosed actual auto-immune problem like Celiac.
Celiac and wheat allergies are two separate things. With a wheat allergy like I have, I get mild symptoms such as the rash which is a form of hives (uticaria) and it's kind of like having mild poison ivy - it itches and burns. It's nothing to take lightly. Clinically, they measure the inflammatory response to wheat when doing the Celiac blood test. Anything over a 2.0 (I believe) indicates Celiac, but anything over 0.00 shows that you have some sort of inflammatory response to wheat. I'm around a .2 - symptoms get much worse than mine.
Research in prominent medical journals has showed that wheat allergy and diabetes are linked on the same gene, so as diabetes increases in this country, so will wheat allergy. Having one or the other makes you high risk for developing the other, particularly having diabetes makes you likely to develop a wheat allergy. This is because a diabetic diet is extremely high in whole grains and the protein aka gluten is what makes grains whole as opposed to just the starch, and the more exposure you have to any foreign protein, the more likely you are to develop an allergy to it.
The reason why gluten is so troublesome is because it is structurally similar to proteins that are part of the human inflammatory process so the gluten binds to the receptors and make parts of your body swell up, like your GI tract and your skin, giving you the trots and hives.
No other country in the world has the same sort of large-scale genetically modified wheat dependence as the US, which is why they aren't seeing wheat allergies increase as quickly, but in general, all allergies (including things such as peanut and bee sting) are increasing everywhere. I've done a lot of research on this because giving up wheat was not something I was about to do unless it was absolutely necessary - I come from a family of pastry chefs.
As it is now, I eat gluten-free about 90% of the time, eating something that was prepared with flour one meal per week or so. The hardest things to give up have been fried chicken and meatloaf/meatballs. I'm still working out recipes for gluten-free versions of them.