Doctors Warn About Risks of Cutting Out Gluten
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When you go to any grocery store, you are likely to see a whole host of gluten-free products.
For the roughly three million people who suffer from celiac disease, they are a welcome alternative.
“They have a problem absorbing that or breaking it down and their bodies develop a reaction where they get damage of the small bowel,” said Dr. Kavya Sebastian, a gastroenterologist. “Eventually it could be fatal.”
But in the past few years, there has been a growing trend of people without celiac disease cutting gluten from their diets, saying they had a ‘gluten sensitivity’.
“After abstaining from gluten they see a clear difference in their symptoms which could be bloating, abdominal pain, again these are all very general symptoms,” said Dr. Sebastian.
Doctors say you should be tested before giving up gluten completely because those symptoms might be caused by another issue all together.
But what about people who eliminate gluten from their diet and say they feel better?
“I am not clear if that is entirely because they are cutting out gluten. I think it might be the associated effect of heating a healthier lifestyle,” said Dr. Sebastian.
Before anyone cuts gluten from their diet completely, doctors say there are some things to consider.
You could be eliminating necessary nutrients, and there is a possibility of weight gain because many gluten free products are higher in fat, calories, and sugar.
Most importantly, keep a diary so you can help doctors figure out what really may be going on.