Are you really gluten intolerant?

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Update August 11, 2014- The minority of diners who think that they are special and have the right to demand a gluten-free restaurant are ruining it for the rest of us. We have heard that some of the odd menu items on restaurants near us are driven by fear of upsetting these wackjobs.

There is no such thing as gluten intolerance. Read below.

March 9, 2013 By Steven E. Greer, MD

Do you really have a problem digesting gluten? An NPR story recently covered this growing trend of Americans avoiding gluten. One third of Americans claim to be cutting down on products with gluten, but yet only 1% of Americans have celiac disease and truly cannot digest gluten.

In the article, ““Around the beginning of 2012 this thing starts to rise, and it has yet to peak,” Balzer says. “Right now 29 percent of the adult population says, ‘I’d like to cut back or avoid gluten completely.’ ” ….That’s interesting, since less than 1 percent of people have celiac disease, according to the National Institutes of Health. Those people can’t tolerate gluten, a protein in wheat, rye and barley. For them, avoiding gluten is the only way to avoid painful gastrointestinal problems and other symptoms caused by this autoimmune disorder…..But if the other 28 percent of people don’t have celiac, why are they trying to shun gluten? It could be that they’re sensitive to gluten. As we’ve previously reported, a small number of studies have found that people who don’t have celiac can still have difficulties digesting gluten……Or they could just think it sounds healthful…..After all, while not everyone may feel they have the health issues to justify cutting back on salt or fat, Balzer notes, “everybody has digestive issues — everybody.””

Avoiding wheat, in general, is a different concept. The American (and global) obesity epidemic is caused by processed foods, most of which contain wheat and sugar. If one avoids wheat products, such as pasta, cereal, and bread, as well as cutting down on sugar, weight loss will occur.

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