Report: Gluten-free diets not always a good idea

Gluten-free diets are popular these days, but commentary from the Annals of Internal Medicine says going gluten-free if you don’t have to may be a bad idea, reported.

Some individuals – like TV host Elisabeth Hasselback -- suffer from celiac disease, which is an autoimmune disease that triggers inflammation in the small intestine. People with celiac disease are allergic to gluten, a product found in wheat, barley and rye.

However, more people are adopting a gluten-free lifestyle, hoping to lose weight, boost energy or fix medical conditions like headaches and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. About 18 million Americans suffer from ‘nonceliac gluten sensitivity,’ according to Time.

However, Dr. Antonio Di Sabatino and Dr. Gino Roberto Corazza of Italy’s University of Pavia, said there’s no official data on nonceliac gluten sensitivity – and doctors are not sure how to diagnose it. (Celiac disease can be diagnosed by a simple blood test or bowel biopsy).

And Drs. Di Sabatino and Corazza said the alleged benefits of eating a gluten-free diet run rampant, but there’s just no scientific evidence to back it up.

“This clamor has increased and moved from the Internet to the popular press, where gluten has become ‘the new diet villain,’” they wrote in the journal.

It’s possible that you can have a reaction to ingredients in foods that also contain gluten – or you may discover symptoms simply because you think you are sensitive to these products.

The authors of the report discourage individuals from cutting gluten from their diet entirely, which could cause a fiber deficiency.

If you truly think you are sensitive to gluten, talk to your doctor, who may be able to run further tests.

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