Gluten-Intolerance May Be Fake?

posted 2 years ago in Wellness
Post # 2
228 posts
Helper bee
  • Wedding: October 2015

I think that with anything we consume, there is always room for some intolerance. I stopped eating gluten for the most-part, because I was put on a food elimination diet for my chronic vertigo (food intolerances/allergies can cause you to retain fluid, making vertigo worse). I definitely noticed a difference when I cut out gluten, and also when I cut out dairy. Alternatively, lowering my intake of acidic foods and red meat didn’t do a whole lot for me. I also have noticed an huge difference with my IBS symptoms.

I’ve been tested for both celiac disease and lactose intolerance, I don’t have either. I guess it’s possible that it’s actually a FODMAP issue, but following a FODMAP diet is a hell of an undertaking… it’s very limiting and very complicated! If I didn’t notice a huge difference by cutting gluten and limiting dairy, I may try it… but what I am doing now has really improved my health and quality of life for the past 1.5 years!

I think that at the end of the day, it’s important that we listen to our bodies. We’re all different, and just because we may not have a diagnosis of celiac disease, doesn’t mean that every single person’s body processes gluten easily. Some people get heartburn from cucumbers, I can eat them with every meal and feel nothing! I don’t think it’s ever a case of real vs. fake. Whatever the research says, at the end of the day I’m not going to put anything into my body that doesn’t make me feel good.

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by  _chelsbelles.
Post # 3
5222 posts
Bee Keeper

Apple_Blossom:  I have definitely noticed it being more of a “fad” amongst some people I know. This is an irritant of mine because my DH has severe IBS ( Irritable Bowel Syndrome)– and he has been tested for  food allergies and gluten intolerance, Crohn’s Disease, Ulcerative Colitis and IBD. He is 32 and has also had 3 colonoscopies and upper and lower GI tract tests done. His cousin has Crohn’s, and it is very limiting what he can eat. We are combing through medical records and family members trying to see if any of his distant relatives has anything similiar.

Unfortunately, we haven’t found the source of his discomfort, just a few trigger foods here and there. We spent a day at the ER last week with a flare up he was having… it’s not fun and having a gluten intolerance isn’t glamorous!

I always side eye the hell out of people on FB posting, ” ZOMG I totalllly cheated on my diet and had gluten today!! I am going to be soooo bloated! #FML#glutenfreeforme”. Yeah, I spend a lot of time deleting stupid people like that.

Post # 4
1437 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: November 2014

I definitely think it’s a fad. Celiacs have a legitimate allergy (and of course there are people like the PP’s DH who have legitimate, serious GI issues), but the whole idea of “gluten intolerance” has gotten completely overblown. I think the reason many people “feel better” when they cut out gluten is because (sort of as the article insinuates) it’s forcing them to cut out a bunch of sh*tty foods – beer, simple carbs like white pasta and white bread. That’s like saying “I have a big mac intolerance. I feel kinda crummy after I eat them.” No sh*t, sherlock!

FI is a doc and the consensus among the medical community (from having chats about this with his colleagues and superiors) seems to be in line with this article. I think people should eat whatever makes them feel good and healthy, but it’s kind of sickening to see companies cashing in on this fad just like they do every other one. There’s now a whole niche market for gluten free everything – pizza crust at restaurants, crackers, chips and cookies at the store, etc. Pretty soon the whole placebo effect of going gluten free will be lost, because people will just be eating a diet consisting of garbage again – just without gluten!

Post # 5
3222 posts
Sugar bee
  • Wedding: April 2015

Apple_Blossom:  interesting that this popped up today. My friend, who I thought had celiac’s, actually told us she was following a FODMAP elimination diet last night while we were trying to figure out dinner plans. She feels better (and looks slimmer!) when she doesn’t eat gluten, but doesn’t actually have celiac’s.

Post # 6
1473 posts
Bumble bee

Cutting out gluten cuts out a LOT of food. You have to change what you eat almost completely. I think that in turn cuts out what’s the real issue in a person’s diet so people believe it’s the gluten.

So I think going gluten free does help a lot of people, but I don’t know if I believe it’s the gluten that’s the problem in every case.

Post # 7
2455 posts
Buzzing bee

I think it depends of your definition of intolerance too. Almost everyone technically has a dairy intolerance (I read somewhere) but only in some it gets to the point of being sick. I’m not a doctor but it has something to do with the way your handles it whether you feel it or not.

I think I have an intolerance of really spicy things just from avoiding them for so long. Like when long-time vegetarians eat meat. Or why drinking the water in the DR will make me sick but not the locals. It depends how you look at it…as an allergy or just a “not used to it”

Post # 8
10454 posts
Sugar Beekeeper
  • Wedding: January 2011

applecat:  People who are allergic to wheat have a legitimate allergy.  People with Celiac disease have a legitimate immunological response but few immunologists consider it to be an allergy.

I’m not really a fan of the title.  Misdiagnosed covers it better than fake IMO.  I wouldn’t be quick to rule out gluten intolerance so quickly, but if it does exist I think it’s way less common than the number who claim to be gluten intolerant.  The FODMAP diet is interesting, but still needs more research.

Post # 9
2007 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: October 2014

I think everyone should read Wheat Belly, it does a great job of explaining gluten-intolerance. Basically, the wheat we eat today is not the same as the wheat our ancestors harvested years and years ago, and this is where the problem lies.

I cut back on gluten because I noticed a huge difference in the way I felt. Less bloating, less gas & constipation, less joint pain. I heard that gluten causes inflammation in the body and, for me, this is absolutely true. If I eat a bowl of whole-wheat pasta with homemade marinara for dinner, I am absolutely regretting it the next morning. I really don’t care if other people think gluten-intolerance is “fake” or the effects are a placebo. I care about the fact that I feel better.

That being said, I am educated enough to know better than to blindly eat anything labeled “gluten-free.” Many food companies use certain chemicals to remove gluten from their products, which are probably just as harmful as the gluten itself. A lot of companies will also slap a “gluten free!” label on a food product that never contained gluten to begin with just so they can sell it at a higher price point to some poor sap who doesn’t know any better. I’m hip to the shenanigans.

I don’t think it’s true that cutting out gluten has to be some drastic measure. I went from a whole-food vegetarian diet with gluten to one mostly without, by only changing a few key things. Nothing crazy. My daily routine has not changed much at all. This is how I know that gluten is the problem. And I feel SO much better.

Post # 10
2367 posts
Buzzing bee
  • Wedding: June 2014

Celiac is a real disease, and an allergic reaction to gluten is real. However, there are a lot of people that claim “intolerance” as a way of trying to lose a few pounds, without saying they’re on a diet. When you cut out gluten, you cut out a lot of carbs and calories, so you tend to lose weight. Most people who are overweight feel better when they lose some of it. It’s the same as people who eat a lot of junk food feeling better when they eat good that’s good for them. So it’s reactionary. It’s the “I felt better when I cut out gluten, therefore I have an intolerance” thought process. As opposed to “I started watching what I ate, I lost weight, ate heather and felt better” thought. 

Post # 11
188 posts
Blushing bee

Celiac disease does exist. I have a family member who is severely allergic to gluten, she has to watch everything she eats and carry an epipen.

Post # 12
1044 posts
Bumble bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

Yeah, that study does not surprise me. Pretty much every medical professional/RD I have heard speak about this thinks the new focus on gluten is complete crap, unless you have Celiac’s or something. As a PP mentioned, I think the anecdotal evidence is largely due to people eating healthier in general. That being said, if that is what it takes for someone to be at a healthy weight and to feel good; I am all for it. I just don’t think gluten is necessarily the enemy. 


beenonymous765:  I don’t think anyone is arguing that Celiac’s isn’t real. Gluten intolerance is something different.


Post # 13
151 posts
Blushing bee

One of my best friends has a condition called dermatitis herpetiformis, which causes her to break out in gross, painful blisters all over her body if she doesn’t follow a gluten-free diet.  She was my roommate many years ago when the condition first broke out, and I saw her go through many painful months of failed treatments before she was properly diagnosed.   She now has to follow a gluten-free diet, though she discovered that her body can metabolize small amounts of gluten here and there without causing her condition to flare up (i.e. she can eat regular soy sauce at sushi restaurants, etc). 

She loved it when gluten-free diets became really trendy in the past few years, because more restaurants started offering gluten-free options.   However, in the past year or so, she’s noticed the backlash starting.  People have accused her of faking her gluten-free status.  Waitresses roll their eyes if she mentions it (which she doesn’t unless it’s totally necssary; she’s very good at just adapting things to her restrictions).  An acquaintance made a big deal recently of her eating soy sauce, as if she had been “caught” in the act of faking her gluten intolerance.  Please don’t do this to people.  Gluten intolerance is a real thing.  I’m sure there are many people out there who are exaggerating their intolerance, but there many who have actual medical conditions (which may or may not be Celiac disease). 

Post # 14
670 posts
Busy bee
  • Wedding: December 2013

As somebody who has legit medical reasons, intolerances, and immuno responses, I can honestly say that I am loving the fact that GF is considered to be more popular. It basically means that I have options when I go out to eat at resteraunts now, and there is so much more variety that I can purchase than there was when I had to cut Gluten out of my over diet 5 years ago – the kicker is that they actually taste so much better now than they used to as well.

For anybody who consideres GF to be a weight loss diet, well, they are mislead – whether its those looking in from the outside judging people who are following a GF diet, or those who think they are going to lose weight by simply selecting GF options. Of course if you stick to whole foods, meat, veggies, fruit, etc. which are all naturally GF and do not deviate from that form of eating (subsquently cutting out most carbs) then you will certainly lose weight. I personally LOVE my carbs. I eat tons of potatos, french fries, rice, etc. – I just avoid grains, Wheat, Rye, Barley, and even Oats make me super sick. 

I personally have not lost weight, nor have I tried to, but I love the fact that my belly doesnt inflate 10” in diameter after eating my first meal of the day, I love that I have regular bowel movements, and I love that the headaches, fire-belly stomaches, joint swelling, acne, hair loss, etc have all  dissapeared. I can tell you within 30mns of eating something contaminated as my stomach will distend and cramp and twist like it has a hot knife in my large intestine searing through it and it takes me about 7-8 days to be able to fart or poop it out, and about another 2-3 weeks to full recover from the accompanying fatigue, joint irriation, water rentention, and migraines. 

What I don’t understand are the people who are so excited and anxious to disprove to those around them that GF is good for some people, and why people judge others who may or may not need to elimininate that from thier diet for playing around with what they shove into thier own mouths to see what makes them feel the healthiest and gives them what they feel is best quality of life.  In conclusion, I hope this “fad” sticks around for a long time, it makes my life so much easier and tasty!

  • This reply was modified 2 years, 3 months ago by  .
Post # 15
5222 posts
Bee Keeper

bbbria:  I do think Wheat Belly is a good read, I was given a copy from a friend and have modified my own diet some due to some of the information found in the book. I suspect most people DO feel better when they cut out foods like pasta and replace them with veggies. My issue is the crowd that claims they have a legit gluten intolerance, but have never been to an allergist– they just saw a few things on Pinterest about it and hopped on board! It makes finding/talking to people with true food intolerances difficult, because everyone has already diagnosed themselves! 

ETA: I do think it is great that those with true allergies have more food options now. I know how restricting it can be to do something simple as just going out to eat on a Friday night when there’s virtually nothing you can eat! So, there’s also a lot of good that has come out of the gluten free movement.

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