Modern civilization has faced some incredibly deadly challenges. Bubonic plague, the Great Potato Famine, the Dust Bowl; but nothing quite compares to the terror that’s now upon our society, likely in your very home right now…and that terror is…GLUTEN! Seemingly innocent, even tasty at times- this substance threatens to destroy all things you and I hold near and dear to our hearts. If you have any gluten in your house, evacuate now before it’s too late!

What sounds like an exaggerated news report, is actually not very far off from the information available throughout fad diet magazines and social media gurus here in America. Although some may have you believe Gluten is the key to the gates of Hell, actual scientific research and basic nutritional principles help to prove otherwise. As we continue our bro-science myth busting here on BioLayne, it was time to state the real facts behind gluten, what it is, what it does, and why the guilt should be more on the people encouraging the fear of gluten rather than gluten itself.

 

Gluten, Sensitivities and Celiac

What exactly is Gluten?

Contrary to what the media may have you believe, gluten actually isn’t a bite-size demon hiding in your meals. It’s a group of structural proteins, which serve as a binding agent common in wheat, rye and barley products. Gluten itself isn’t a source of calories, and currently has no data suggesting it affects weight loss efforts. However, it does support the structure of tasty, often nutrient dense foods such as whole grain breads, cereals and pastas.

Celiac Disease

Celiac Disease gets talked about more than a high school girl wrapped up in a bad rumor, yet the frequency of such diagnosis are more like the quiet kid in the back always playing hooky. As recent as this year, the occurrence of legitimate medical diagnosis on gluten-related disorders is estimated to be around just 5% of the population. Despite this, the regular use of specialty gluten-free products is somewhere on the range of 12% to 25% of the population.[1]

Celiac Disease (CD) in itself is a disorder in which consuming gluten triggers an autoimmune response- leading to gastrointestinal disruptions and greatly reduces the absorption of nutrients. For those actually dealing with CD, consuming gluten on a regular basis can certainly create health issues, and eliminating gluten from the diet can be vital for proper health. However, as just mentioned, that prevalence is quite lower than many would be lead to believe through the constant fear mongering of gluten-containing foods by uneducated fitspos.

How is it diagnosed?

For those wondering how to actually find out whether they have CD (generally the only reason you should be avoiding gluten to begin with), visiting a gastroenterologist would be the best move. There, doctors can perform a few tests including biopsies, and testing for specific antibodies, which can help determine the presence or lack thereof, of CD with quite accurate reliability. Before swearing off gluten, if you fear your issues are arising from gluten consumption, make sure to visit an experienced doctor in that field before possibly eliminating something from your diet that isn’t actually causing any harm.

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