Gluten Sensitivity and Science

The media has recently been referencing a report that “Italian researchers found that the Google mentions (of gluten-sensitivity) far outweighed mentions in the medical literature, at a ratio of 4,598 to one.”  This is being used as another basis that many are gluten-free unnecessarily.  Let me put this in perspective:

1.  First, just because we don’t have scientific research doesn’t mean that scientific observations are not being made.  We can learn from observation without formal research.  In fact, medical science has a name for this:  “clinical evidence”.  As an example, until the 1800’s, doctors didn’t know that washing hands prevented the spread of disease–and the first doctor that proposed the link between hand-washing and disease was scorned.  Here’s a quote from Wikipedia:

“From the 1600s through the mid to late 1800s, the majority of childbed fever cases were caused by the doctors themselves. With no knowledge of germs, doctors did not believe hand washing was needed. Statements like Dr. Charles Meigs’, a leading obstetrician and teacher from Philadelphia: “Doctors are gentlemen, and gentlemen’s hands are clean”, were the attitude of the time.[1] In the 1800s Dr. Ignaz Semmelweis noticed that women giving birth at home had a much lower incidence of childbed fever than those giving birth in the doctor’s maternity ward. His investigation discovered that washing hands with an antiseptic solution before a delivery reduced childbed fever fatalities by 90%.[2] Despite the publication of this information, doctors still would not wash. The idea conflicted with both the existing medical concepts and more importantly, with the image that doctors had of themselves. That intransigence consigned large numbers of mothers to painful, lingering deaths.[3] The scorn and ridicule of doctors was so extreme that Semmelweis moved from Vienna and was eventually committed to a mental asylum where he died.[4]

2.  There IS scientific evidence in standard medical journals that gluten-sensitivity occurs even when the individual doesn’t have Celiac.  Click here for a list:  References on Gluten Research 022412

3.  There are NO nutrients that are exclusively found in grains.  We can get all of our nutrients from vegetables, fruits, nuts, seeds, beef, poultry, fish, pork, and dairy.  The book “Primal Body, Primal Mind” by Nora Gedgaudas is an excellent source of nutritional information which is also well-referenced.  Click here for more information.

4.  A gluten-free diet should NOT be more expensive.  Gluten-free baked goods are JUNK FOOD as well as expensive.  I advise patients to eat whole foods only–vegetables, fruits, meats, etc.  Avoid packaged foods–this is true whether or not you are gluten-free!  Eating a gluten-free baked good (i.e., sandwich, brownie, cracker, etc.) should be treated as a TREAT only–i.e., eaten only once weekly at the most.

If you suspect that gluten may be a problem for you, please call and schedule an appointment.  We can determine best way to approach your diet–to your HEALTH!!

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