Over the past few years awareness of the ill-effects that gluten can cause in many people has been without a doubt on the rise. But it’s still sad, and almost comical, how much drama the topic can produce.
For instance, I was thrilled to see this post in the New York Times providing gluten-free recipes for Thanksgiving–how cool is that?! But scroll down to the comments and the same old arguments erupt. Still, I think that all of the media attention that the gluten-free diet has been awarded this year thanks to Chelsea Clinton’s wedding and Gwyneth Paltrow’s healthy lifestyle is a GREAT thing! I really do!
Celebrities and media figures are realizing the benefits of a gluten-free diet and thus, the word is spreading. For those of us who have been diagnosed, whether we’re intolerant, sensitive or have celiac, we know that the road to recovery is a long one. Not because of the treatment, as that’s the same for all of us–don’t eat gluten. But the diagnosis.
I personally was about ready to give up, all my research proved that my symptoms ranging from migraines to acid stomach could all be a result of a gluten intolerance, but my GP didn’t know anything about gluten, and not knowing who to turn to, I went to an allergist, whose blood test came out negative, because I had eliminated gluten from my diet for the preceding three months.
But a chance encounter lead me down the right path, and I was diagnosed as severely intolerant to gluten. Do I have celiac? Well by definition, I would have had to go through an endoscopy to know. But I did not have the time, the money or any desire to go back on gluten for long enough to inspire accurate results.
So I may face discrimination from some sects of the gluten-free world. But it’s honestly not about them, it’s about me, and my health. And you and yours!
I do think that anyone who was diagnosed 20 years ago in a time before gluten-free options were so plentiful is a true rock star! And I think that anyone who has gone through an endoscopy is one tough cookie. But I don’t think that others should be discredited because they are “just” sensitive or intolerant. Because the bottom line is that they too will suffer if they eat gluten. And the more verbal and trendy we are about the potential benefits of a gluten-free diet, the more of the suspected 40% of Americans who are sensitive, intolerant or who have celiac will have a greater shot at finding better health.