By Lexi Petronis, Glamour magazine
Have you ever felt like you might have a gluten sensitivity--or do you know already that you do? I have at least three friends who get abdominal pains, bloating, and sleepiness after eating wheat--so they stopped. If this new proposed classification system for gluten-related illnesses is approved, my friends may be able to find out why wheat bothers them so much.
A group of experts has proposed guidelines to view gluten sensitivities on a spectrum, instead of "tolerant" and "intolerant." The researchers suggest classifying gluten-related disorders by what defenses the body uses.
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There's a lot of buzz about gluten; the Wall Street Journal reports that, in the U.S., sales of gluten-free foods grew to $2.3 billion in 2010--more than doubling from 2006. According to the researchers (whose study was partly funded by a maker of gluten-free products), people are confused about gluten, and some people are avoiding it when they don't need to: "It is well possible that many individuals are on a gluten-free diet for no sound medical reasons."
Does your body ever react negatively to gluten? These are some of the gluten-related ailments that the experts are hoping to further classify: wheat allergies (can result in hives, nasal and chest congestion, nausea, vomiting); celiac disease (abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, fatigue, osteoporosis, cancer); gluten ataxia (loss of balance and coordination; gluten sensitivity (abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, foggy thinking, mood swings).
Is anybody here gluten-free--or do you have people in your life who are? What made you start avoiding gluten in your diet?
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