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Comments made by KitINstLOUIS

Gluten: The Marketing Versus The Science

Distilled vodka is always gluten free already, but celiacs can't drink any flavored vodka because manufacturers such as Skyy, Absolute and Smirnoff will neither disclose ingredients (flavorings can change based on supply options and they are no required by the FDA or the ATF to disclose ingredients) nor guarantee that those flavorings are gluten-free.

Also, in the past, certain brands of turkey, and even sweetened ham were injected with a wheat-based broth and were not gluten free. So it is very reassuring for celiac disease patients like me when the label states "gluten-free." For instance, I was mistakenly given the wrong bulk bacon at a store last week that contained barley malt flavoring. Barley is one of the three grains including wheat and rye that are considered "gluten grains." Yes, all grains have their own gluten, but corn and rice, et al, have a different, more innocuous type that doesn't necessarily affect celiacs and people with non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS).

As far as gluten-free hair and body products go, it is true that gluten needs to be ingested in order to provoke a celiac reaction, but we're really not sure about the 13% of the population who identify themselves as gluten-sensitive. Because their condition is one caused by a disorder of the innate immune system instead of the autoimmune system, we aren't quite sure what the extent of the etiology and process involved. In addition, many people on a gluten free diet may have allergies instead of strictly digestive-based intolerances and will be glad not to be in skin contact with gluten-free shampoo.

Please be sensitive to the needs of people with NCGS; they are trying to manage extremely disruptive symptoms without much medical guidance. There are no blood markers for their condition; medical science is trying to catch up to them, but they are still far behind. It's not the fault of the patient that there is nothing but trial and error to guide them. In the past few years, they've been called trend-dieters, hypochondriacs and attention seekers. Even though studies published by Dr. Alessio Fasano should have put this talk to rest, the ignorance is still being perpetuated.

Our environments have been altered considerably in the past 100 years. It shouldn't surprise anyone that our physiology has responded in unpredicted ways. To do nothing to support patients except dole out anti-depressants when they come in sick and in need should be considered a crime.

February 27, 2014 at 1:59 p.m. ( | suggest removal )