Celiac: The Trendy Disease For Rich White People
    By Hank Campbell | August 28th 2012 04:03 PM | 573 comments | Print | E-mail | Track Comments
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    Are you white and a little resentful that black people get their own cool disease, sickle cell anemia?  There is good news for you. Celiac disease is all the latest rage and you can be any color at all and claim it.

    How do you know if you are gluten intolerant?  Elaborate assays?  DNA? At least a blood sample?  Nope, you just have to give up wheat and say you feel better and you are allowed to claim you have it. And proponents have even scarier numbers - they claim 97 percent of the people who have Celiac disease don't know they have it, so their ranks are really much bigger.

    Unfortunately, some people really do have Celiac disease, an actual immune disorder - gluten is like poison to them, not an 'I feel better if I don't eat a bagel' issue. Those sufferers are not the laughable 1% suddenly claiming they have Celiac disease, though.  Maybe fashion disease people grew up in the 1990s when teachers wanted all kids to be labeled ADD, or they are the types who go to parties today and determine 80% of other party-goers have Asperger's.  They are used to having something.  They need it.

    But for the real Celiac victims, there is good news, thanks to the fashion trend kind; due to the surge in gluten 'sensitivity', there are lots and lots of new products on the market to take your money. No surprise, since "Wheat Belly" was a New York Times bestseller.  Even Lady Gaga is on the bandwagon, claiming she is going gluten-free in order to lose some weight, despite there being no scientific evidence that going gluten-free causes weight loss, other than any sudden shock to your system causes weight loss - if Lady Gaga went on an all Meat Dress diet she would also lose weight. Heck, some studies even show that if you burn more calories than you consume, you will lose weight. Modern dietary science is downright revolutionary like that.

    But Lady Gaga is a rich, white girl so Celiac disease is the perfect self-diagnosis to make in 2012.

    “There are a lot of people on a gluten-free diet, and it’s not clear what the medical need for that is,” Dr. Joseph Murray, co-author of various studies from the Mayo Clinic , told Jeff Korbelik of the Lincoln Journal Star.

    When I was younger, no restaurants had gluten-free options and gluten-free products were also hard to find in stores.  I mean, wheat has been in bread for thousands of years and we have done okay. Not now, people have really changed a generation after I graduated college. Who says human evolution has stopped?  Well, maybe it hasn't stopped, maybe Americans are just evolving differently.  Social scientists want to believe, during an election year, that our brains are actually evolving differently for Republicans and Democrats, as an example.  A biology study by political scientists published in Trends In Genetics says they can map 60% of political affiliation to the genome. Might it be that there is also a new, left-right biology correlation to food and other diseases?

    So it would seem, at least according to trends about other beliefs.  Along with believing more in UFOs, psychics and astrology than right-wing people, left-wing people also believe they are hyper-sensitive to food. That could be genetic and may lend credence to often-dismissed kooky claims that they can taste GMOs or are allergic to them.  Same with vaccines.  Anti-vaccine people are overwhelmingly left-wing; while a right-wing state such as Mississippi is almost at 100% vaccination, left-wing Washington State is sinking below herd immunity levels and  kindergartens in Seattle report 25% non-vaccinated children.  Maybe they don't need vaccines the way genetically inferior right-wing people do. It could be that left-wing people have co-evolved a much stronger immune system to go along with their super-smart brains. Well, except for celiac disease, they have a super-strong immune system.

    No rash. She must be a Republican. Credit:

    What do non-scientists out in the real world feel about the disease trend? A chef on Straight Dope noted:
    How about a chef's perspective? I do banquets for conventions and other large groups, and for the five years I've been doing this kind of work (been in foodservice for 27 years, but 5 in banquets/conventions), I've seen definite patterns.

    Groups that skew toward membership with higher education levels and, usually, a more "liberal" or "left-leaning" tendency (environmental groups, women's groups, advocacy groups, Democrat Party fundraisers, any group where the women far outnumber the men, etc.) tend to have a much higher percentage of members with "special" dietary needs, including gluten-free, all manner of allergies, vegans/vegetarians, lactose-intolerant, etc., while lesser-educated, more conservative types of groups and groups with more men than women tend to cheerfully eat whatever the hell we put in front of them.
    No real shock there.  By itself, that is not evidence, but the people most inclined to have a 'natural' fetish tend to invent reasons to justify it, and they can afford it.  Faux Celiac disease is for the agricultural 1% - if you can buy organic food, you can afford gluten-free too.  

    Hopefully more companies catch on to this public health crisis but some seem to be showing real leadership on the issue.  Chipotle's must be in a panic, I thought, because that is where the demographic mostly likely to have trendy Celiac disease go for authentic Mexican food.  Nope, they are already aware. Most of their menu is available gluten-free.

    I'm tempted to go gluten-free myself.  I am educated, I live in California, I assume I am supposed to be gluten-intolerant like an alarming chunk of middle class white women here are.  Plus, I wouldn't want to miss out on this health boost the way I missed out on the other big dietary trends that promised to save America, like the Tapeworm Diet or the Macrobiotic Diet or that All Booze Diet.

    We all remember how those made us thin and healthy.


    Gluten sensitivity and coeliac disease are two different things. Conflating them is unuseful. You basically set up a straw man in this article.

    Well, innate 'sensitivity' is too fuzzy to be meaningful as diagnostic criteria for anything and I live in California, where a lot of people with this innate sensitivity are claiming to have Celiac disease.  You may live in Missouri or Tennessee or some place more scientific.

    Without the autoimmune comorbidities there is not much way to know who has sensitivity and who is part of a fad.  It is subjective.
    How could you be the founder of a science site and not even bother to read the link given to you in this article that discusses the research being done into sensitivity. Just because you're mad some fellow Californians are not eating a certain food doesn't give you the right to be this dismissive and ignorant. Science can't be revolutionized by providing essays like this with unfounded, reactive opinions about pet peeves of your own. Your obviously sarcastic response betrays your attitude and willingness to ignore research which is anti-science. I hope that the next time you go out to eat the words gluten-free fall repeatedly and loudly upon your ears as you are able to sample any delightful thing on a menu that is full of POISON for those of us whose DNA has bequeathed disease and allergies to us.

    I had read it before and my comment addressed what the research found versus the big cultural umbrella you sought to create with it.  As I said, 'sensitivity' is entirely subjective, they actually found nothing in gluten sensitive people you don't find in any person when they ingest food.  

    You are not doing Celiac disease patients any favors by seeking to claim a huge swath of people have it.  If you are an anti-science food crank, you are wasting your time.  If you have constructive information about the disease - or about the people who are faking it for attention - by all means make your case.
    any delightful thing on a menu that is full of POISON for those of us whose DNA has bequeathed disease and allergies to us.
    If you have Celiac disease, what is the problem?  Where did I say you don't have a serious issue?  If you are instead one of the charlatans who saw this on Dr. Oz and self-diagnosed yourself, then yeah, I am making fun of you.

    I am not claiming a huge swath of people have it. I have explained to you that the increase is because of increased testing. On average it takes years to diagnose. It took from the age of 9 to 16 to diagnose me.

    What I don't get is why you picked this. I have Celiac Disease. I have been diagnosed. I am merely mildly annoyed that celebrities claim it. I have often said to my friends that the fad has benefited me because when I went gluten free it took two years, in the late 90's to find out what I could and couldn't eat. When I went out to eat with friends I could get a baked potato and that was pretty much it. Now, I can eat at a lot of places.

    I also am arguing with you because I know what suffering from eating food is like. I was malnourished. I stopped growing at 9. I had every symptom associated with it and I have long-term consequences from my years of eating gluten. If someone else I know feels physically better because they stop eating wheat and barley I feel good for them because I don't want to see other people suffer. I don't care if they went to a doctor because it's not hurting me.

    I agree with you that it's stupid for people like Lady Gaga, who has the money to go to a doctor, to self-diagnose. But she's going to switch to a new fad at any moment, so I'm not worried. As I said to Gerhard, she and a few fakers do not have the power to deligitimize my disease. I refuse to give them that power and sciences's ability to test for this disorder also refuses to give them this power.

    This piece could have been really insightful and well-done, but for me, an actual Celiac patient, this just came off as another hurtful ill-informed piece.

    I do not think there is anything wrong with " comment" I have Celiac Disease, its not a JOKE and although it has become a fad clearly there are people who live all around the country and world for over 5 decades who have been properly diagnosed but through studies in Europe during famine and then later genetically (as I was) and did elimination diets. Those who eliminate wheat and drop a few pounds are not for sure a full blown Celiac they could just be sensitive but for people like me who have suffered and never knew why, who had skin rashes was in pain my whole life, gained weight even when I thought I was eating ok was always fatigued had so many other symptoms. MY MOTHER DIAGNOSED ME! from reading about Celiacs Disease HAVING A BRAIN and looking at our family health history and then we did an elimination diet I dropped 10 pounds in 1 week felt better etc. My mother diagnosed my Vit D deficiency and then we had it tested because she read and educated herself because my father is a diabetic and Celiacs because it is on the strand have a genetic tendency in many cases to become diabetic. I DON"T APPRECIATE PEOPLE making light of Celiacs and if the fad declines which is will not because of ILLNESS IN THE POPULATION both white and MIXED people who are mixed with Europeans who carry the is a horrible thing to live with, MORE IMPORTANTLY if you do SELF DIAGNOSE and drop 47 pounds from eating REAL complete gluten free and partial grain free grass fed meat real veg fed eggs ....basically eating food as it was 100 years ago...before it was modified and bastardized with toxins galore......u get healthier BUT YOU STILL even if YOU DO GET BETTER skin clears up, insomnia goes away etc YOU NEED TO GET checked by a doctor WHO LOOKS FOR THE CAUSES of illness and that does not just TREAT THE SYMPTOM.

    I went to a doctor who did a scope and standard (not full) panel and he told me NO ur not a celiac ur fine HE MISSED enlarged spleen, fatty liver and stones in my gallbladder and the fact that 4 months later I WENT TO A PROPER CELIAC TRAINED DOCTOR at the CEliac Disease Center in NY I NOT ONLY carry the GENE am allergic to ALL GLUTEN but turns out (which I did not know) I am allergic to soy and Peanuts, even though I have been eating them my whole life .....and well had horrible eczema my whole life and suffered.............SToPPED eating the peanuts and soy (including oils) and maintained Gluten Free Diet with now no Peanuts and soy......I dropped 29 pounds in 42 days eating like a rash is gone. my skin is hair stopped failing out and now I am just taking vitamins every day and trying to get my vit d levels up....heal my liver................

    SO articles like this SEND THE WRONG MESSAGE and can OFFEND Celiacs not those who are sensitive and want to drop weight..........

    and speaking of GAGA she is Italian, being her families health issues and the fact that her body responds to a true gluten free diet means she most likely could have a genetic marker for it and thus responds so well to it both mentally and physically...........

    REALLY GLUTEN FREE TO ME means natural food....not step away from the ground..................eating healthy wholesome prepared food that is clean, etc not sodium laden chipolte and crap .........................if you eat like they did in the early 1900's just standard proper portions and without the gallon of salt and crap...............................Celiac or not you will be healthier.................but for is always a battle...bc cross contamination at places can do damage ........that no one who IS OFFERING THEIR OPINION ABOUT THIS ARTICLE would ever WANT TO EXPERIENCE ever

    Thank you Jesse B! Shame on you Hank Campbell ! I'm of East Indian decent mixed with other races. I married an Italian where bread and pasta was the norm. I gained weight, developed bad skin and was tired all the time. The pain was excruciating and it became my norm to stay home for years near a bathroom. It wasn't until my elderly aunt came for a visit and started running to the bathroom and confessed at how embarrassed she was to live with her son in law and daughter with this problem that I saw a similarity. She loved to bake everything! Years later it had gotten so excruciating that I finally went to a doctor who did an IGF and stool test. He diagnosed me with celiac disease. I responded ....isn't that a caucasian disease and I'm brown. He responded "something got mixed in with the coffee beans". We laughed. I bargain with God everytime I eat wheat products because of the pain. It is not a joke , nor a pretension. I went undiagnosed for so many years because of my color. Thank God for that doctor at Path Medical in NYC.

    Shame on you Hank Campbell...He diagnosed me with celiac disease.
    Maybe English is your second language so you can be forgiven for not understanding this article.  Otherwise, you are 'shaming' me for defending people who have Celiac disease from fakes claiming it as part of a fad and causing skeptics in society to dismiss everyone because of that.  That makes no sense at all.
    Her English was excellent, and she obviously understood your article. You say there were no gluten-free menus when you were younger, and this is true, I remember that it hasn't been long that there have been so many "gluten and wheat-free" cereals, cookies, and pancake mixes on the shelves of grocery stores, nor were there gluten-free menus at restaurants. Twenty years ago there weren't special autism classes at public schools packed with vaccine-damaged, autistic children, nor were there stories in every newspaper and magazine and on every news broadcast about different facets of the autism epidemic. In the '80s, the vaccines on the recommended schedule were only DPT, polio, and MMR (although Heaven knows those were bad enough!), but in the mid-'80s they added Hib, then hep-B at birth in 1991 for a sexually-transmitted disease that children didn't get, then Prevnar, chickenpox, flu, rotavirus, HPV, meningitis C, hepatitis A in some places, lotsof new Tdap boosters, shingles, and pneumonia shots for adults. Merck quadrupled the amount of mumps virus in the vaccine in 1990, at the beginning of the autism epidemic, but is said to have recently quietly reduced it again. There is twenty times more Alzheimer's in the U.S. now than in 1980, about the year when yearly flu shots for adults began to be pushed (aluminum from the vaccine accumulating in the brain?), more autoimmune disease of every kind, so that we now have the sickest generation of children in American history, although it is also the most-vaccinated one. This is not a made-up claim, but one which even the medical establishment admits is true, but it just scratches its head, and claims to have no idea what the cause could be.
    Rich white people may be more likely to ask for every new vaccine for adults that comes down the pipeline, making them more likely than others to suffer from the ill effects of vaccine reaction, including digestive disturbances from gluten allergy or intolerance, or celiac disease. They have a gluten-free menu at Disneyworld now, to accomodate the thousands of autistic children on gluten-free diets whose parents take them there. I submit that your memories of things as they used to be is accurate, but times have changed, and the factor that is well-nigh universal that has changed the most is the number of highly antigenic vaccines that nearly everyone and his dog (literally, and dogs have an epidemic of autoimmune disease caused by vaccines as well) gets in our society. People of every color and every social class are affected, though it may be the rich ones who are most vocal about it and can afford the higher-priced, gluten, wheat, dairy, corn, tree nut, and egg-free foods that are the most problematic, having been sensitized to them by the highly-antigenic foreign animal and human proteins in the vaccines.

    When you see "gluten-free" items popping up the shelves of every grocery store, on many restaurant menus & even on the in flight menu I just saw, I don't think we need to worry about skeptics ruining it for those w/ celiac disease. It appears to be growing & if the "fakers" are the cause for this, I'm sure most people w/ Celiac disease would thank them.

    Thank you Jesse B; this article is very offensive and my case is similar to you so thumbs up for posting this reply on behalf of celiacs

    very well put Jesse B! I suffered all my life, was finally diagnosed when I was in my 40's and my health has improved dramatically. I am very frustrated with all the "fad" talk because I live in a small city with only two gastro docs and one of them never tests for celiac because he says its just blown out of proportion and the other told me that I know more about the disease than he does. I was 90 lbs soaking wet and my body was shutting down when I was finally diagnosed and I wouldn't wish that on anyone. I have permanent damage to my intestinal tract so I can't eat a lot of the foods that they say are gluten free. I am also tired of "famous" people getting so much attention when they go gluten free, I really don't think that helps those of us who really have to live with Celiac everyday. Even the US Government deciding that a food can have 20ppm of gluten in it and be labeled gluten free is a joke! That product will make me sick. I didn't get to enjoy my childhood because I was always sick with this or that, same with my teenage years. Doctors made me feel like I was crazy or a hypochondriac and they laughed and made jokes that I weighed a pound per inch growing up, the dermatologist told me I was "allergic to housework"! I now work in a hospital on a med surge floor and the nurses even think its a big joke so much so that they smashed cake on my car and crush crackers up on my desk while I'm at lunch. So, please, to all those who think this is a fad, please realize this is a serious disease to those who really have Celiac and treat them and the disease with respect.

    If that was actually true, perhaps you would have a point. Although there is no testing available yet for non-celiac gluten intolerance, at least one study seems to show that it exists. From the wall street journal:

    "A new study in the journal BMC Medicine may shed some light on why. It shows gluten can set off a distinct reaction in the intestines and the immune system, even in people who don't have celiac disease.

    "For the first time, we have scientific evidence that indeed, gluten sensitivity not only exists, but is very different from celiac disease," says lead author Alessio Fasano, medical director of the University of Maryland's Center for Celiac Research.

    In the new study, researchers compared blood samples and intestinal biopsies from 42 subjects with confirmed celiac disease, 26 with suspected gluten sensitivity and 39 healthy controls. Those with gluten sensitivity didn't have the flattened villi, or the "leaky" intestinal walls seen in the subjects with celiac disease.

    Their immune reactions were different, too. In the gluten-sensitive group, the response came from innate immunity, a primitive system with which the body sets up barriers to repel invaders. The subjects with celiac disease rallied adaptive immunity, a more sophisticated system that develops specific cells to fight foreign bodies."

    Further study, is, of course, necessary - and it may turn out that this wasn't a good study and these people are full of it. But to say that there is no evidence for it at all shows that you are ignorant of the subject and failed to do your research.

    I am a celiac and thought this article was hilarious. And seriously thank goodness for the trend setters, I now have a huge selection of boxed foods at the grocery store and choices in restaurants. Trend set away! And FYI you can itemize your special foods in your taxes under medical expenses if you're not that rich.

    I'm also surprised more people with Celiac disease are not making fun of attention-whoring pretenders right along with me - but the majority of the people commenting and angry don't have it, and being told that hurts their self-image.  A few others regard attacks on pretenders as ridiculing the disease, which is fine, if misguided.

    I do agree, like I said, that the fad has been good for sufferers because of marketing critical mass. The days of mail order had to be pretty tough.
    I guess the reason I don't find it funny is because people do not believe me when I say I have celiac disease. They assume I am just another "fad loving attention whore." So while you all are making fun of people because you don't think they have it, they very well might. This disease is not fun. Left untreated, it can cause neurological problems, cancer, and death. And if people cut out gluten just because they feel better, or because their acne clears up or because they don't bloat anymore, more power to them. It's not for you to judge or poke fun at.

    Gerhard Adam
    ...making fun of people because you don't think they have it...
    When they are self-diagnosed, they don't know they have it.  So the question isn't about whether they feel better without gluten.  The question is what compels someone to claim a disease for themselves that they've never diagnosed with?  Why the need to provide such a label?

    People can make whatever choices they like, but when they specifically begin claiming to have a condition or disease without a diagnosis, then one has to wonder about their compelling need to lie.

    Mundus vult decipi
    I feel the same way...that people think I am just making up that I have Celiac Disease and am just being difficult when I have to special order in restaurants, etc. I have been diagnosed and have the pictures of my intestines to prove it. It's not a "fun" disease, nor is it a way to lose weight. In the past two years, I have seen more and more items that I can now buy as gluten free and more restaurants that have menus. That's certainly ok with me if someone wants to claim Celiac Disease. If they spent hours in the bathroom puking or having diarrhea like a lot of us do when we get gluten, it wouldn't be such a fun fad anymore.

    Hank, are you getting death threats yet?
    (Seems like people are just not understanding you and at the same time people cannot simply get over themselves. Yes, I'm celiac, no I don't take offense to this article and no, I don't sulk every night about not being taken seriously in restaurants that i chose to go to and blah blah blah. So more about me and my condition)

    People are relatively calm in comments here compared to the emails they send.  One person wished I got the black death - now, it is actually kind of awesome in an old school way that someone wishes the Bubonic plague on me, but in reading the whole email I think he meant sickle cell anemia.  Most of the others just hope I or my children acquire Celiac disease. Somehow it is both genetic and yet I can acquire it via email wishes, like long distance healing or whatever.

    Anyway, as I said, the good news for you is more choices and less of that  mail order stuff (and sketchy quality control) people with the disease had to endure when I was younger.  The downside is loons make it a little more dangerous too.  If someone sees a bunch of fakes and thinks that maybe you are faking, they may say something is gluten free when it is not, just to not have the drama.  You getting poisoned because someone saw this on Oprah and felt they should have it is not good.
    I think the real problem is with those, who you call fakers, saying they have celiac but who then proceed to eat 'just a little' gluten. This sends the wrong message. However there are also biopsy diagnosed celiacs that cheat on the diet also. I am probably one of those that you would term a faker. I am self diagnosed although, based on my reaction to the elimination diet, my doctor has said I'm probably gluten intolerant. I can live with that. After a course of antibiotics I also became lactose intolerant. I eat gluten (by accident such as cross contamination) I get ill. I get dairy, I get ill. I won't bore you with the list of ailments that disappeared on a gluten/dairy free diet but they were such that I won't do a gluten challenge for a formal diagnosis because I don't ever want to feel that bad again. The fact that people continue to talk about celiac is a positive thing, it raises awareness and has made life a whole lot easier for me. Maybe people claim celiac because they are sick of justifying to others that 'just a bit' of gluten wont hurt. It's easier and people nag you less. I don't really care what anyone thinks of my self diagnosed status, I continue to do what's right for my health.

    Gerhard Adam
    I'm surprised at the number of people that have expressed an issue of others nagging them regarding food.  I'm not clear on why that should matter.  After all, who would allow themselves to get "nagged" into eating or drinking something they didn't want to?

    Mundus vult decipi
    Indeed, my wife always nags me about eating vegetables.  Do I give in to this peer pressure?  No, I do not.  I wish vegetables had gluten, that I could have a legitimate excuse.
    People who have any sort of 'altered' diet seem to always get a ton of crap for it. I follow a diet that is based on my beliefs and cannot seem to even eat my own food that I make myself without it causing someone an inconvenience. "What do you even eat? You must be so hard to cook for... blah blah blah." It gets very irritating, as I never asked that anyone else cook for me, nor did I invite an opinion regarding my sandwich. People constantly try to diminish the importance of others' sovereignty over what enters their body by making them feel like a burden. Like I said, it's irritating.

    People don't get "nagged" into eating or drinking things they don't want to, they just get nagged and have to defend themselves again and again and again over issues that have long been decided by choice or necessity.

    man, youre so self righteous it's nauseating. who appointed you, a non-celiac, to speak in behalf of all celiac sufferers? Gluten intolerance is real and serious and if there are seemingly inordinate amounts of people becoming suddenly aware of theirs, perhaps it isnt attention whoring but simply human evolution in which we grow and come to learn more about our health and human makeup. It really is a bummer that you took this stance, giving fuel to the fires of doubt cast upon every person trying to figure out why they feel like crap. Go you.

    So are you defending celiac patients or gluten-free people? Your first self-righteous claim was that I am not qualified to defend celiacs because I am not one - which makes no sense. But then you invoke a bunch of gibberish about evolution and other terms you don't understand. Nothing about wheat has changed in 10 years but claims of people that they are celiac have gone up 25X.  Sorry, but if you are an actual celiac, you've been diagnosed - otherwise, you're the attention whore, not me.
    I have recently found out I had celiac disease after feeling like I was living in a dream for 2 years. I can attest that is was the most horrible feeling of my life. As a biochemist, I am also a member of the scientific community. From the research I have done into this field I can assure you that more than just 1% of the population has trouble with gliadins derived from wheat, barley and rye. In fact more and more evidence is pointing towards gluten as a cause for many autoimmune disorders. The fact is that human being aren't suppose to eat these grains, animals with 3 stomachs are suppose to eat these. I do not understand the motivation behind this article. It is upsetting to me and all other sufferers of this horrible illness because of the misinformation being passed to the public.

    Gerhard Adam
    Well, then you should have no problem in providing links to the research and the articles that support those claims.
    The fact is that human being aren't suppose to eat these grains, animals with 3 stomachs are suppose to eat these.
    ... and you're basing this on what scientific evidence?  Since humans have used grains for thousands of years ... I'm curious.  Of course, I can appreciate the variation in grain's gluten content because of increased hybridization, but you're not making that claim.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Hahaha! I personally love this article! I have Celiac Disease and I was diagnosed way before it became a fad. I find it really annoying when people say that they have Celiac Disease but haven't even been tested. I'm also very tired of the gluten intolerant fad. I appreciate the fact that there are a lot more gluten free products available, but the fake Celiac Disease sufferers are making us real ones look bad!

    I cannot believe the dismissive attitude either. I am not white and have crohn's and celiacs and was hospitalized last year for twelve days! There are many people who simply do better when they don't consume wheat products and when I got a couple family members to try it, they lost weight, had more energy and weren't bloated in the gut like they usually were. There is evidence that the gluten content of breads today is greater than it was when our parents were kids and perhaps that is why there is skyrocketing intolerance. Stop making blanket generalizations. Eating gluten free is good for most humans even if they don't have a diagnosis of celiacs. This is a good article on the matter with sources referenced And here is something else; many ethnic minorities who immigrated to this country gain weight and tend to have higher obesity rates once they adopt the grain rich American diet. Why is that? Likely because their traditional foods are gluten free. You may speak of middle class white people, but I speak of southeast Asians, Blacks and others who traditionally did not consume many wheat or gliadin (the bad part of gluten) containing foods.

    I agree with Emily. I was so pissed off after reading your article.
    I was just surfing the net to find if there are news about celiac vaccine and I have the unpleasure to found you. I have the celiac disease "for real"and it 's a struggle every day to found something eatable without poisoning me and I am really so sick about everybodys ignorance from doctors that still don't know nothing about it (I know a bunch of this here still thinking is just a wheat allergy) and from people like you, thinking that I have immaginary disease or maybe that I'm doing just a celeb- detoxing no carbs- diet.
    I hope you will become celiac too and experiment by yourself how cool is it.

    from people like you, thinking that I have immaginary disease or maybe that I'm doing just a celeb- detoxing no carbs- diet.
    I hope you will become celiac too and experiment by yourself how cool is it.
    I never want to detract from anyone's right to be a moron on the Internet but since you don't know how to read, I guess I need to point out that the people who are claiming the disease is imaginary are the ones I was writing about.  They are the ones who claim they became Celiac because they saw it on TV.  I am starting to wonder if the issue doesn't cause some sort of IQ drop too - a few people who can't grasp the simple nature of this article is one thing but a whole bunch of you are batty about what words mean.

    People who think you have a 'wheat allergy' are dismissing your disease because of fakes pretending to have it; they are the ones you should be angry with, not people like me calling them out for it.

    But carry on hoping I can 'become' Celiac; you obviously know very little about your own disease if you think that is even possible.
    Hank, you are great! I have read the article three (3) times after reading the comments to try and understand where so many of these comments were coming from. I think a lot of people need to take a deep breath, exhale, and chill out.

    I am a personal chef and have my own catering business specializing in the diet restricted (located in Atlanta, Georgia-if anyone is interested, wink...wink). I was inspired by my son, who unfortunately does have Celiac Disease. He is also allergic to soy, peanuts, all other tree nuts, iodine (shellfish), and corn. As you can imagine, creating meals for him as someone with no allergies and very little knowledge initially, was quite tough. My husband, also a chef- both of us are culinary trained, had never even known anyone with this condition or as many allergies.

    I can certainly understand the plight of many after witnessing my small child have to grow up unable to eat and partake as so many of his peers did. I have met a great deal of people in the GF community who have been great, supportive, and fantastic resources.

    HOWEVER, I can also listen unbiasedly and take in other peoples perspectives and answer their questions without mishearing them. Maybe it is easier for me because English was not my "first language" hahahaha, but in fact my 5th, so I have trained myself to listen harder and pay closer attention when people speak.

    I like your article, because you clearly state what many already know- Yes, living a Gluten Free lifestyle(allergic or otherwise) SUCKS, however, this "Fad" gave me the idea to create an entire Certified Gluten Free Menu that many of my clients rave about, a reason to target this niche in the market, and a reason to smile every time I see NEW commercial GF products on the shelves in stores. Yes, people will be ridiculous and certify themselves a physician after reading "Web MD", but really- who cares if it does nothing but benefit the "Gluten Free" demographic by increasing the demand? Your article took a new take on an old topic, poking fun, and making me laugh at the drama-hungry. SO regardless of the bumbling fools wishing you the Bubonic Plague or Celiac on your children, know you have at least one friend in your corner!

    Keep writing, because it is art and art would be meaningless if it didn't get a rise- either negative or positive, out of those that see it!


    Well said! You were much kinder than this idiot deserves. Jerks like this guy makes life tough for all with a medically mandated gluten free diet because they are Celiacs--yes, diagnosed by a real Celiac specialist.


    So what is your complaint?  Nothing in this ever criticized celiacs.

    Oh, I get it, you never read the article, this was just an excuse to spam us with a link to your blog.  How delightfully cynical of you.
    God love your heart! You are obviously a miserable human being. I refuse to give you the pleasure of an audience on my blog! BTW.the standards for this site are obviously very low.

    You are obviously a miserable human being. I refuse to give you the pleasure of an audience on my blog!
    You sound a lot angrier than I do.  Again, if you have celiac disease, what is your issue?  If you are one of the fakes I ridicule, well, the reason for your hysterical ranting is obvious.
    What do you base your "science" on? Heresay? You are pathetic!

    Well, at least I can spell hearsay. And what a coincidence your bio says you retired early (i.e. rich) and opened a "high end" (for rich people) foodie business.  In other words, you are angry because this article makes fun of you.   
    Hank, yes. Celiac is a real and potentially devastating disease that can be experienced by people of any ethnic background. It is also an autoimmune disorder triggered by eating gluten, or in some cases apparently any grass grain.

    Autoimmune disease is not a disease of a particular organ, but a complex immune imbalance. Why is it complex? Because the immune system is incredibly complex, and environmental assaults on the human body are almost endless. Why do we try to oversimplify it? I don't. I can't afford to. I was too sick to continue listening to attitudes like yours; I needed to do what actually works.

    Most autoimmune diagnoses are considered untreatable, except by ineffective painkillers, or steroids or other potentially deadly pharmaceuticals.

    Yet the fact is a number of people with literally disabling "legitimate" autoimmune diseases (besides celiac) experience relief or remission of symptoms when they eliminate some or all grass grains. It takes a lot to get an autoimmune diagnosis; many with autoimmune disease will tell you they begged doctors for help for years before they had a clue what might be going on. It is statistically likely that there are many undiagnosed. The fact that you do not have personal experience with this, and research is emerging in this area, and very few "experts" even bother trying to keep up with the latest research, does not make it false. Neither does it reduce the misery of people who will not consider this potential "treatment" because of articles like this. Nevermind how many who don't have health insurance and are pursuing alternative medicine, seeking something they can actually afford.

    Initial dismissal of celiac, or of gluten-like proteins as a factor in celiac, did not relieve those patients' suffering or prevent colostomies. The claim that fibromyalgia is an excuse to abuse painkillers doesn't make the chronic pain of fibro any more tolerable. The claim that lupus patients are whiners does not save the lives of people who die from it. You are making fun of something you actually know very little about. But keep telling yourself you're not abusing people who are already struggling to survive.

    This was by far the best response thus far!

    Here you go Hank!
    Do your homework!
    This should be published everywhere!

    The University of Maryland's Celiac Research Center defines Gluten Sensitivity (along with, but separate from Celiac Disease) as a unique clinical diagnosis.

    In fact, research using a double blind study has confirmed the existence of gluten sensitivity in patients without celiac disease.

    In light of actual scientific evidence in support of gluten sensitivity, your post is already antiquated. I am also against people going gluten-free as a fad or on the recommendation of some quacl "holistic chiropractor" as I know someone who did. If you have real gluten issues this trivializes it, and does indicate that many people (especially people who go to such quacks) want some sort of diagnosis to feel better about themselves. That said, gluten sensitivity is real, and prevalent, therefore whether or not a gluten free diet is a trend does not in itself make it a cause for ridicule. Ridicule these non-doctor quacks, not people who "think" they are gluten sensitive (and actually are!)

    I am a registered nurse and know a thing or two about celiac disease. In fact, I have the condition. This article leaves out half the facts, which I am not surprised since it wants to make the disease a "class act." Please, get an education. The reason why gluten is such a problem now is because even though our ancestors consumed wheat thousands of years ago as the article boasts, it was a different wheat. Today, crops have been genetically altered, causing an exponentially times more amount of gluten in our wheat than ever before, which is not recognizable to the human body. Wheat was also not processed the way it is today. Therefore, the immune system becomes over-active in defending the body against it, causing all kinds of problems. On top of that, there are many factors involving the over-growth of candida ablicans, causing the yeast to morph into a harmful fungus. It destroys the small intestine the same way sensitivity to gluten can with its finger-like projections that puncture holes in the gut. It does this to move into other organs and thrive. In this case, food allergies begin as the immune system cannot keep up with all of the foreign particles entering the blood stream, on top of the 'foreign' gluten. Avoiding gluten helps, yet ridding yourself of candida overgrowth might actually be the real issue. What causes over-growth? Mercury is a start, aka silver amalgams (fillings), chronic unrelieved stress, chlorinated water, too many refined carbohydrates and sugars (processed wheat!), to name a few. I know. I am on a healing journey from all of this now. It has little to do with the fact that I have a bachelor's degree in nursing or that I am caucasion. The cause basically stems from environmental issues. Could it also be that educated caucasions are more health conscious in terms of self-care as a whole in this country? Anyone can be a victim of this predicament; I hardly think it is by choice. Most celiac goes undiagnosed in the U.S. because it is a last thing doctors look for when symptoms are brought to a medical facility. However in the U.K., it is one of the first detected because it is first examined; hence a truer record of the disease is calculated. Education and making lifestyle changes is the answer, regardless of who you are. Attitude alone just gives attitude.

    You're obviously no longer practicing, having gotten on every pseudoscientific bandwagon that has come along. Good grief! Foreign gluten?

    You really do not have a clue about gluten. Just a suggestion, but maybe you should do some research before you go flapping at the jaw like this.
    This is a serious problem. Eating gluten free is a lifestyle change certain people are faced with to stay well. My Mom has celiac disease. She was diagnosed at age 60. After many many years of misdiagnosis she finally is in control of her well being and overall health, and doing very well. All because she went gluten free.
    I also gave up gluten, and have been ridden of major arthritic joint problems. My doctors did not diagnose me, in fact they told me I did not have the disease. Over the years they just kept treating my symptoms with arthritis drugs, etc. If I did not give up eating gluten over 6 years ago, I truley believe I might be completely disabled by now.
    Maybe for some it is fad. But it will only make them healthier!

    You are wrong that a gluten-free diet makes people who do not have a gluten issue any healthier.  The foremost expert on gluten in America is as baffled as anyone why this fad has taken off.  You would know that if you did any research instead of making ridiculous anonymous claims - you didn't even read this article.
    Oh, WOW. I can't stop myself this time. So you are actually claiming that ONLY people with celiac disease (which I have) can benefit from a gluten-free diet? Really?! Nevermind the fact that thousands, even millions of people who do not have diagnosed celiac disease have found relief and improvement in their chronic conditions by going on a GF diet. Many conditions can be affected by diet, usually dairy is part of the problem, but eliminating wheat/gluten has proven to help people with: autism, Down's Syndrome, MS, fibro, rheumatoid arthritis, CFS, thyroid disorders, IBS, Chron's, and many autoimmune or inflammatory intenstinal disorders. Why should these people suffer because YOU decide to judge them as fakers and in your ignorant opinion, their suffering/improvement is a lie? You selfish, pompous ass. If a GF diet does NOT improve other autoimmune disorders (of which the numbers are steadily and terrifyingly rising), then why does my own dehabilitating rheumatoid arthritis magically go away when I strictly avoid gluten?

    So were you born this retarded, or did you huff a lot of paint as a teenager? Just curious.

    The foremost expert in the world says the gluten-free diet fad is a puzzle to him.  
    but eliminating wheat/gluten has proven to help people with: autism, Down's Syndrome, MS, fibro, rheumatoid arthritis, CFS, thyroid disorders, IBS, Chron's, and many autoimmune or inflammatory intenstinal disorders.
    Yes, gluten caused your autism too. Thanks for relegating your commentary to the kooky fringe of anti-science crackpots. If you learn to spell intestinal disorder I may start to believe you even know what one is.

    Thanks for finally showing your true colors, Hank. Clearly your article is not about trying to help anyone, it's about mastering the art of being a total douchebag. I made valid points in my reply, and mentioned that I have celiac disease and rheumatoid arthritis. You reply by making fun of me for being autistic and trying to call me out for accidently inserting an extra ‘n’ in a word because I was typing quickly and made a typo. How truly pathetic. You are totally oblivious to the irony that you repeatedly whine like a broken record that no one read the original article, every time you receive any valid criticism whatsoever- and yet when commenters respond with facts and proof countering your argument- you do not read them and blatantly ignore reality! Cognitive dissonance, much?

    Your warped mentality is no better than that of a demented grade school bully. Apparently I struck a nerve when I commented earlier that this article is not at all about celiac disease. It’s about expressing your hatred towards white women, and a particular kind of white woman. Many other posters have also correctly described your opinion piece as nonsensical, sexist, racist, classist drivel . It does not belong on a science website, it belongs scrawled on a bathroom wall in a dive bar. Again, why do you hate educated white women—Mommy issues, huh?

    I stand by my original statement that “thousands, even millions of people who do not have diagnosed celiac disease have found relief and improvement in their chronic conditions by going on a GF diet.” That is an undeniable fact. What some so-called expert has to say about the current gluten-free diet trend is non-sequitur and unrelated to my point. But why bother, you ignore anything coming close to a fact. I’m only posting on here to support other celiacs, and in this case defend myself. Stop repeating like a parrot about what an expert said, because that does not change the reality that your opinion, being that anyone not officially diagnosed with celiac disease should refrain from gluten-free diet, is potentially very harmful if anyone suffering from gluten-sensitivity or the range of aforementioned autoimmune disorders exacerbated by gluten actually follows your idiotic advice and continues to suffer for no good reason. And many celiacs like me have expressed that your attitude claiming anyone not officially diagnosed is a “faker”, is more harmful than helpful in a real-life setting. But you don’t listen, so go ahead and keep your head buried in the sand, you pompous, arrogant fool.

    You reply by making fun of me for being autistic
    No, I made fun of you for being an illiterate clown who doesn't know what they are talking about. See, you did not reveal you had autism so I had no way to know it.  I inferred it because you stupidly claimed GMOs cause autism.  No one who knows anything about GMOs or autism would say something so dumb but people who self-diagnose, sure, go for it.  That is why we call it being anti-science.
    WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?! Are you tripping on magic mushrooms? I'm seriously asking. Perhaps you are reading a different post and replying to mine. Show me where I even said the word "GMO", because I did not- not in the original post you replied to, and not a single one I posted elsewhere. Clearly you are just making nonsense up to provoke me. I absolutely cannot get over the extreme irony that you keep saying I cannot read and am illiterate, when you clearly are not reading a single word I type! I know you are slow, so let's review.

    FACT #1: I have said twice now that I have celiac disease and rheumatoid arthritis. You keep repeating that I have autism. That does not compute.

    FACT #2: You are claiming I linked GMO's to autism. I didn't even WRITE the word GMO anywhere at all! WTF are you smoking?

    FACT#3: I mentioned autism in passing along with a host of other autoimmune disorders, when I said that many people find relief on a GF diet when they have these other diseases. That is a fact. I know you refuse to do any actual research, but look up "GFCF (gluten-free/casein-free) and "autism" and it is plain to see that many, many parents of autistic children find marked improvement of symptoms after a dietary change eliminating wheat and dairy. This is not a very controversial belief and is even supported by doctors. Stating that I link GMOs with autism because I mentioned in passing that gluten-free diets can help those with autism makes you look crazy.

    I ask again, what the hell is wrong with you? How can you call me illiterate when you cannot even comprehend simple ideas and continue to fabricate statements I never said? I’m done, because you are a hypocritical liar and just want to waste my time being an ass. You have no interest in any sort of dialogue or even science.

    You are absolutely correct and I apologize.  I was commenting on this article about gluten while writing one about GMOs.   

    So let me rewrite my response:
    You reply by making fun of me for being autistic
    No, I made fun of you for being an illiterate clown who doesn't know what they are talking about. See, you did not reveal you had autism so I had no way to know it.  I inferred it because you stupidly claimed glutens cause autism.  No one who knows anything about glutens or autism would say something so dumb but people who self-diagnose, sure, go for it.  That is why we call it being anti-science.

    NO! I ask yet again, what the HELL is wrong with you? GMOs aside, I did NOT say even ONCE that gluten consumpton causes autism!!!!!!!!! I said that SOME parents of autistic children find relief and marked improvement in the symptoms of autism when they put their children on a gluten-free/casein free diet. This is an established fact, and is even supported my mainstream medical doctors. You do not have a leg left to stand on. You need brain surgery and perhaps a few remedial reading courses. Learning the definition of irony would not hurt either.

    I did not even speculate once about the cause of autism, nowhere at all. Again, you are making yourself look like a crazed, hypocritical liar. Also, I do not have autism, and I have said FOUR times not that I have celiac disease and rheumatoid arthritis. So why do you keep insisting that I have autism or that I have self-diagnosed anything at all? You are the one who keeps diagnosing me with autism, which is really not funny at all if you were the parent of an autistic child. I haven't been self-diagnosed with anything, because after lifelong illness, I was finally diagnosed with celiac disease via blood tests and biopsy. Hilarious, I know! Jackass.


    Sure you did.  
     but eliminating wheat/gluten has proven to help people with: autism, Down's Syndrome, MS, fibro, rheumatoid arthritis, CFS, thyroid disorders, IBS, Chron's, and many autoimmune or inflammatory intenstinal disorders
    Or are you now saying glutens are "proven" to somehow help with autism but deny they have any negative effect? I think you are going from crank to crackpot but if you grew up in a jungle and were raised by wolves and only just recently learned how to write, I guess I am being too hard on you.
    Gerhard Adam
    This is not a very controversial belief and is even supported by doctors.
    Well, it's actually not.
    Group data indicated no statistically significant findings even though several parents reported improvement in their children.

    Still, the effectiveness of a GFCF diet for autism has not been supported by medical research; in fact, a review of recent and past studies concluded there is a lack of scientific evidence to say whether this diet can be helpful or not.

    Mundus vult decipi
    Yes, Lady Gaga is an idiot..but why is it that all you Celiac sufferers feel that you own the rights to eating gluten free. You should be celebrating the fact that more people are waking up to healthier eating. I am eating wheat free and I dont have Celiac disease..and , yes, I do feel what?

    The problem with saying you want to loose weight eating gluten free is not the way to do it. In order to make gluten free foods edible you have to add more sugar and fat, making them higher in calories and fat. The fact that rich people are claiming this as the way to do makes it very difficult for struggling families with family members with Celiac Disease be able to afford the food they need to stay healthy. Celiac Disease affects people differently, my husband was OK before he was diagnosed, he does feel better now being gluten free for 4 years, where my daughter and my sister-in-law would be in a lot of pain if they ate gluten. It is a shame that this trend jacks the cost up of products some need to have to be truly healthy.

    Wait, ...WHAT? "The fact that rich people are claiming [gluten free diets] as the way to [lose weight] makes it very difficult for struggling families....and jacks up the cost of products some need to be truly healthy". COME ON. So this author, Hank Campbell, cavalierly pins the GF trends to "rich" people, based on the casual observations of a caterer with 5 (whole) years' experience, and suddenly it's a class war? Good God.

    Look, I have a 10 year old w/ Celiac (bonafide, Mr. Campbell, biopsy and bi-annual blood work and all, so I guess I'm not one of the funny ones). When he was diagnosed 6 years ago, there were virtually no ready-to-eat GF products. I made 40-cup batches of GF flour mixes for twice-weekly bread-baking and knocked out more cakes than Betty Crocker herself. Thankfully Betty got in the game and made my life easier. It is most definitely cheaper today than it has been because there are so many more options. Consumer options and price competition. A little free market at work, no?

    And, by the way, there is a plethora of food groups and foods that have been and remain GF: Fruits, vegetables, meats. My son's diet is primarily based on fresh, home-prepared meals and snacks. That alone takes care of much of your problem. And it's CHEAPER than eating prepared foods. It doesn't take rich people's money or time, just a little extra effort from a parent doing his/her job to teach a child proper nutrition and dietary practice.

    To Mr. Campbell, I have just one question: Why do you care? If there are those who want to be GF, who want to put up with the hassle of it and then experience real or really imagined improvement, why do you care? Obviously you can't disprove the existence of GF intolerance (or you haven't, anyway), so what was the point here? Just to make sport? I just don't understand why you care about this, that which can't possibly actually impact your life. Maybe your wife started with the GF thing and you're annoyed about it?

    I'm pretty far to the right - distinctly right of center, for sure. I don't think this nonsensical article is worthy. And you're just giving the nutters something to rant about. Next thing you know they'll be blaming celiac on George Bush.

    The problem with saying you want to loose weight eating gluten free is not the way to do it. In order to make gluten free foods edible you have to add more sugar and fat, making them higher in calories and fat. The fact that rich people are claiming this as the way to do makes it very difficult for struggling families with family members with Celiac Disease be able to afford the food they need to stay healthy. Celiac Disease affects people differently, my husband was OK before he was diagnosed, he does feel better now being gluten free for 4 years, where my daughter and my sister-in-law would be in a lot of pain if they ate gluten. It is a shame that this trend jacks the cost up of products some need to have to be truly healthy.

    I am NOT one of those celiac sufferers... I feel happy for you! I wish I could tell you how to improve your health even more through diet! I am glad that celiac disease is finally getting more attention, as long as it leads to more people being diagnosed, or at least end their suffering by switching to a GF diet alone. My one problem though, the biggest drawback to all this attention is that unfortunately, with so many restaurants (who no doubt have good intentions) hopping on the GF bandwagon and debuting GF menus- there are going to be a lot of mistakes, and most of those GF menus with GF dishes are NOT actually gluten-free. This popularity is a great advantage for people who are merely gluten-sensitive, but unfortunately for someone like me who is VERY sensitive, 99% of restaurant food is unsafe for me and makes me ill afterwards. It sucks-- I am so happy to see a GF menu, and try to be as careful as possible, but most of the time I end up sick regardless! Chefs and managers just don't understand how truly sensitive celiacs are with their diet. Since moving to a big city with a ton of GF options at restaurants, I'm actually a lot sicker and of poorer health than when I was in a smaller town and mainly ate at home. It's a double edged sword that really sucks for me, but I do NOT begrudge anyone who wants to try the GF diet, and fully support them.

    This article is ridiculous and insensitive. As someone who has been tested since she was 2 years old and constantly diagnosed with a nervous stomach and IBS, (both of which they just want to drug you to mask the symptoms of) I finally discovered through an elimination diet that gluten was the cause of my stomach issues. I went in to be tested and it came back that I DO NOT have celiac. I did all of this 10 years ago, long before it became a fad. Even with the negative celiac diagnosis, I stuck to my gluten free diet. I not only felt better, MY SYMPTOMS WENT AWAY completely. It is not just a matter of thinking you are getting better, it is a real, physical thing.

    Unless you have had chronic stomach problems, you can't even begin to understand what a gluten free diet has done for so many people. The author of this article needs to write less opinion and talk to more people who live this way. Maybe a few colonoscopies, endoscopies, and barium enema tests will help the author be a little bit more sensitive to those of us who have really suffered at the hands of the medical community who are quick to drug and slow to try natural methods!

    If you think you might be a gluten sensitive non-celiac, then maybe you want to read this. I can assure you that such a thing really exists, for I have it.

    I discovered in 2005 that certain foods made me ill within 10 minutes of eating them. It started with no warning what-so-ever. Things that I could eat just the week before suddenly made me sick. It happened literally overnight.

    Those foods turned out to be things such as KFC muffins, Krispy Klondikes (but not PLAIN Klondikes), Crackers, Quaker Oat Meal and Rice Crispies. Then I found that Subway Whole Wheat bread made me sick. At first these foods appeared to have nothing in common. But then I figured out that malt, wheat, oats, etc. all contained gluten -- although the oat meal probably gets it though the milling process. (That was the one thing that took me a while to understand.)

    At first I quit eating anything that made me sick. But when I figured out what they had in common, I was able to eliminate foods in advance. What a difference that made! Within days I felt better and in a month I felt like my old self again!

    I had never heard of "gluten" before. I never even dieted before in my life. Food was just something you picked up and ate. I never had an allergy in my life, let alone a "food allergy" or a "sensitivity". I knew NOTHING about food except that you ate it!

    My doctor tested me and found that I was NOT a celiac, but said "If something makes you sick, DON'T EAT IT!" That's simple enough advice and I've taken it ever since.

    I also found that I'm a great gluten detector. If I eat something and I get this fatigued feeling, I go looking for the hidden gluten.

    My doctor finally clued me in that VINEGAR can contain gluten, if it's not distilled (and not from apples or grapes.) Also that pesky MODIFIED FOOD STARCH sometimes makes me sick, so it must have gluten in it too. I just avoid it now.

    I never cheat on this diet because I can't. I'm sick within minutes of accidentally ingesting gluten and it takes days for the feeling to go away.

    Things like PRINGLES making me sick came as a great shock to me. Who'd think that potato chips can have gluten in them? Well, PRINGLES aren't potato chips! They're POTATO CRISPS! They use wheat as a binding agent when they make those. I miss my PRINGLES, but nothing tastes as good as being healthy feels. So bye-bye PRINGLES.

    I'd give anything to be able to go back to the way I was, but my doctor says that's unlikely. Eating gluten free is a big pain in the butt, but it beats being SICK. I thank GOD that I found something so simple to get rid of this terrible symptoms.

    I don't know why this article is so negative towards people who are not celiacs, but I can assure you that non-celiac gluten sensitivity is very real, I appear to have it, and all my doctors are fine with me not eating gluten. There are lots of other whole grains you can eat, such as BROWN RICE. I also eat a lot of corn. You don't need to eat wheat, rye, oats and barley to have a healthy diet. And as for human beings eating wheat for "thousands of years", that's nothing in terms of human evolution. For MILLIONS of years humans did NOT eat these grains. And the wheat we have now is unlike the wheat our grandparents ate. It's much more disease resistant (and HIGHER in GLUTEN CONTENT) today. These new wheat grains have saved the planet from starvation, but they may account for why some of us can't eat it anymore. We really don't know. They're very, very new.

    So if wheat, rye, oats and barley make you sick (fatigue, mental fog, stiff muscles and/or swollen knees and joints) you might want to try eliminating them from your diet. It's hard to do, but it can be done. See if it works for you. If not, then you can always go back to eating them.

    But know that you are not alone. You're not imagining it. I'm certainly not!

    If that bugs some people, TOO BAD FOR THEM! I love having my life back!

    Gerhard Adam
    ... and your approach is quite sensible, especially the bit about communicating with your doctor.  In addition, in being tested by your doctor, you confirmed a diagnosis and didn't go off half-cocked on what you imagined your problem to be.

    The article isn't negative on gluten-sensitivity.  The article is negative on people that claim it for no better reason than because it's a trend or faddish to do so.  It's no different from people that claim all manner of allergies despite never having been tested for any of them, and generally don't actually have any symptoms.  In other words, theirs is a lifestyle choice, not a medical necessity.

    There are many medical situations where an individual may choose to do something because it makes them feel better.  However, in the absence of a diagnosis, one has to wonder what other conditions might have been overlooked, or ignored, simply because some people will hear about it on television and immediately relate to it as being what they have.

    If someone is gluten-free and then act like it's some diet that they might cheat on, then you already know that they aren't really gluten-sensitive. 
    Mundus vult decipi
    If someone is gluten-free and then act like it's some diet that they might cheat on, then you already know that they aren't really gluten-sensitive.

    I would agree with most of your comments with the exception of this last one. Many people who suffer from food sensitivities often have thresholds that must be breached before noticing any symptoms. Most people with sensitivity to gluten can eat a certain amount of it without suffering any consequences, but if they consume more than their body can process within a given period of time then their symptoms will be more severe.

    Perhaps the readership of this site would be better server by an author who states at the beginning of an article that what they are about to read is really a polemic on a particular class of people. Or maybe the authors political leanings should be on the home page to this site for all to see. Science is best served by those who represent it without prejudice.

    Gerhard Adam said, "The article isn't negative on gluten-sensitivity. The article is negative on people that claim it for no better reason than because it's a trend or faddish to do so. It's no different from people that claim all manner of allergies despite never having been tested for any of them, and generally don't actually have any symptoms. In other words, theirs is a lifestyle choice, not a medical necessity"

    --But the article claims that everyone who doesn't have a bona fide Celiac diagnosis IS only doing it because it is a trend and a fad. If I had not gone gluten free, aside from being sick all the time and having terrible digestive issues, I would also be dead from losing too many electrolytes. I do not have a celiac diagnosis. My doctor is all for me staying far away from gluten. Originally he was skeptical (since he couldn't figure out what was going on with my electrolytes, I saw a NP that somebody recommended and she recognized immediately what it was because her daughter is celiac and she knows the condition from the inside out) because it was someone else's diagnosis, but when I went gluten free and after time to heal and recover from the gluten (several months) I was able to stop supplementing any electrolytes and my levels stayed healthy and constant, he was right on board.

    The problem for both people with Celiac and unspecified gluten intolerance is NOT people who don't have a diagnosis of Celiac. It is the people who go to restaurants and order gluten free because they want the supposed "weight loss" benefits but order dressing on the side, that cause the condition to be taken less seriously by food prep people and regulators. It is NOT those of us who are fastidious about ordering all gluten free and make it clear to food prep people that it is an extreme health matter for us that cause the world to take the issue less seriously.

    If the article offered a more balanced view, mentioned that the medical world does now recognize non-Celiac gluten intolerance as an actual condition, mentioned some of the research regarding the change in diagnosis of Celiac that many doctors and researchers advocate due to recent research that shows that elevated blood levels of immune responses combined with villi death are actually the end stages of the disease and are suggesting that any raised blood level of the four or five that they test for be considered diagnostic, if the article mentioned the number of false negatives, the number of people who originally have a false negative that is reversed on retesting and confirmed as celiac with a biopsy, if the author showed that they actually did adequate research and presented a fair and balanced view, I might have more respect for the author and the article than I currently do.

    Gerhard Adam
    -But the article claims that everyone who doesn't have a bona fide Celiac diagnosis IS only doing it because it is a trend and a fad
    I didn't actually read it that way.  My interpretation was that anyone was certainly entitled to make whatever choices they felt appropriate for their diet, be it lifestyle or simply feeling better.  However, it was not acceptable to proclaim to others that one had a disease that they didn't have.  In fact, it was actually worse if the individual had no basis for going gluten-free beyond their own faddish desire, because it would create the impression that such claims were largely psychosomatic, rather than representing real medical conditions.

    I don't think there's any dispute that there are gluten sensitivities without a diagnosis of celiac disease.  I also don't have a problem with someone saying they are gluten sensitive.  I do have a problem with someone that has nothing of the sort, but proudly declares that they have celiac disease, knowing full well that next month when the mood hits them, they'll simply go back to consuming glutens.  That's not just disingenuous, but minimizes the significance of gluten intolerance to those that actually have to live with the condition.
    Mundus vult decipi
    From things the author has said in his comments, it appears to me that he thinks that it is black and white. Either you have Celiac and the tests for it are perfect and error proof, or you don't. I am glad that you understand that there are gluten intolerances that are not related to Celiac, but I am pretty confident the author of this article doesn't. Although I am not sure where he would stand in a case like mine where my doctor now encourages me to remain gluten free (something about having life and electrolytes and all).

    Perhaps the author would have been more successful writing an article about self diagnosis in general relating to many illnesses and the tendency to do so and the sociological phenomenon, instead of writing a screed about a subject that he had not done sufficient research on (in my opinion).

    About the claim of Celiac.

    a) People who proudly claim the illness and go out and eat pizza every once in a while because they really don't have it, need more psychological help than any of us can give them.

    b) If I am eating out and I am asked if I have celiac I always say yes (even though I don't have the official diagnosis) because what the server is really asking, is "how serious is this for you, and if I accidentally put croutons on your salad can I just pick them off, or take the hamburger bun off instead of remaking the burger completely" and so I always say celiac so that there is no ambiguity that for me, gluten is a major health threat. I will not take the risk that some server will decide that since I don't have "official celiac" that they can be more lax when it comes to my food preparation and safety.

    c) I think people like myself with relatives officially diagnosed Celiac can probably make an intelligent case here. When I talk to people I usually tell them that I don't have an official diagnosis, but given that it is in the family it is much more likely that we both have the same gluten issues than separate gluten issues, so I probably have Celiac.

    d)Someone was getting on the spelling issue. I think Americans tend to spell it Celiac and the British tend to spell it ceoliac (or something like that involving an o). Both, I believe are correct, but tend to fit better in certain venues depending on whether the predominance of people commenting on the subject happen to be American English speakers or British English speakers.

    Just my thoughts. :-)

    I agree that many people, especially liberals, idiotically jump on the latest nutritional bandwagon that rolls along with no scientifically-proven benefit but I think this situation is ahead of the science. The gluten-phobia will likely push many people to eat less processed foods, more whole foods, and therefore improve their health.

    And I think that a gluten-free diet, because it usually involves less sugar and refined grains like wheat, is probably beneficial for most Americans, especially the ~70% of adults who are overweight or obese, regardless if they're celiac positive, gluten sensitive, whatever...eating less gluten will likely make them healthier in a cardio-metabolic sense (unless it's replaced with the usual gluten-free forms with high potato, rice, or tapioca starch which have a glycemic index over 90).

    The nation is experiencing an unprecedented "diabesity" epidemic likely directly driven by foods that spike blood sugar and insulin which drive insulin/leptin resistance, two underlying causes of these chronic diseases (as diabetes is uncontrolled blood sugar and type 2 diabetes, ~95% of all diabetes, is largely preceded by obesity, the two are irrefutably linked).

    Wheat happens to be a major foodstuff in the American diet (~25% or more for most Americans), drives blood sugar through the roof due to it's high amylopectin A content, and has a lot of gluten (and gliadin) in it. Therefore, giving it up, through whatever form of diet, regardless how little science is behind it, is probably not a bad idea for many people.

    Therefore, most Americans (again, the ~70% of adults who are overweight or obese) would do well to eat less wheat, and therefore less gluten.

    I do think left-wing individuals are, for some reason despite their high education levels, stupid when it comes to nutritional fads but that this "gluten-free" thing is not a fad and should be pushed more by health authorities.

    See some results of giving up wheat here:

    Gee, thanks...I'm "white" with French Creol-ancestry. Double insult. So you think it's just... "give it up and feel better?' Try laying on the bathroom floor for 2 hours half naked, feeling like an icepick is stabbing your lower left quadrant of your abdomin because you ate a donut. Try wheezing over a loaf of French Bread and scratching at your throat. Try growing 2 pant sizes instantly because you ate a piece of pizza. Try your hair falling out because you are not absorbing vitamins. Try being diagnoised "bipolar" because one small cruton can make you feel suicidal. Yeah, give it up, and you will feel better. Life is just rosy, and I have the new trendy Celiac Disease, and now I have to pay $6 for a box of Bisquick, that is 3x smaller than the $3 box. Yeah, me!

    Honestly, the more posts I read like the above, the more convinced I am that America has become the mothership of self-involved, whingeing neurotics who need to apply some trendy 'special' label to themselves as a banner proclaiming the sensitive-plant nature of their existence, vis-a-vis we poor coarse normal unafflicted folk who just malignly refuse to understand how suffering and special they are--to themselves at any rate.

    BTW, I truly love the inverted commas you employed around your self-descriptor of 'white'. Says a great deal about where you're coming from there--"I'm White, but not really garden-variety whitebread White--I'm a special category of 'White'. Just like my self-diaganosed imaginary disorder makes me belong to a subset of such special, 'sensitive' human beings. Heck, in reality I belong to a category that's far more refined and evolved than you poor gluten-gobbling slobs."

    Jebus. Sounds like your real problem is a masochistic delight in suffering from psychosomatically induced physical trauma after you've convinced yourself that all those doughnuts, French breads, pizza slices and croutons you apparently continue to stuff down your gullet periodically (judging from the wording of your post) are causing your delicate little self to experience something on the order of the Agony on the Cross.

    Get over yourself, a nd stop pretending that the hysterical self-aggrandizing dramaturgy you're displaying here will ever make your 'illness' anything more than the trendy, narcissistic nonsense mostly is. Or take it on 'Anderson'. The science illiterates who take those shows as gospel (thanks, Oprah) thrive on this kind of silly crap; you should do very well in a guest spot.

    I have just finished writing a new book -“Gluten: ZERO Global” which exposes the universal harm of gluten, with the compelling argument to eradicate all gluten and wheat from our human food chain. Gluten is bad for us all. Farmers will have to plant other crops.

    The big problem is that once you get unwell from chronic gluten exposure – you might not recover – the damage might not be reversible. So, when you get sick from gluten, adopting a gluten-free diet might not make you better again. This is a bit like smoking tobacco – once the lung damage (or cancer) has become apparent, it is much too late to quit (please note, it is never too late to quit, but quitting late in an illness will not be as helpful if you have already sustained permanent tissue damage). The fact is that the harm of gluten has been now extensively documented. For instance, Dr. William Davis in his book “Wheat Belly” calls wheat a malicious food. Gluten is known to cause a vast number of problems. I advocate ZERO gluten for everyone.

    I have Celiac Disease and you are right it is horrible. I thank you for the article as I have been saying this for a while. When someone jumps on the gluten free band wagon because it is cool or trendy it hurts those of us with Celiac Disease who must eat a gluten free diet.

    I've had people roll their eyes at me when I order gluten free at a restaurant and I have to explain "No I am not being trendy I have refractory sprue Celiac Disease and if I ingest gluten I get violently ill. This is NOT a trend for me".

    So thank you I read the article and I understand where you are coming from. It is not a trend of a fad diet for many of us but those that make it trendy are doing every one with Celiac a disservice. Thank you.

    +1 to this. I am in the same boat and I lol'ed at the article.

    Who cares if it's a fad diet or a real disease? I'm not doing it as either. I don't have celiac disease & I don't need to lose weight. But I DO need to control my MS & I am trying all kinds of different dietary suggestions that have helped others w/ MS before me. I have found that eliminating wheat has helped my MS symptoms tremendously. Because I do not have Celiac disease & don't experience an immediate negative reaction, I am able to cheat on occasion if I want to. When I cheat a little too much, my symptoms return, therefore I know that eliminating it IS helping me. There are many reasons why one eliminates wheat from their diet. Who are you to judge? & like I said, who fucking cares? Do you own a wheat field or something? Lady Gaga isn't claiming she has Celiac disease, she just wants to lose weight. Get over it dude!

    Unlike with MS, people can just pretend to have Celiac disease but when it becomes common knowledge some are claiming it as a fad, it becomes a risk for people who do have it, because they can be poisoned by gluten and if people think it is a fad they will not disclose if something has gluten because they assume everyone is faking.

    Like I said, if it helps you (or anyone) go for it, I keep thinking I will try it - but even experts on Celiac disease are confused by the spike in claims that going gluten-free is the latest miracle cure.
    I just want to add a little side note - My daughters were diagnosed Celiac at a very young age. We have multiple family members with Celiac and I eat gluten free to avoid cross contaminating my children (I also get migraines and sores in my mouth with gluten so not worth it). Both of my girls are thrilled - beaming - when they hear of another person claiming to be gluten free who has accomplished a lot or is just simply in the community. In a world of feeling different, they love having something in common with others. They look to them as role models. When an athlete or admirable professional - they are able to put themselves in those shoes and see no limits despite having Celiac Disease. Just another perspective to consider when frustrated with the multitudes going gluten free.

     In a world of feeling different, they love having something in common with others.
    That is a terrific perspective.
    As a person with Celiac, and as a registered Republican, I take great offense to this article on many levels. The real reason for so many recent diagnoses of Celiac disease is that only for the last 10 years have doctors been finally looking and testing for it! For many years I was misdiagnosed, which caused me many health issues and hospitalizations.(I was usually told it was my nerves, and that lots of women are like that.) Finally, five years ago the mystery was solved for me, and now that gluten is out of my life i have been a much healthier person.
    The current gluten-free fad explosion is actuality NOT good news for many with Celiac and gluten intolerance, as there are no regulations regarding labeling, and so many products are labeled as gluten-free, when they actually DO contain gluten. For example, Domino's "gluten-free" pizza is cooked in the same ovens and cut with the same utensils as their gluten-filled counterparts, making cross-contact a definite issue.

    Why take offense?  Where did I say Celiac disease was not real or mention Republicans?  The demographic pretending to have Celiac disease as a fad are a progressive demographic - wealthy, left-wing and know a lot about food.

    The labeling you mention is why you should support this article; they are not taking it seriously because they are seeing that a whole lot of the 'gluten free' community is not people who are truly poisoned by it, it is a fad diet.  So the same way 'organic' food only needs to be 95% organic, they think gluten free needs to be only mostly gluten free.  It is dangerous for you but not for the fakes I criticize in this piece.
    The popularity of gluten free food has made our lives much harder? Because there are people that say they have Celiac at a social event making a big deal about there new diagnosis. At the next social event they are eating pie, cake, etc. For this republican white mama and papa struggling to put $5.00 a loaf gluten free bread on the table, it ticks me off. My daughters suffer. We have had to give up everything to feed our kids and provide them with their medical coverage

    Exactly. The author is an IDIOT. I thought scientists did research and read. If he's talking about a "laughable 1%," then why is "fake" gluten intolerance such an epidemic? As a person who actually has Celiac Disease (verified by a couple nof very unpleasant endoscopies, not any of the things he mentioned above), I resent his flippant and dismissive treatment of a very REAL medical problem.

    I am not flippant about medical conditions, I am flippant about frauds.  If you are not a fraud - or you know how to read - you would not be upset.
    Science Left Behind: Feel-Good Fallacies and the Rise of the Anti-Scientific Left

    This is the title of your book. I have ready plenty of books dealing with frauds and not one of them managed to associate lax scientific understanding with one party or the other. Perhaps I have just been fortunate in that regard but maybe I am just wired to look for unbiased (or at least reasonably balanced cogent argument) materials. Polemics have no business in the world of science or we all suffer as a result.

    I am surprised to read this comment.  There are absolutely best-sellers using the premise that right wing people are somehow born anti-science and never once even a single book covering the anti-science on the left.  This book takes that far less fashionable (since 84% of science is left and 94% of academia overall) position.  If this books sells 1/6th the number of copies that tirades about right-wing people sell, it would be a miracle.  I don't believe in miracles. Nonetheless, it had to be written.
    There are many debunking books on the market that don't cherry pick their subjects along party lines as I am sure you are aware. If you want to call out people on the left for being hypocritical, so be it, but you chose to place this article under Life Sciences > Immunology instead of in the Culture section or even Social Sciences > Philosophy. You want people to pay attention to what you have read and interpret it intelligently, so the least you can do to minimize miscommunication is to archive things appropriately. Not that this particular article applies, but perhaps you could create a subsection under Social Sciences for Political Science if you wish to comment on the interactions between public policy and science.

    Hank said, "I am not flippant about medical conditions, I am flippant about frauds. If you are not a fraud - or you know how to read - you would not be upset."

    It may surprise you to know that we do read, and apparently, some of us have read much more on these conditions than you have. For example, this non-scholarly article will give you the information you need to find scholarly articles that discuss the subject of non-celiac gluten intolerance. Apparently, real doctors doing real research are finding that there are provable medical conditions and reactions related to gluten that are not celiac disease specifically.

    And that does not begin to cover the number of false negative tests there are, how many people who test negative once, go back and get tested again and have a positive test and actually get diagnosed with celiac (this is due to the cyclical nature of the immune chemicals they test for in people with actual celiac disease). Or the surprising statistic that people who have a diagnosis of plain old "IBS" are four times more likely to end up being diagnosed eventually with actual celiac.

    Instead of berating and putting down your readers, sir, because they happen to have reached a different conclusion and are not afraid to let you know...

    I would highly recommend doing a lot more research into your writing that involves reading a lot more information that disagrees with your foregone conclusion to eliminate the possibility that you might be flat wrong and misinformed on an issue.

    Doing so allows you to a)better refute those who do disagree with you because you have read the research with an open mind. b) realize, as you would have in this case, that you are wrong about an issue before you actually bring a piece to an audience, and c) broadens and expands your mind.

    It is clear right now that you are a very black and white thinker. Everything must line up into a neat category and clearly you are under the very wrong impression that medical science knows everything about the human body, everything that can go wrong with it, and that there are no mysteries, new conditions to be discovered, or any gray areas. Actually being sure to read (not just chosen straw men articles) but scholarly journals on all sides of an issue should help you clear up that problem.

    Your readers will trust you a lot more if you take the time to do so! They also will be much more inclined to follow your writing if you do not insult those who disagree.

    Presuming you are one of the "curious, open-minded" of the science commuinty & not prone to making baseless judgements, I suspect this article is fueled by: much of your salary, the funds generated by this web site, or perhaps the salary of someone you care about depending on monies from a pharmacutical company. Obviously you have not used ANY true medical or scientific data upon which to base your bigoted opinions. It must be based on nonsense fed to you by those who are profiting most from the sale of drugs needed to treat the innumerable symptoms endured by people suffering outrageous symptoms that don't fit the puzzle. Let us hope you & yours never fall into our ranks, though that would be poetic justice.

    I suspect this article is fueled by: much of your salary, the funds generated by this web site, or perhaps the salary of someone you care about depending on monies from a pharmacutical company. 
    This typifies a problem with anti-science people; the conspiratorial belief that their own motives are pure and rational and that anyone else must be getting paid.  

    Assuming that anyone who disagrees must be getting paid, or that any science funded by anyone must be getting paid to produce pre-determined results, is the actual definition of being an anti-science crank.  Thank you for making the case so quickly.

    Thank you for wishing a disease on me and calling it poetry; that also nicely matches the tone of the people I ridicule in this article - they hate everyone who doesn't agree.
    I've been surfing on the net looking for support after a very bad week as a celiac. This article really pisses me off today. What ignortant writing.
    Bottom line..gluten in bad for everyone. It is in everything from spices to canned food, salad dressings etc.. the reason we are seeing more gluten sensitivies is because A: It is hereditary, and B: Genectically modified wheat (GMOs) have twice as much gluten.
    If I so much as make my son a peanut butter and jelly with bread I will get sick for days. I wish it was a FAD!

    I am proud of anyone who is exploring better options for their health. I will never credit this site again. What a joke.

    Gerhard Adam
    Genectically modified wheat (GMOs) have twice as much gluten.
    Great point, except that there is no GM wheat sold/used in this country. 
    Bottom line..gluten in bad for everyone.
    Again ... based on what? 
    Mundus vult decipi
    Amen to that, Naomi!

    The medical field recognizes gluten intolerance that is not celiac related as an actual condition. And many of us who had actual and provable medical issues related to gluten that markedly improved (such as anemia and falling electrolyte levels)are not just "fad dieting and fad illnessing." and in my case, though my blood test came up negative, I have a relative who has an actual celiac diagnosis. It is in the family.

    I would like to add a few facts to this woefully uninformed article.

    1) Even in bona fide celiacs, the blood levels they look for before doing the diagnostically relevant biopsy are cyclical. So if a celiac gets the blood test at the wrong time, they can have a negative blood test despite actually having celiac disease.

    2) Many researchers, if you look at the research on are calling for reduced standards for a celiac diagnosis. Because research is indicating that the death of villi in the small intestine actually seems to be the "end stage" of the disease, many are calling for the diagnosis of celiac to be made when any of the four? or five? I (IGG, IGE etc) that they test for are raised (eliminating biopsy for diagnosis, not just the one "I" that they use to screen whether or not to do a biopsy. I will not try and restate the methods and the research here, but if you go back far enough in the articles listed in the research section, it is there to be found.

    Just because you do not understand something and a few people are following in Hollywood starlet footsteps for the fun or the supposed weight loss benefits, does not mean that the majority of people do not actually suffer from a medically relevant condition.

    Please do more than cursory research before writing something like this. My guess from the paragraph about people who "actually have celiac" is that the author has it themselves, or know someone who does, and is new enough to the whole issue and have not done enough research that they do not understand where the medical field is on non-celiac related gluten intolerance.

    You will forgive me, author, if your screed does not cause me to go back on gluten and risk death by electrolyte loss and imbalance.

    Amen to that, Naomi!

    The medical field recognizes gluten intolerance that is not celiac related as an actual condition. And many of us who had actual and provable medical issues related to gluten that markedly improved (such as anemia and falling electrolyte levels)are not just "fad dieting and fad illnessing." and in my case, though my blood test came up negative, I have a relative who has an actual celiac diagnosis. It is in the family.

    I would like to add a few facts to this woefully uninformed article.

    1) Even in bona fide celiacs, the blood levels they look for before doing the diagnostically relevant biopsy are cyclical. So if a celiac gets the blood test at the wrong time, they can have a negative blood test despite actually having celiac disease.

    2) Many researchers, if you look at the research on are calling for reduced standards for a celiac diagnosis. Because research is indicating that the death of villi in the small intestine actually seems to be the "end stage" of the disease, many are calling for the diagnosis of celiac to be made when any of the four? or five? I (IGG, IGE etc) that they test for are raised (eliminating biopsy for diagnosis, not just the one "I" that they use to screen whether or not to do a biopsy. I will not try and restate the methods and the research here, but if you go back far enough in the articles listed in the research section, it is there to be found.

    Just because you do not understand something and a few people are following in Hollywood starlet footsteps for the fun or the supposed weight loss benefits, does not mean that the majority of people do not actually suffer from a medically relevant condition.

    Please do more than cursory research before writing something like this. My guess from the paragraph about people who "actually have celiac" is that the author has it themselves, or know someone who does, and is new enough to the whole issue and have not done enough research that they do not understand where the medical field is on non-celiac related gluten intolerance.

    You will forgive me, author, if your screed does not cause me to go back on gluten and risk death by electrolyte loss and imbalance.

    This article is extremely offensive to people with celiac disease. Gluten free is not a fad, so stop treating it like one. It's a lifestyle and you don't understand what it is like to suffer for years with a misdiagnosis. On top of all that it is estimated that three million people have it in the US alone. One last thing Hank Campbell , your part of the problem, not the solution.

    You may have been diagnosed with a reading comprehension disorder as well, since I wrote "Unfortunately, some people really do have Celiac disease, an actual immune disorder - gluten is like poison to them, not an 'I feel better if I don't eat a bagel' issue."

    Creating a giant tent for hypochondriacs, fakes, diet faddists and charlatans is not the way to get better diagnostics technology for diseases.  If you have celiac disease and are not one of the fakes or 'diet' aficianados, you don't have much to be offended about. 
    Oh gosh. Gluten-free doesn't mean running for the nearest sack of almond meal to formulate fake breads and special dietary delicacies. Restaurants have had plenty of gluten-free options since the time they began: shakshuka, scrambled eggs and bacon, salads without croutons (yes, GASP, you can have a salad minus croutons!), fruits and vegetable platters, vegetable or meat fried rice, fresh spring rolls, stir fry, steak and potatoes, tacos in corn tortillas, THE LIST GOES ON. Yes, people who are lacking attention and who may feel better when cutting out gluten might whine about Celiac when they don't have it, BUT if you live in California you should be used to this! How many egotistical yet insecure wannabe actors won't stop telling everyone how successful they are and how many auditions they go on, although you actually know that they have yet to get a role? How many stay-at-home moms do you know who loudly complain about how busy and hectic and crazy their lives are and require everyone around them to coo and acknowledge their hardships? It is not gluten sensitivities nor Celiac which are to blame- those are real issues that tons of people choose to politely and quietly deal with. IT IS A PERSONALITY TYPE. And those of us who do live in California realize that a higher proportion of whiners with that personality type happen to live here. Your article contained very few unbiased, non-bitter, scientific points; it simply seems to have placed you in the same category with the whiners you loathe.

    “There are a lot of people on a gluten-free diet, and it’s not clear what the medical need for that is,” Dr. Joseph Murray, co-author of various studies from the Mayo Clinic."

    I don't need medical justification to avoid wheat. I know it improves my physical and cognitive performance, as it does for many adults, including men. One 55-year old, educated man who recently gave up wheat told me his eyesight improved to the point where he didn't have to wear reading glasses anymore. That was a new one on me. But I won't call my issue celiac disease, which requires a small intestine biopsy for diagnosis. True celiac is a malabsorption syndrome which causes its sufferers to become emaciated in spite of a normal diet. (In the interest of full disclosure, all my kids get every vaccine available to them, and I get into heated debates with my friends who don't do the same.) I recommend to everyone who will listen to give up wheat for a trial period. It made a tremendous impact on my quality life. It never made me thin, though.

    Murray is a respected authority on the disease, thus the relevance of what he says in an article about the fad aspects.

    When I was younger, I would fast every two weeks for 4 days - nothing but water.  It gave me tremendous energy but I would not recommend it as a lifestyle.  It did make me thin but I was a competitive athlete and wanted to be in a lower weight class. I generally feel like if eliminating any food can make someone feel better, it makes sense to eliminate it.  That is different than someone deciding they have a sensitivity because they heard about it on Dr. Oz.  And those 'cases' have risen a lot since this got mainstream media popularity.
    Did it ever occur to you that many people might have had an undiagnosed problem that went away when they decided to avoid wheat, however they heard the suggestion? Wheat is pushed on Americans at every turn. Maybe some people can take it, but many can't. Assuming people would go to so much trouble because they heard about it on Dr. Oz is mean and pathetic. And no, I've never heard of anyone without diagnosed Celiac claiming to have it. I'm pretty sure you made that up.

    Gerhard Adam
    If it's an undiagnosed problem, then they simply don't know what they had.  More importantly they don't know what else they may have had, because now they may still harbor an underlying condition, that is merely asymptomatic.

    Makes for a good anecdote, but lousy medicine.
    I've never heard of anyone without diagnosed Celiac claiming to have it.
    Then read some of the links provided below.
    Mundus vult decipi
    No Isabel he didn't make up the part about people making up or pretending/claiming to have celiac disease. I have encountered it many times; including strangely enough at my local pizza eatery where folks are often stating they need the gluten free pizza as they're allergic to gluten. When asked about this I've heard responses that indicate it's a weight loss trend and not because of a diagnoses.
    I've been keeping a gluten free household for my spouse for just under 30 years. He has celiac disease and believe me it was much more difficult to figure out how to feed my family back then. Now, as Hank has mentioned the shelves are full of products a person who truly does have to eat gluten free can take advantage of.

    I thought your article was terrific Hank. Not offensive in any way. The world is full of folks who want to take umbrage and be indignant over trivialities in order to make themselves feel more important. Which I'm sure comes as no surprise to you. Watch out for that plague though.

    Thanks, a few hundred out of 15,000 have been annoyed (and then 10 real kooks who don't want to go on record threatening me and my children in a comment yet think an email is not traceable if I get a mail bomb at my house - sheesh) but even that was a surprise.  I am baffled that all people couldn't comprehend what I was saying; it is a benefit for choice in personal shopping but it actually places Celiac people more at risk at other homes or in restaurants when it seems like a fad. The celebrity of having Hollywood actresses be 'the same' is not worth getting poisoned. 

    Another commenter did have a nice point also; a child with Celiac disease can feel a lot less isolated when they discover other people have it.  It's got to be pretty lonely to not just be able to eat like other kids.  A child who has to worry about being poisoned daily puts my minor complaints about getting threatened via email into context.
    Um, wow. Is this a joke? I can't think that someone who runs a science web site would spout off nonsense like this - unless, of course, he knew absolutely nothing about he subject and did absolutely no research and was only writing the article because he had some weird political axe to grind, wherein some diseases are clearly for liberals and others are for conservatives. (This would clearly shock some of my relatives, who watch Fox News, listen to Rush Limbaugh, vote Republican and 'gasp!' ALSO have Celiac disease! Who knew it was possible for a red-blooded American to get it?!?!)

    I'm not sure why you've chosen to pick on celiac disease. Celiac IS more common in white people. Highest rates of the disease are found in Western Europe - especially Finland, Sweden, Ireland and Italy. So yeah, it's not shocking that you find more celiacs in a gathering of white people than a gathering of blacks, Hispanics or Asians.

    There is an extremely good protocol for diagnosing celiac disease, which includes blood tests and a small intestine biopsy. There are also genetic tests which can tell you if you're genetically pre-disposed to developing celiac, but not if you actually have it or not. So no, you just don't go gluten free, claim to feel better, and then say you have celiac. You go to an actual doctor and get an actual diagnoses like you do for other diseases.

    But yeah - there's no way to diagnosis it, and only trendy wealthy white urban rich liberal women get it. Never let the facts get in the way of a good rant!

    Not sure you read anything beyond the title.  I wrote "Unfortunately, some people really do have Celiac disease, an actual immune disorder - gluten is like poison to them" but I am critical of people jumping on a bandwagon.  

    Are you contending Fox News viewers have a greater preponderance of Celiac disease?  Otherwise, I am not sure what the rest of your comment means.  Social scientists draw correlations to all sorts of beliefs and genes, not me.
    Gerhard Adam
    Well we already know from our Niburu study, that many readers simply stop when they encounter the phrase or sentence that resonates with their personal bias or belief.  From that point on it matters little how much factual information is provided, they will insist that it is their alternative view that is the basis for their response.
    Mundus vult decipi
    No, I actually read the entire article. Unfortunately, there was very little factual information involved, and only a bunch of weird political crap.

    "Along with believing more in UFOs, psychics and astrology than right-wing people, left-wing people also believe they are hyper-sensitive to food. That could be genetic and may lend credence to often-dismissed kooky claims that they can taste GMOs or are allergic to them. Same with vaccines. Anti-vaccine people are overwhelmingly left-wing; while a right-wing state such as Mississippi is almost at 100% vaccination, left-wing Washington State is sinking below herd immunity levels and kindergartens in Seattle report 25% non-vaccinated children. Maybe they don't need vaccines the way genetically inferior right-wing people do. It could be that left-wing people have co-evolved a much stronger immune system to go along with their super-smart brains. Well, except for celiac disease, they have a super-strong immune system."

    Yup - no political bent to your piece? Really?

    I can't speak for anybody else, but I have a non-communicative, severely autistic daughter and it took me years of trial and error to figure out that she also has Celiac's Disease. She had odd symptoms that I just couldn't explain, including chronic constipation that would sometimes necessitate medical intervention. She can't speak, so she can't tell me that she feels better (she seems generally happier off wheat), but, more importantly, I can directly observe the cessation of those symptoms 3 to 4 months after she goes off wheat (like I said, it took years to puzzle this out). When she gets some wheat from a careless caregiver or relative (amazing how many people refuse to take me seriously when I try to emphasize how important it is) the symptoms return within a few days and, as usual, it takes 3 to 4 months for her digestive tract to recover and the symptoms to cease. So I'm actually pretty excited to see more and more restaurants and grocery stores offering gluten-free alternatives whether or not the majority of people actually *need* it.

    Also, Liberalism isn't what makes people stupid about vaccines. There are anti-science morons in both American political parties. I'm extremely Liberal. I even have an autistic kid and I know it had nothing to do with her MMR. What do you think most Republicans would say about my 13 year-old son getting the HPV vaccine? Hell, most Republicans object to even *girls* getting the HPV vaccine.

    I love Science 2.0, and am usually thrilled when an article pops up in my RSS reader, but please, add a big, all-capps EDITORIAL to the title of this article, please.

    So I'm actually pretty excited to see more and more restaurants and grocery stores offering gluten-free alternatives whether or not the majority of people actually *need* it.
    Right, I am not telling the free market what not to produce - if people will buy it, I hope someone will sell it and if something takes off and more people buy it, so be it.  I mean, Beanie Babies, come on. I don't berate the homeopathy or magic organic soap companies either. Unless they exploit gullible people or use their money to promote anti-science beliefs and make themselves richer. Articles getting smug about wheat need to be debunked, but every fad diet has its zealots making money.

    I've never said liberalism makes people stupid about vaccines - I am a lot more liberal than I am conservative.  Progressives are the social authoritarians on the left who promote anti-science beliefs, most actual science is done by liberals. California progressives have nothing at all in common with New York liberals.

    I do flip out on occasion and try to make my point (in this case, attention-whoring opportunists exploiting people with a real disease who then, as you found, get treated like they are making it up because so many attention-whoring opportunists claim they have the disease) in a humorous way, and it doesn't always work the way I intend.  I thank you for putting your criticism kindly.
    Still, I find it amusing that stores like Whole Foods have HUGE sections of gluten free food yet they sell nothing for diabetics. Only about 1/130 people have Celiac disease while 8% have diabetes and 35% of adults over 20 are prediabetic.

    Actually, a gluten free diet is good to reverse insulin resistance and can be part of a healthy diabetic lifestyle. For example, Quinoa is easier to digest and has a lower glycemic index than other pastas.

    Also, it's so much easier for diabetics to choose foods that are healthy for them. Sugar doesn't "hide" in things like wheat does. Maltodextrin, caramel color, natural flavors, artificial flavors, food colorings, etc. Gluten free food is a much more specific market. Further, a diabetic can go to any grocery store and find sugar free foods etc. and that's not the case for people with Celiac or a gluten intolerance. They have a lot more choices.

    If a diabetic goes out to eat they can safely order a lean steak or chicken and a salad. When I go out to eat, I have to ask if they use real butter or modified butter, what seasonings they put on the steak, if it's cooked on the same surface as things with gluten, etc. Then I get to the salad. Is it premade, or do they make it there? If it comes with croutons, I can't just pick them off. There's cross contamination. If I want dressing, I have to see an ingredient list. If I want an iced tea, I can't have it sweetened. Artificial sweeteners contain gluten and sugar is bad for me too. I have to ask if their iced tea is freshly brewed or if it's a syrup mix...etc.

    "Actually, a gluten free diet is good to reverse insulin resistance"

    That is a bunch of BS, but typical for the type of person Hank was referring to. You're fantasizing that gluten free is a cure-all (reminds me of the talk about organic food about 8-10 years ago). Let me guess, if you give up gluten you'll have immortality?

    Lol...sounds like you're jumping on the "beat up on gluten-free peeps" bandwagon. Maybe if you explained how you know this? Paleo diets are self- or alternative medicine treatment for many "untreatable" autoimmune diseases and autism, and there is growing research in this area. It is possible that other people feel better without grains for an actual reason, and are not hypochondriacs. I do. But then I've never been tested for celiac. I can't afford to be. But why bother if it alleviates disabling symptoms of Hashimoto's for me? Oh, so people like you can legitimize my life...otherwise I have to go back to eating grains and not being able to function...

    Gluten free doesn't mean grain free - gluten is protein (why it is a bunch of BS that not eating a PROTEIN of all things would actually "reverse" diabetes). Boy, you'd think the productivity in the US would be rising by leaps and bounds since apparently pre-gluten free, there were millions of Americans who couldn't function.

    Your attitude is frightening to someone like me. Yes, I am a white chick with Celiac disease that took 19 years to diagnosem and it about killed me. I have only been able to eat at two restaurants in my home town without getting sick. It is a physically and socially debilitating illness. I do not appreciate you promoting an idea that can cause people to be hostile to me or to not believe that I have a illness. I am attempting to lead a normal life and if restaurant servers do not believe me, they will make me very ill. Grocery shopping is a living hell! Only now are some food companies making it easier by labeling their products gluten free. I cannot help that this has become a trend for some, but I cannot imagine that you would take such a hostile attitude with someone with cancer or any other illness that they have no control over. We need people's support! If you have to tolerate a few hypochondriacs and posers to keep us Celiacs safe, I ask that you do it.

    Your attitude is frightening to someone like me. Yes, I am a white chick with Celiac disease that took 19 years to diagnosem and it about killed me. 
    Why frightening?  I am defending people with a real disease from people pretending for attention.  If you have not had it happen to you yet, you will; you will request something gluten-free and you will get treated like it is a fad because a million people are treating it like their newest diet fad, but claiming they have a disease.  You should be on the side of people calling out charlatans, not criticizing them.
    The problem is that your 'article' is full of misinformation. Like stating that there's no way to diagnose celiac disease, implying that it is only a 'trendy' thing, conflating actual celiac disease with gluten intolerance. Believe it or not, but I have celiac disease, and I resent a lot of those trendy people. But you, sir, are lumping everyone in together and articles like this make people (say, food servers, chefs, etc.) think that the whole thing is a load of crap. Leading to me getting sick. So yeah, thanks for that.

    You're correct in that I am already treated like it is a fad. If the fad did not exist, there would not be the awareness and food companies and restaurants would not cater to me at all. It is a double edged sword. If it is promoted as a fad, no one will believe me and they will not take care to keep me and others like me safe. I do want my options expanded and awareness helps. I would like to mention that my Celiac disease was missed by at least nine doctors. It wasn't until my liver started to fail that a doctor took me seriously. They chalked it up to a stressed out white girl and had convinced me it was all in my head. Your opinion about white girls is what I also suspect is shared by many doctors and will also cause them to miss it in legitimate cases. It is not as easy as you suggest to diagnose and until doctors become more aware and competent in diagnosing, maybe we should ease up a bit. You are creating a stereotype that while has truth to it, can also cause harm. I am on the side of helping anyone with this illness and everyone that has it deserves to be diagnosed and helped. I would have no way of knowing who is a charlatan. The diet and lifestyle sucks and they're idiots to self impose it and will likely give it up quickly. I have enough to deal with.

    You really think that you're helping all of us actual celiacs by writing an article with the title "Celiac: The Trendy Disease For Rich White People" - complete with an obvious lack of research and facts? Just how are you helping anyone? If you want to call out people like Lady Gaga then do so, by all means. But that's not what you're doing here. What you're doing here is adding to the perception that celiac is pretty much a fake disease/grab for attention. If you had presented actual facts about it (rather than questioning pretty much all of them) this would be a good article. Unfortunately, it's not.

    Actually Hank, you ARE hurting people with Celiac disease by publishing this calloused article. You make it harder for us to be taken seriously when we go out to eat, when we have to eat at someone else's house, need to bring our own food on an airplane. You don't seem to understand that it's much more than gluten which is the problem. It's a life long elimination process of other proteins like dairy which we also lack the nzymes to process. And by the way, NO human has enough enzymes to process the enormous amount of gluten protein in wheat these days. You did not talk about this. You also did not acknowledge that people also eat a ton more wheat than they did 100 years ago. All of this exposure to a protein we (any person) already has a hard time processing, plus the change in the wheat itself being packed with much larger amounts of gluten... is what makes so many people have reactions..though they cannot be positively blodd tested.
    And by the way it is NOT a white person disease. Not only is this a highly insensitive and racist staement, but it's false. One of my best friends has Celiac and she is black.

    "And by the way, NO human has enough enzymes to process the enormous amount of gluten protein in wheat these days. You did not talk about this."

    Actually, I love to eat fried gluten balls. They are a delicious Asian food (and thank you for allowing them to take the best part out of the bread so that I can eat it). We're talking pure gluten, and a LOT of it and it does absolutely nothing to me other than make me smile. Same with my wife. I've taken family and friends to Dim Sum restaurants and they've eaten fried gluten balls as well, and no one got sick. My mom even claims that gluten makes her hot flashes worse (I haven't the heart to destroy her placebo effect) and she didn't notice any ill effects from eating pure gluten either.

    Actually Hank, you ARE hurting people with Celiac disease by publishing this calloused article. You make it harder for us to be taken seriously when we go out to eat, when we have to eat at someone else's house, need to bring our own food on an airplane. You don't seem to understand that it's much more than gluten which is the problem. It's a life long elimination process of other proteins like dairy which we also lack the nzymes to process. And by the way, NO human has enough enzymes to process the enormous amount of gluten protein in wheat these days. You did not talk about this. You also did not acknowledge that people also eat a ton more wheat than they did 100 years ago. All of this exposure to a protein we (any person) already has a hard time processing, plus the change in the wheat itself being packed with much larger amounts of gluten... is what makes so many people have reactions..though they cannot be positively blodd tested.
    And by the way it is NOT a white person disease. Not only is this a highly insensitive and racist staement, but it's false. One of my best friends has Celiac and she is black.

    ctually Hank, you ARE hurting people with Celiac disease by publishing this calloused article. You make it harder for us to be taken seriously when we go out to eat, when we have to eat at someone else's house, need to bring our own food on an airplane. You don't seem to understand that it's much more than gluten which is the problem.
    Noooo, celebrities and rich women with a sense of entitlement are hurting people with Celiac disease, because they are the ones that all of their friends know are faking it - and then they assume a whole bunch of people are faking it too. Fakes are the problem for people with Celiac disease, not one person criticizing fakes.
    Hank, You are assuming all people use critical thinking. No, many people hear the word "fake" and will begin to see all women in that way. It just appears that you have made a decision and just want to defend your position. I thought scientist did things the other way around. You're entitled to your opinion. You should be aware that many people who have to live with Celiac disease will also be the ones who have to live with the consequences of your words. It appears obvious that you are doing this from a position of massaging your own ego and not actually trying to help anyone. Inflammatory writings get attention but it would be nice if they actually helped those you say you empathize with. You believe that you are helping even when those with the illness tell you you are not. Women already do not receive adequate medical care and creating a sexist context to plant in people's minds will only hurt the ones that need help. Yes, it is not cool to claim to have a disease you do not have but to label a disease as you have will hurt many. Yes, fakes are a problem but blanket statements (especially about women) are a problem as well.

    I understand what Hank is trying to say, however, Hank is missing a critical component to what those with Celiacs are saying. The majority of people who read this will question ANY person, legitimate or not, claiming to have the disease. The insensitive out in the world, and there are many, may now assume that any patron at an establishment, requesting gluten-free, is probably just an attention seeking whore.

    Those with the disease should not, at any time, feel that they may be under the microscope of public criticism, because the general belief may be distorted by articles like this. Think of the "rich white female" who does in fact have Celiacs. Those who read this article may not believe her. Why should they? She fits the stereo type of the "attention whore".
    No one with a disease (Celiacs, diabetes, epileptics-ANY) should have to show "proof" at any establishment or to
    individuals who question their requests simply based on an ignorant society. I know that's not what you're saying, but, many will jump on a different "bandwagon". That bandwagon could be lack of tolerance, without proof, to those claiming to have a disease.

    "The majority of people who read this will question ANY person, legitimate or not, claiming to have the disease. The insensitive out in the world, and there are many, may now assume that any patron at an establishment, requesting gluten-free, is probably just an attention seeking whore."

    Exactly; Mitzy said it perfectly. Shall I just start carrying a notarized doctor's letter around to let everyone know this white chick (who actually has a German-Mexican heritage) isn't faking it? That I and two of my children spend days running to the bathroom and dealing with migraines with even a small contamination?

    I understand tongue-in-cheek comments and sarcasm and satire. I love them; I even use them myself! I understand the angle you were going for in this article. However, I believe you missed the mark. The only thing this opinion piece does is make people who have read it doubt *me* when I say I need a gluten-free option. As you've said, there's no way to know who is really 'faking' it. There isn't a way to know if someone is self-diagnosed or truly tested just by meeting them.

    I'm not someone who cheats on this diet- I'm no trend-follower. I don't watch Oprah or Dr. Oz. I don't even read those glossy 'health' magazines. I don't buy processed crap just because it's marked gluten free. And, yeah, I still do mail-order. I make things myself, from scratch, so I know it is safe. And my two fellow-Celiac children look longingly at that birthday cake at their friend's parties, but they'd rather say no thanks than pay for it later. It's a lot of work and sacrifice. Yet, now, if someone who read this served me or my children in a restaurant or at a party, (which we usually avoid because of the cross-contamination risk) they would wonder if I was just 'faking it' or seeking attention. I suppose I need to go back to the doc and get that notarized letter...

    Sure, Gaga is an idiot and she really shouldn't be the shining example of gluten-free eating. I agree that there are many people who are going gluten-free for silly and unwarranted reasons. But if you want to call out the 'fakers' then don't do it in such a way that casts doubt on any one who requests gluten-free foods.

    I am not rich. Man, I'm far, far, from it. (Nor am I white.) My husband has to work two jobs to afford our grocery bill and we don't even buy the gluten free substitute foods. We buy mostly fruits and vegetables. I can't even eat most meat because of that meat glue crap. Both of my daughters have it too. If I could choose to not have this disease, I would. If I could take it from my children, I would.

    My grandmother went undiagnosed and was dead at 35. This isn't some game or some bid for attention.

    And has it made me skinny? Hell no. Being misdiagnosed for ten years, my body is still in starvation mode and still stores rather than burns. Side diseases that have resulted from misdiagnosed Celiac for me have included PCOS, insulin resistance, polyps, menorrhagia, and hidradenitis suppurativa. If you ever want to make yourself vomit, google images for hidradenitis supprative. If I eat any gluten, a hole will open up under my arm anywhere from the size of a pinprick to the size of a half dollar and it's about a half an inch to an inch deep. Yes, I said an inch. A gaping hole into the fascia under my arm that I could stick my finger into up to the first knuckle. Did I mention the stink? I have to pack it with a washcloth if I try to wear a bra and it drains and bleeds, sometimes gushing down my sides, staining my clothes. And when I get these, because there was some cross contamination of gluten, I never know if they're going to heal. There's a chance with each sore that it will NEVER heal. I'm lucky I only get them under my arms. Some people get them on their genitals as well. I always get them with gluten and sometimes, I get them just because.

    So, I don't know if you meant to come across as insulting to everyone who suffers from this disease, but you did. You have the right to say whatever you want, but please do your research. Maybe talk to someone who has this disease before you form an opinion.

    Maybe you should have actually read the article?

    Gerhard Adam
    Actually if you re-read the article consider it from a slightly different perspective.  While I don't need to speak for Hank, I think you helped really emphasize the primary point being made.

    You [and others] have a serious illness and it warrants people taking it seriously.  It is not a joke and it is not hip nor a fad.

    That's precisely why it is so insulting when people simply want to climb on that band-wagon and claim to have this disease [which has never been officially diagnosed in them] so that they can behave like they're some "naturalistic" food freak.  It is disingenuous and a disservice to all the people that really have the disease.

    Just as an example, I have encountered many people that claim to be autistic or on the spectrum to varying degrees despite most never having had a formal diagnosis.  So what harm does it do?  Invariably I find that it becomes an excuse for people that really have nothing wrong with them to be able to lay claim to being on the spectrum when, in reality, they're simply jerks.

    Mundus vult decipi
    Here's the thing though Gerhard. Questioning who has Celiac Disease "for real" or not misses the point. Why was this opinion piece even written? If he wanted to criticize Lady Gaga, for some reason, fine, but pieces like this only further the suspicion in other people's minds that those of us with Celiac Disease are making it up. I shouldn't have to discuss the process of my medical diagnosis or justify it with an explanation that I went to a dcotor just because a few people want to try something as a fad. The only exception to that, is if I went to a new doctor and needed to explain that yes, I had been diagnosed.

    I think what a lot of people don't understand is that those of us with a diangosis are STILL routinely questioned by others. I got questioned and disbelieved BEFORE it became a fad. I got symptoms when I was 9 and it took until I was 16 for a diagnosis. This was in the late 90's. Even close family members and co-workers who knew I had gone to multiple doctors and a GI specialist did not believe me. It doesn't matter that it's seen as a fad. A lot of people don't believe certain things with our without fads because of their ignorance towards science and their belief that we can "think ourselves well".

    People are saying that they are sensitive to wheat, not that they have Celiac. Jeez.

    Not only is this essay scattered and unfocused jumping from celiac disease to immunization to UFO's, but it's also damaging. You are NOT making a point about a few celebrities who claim to have something wrong with them instead you are giving smug a**h*les who already don't know or believe the science behind celiac disease and allergies another excuse to dismiss those of us who have Celiac Disease. Yes, I've been tested for it. Yes, I have it. But it if someone else wants to give up wheat then it's no skin off my nose. If it helps; it helps. I hate this article and it makes me sick because I know people who have told me to face that what's genetically wrong with me is all in my head. People in my own family. They read something like this and latch onto it. You have done a great disservice to a lot of people. And for no reason other than to be a snarky judgmental columnist who can't even stick to one subject in the article. The fact that you lump in those with allergies and sickness to believers in non-mainstream ideas like UFOs is so utterly stupid.

    Your words have real consequences. While you hide a couple of statistics about "real sufferers" your obvious ignorance as to what it's like to have multiple-allergies and Celiac disease shines through in your dismissal of people who claim to have it. I live with it. As I've said I know people who, if they read something like this, will come away with the idea that everyone with an allergy or food problem is faking it.

    You also clearly did not do very much, if any research on this subject or you would know that rates of diagnosis have gone up because testing has gone up. The US lags behind Europe in testing for Celiac Disease. Countries like Italy screen all children for it. It's a serious illness that if people do not give up gluten for, can die from cancers or malnutrition.

    So thanks a lot for writing something that lacks a cohesive point and has brought up dozens of bad memories for me. Want to know the worst? My stepfather yelled at me in a car about how I was making it all up, me a grown woman, and after eating at a place with a gluten free menu called them back in front of me because he was going to prove to me that my food had gluten in it and that I was faking it because I didn't instantly get sick. He was driving, so I was trapped in a car with an adult who I thought cared about me yelling at me. When the restaurant confirmed my food had been gluten free and they took upmost care he was ANGRY.

    And yes, I know that this is not super focused either but I'm incredibly angry and sad right now.

    It's a serious illness that if people do not give up gluten for, can die from cancers or malnutrition.
    You didn't read the article - or you only read what you wanted to read in the article. I wrote "Unfortunately, some people really do have Celiac disease, an actual immune disorder - gluten is like poison to them" and then criticized people diminishing sufferers by pretending they have a disease in order to get attention. Yet you seem to be circling the wagons around attention-seeking fad diet fakes, without realizing that if people see a lot of fakes, they will assume everyone is a fake.  Another commenter expressed he already gets it about his son; people no longer take him seriously. I assure you, when I was young Celiac disease was serious.  But there are not a million people in the US with it, like the claims are made now.
    Yes, I did read it and you can't just dismiss my actual experience. My point is that this is a damaging piece in which your inability to stick to a topic will provide those who already have a bias against allergies and Celiac disease with fodder for their hate. You are obviously one of them. I mean what do you want from people, a certificate from their doctor?

    Here's what you said. "How do you know if you are gluten intolerant? Elaborate assays? DNA? At least a blood sample? Nope, you just have to give up wheat and say you feel better and you are allowed to claim you have it."

    WRONG! The average reader will take away from this that those who tell them they have Celiac Disease are making it up. I had to go through a colonoscopy and biopsy after many blood tests to diagnose what was going on with me. You think you're being snarky and funny with this line, but you aren't.

    Here's what you said. " Not now, people have really changed a generation after I graduated college. Who says human evolution has stopped? Well, maybe it hasn't stopped, maybe Americans are just evolving differently."

    Oh my gosh. Are you serious. This right here shows your ignorance on evolution and lack of research. The populations in which Celiac Disease is common are often ones in which wheat was introduced later in their development to their diet. For instance, it is most common in Ireland.

    It also shows your lack of understanding that many doctors in the US did not and still DO NOT test for Celiac Disease. It's not an actual upsurge. It's an increase in testing. As I said we lag behind in Europe for screening for it.

    You did NOT present scientific facts about celiac disease, and then facts relating to people claiming 'gluten intolerance'. Instead, you article boils down to this:

    "A few people have a legitimate disease called celiac. But almost everyone you've ever heard of who claims to have it is a rich entitled non-diagnosed white person who is just neurotic and has nothing wrong with them."

    That is not a good science article. So sorry that you're annoyed that people are calling you out on it.

    Celiac: The Trendy Disease For Rich White People. the founder of Science 2.0 writes an article almost suitable for any fashion magazine. Guess I gotta go read a COSMO to get some REAL scientific facts. So unimpressive.

    I'm sure my friend, a Caucasian woman who lives in California, who has a daughter that has permanent neurological damage from Celiac disease would love this ***article***. Every time the daughter enters a doughnut shop, she doubles over in pain due to cramping from inhaling the gluten in the dust.

    I'm sure my friend, a Caucasian woman who lives in California, who has a daughter that has permanent neurological damage from Celiac disease would love this ***article***
    I think she would, for the reasons I list; namely that if people are overrun by pretenders joining a fad they saw on Dr. Oz, they do not take patients with the actual disease seriously.  

    Not sure what the anecdote about inhaling gluten was supposed to add - except it makes my point.  Lady Gaga does not have Celiac disease nor is a gluten-free diet doing anything for her except letting her exploit a diet fad for attention. So why defend anyone who is demeaning that child's condition by being a fake?
    Well there is an easy solution if someone is "pretending" the doctor can do some tests. If a doctor decides their patient is a faker because of a small group; of fad dieters then he or she is a horrible doctor. It's that simple. Your claim is ludicrous.

    I have been completely gluten free for over 13 years and was diagnosed in the late 1990's. It took two years for me to figure out what did and didn't have sneaky gluten in it.

    I do not care if people try the gluten free diet. I do think it's stupid if they think it'll make them lose weight, but they'll give up soon enough and move along. It doesn't demean my condition because they are wrong, not my condition. We don't need you trying to take up a cause and call out people who don't want to eat gluten.

    If someone doesn't want to eat it and they feel better I don't care if they went to a doctor or not because I know what it's like to suffer from the food you eat and not know why. If they get an answer and it works I DO NOT CARE. It doesn't hurt my diagnosis. I support those who don't want to eat it because it's their choice, not ours.

    As I said to Gerhard, I was disbelieved, made fun of, and criticized when I got my diagnosis BEFORE gluten free was a fad because a lot of people don't want to believe things about food. At the time few had heard of being gluten-free. Food is a huge, complicated part of our culture and if you can't eat the food someone offers it offends them. Some of these people will not believe you and tell you are making it up. Even my own family and co-workers have done this. They DO NOT care that I had been to multiple doctors because they refused to believe that it wasn't in my head. They made me sick with food that they "snuck in" some flour or other gluten containing ingredient. Criticizing fad dieters doesn't get rid of this part of the population. It gives them fodder!

    If you had the life experience that I do then you would understand what I am talking about. Or, you know, if you had done some actual research.

    Um, do you have some odd political axe to grind? I fail to see the relevance of people's political beliefs vs. having Celiac Disease, or any ailment for that matter. A close friend of mine, who is definitely Conservative in her political leaning, has Celiac disease in addition to RA and Sjogerns (it is common to have more than one autoimmune disease. In fact, it's more common to have more than one). I am lactose intolerant, myself. Severely so-- consuming dairy can make me *very* sick, and again, I fail to see the relevance it bears on my political philosophy. Shame on this SCIENCE website for posting such baseless, irrelevant, and unscientific tripe.

    However, I agree with you that gluten-free has certainly become trendy in the way Atkins, Macrobiotics, and other fad diets have come into vogue at certain points in time. Just like the aforementioned, gluten-free with also see the sun set on its cosmopolitan status, as the junk science is weeded out with better founded studies.

    People who claim to have this very serious autoimmune disorder on the premise that they "feel better" since they stopped eating bread-- yet still drink beer and consume other gluten containing foods without a reaction-- are particularly laughable. People that legitimately suffer from Celiac Disease cannot eat ANYTHING containing gluten; my sister-in-law has a separate toaster from the rest of the family. Gluten is poison to these people, and malnutrition and worse is often the consequence, should they ingest foods containing it. However, I think we can all look on the bright side here. With this this trend comes a higher demand for gluten-free products. There is more variety and better quality GF foods, something that Celiacs would delight in.

    Gerhard Adam
    There is more variety and better quality GF foods, something that Celiacs would delight in.
    That's not the problem.  The problem occurs when people stop seeing "gluten-free" in that trendy way.  What happens to all the people that really do still have Celiac's?  Are they suddenly going to be deprived of these products because there's no longer the viable market for it?

    The point is that when people claim such diets for their own fads, they do a disservice to people that really suffer from the disease.  So for those individuals, they should be equally concerned ... it isn't a matter of putting up with a few posers.  Those "posers" are trivializing a real disease and creating an environment of where no one takes it seriously.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Gluten is poison to these people, and malnutrition and worse is often the consequence, should they ingest foods containing it.
    That happens to be what I wrote:
    "Unfortunately, some people really do have Celiac disease, an actual immune disorder - gluten is like poison to them"

    I also said that the million people pretending to have this are doing a favor for the people who do; namely that the market now has a critical mass, so Celiac sufferers are not forced to go mail-order for everything.  It still does not diminish my point that a whole bunch of people pretending will lead to a backlash, and that backlash will include people who really have the disease.
    You still fail to explain your strange tangent, where you mention the political leanings of those who allege illnesses like allergies, lactose intolerance, and Celiac disease. As I said, what is the relevance? What does it have to do with science? I found it extremely off-putting, since there were no credible citations to support your assertions, but more so, it was completely irrelevant. I still stand by my statement that this is a poorly written, unfocused heap of baseless, unscientific nonsense.

    "whole bunch of people pretending will lead to a backlash, and that backlash will include people who really have the disease"

    You are creating a backlash that doesn't need to exist because people do not need you or anyone us to validate their food choices. You have written something that comment after comment from those with Celiac Diseae or those who know someone with it have tried to explain to you is harmful. You did not do this the right way. You have done just you say and created a backlash that hurt people that actually have this disease.

    YOU DO NOT HAVE CELIAC DISEASE. We do not need you "white-knighting" for us. You do not understand what our lives are like. You do not get it.

    Please stop and think and analyze yourself and listen to those responding to you. You are wrong and did not write this in a way that made any kind of helpful point. Those of us with Celiac Disease are the ones who should be pontificating on our illness not you. You are not a doctor. You are a blogger who I have never heard of until a Celiac Disease twitter feed I follow linked to this article with it's horrible racist title. Why racist? Because you assume only white people are claiming to have gluten intolerance or whatever.

    Sometimes we are wrong when we claim things. You are wrong. You have proven you don't care about other credentialed scientists research into gluten sensitivity and celiac disease. You are wrong Mr. Campbell. You can't just dismiss years of research from scientists because you don't agree with them or like their conclusions.

    This issue has nothing to do with politics or the left-wing. If you did any research you would know that it was during President Bush's time in office that mandatory food labeling was passed. I praised Bush for this, and I'm a liberal. You just don't know what you are talking about. While meanwhile, those of us with this disease, actually follow the research and know what's going on.

    I know you love to disreard links but here's the Food Act I'm talking about. Those of us in the Celiac community were incredibly over joyed about this when it happened and I left my dirty left-wing ways to talk up President Bush to the skies for signing this when it happened.

    "Well, innate 'sensitivity' is too fuzzy to be meaningful as diagnostic criteria for anything and I live in California, where a lot of people with this innate sensitivity are claiming to have Celiac disease. You may live in Missouri or Tennessee or some place more scientific."

    Diagnosis of Celiac Disease:
    1. Blood tests for gluten autoantibodies (These are IgA based tests accurate only while on a gluten containing diet)
    EMA - anti-endomysial
    TTG - anti-tissue transglutaminase
    DGP - Deamidated Gliadin Peptide

    2. A small bowel biopsy to assess gut damage. For those with suspected dermatitis herpetiformis, skin biopsies will be taken of the skin near the lesion.

    I'm am positive that these tests can accurately be performed in California, as well as more scientific places like Missouri or Tennesee. I too live in California and see all the gluten free items in stores and restaurants. That doesn't make me jump to the conclusion that *everybody* is claiming to have Celiac disease. Perhaps, like you, they feel better on a gluten free diet. If they feel better on a gluten free diet, then perhaps they are gluten-sensitive which should not be confused with Celiac disease which is an autoimmune disease. I know plenty of people who avoid gluten but do not claim to have Celiac disease in Southern California.

    Well, it's nice that our disease is getting some attention anyway. Many people with celiac are ignored by their doctors or given a wrong diagnosis and treated or mistreated by drugs that don't help them. Often enough they are told they are depressed or have some mental issue and treated for that, regardless of the very real physical symptoms. There are 300 possible symptoms identified with celiac disease. So it is not so obvious that someone has it if they don't display the expected gastro symptoms or fit the profile of an underweight, short stature person. Celiac can appear at any age and symptoms can be mild at first and get much worse over time. Some people with celiac gain weight. Some look just fine but have internal damage that can't be seen without an endoscopy. Others have no symptoms at all but still have celiac damage going on. They are termed "silent celiacs" by the medical community.

    The University of Chicago Celiac Center has a facebook page where they post snippets of info about celiac disease. They estimate there are about 2 million people with celiac in the USA and 97% of them are undiagnosed. The estimate is just a little less than 1% of the population has it.

    There is new research that shows people can have celiac like symptoms without having celiac. They are calling it non-celiac wheat sensitivity. Nobody knows at this point how many people have that condition or what the implications are. About 30% of the USA population has one of the genes identified with celiac disease. Having the genes doesn't mean you have celiac, but you could develop it. That's another hole in our understanding, doctors don't know why some people with the genes develop celiac, but most don't. Those same genes are associated with other auto-immune diseases also. It is not unusual for someone with celiac to have another autoimmune disease like thyroiditis or arthritis, fibro, lupus, etc. If there are lots of autoimmune diseases or gastro diseases in your family you might be wise to get tested for celiac disease. Gallbladder issues and infertiltiy are also associated with celiac, and also a skin rash called dermatitis herpetiformis. Celiac can affect your body in many different ways.

    General info on celiac

    More info on associated conditions

    I have no idea if Lady Gaga has celiac or not but if she thinks the gluten free diet may help her feel better that's fine by me. It may indeed. Medical testing for celiac is not 100% perfect and false negatives are a real issue. Also the new research showing celiac like symptoms from eating wheat may turn out to be the other 29% of people with the genes. Right now there are no tests for that condition at all. So the only way to find out if you are affected is to try the GF diet. People should get tested for celiac first though before trying the GF diet. The tests are not any good if you stop eating gluten before having them. Hopefully this article will get more attention to a disease that is mostly undiagnosed in this country. It amounts to a couple million people who are walking around ill and don't know why they are sick every day. More awareness may help some of those people get diagnosed. If Lady Gaga's GFdiet helps bring attention to the issue that's A-ok.

    Thanks for writing this and bringing attention to this gluten-free fad. It drives my husband (an RN) and me crazy seeing well-educated folks buying into all this and being swayed by charlatan "naturopaths" and marketeers (don't get me started on other self-proclaimed "food allergies"). I have no doubt Celiac is indeed an awful disease. Seems that people I know associate their constipation/bellyaches with wheat so decide to go gluten-free based on zero medical evidence (especially for their young kids); it is a stress on their wallet and lifestyle, and further contributes to the misinformation out there. Some of my husband's nurse colleagues are suddenly gluten-intolerant at age 50. Really?

    Yes. Really. You can develop Celiac Disease at ANY age.

    Furthermore, you can develop food allergies at any age. Especially common is developing Oral Allergy Syndrome.

    Your attitude as a health-care provider is very sad to me. If not eating gluten makes some people feel better and they are spending their own money, not yours, then why are you so judgmental? If not eating gluten for a month makes constipation and such go away then I'm happy for those people. I have diagnosed Celiac Disease and I don't be-grudge others the chance to feel better at any cost for any reason. Nor does it hurt me.

    You are exactly the kind of reader I was worried about. :( Why does this stuff drive you crazy? Maybe you should pay attention to your own life more instead of judging others.

    Here's a quote from the article : ""You can’t write this off at any age. Even in an elderly patient, you can't say 'it can't be celiac disease,'" he says. "If somebody tested negative for celiac disease at age 50, and then develops symptoms at age 65, test them again because you can develop gluten intolerance at any age."

    Gerhard Adam
    Maybe you should pay attention to your own life more instead of judging others.
    Sorry, but that's out of line.  You bet it's important to judge others, especially when they take bonafide conditions and custom tailor them for their own faddish desires.  Regardless of what happened in your life, or even continues to happen, it does no one any favors when real conditions are trivialized by people that simply want to draw attention to themselves.

    Instead of educating people to be more aware, you're simply encouraging them to be more oblivious.  Do you really want people to not care? 
    Mundus vult decipi
    So, posting links to articles and explaining my reasons is encouraging people to be oblivious? No. It isn't. I want people to understand that this is way more complicated than their personal opinions and judgement of others. There is a lot of historic and ongoing research on gluten and Celiac Disease.

    Lady Gaga and a few fad dieters do not have the power to deligitimize a well document and scientifically provable condition. They do have the power, apparently, to piss off people who don't have Celiac Disease and are tired of hearing about gluten-free food.

    Furthermore, I said that line because this poster self-identified as being a worker in health-care and I believe that type of attitude is dangerous. I stayed in a rural hospital once, when I got sick on a vacation. They didn't seem understand what gluten-free meant and kept serving me toast with breakfast. My husband had to go the store to get me food. The hospital staff didn't seem to believe me when I explained it. That's why an judgmental attitude like hers is dangerous. It's far better, in the healthcare field to weigh on the side of caution and make someone something safe to eat than find out later that you "thought they were faking" and were wrong. I mean the head of their diet program, an older person, hadn't even heard of gluten-free. So, maybe that, right there is an anecdotal reason why it becoming a fad is important.

    Sorry for my missing words. I meant "involved with" and "to". in the first and third sentences. Its late.

    people like you and healthcare workers like your husband are exactly why i had to throw away my education and career because i was too sick to get out of bed (not just from fatigue but other severely debilitating symptoms) because the dozens of doctors i saw couldn't come up with an accurate (celiac) diagnosis.

    please thank your husband for doing such a bang-up job driving the modern healthcare system into the ground and completely disregarding science AND patient experiences.

    please also thank him for the PTSD i now live with because his medical field colleagues caused more harm than good with their misdiagnoses and improper and downright dangerous treatments, along with all the bullying and cruelty they dished out because i couldn't just pull myself up by my gluten-poisoned bootstraps and snap the f*ck out of it.

    "do no harm" is a real joke these days. more like "do no science."

    Gerhard Adam
    Sorry, but you're just as guilty as those you accuse.  You think that you're any different by leveling accusations at someone you've never met, and accusing them of things that you don't know were done?

    Does that somehow make you better, because you think you're justified because of your own experiences.

    It's people like you that specifically cause such problems, because they can never separate the situation from the people involved.  Yes, you had a terrible experience.  That doesn't entitle you to be a jerk to someone you've never met.  Get over it.
    Mundus vult decipi
    lol. did i hurt your feelings? yes that is definitely my personal experience, but it takes the average celiac about a decade to get a formal diagnosis... common sense says they spend about 10 years getting shit on by healthcare practitioners who spout off anti-science crap like this on the internet.

    cute trick tho, trying to make me look like a jerk for pointing out flawed assumptions. why don't you take your own advice and get over it. :)

    Gerhard Adam
    My feelings?  No. 

    You weren't pointing out flawed assumptions.  You were specifically attacking another poster for no better reason than to bludgeon them with your own problems.  So, go ahead.  If you thinking bitching will help promote awareness, then have at it.

    If you think it promotes a more scientific understanding by disparaging health care workers ... then go for it.

    After a few posts, you've already worn out anything significant you might've said, by simply responding as just another bitchy internet commenter.

    Go for it... you have nothing worth saying at this point.
    Mundus vult decipi
    I have now definitely become more aware that people with Celiac Disease whine a lot more than most people with other serious diseases. I'll bet if Hank posted a mirror article about people who fake that they are in pain to feed their narcotic addictions ruining it for people who really are in pain, that the pain community won't invade his article with this much whining. Or if he posted a mirror article about people with Munchausen Syndrome who pretend to have cancer, that real people with cancer won't attack him for it. But let's be stupid for a second. People with Muchausen RAISE AWARENESS for hundreds of diseases! How DARE you say anything bad about THEM!!!!! You JERK!!!!

    Dr. Ghost,
    You just made my day! That was awesome, especially your "gluten-poisoned bootstraps!" I will be laughing for hours!

    I'm sorry you have had a terrible experience, though I fail to see how you can lump my husband and me in with those that couldn't diagnose you and accuse him of "driving the modern healthcare system into the ground". I never said we are dismissive of anyone with pain, disease, or unanswerable questions. You don't know us at all! How have we disregarded science and patient experience? What is your background, "Dr. Ghost"? If you read my additional comment to Emily below, you would have seen that my problem is those who are self-diagnosing, and those being taken advantage of by pseudo-scientists. Maybe you should thank those doctors and nurses for trying to help you (sometimes there isn't always an answer), and stop blaming everyone else for something that happened to you. Also, you are your own advocate. Perhaps you wouldn't be so judgmental if you knew our story. My husband has a debilitating spine injury and living in chronic resulting pain post-op three years later (and we searched many a surgeon for the right one). Do we blame the doctor for his less-than-desirable outcome? No. Life happens. Doctors are human. He can barely get out of bed in the morning due to severe pain. But, you know what? He still goes to work everyday and busts his butt to take care of patients like you. Fortunately for him, most of his patients are grateful for his wonderful care. Perhaps you should leave America and see what great healthcare you'd get elsewhere if you are so unhappy with what you have received here. You won't find it.

    So Lady Gaga is trying to lose weight by avoiding gluten (not asserting that she has Celiac disease). Since it is so trendy, gluten free products will be more readily available for those who need them. It might also publicize Celiac disease and lead to earlier diagnosis for some individuals which could prevent permanent sequelae. People seeing it on Dr Oz, and lets face it, some health care practitioners seeing it on Dr Oz, will be more aware of Celiac disease.

    My friend with the daughter with permanent neurological damage.....even after the grandmother was diagnosed with Celiac disease, and my friend was tested for Celiac, the doctors still refused to believe that the daughter had Celiac disease. Finally, after permanent damage had occured, the girl was tested and found to have Celiac disease. It used to be that doctors believed that Celiac disease was very rare and only presented in children, so the fact that the grandmother was even diagnosed is very unusual. However, after the child's grandmother and TWO aunts were diagnosed with CD, there should not have been any questions about also testing her.

    Taken from:

    The National Institutes of Health (NIH) convened a Consensus Development Conference on Celiac Disease on June 28–30, 2004. Celiac disease has been considered until recently to be a rare disease in the United States. Studies, primarily in Europe but also in the United States, now suggest that its prevalence is much greater than previous estimates, possibly affecting as many as 3 million Americans (roughly 1 percent of the U.S. population), indicating that the disease is widely underrecognized. Recent identification of the autoantigens involved in celiac disease has led to the development of new serologic diagnostic tests, but the appropriate use of these new testing strategies has not been well defined. These tests are identifying many individuals with nonclassical gastrointestinal and extraintestinal symptoms.

    So even though gluten free is 'trendy' I believe, unlike you, that it will help those with Celiac disease. More awareness will lead to more appropriate early screening and testing. I don't see how those claiming they are gluten-sensitive and going gluten free will create a backlash, except for wheat growers.

    To understand why more awareness is needed go here:

    Wow. Look at the difference when someone who understands or knows someone with Celiac Disease comments. Thank you!!!!!!

    Those of us who have lived with this for years and know the consequences are the ones who should be writing about it, not those with knee-jerk anger at celebrities and a few people who try going gluten-free.

    You are right about it being trendy helping. It's helped the price of my food go down slightly. It's helped major food companies to develop gluten-free lines. In the past 13 years I have seen a huge increase in what I can eat and can shop at discount stores now to find certified gluten-free food.

    It's another case of any news being good news. Hopefully it will lead more people to be tested and more doctors and health-care people to become aware of it, instead of having an attitude I've seen here.


    I understand your frustration, and sometimes we just have to realize that people just don't get it. They have some political axe to grind or some other agenda and want to make it appeal to the masses. I still can't imagine something called 'Celiac: The Trendy Disease For Rich White People' appearing on a website called Science as if there were any scientific merit to it. Like I said, it sounds like something you would read in COSMO.

    Particularly offensive was the first paragraph: Are you white and a little resentful that black people get their own cool disease, sickle cell anemia? There is good news for you. Celiac disease is all the latest rage and you can be any color at all and claim it. I work in a hospital and recently saw a 22yo boy die from his sickle cell anemia.

    In 2005 I became very sick and underwent many tests. I eventually figured out, thanks to doing online research and being in a health care field, that I had MS. I was tested for Celiac disease, and hoped that it would be something other than MS. Since that time I have had many GI issues and have been tested by an allergist for many food allergies. I was also retested for Celiac disease. I finally figured out what it was....chicken skin. I test negative for a chicken allergy, but since I am very allergic to down feathers, whenever I eat chicken skin I have enormous problems.

    Anyhow, I hope more people educate themselves about Celiac disease, more awareness will always help. (Hopefully they are not looking to Science 2.0 for factual information though.) Perhaps this topic is a sample from his upcoming book 'Science Left Behind'?

    Thank you. I agree the racism is unbelievable in this and I should have commented on that.

    I'm commenting so much because actual science wins over personal opinions, like the one displayed here and I'm concerned that without a dissenting voice some people could be swayed. Maybe they will be anyway, but at least I tried.

    I'm sorry you went through that with chicken, but I'm glad you figured it out.

    Gerhard Adam
    Mundus vult decipi
    Gerhard Adam
    Sure ... why come to Science 2.0 when you can do it yourself at home with a YouTube video.

    "Who Needs a Gluten Test?" Dr. Rodney Ford

    I guess that's just "hands-on" science.
    Mundus vult decipi
    I am not being judgmental of someone's desire to feel better or how they spend their money. First, I was talking about gluten "sensitivity" and agree that true Celiac disease can be diagnosed at any age (although there are misdiagnoses). Second, I never said that I was a healthcare provider, but I do have a background in science. People are self-diagosing, which in itself, is harmful. What drives me crazy is that people are doing this, or being diagnosed by non-allopathic "doctors" who will take their money, no problem, and give them bad information and erroneous advice. No, I don't believe in pseudo-science quackery, especially when it gives people false hope and takes advantage of them . There is a shocking lack of accepted evidence in the way of prospective, randomized, double blinded, clinical trials supporting that gluten intolerance is as prevalent as some would have us believe. The internet is rife with those who would gladly take your hard-earned cash to give you a phony diagnosis. I dare say the majority of these people likely give 100% positive diagnoses to those who submit to their so-called "tests". That is what I'm complaining about. Here in our state, California, anyone with any education, or no education, can hang up their shingle as a "nutritionist" and much of the general public does not understand this. I'm not judging how other people spend their money. Does it bother me that my friend feels she has to give her young son a gluten-free diet, when she's a single mom with not a lot of income? Yes, that makes me sad, not judgmental, and as a mom, I know she'd wants nothing more than to help her son. Lastly, as mentioned in the article, it takes attention away from those who truly suffer from the disease.

    Thank you for explaining this further. I'm sorry I had some harsh words, but I have strong opinions on this topic because I actually have Celiac Disease and do not find essays like this helpful to my cause.

    I am tired and left off some words that I tried to add before it posted, but was too late. I was talking about your husband and my worry that healthcare providers will not err on the side of caution when someone tells them they have an allergy or Celiac Disease. I've had this happen to me.

    I no longer live in California, but I am troubled that the term nutritionist has no credentials behind it in many regions. These people should go to doctors and dieticians. I don't want to see people swindled either, but I'm concerned about the general attitude and backlash I see about the gluten-free diet. Those of us with Celiac Disease were already disbelieved and questioned before it was a fad. This is because food is a huge part of human culture, not because there are some fad dieters. People don't like it when you won't eat what they cook or eat differently from them. It's a deep part of human social custom and the kind of reaction in this essay shows a complete lack of understanding.

    In the the past 13 years I have benefited greatly from the increased awareness and availability of food. I'm not even annoyed at those who are doing it as a fad because they will pass and I believe a lot of people will get a diagnosis who need it. The US lags behind in testing and we have a large population of people with European descent, who are at risk. It's not an actual increase in cases as much as it's an improvement in testing.

    Believe me, the people who can eat gluten will not be able to resist and will go back to their ways and this will blow over for some new fad.

    Just wanted to point out that there IS some scientific evidence of gluten intolerance:

    "People are self-diagosing, which in itself, is harmful"

    Why is it harmful? Especially if we are talking wheat sensitivity? We've heard story after miserable story of people undiagnosed or years by their doctors, and you are worried about someone self-diagnosing wheat sensitivity (as I did) by stopping eating gluten and instantly being relieved of symptoms? By the way, this IS an approved method on the Mayo Clinic website (though they don't advise it, they admit it is valid).

    Attacking sufferers is the wrong way to go here. Not eating wheat is extremely complicated at first, and means no pizza, pretzels, toast with your eggs, and lots of other major changes. Why would you think that people would go through all this trouble? The bloggers imagine it is to get attention! They are the ones who seem to have some sort of emotional problem.

    One theme that has come through in the stories of misdiagnosis is the contempt many of the sufferers have experienced, something present in this article also. Yet incredibly the assertion is that people giving this diet a try are going to harm those with Celiac in exactly those ways. This is ass backwards, dudes.

    Wow. I have Celiac Disease. Living with undiagnosed Celiac Disease for four decades ruined my life and I am not alone. I was diagnosed at the age of 43 with many symptoms of Celiac Disease that got progressively worse until I had maybe one or two functional hours per day. I have been strictly gluten free for over three years and we are not certain my digestive system will ever repair itself.

    Unfortunately many doctors and most public information regarding Celiac still state that a person needs to be underweight with diarrhea to be considered for testing - until very recently doctors believed that Celiac was a children's disease that one outgrew - the amount of false and misleading information regarding this disease causes many people to never be diagnosed, dismissed as depressed, stressed, overworked, hormonal or misdiagnosed with IBS, Fibromyalgia, Chronic Fatigue, Thyroid and Autoimmune Disorders.

    If some people want to go gluten free because they "feel" better - GREAT - the trend has increased knowledge regarding Celiac Disease. My hope is that far more accurate information with regard to the numerous symptoms of this disease is the emphasis of the publicity, rather than the trendy aspect of eating gluten free - maybe one day the 20 year old verson of myself that went to the doctor with digestive problems, unexplained joint pain and fatigue that was dismissed as anemic may be tested for Celiac Disease and thereby given the chance for a more productive life along with true health by simply changing her diet! That same young woman would know that gluten may need to be removed from her children's diets if they had achy joints, tummy troubles, acid reflux, repetitive canker sores, etc, etc, etc. Often those within the same family have quite different symptoms.

    My problem with your article is referencing those to be claiming to have Celiac Disease, not simply that they are claiming gluten intolerance. If one person with Celiac Disease is dismissed as just going along with a fad by someone that has read your article, your opinion has caused harm.

    "left-wing people also believe they are hyper-sensitive to food"

    More proof you don't know what you're talking about is that noted right-winger Elisabeth Hasselback has written two books about being gluten-free and even suggests in her first book that people give it a try if they might feel better. Oh man. What a left-wing conspirator!!!!

    And, as I posted as a reply, President Bush signed the Food Labeling and Consumer Protection Act into law in 2004, which forced mandatory labeling of the most common allergens. Man. I guess people saw those labels and worried that they were "sensitive". Must be Bush's fault!

    Food crosses social lines, political lines, racial lines, etc. Food related disorders cross these lines as well.

    The more I re-read your article the more out-there and nonsensical I realize it really is. Wow.

    i sure would like to see the data that illustrates how left-wing people have more food allergies or sensitivities... is this correlation or causation? he's implying that it's a causative relationship, and therefore the obvious way to "cure" gluten intolerance is to force everyone to be a right-winger.

    but wait... hasselback sorta negates that. do you think she's a closet left-winger? what with all her gluten sensitivity and stuff? hmm. clearly, the politics of the gluten sensitive deserve further study.

    Aptly, the author of "Celiac: The Trendy Disease For Rich White People" is publishing a book entitled "Science Left Behind". Now I understand....

    surprise surprise.

    the saddest part to me is that science itself is inherently political, but it most certainly is not partisan. there are right-wing folks who have completely rejected basic science (Akin's recent comments about rape not leading to pregnancy come to mind).

    Books (and posts) like this are driving the anti-science attitudes in this country.

    Hi hank,

    writing from montpellier (France), I am one of the victims of CD...7 year ago I developped a small bowell cancer of unknow origin...I did not recovered after the surgery and lost 80pounds (40kg), no need to say I was about to die:-)...doctors did not understand what was happening...hopefully one day one of the gastroenterologist sought about, it was CD. so in the end, the story is as follow: the bowell cancer was probably cause by a more or less silent CD (indeed, at the time of cancer discovery, anti TTG test came back mildly positive! but no body pay attention to this!)
    so the debate , is gluten sensitivity a fad? why not! what is important to me is that for poorly understood reason, something is happening with modern wheat and gluten enriched food! (you even found gluten in unexpected food, no surprise, gluten is a byproduct of starch industry, so this is a rewarding strategy to use a byproduct!). a bunch of CD expert ( have clearly recognize that CD and gluten sensitivity (GS) are two distinct disease. CD can be diagnosed by serological tests, GS to my knowledge does not have a recognised biological test.
    so as my gastroenterologist says "listen to your patient they will tell you what they feel and what they have"..sadly, nowadays, doctors barely listen their patients and we must recognized that the medical training does not raised awareness about CD in adults (pediatrician know the disease, because it is clearly unsmask in children by growth impairement!). so in the end, one should admit, that if people feel better while avoiding wheat (with respect to their specific symptoms, frequently gastrointestinal disconfort), no matter it is called CD or GS or x, y, z...they get the answer .
    as a cell biologist/biochemist, I know well that we are far from understanding everythings in the human body

    people have been eating wheat for far less time than they've been eating other grains (such as rice, enjoyed by asian cultures for centuries). considering wheat has also been bred to contain far more protein today than it contained 50 years ago, and it's those proteins that stimulate the immune response, that, along with our inability to evolve and adapt in such a short time, couldn't POSSIBLY have anything to do with the actual documented increase in celiac disease, amirite?

    Plus there's that bit where, historically, we ate very little wheat compared to other grains, even once we'd learned to store grains, and now we've transitioned to an extremely wheat-centric diet, all that over-exposure (along with the actual documented increase in celiac disease!) couldn't possibly have anything to do with increased prevalence, amirite? but doing research for poorly-written op-eds is HARD. silly me for expecting that.

    I fail to see how ingesting parasites or excessive alcohol compares to avoiding one entirely unnecessary ingredient in a world of abundant food options. Your arguments are weak and nonsensical. Speaking of alcohol, where you drunk when you wrote this? It's the only way I can attempt to wrap my head around this bunk.

    Since testing has a 30% false negative rate, how do you propose everyone present their test results to you so that you an approve of their gluten-free lifestyle? In addition to this, will you also be covering the expense of testing for the underinsured and uninsured who cannot afford the proper paperwork to appease you?

    Who are you to say "you can't feel better, whitey! Eat that damn bagel!" because you don't think someone is gluten-intolerant enough to satisfy your delicate sensibilities. If someone feels better doing something that causes you no harm, why are the details of their medical history so important to you? If someone is black and feels better without eating gluten, is that okay with you? If they're poor, is that preferable? If they're poor AND black, are they allowed to be glutenfree? I'm asking for a friend.

    If a poor white (or any color) person cant afford blood tests and biopsies, and they go gluten free and get relief (because this is the most accurate, economical, least traumatic, and easiest way to determine someone's reactions to gluten), why should they be forced to continue consuming gluten because some ignoramus on the Internet thinks they're just trying to fit in with some trendy rich bitches?

    What happens if someone is as poor as a church mouse and gluten makes them sick? Are they allowed to be glutenfree? You appear to be the expert on what grains people are allowed to put into their bodies, so again, I'm asking for a friend.

    I really don't understand why it's so important to you that someone is a card-carrying member of the Positive Biopsy Club in order to live a gluten-free life. Who died and made you the boss of everyone else's underpants?

    I'm a scientist and I've never even heard of this site before someone linked this racist classist piece of trash, and this is one hell of a first impression. Science 2.0? I guess I prefer science 1.0: the kind with ACTUAL SCIENCE and without the excessive judgment and vitriol. And in the interest of disclosure, I'm a scientist who actually lost their career (and nearly their life) due to undiagnosed celiac disease and the culture of pathetic misconceptions you've been spewing here. You're not the only jerk in the world who feels threatened by the idea of a few people feeling better by a simple diet change. Crap like this reminds me that I can't heal up fast enough, so I can get back to work and combat ridiculous "scientific" assumptions like this.

    This is one of the most racist and classist pieces of drivel disguised as "science" I've read in a long time. Crap like this is part of the reason why so many celiacs and chronically ill people distrust scientists and the scientific community. Nice job accentuating how science has failed the general public! A+ work, really.

    The whole purpose of your article is to ridicule those go on a gluten-free diet without an official Celiac diagnosis. You completely dismiss the possibility that wheat (and related) gluten proteins can have a serious effect on a person's health without the official medical diagnosis. The couple of people besides myself who I know who are - let's call it gluten intolerant -- do NOT claim to have Celiac Disease, but claim major improvements in health from a consistent gluten free diet (not just "feel better after passing up that bagel"). For me it was only after being on a gluten free diet for a month that I was consistently without bad pain in my joints - for the first time in 4 years. I had been tested by allergists and rheumatologists to no avail, and out of desperation I decided to try changes in diet. And the symptoms returned after about a week when I fell off the wagon.

    But let's get back to your perversion of science. You make the assumption that if science can't prove something, that is, if it can't make a definitive medical diagnosis supported by quantitative testing such as DNA assays, "blood tests" , etc. that the phenomenon doesn't exist. You ignore several possibilities:

    That the tests give false negatives -- evidently this is common for earlier stages of Celiac disease.
    That there is some immune response that there is not yet a test or diagnosis for
    That there may not be a definitive diagnosis, but we are forced to make decisions -- hopefully rational decisions -- in the face of uncertainty. Your biggest perversion of science is assuming that absence of proof means proof of absence.

    Even I laugh a bit at the apparent faddishness of the gluten-free diet, and don't claim it is a cure-all. Hey, I used to love gluteny goodness of bread and pasta and pizza, and if you don't have evidence that it's causing harm I see no reason to stop. You take the authority of the science and turn it into an authoritarian weapon to bludgeon those you disagree with. Shame on you.

    Oh, and your cherry picking of childhood immunization statistics for political purposes is beyond shameful. See
    for some real data. and for some polling results.

    Gerhard Adam
    I'm sorry, but in reviewing the comments it seems that the primary complaint against the author is also the primary complaint one can make about the posters.  It seems that no one is interpreting the actual content of the post, but instead everyone is on a free-for-all interpretation binge that has made all manner of connections that simply don't exist.

    Despite all the anecdotes published, the simple fact of the matter is that people cannot claim scientific validity for self-diagnosis.  Perhaps they did something that made them feel better.  Perhaps it is purely psychological.  It makes no difference, but to self-diagnosis and proclaim themselves as having a particular disease or condition is simply unacceptable.

    The simple reality is that there already far too much of this kind of nonsense taking place and most of it is anecdotal with people getting defensive when asked for evidence.

    We see the same thing with proposed hookworm treatments associated with autism.  People decide that autism is caused by digestive problems.  There are all manner of correlations that people may establish for themselves and that's fine ... as long as it stops there.

    Hank is absolutely right, when it comes to people that proclaim themselves to have some sort of disease that hasn't been diagnosed.  I would say the same to any other poster here.  Without a diagnosis, the only thing you can claim is that you made a dietary change and you feel better or that it has helped you.   That's it.

    It is absolutely wrong, for people to turn diseases and conditions into fads.  Perhaps today you benefit from such a fad, however tomorrow you may well be the victim of the fickleness.  It is never a good thing to operate on bad or misleading information.  If the objective is to provide scientific validity, then the self-diagnosis faddish nonsense has to stop. 

    There is nothing wrong with calling people on that.  For those that have a legitimate disease ... then if you feel better or you are receiving treatment that's fine.  However, it also doesn't entitle you to determine what is or isn't taboo when discussing the topic.  It's unfortunate that you weren't believed when you were trying to address your problems.  I get that, but it also doesn't mean that suddenly no one can have an opinion about all those that are simply tagging along.

    The article simply addressed the fact that too many people are self-indulgently establishing themselves as victims.  That's nonsense.  It occurs far too frequently over far too many conditions.  As I said ... if you change something in your life and you feel better, then more power to you.  However, that doesn't entitle you to present that change as scientific evidence that is applicable to everyone else.  That's where the line has to be drawn.  So, it is quite appropriate to single out and argue about those that are the "posers" in this debate.
    Mundus vult decipi
    so when people started dropping like flies inexplicably because they had the yet-undiscovered human immunodeficiency virus, no one was supposed to say they were sick? JUST IGNORE THE DEAD GAYS BEHIND THE CURTAIN, FOR THEY HAVE NO DIAGNOSIS. i mean, come on. just because science hasn't caught up with explaining why these people feel better because they forgo the gluten doesn't mean they don't have a legitimate medical condition.

    if someone can't access healthcare, develops breast cancer, and dies with a 40lb tumor on their breast, did they not have cancer because they hadn't gotten a formal diagnosis?

    if someone's thyroid cancer is misdiagnosed as hypothyroidism, and then die because the real illness went untreated, clearly they didn't have cancer because a doctor didn't present the patient with a membership card to the Thyroid Cancer Club... am i doing this right?

    this article "simply" uses science's unanswered questions to ridicule a population of people with racism, ableism, and classism. the saddest part is that science actually has begun to answer these questions, but the author has chosen to ignore it, even when commenters have provided easy clickable versions.

    you say it's wrong for people to turn diseases into fads, but that's precisely how the pharmaceutical industry creates its blockbuster drugs. in fact, they'll downright invent the illnesses themselves, not just the treatment, and those treatments don't come without a cost. a gluten free diet hurts no one (with a little nutritional knowledge and planning), but clearly this epidemic must be stopped! A small group of people who feel better when they watch what they eat? THE HORROR! LET'S SHAME THEM ON THE INTERNET!

    Gerhard Adam
    It's obvious that you simply want to bitch.  Go ahead.  Like those gluten-free fads, I suppose it will make you feel better.

    You're obviously choosing your own interpretation of words, no matter what is written.  No one said that a disease wasn't present.  My point is quite straight forward.  There is NO disease without a diagnosis.  End of story.  Your 40 lb tumor is meaningless without a diagnosis.

    That doesn't mean people don't have conditions or diseases that are unknown.  It also doesn't mean that an individual many not suffer from a condition that is unknown.  They may even elect to treat themselves with some degree of success.  However, that changes nothing.  It is still unknown.  No amount of shouting and hand-waving will change that.

    So, while that may work for such an individual, it would be grossly wrong to presume that this self-diagnosis magically becomes a diagnosis which is then applicable to others.  Surely you must realize that.

    I never indicated that people weren't entitled to do whatever they wanted to help themselves feel better, but in the absence of a diagnosis it is simply their own personal experience and it is anecdotal.  Whether it works or not is simply their own personal experience and it is anecdotal.

    What you fail to grasp, is that this precisely the kind of crap that occurs with things like hookworm therapy for autism, where some individual finds some degree of success in treating it for Crohn's disease ... acquiring the worms in Mexico.  Then magically deduces that autism is related to the digestive system and recommends it to some desperate parent to use on their unsuspecting child.  That's what comes of self-diagnosis and the notion that everyone is entitled to their own view of diseases.  In some cases those parents can end up spending thousands of dollars because they are desperate ... why ??  Because some idiot decided that they could promote a treatment for a completely unrelated disease as a cure.  That's why there must be a diagnosis.

    Otherwise you might as well get out the incense and rattles.
    Mundus vult decipi
    A 40 pound tumour is meaningless without a diagnosis?

    Are you for real Gerhard. Do you understand what doctors are and how they work?

    Doctors are highly educated professionals with years of training who combine scientific lab results with their educated opinions. Diagnosis is an educated opinion and can be wrong. One doctor could diagnose one thing and another doctor give a separate conclusion based on the same lab findings. Why? Because the human body is an incredibly complicated organism and diseases often mimic each other. A good doctor worth his or her salt, will tell their patient if a diagnosis is not "firm" or if it could be something else.

    Celiac Disease is very hard to diagnose in some people. It has false negatives and can show up even after a true negative.

    Do you really think that we have reached the absolute end of scientific discovery to assert that we know everything about celiac disease and gluten problems in humans? If you think this then history, as always, will prove you wrong.

    Gerhard Adam
    My point is simple.  A 40lb tumor without a diagnosis is simply unknown.  You can't simply proclaim it to be cancerous.  I fully appreciate that diagnosis can be complicated, which is all the more reason why individuals shouldn't engage in that activity using their own amateurish standards.

    Whatever works for the individual is fine as long as that's where the individual keeps their opinion.  Once they extend it out as being applicable to others, then they are playing at being a doctor and their advice can become dangerous.

    I can appreciate that Celiac Disease is difficult to diagnose, and I can also appreciate that many people that feel they benefit from a gluten-free diet may be undiagnosed with Celiac Disease.  But undiagnosed is undiagnosed, and until they know something more definitive it is simply anecdotal regardless of whether it works for them or not.

    I certainly am not suggesting that we know everything there is to know, but you also aren't so naive as to not recognize that many people love to self-diagnose themselves with all manner of conditions because it seems "attractive" to them somehow.

    There is a difference.  While it may not make a difference to you, I would suggest that no one is served by such indulgences.  The only way those suffering from Celiac Disease [or any other disease] can ever benefit is when there is bonafide recognition of the condition.  As long as people can simply make things up, they simply create the further illusion that it is simply discretionary, so that others also come to believe that it either isn't as serious as described, or that people are just making things up.  Those are a direct result of such indulgences.

    I also get that your own experiences demonstrate that this has already happened to you, so wouldn't you think that the prevention of that is to raise awareness and not simply promote more posers?
    Mundus vult decipi
    I dont understand why I have to have a diagnosis from another human being to let me know when something makes me sick. Do you need a doctor to tell you you have a head ache before you take an advil? If someone chooses to not eat wheat then that is their choice. Isnt that what all the "right wingers" are screaming about CHOICES! But then when people make choices that you dont agree with then you make fun of them and call them left wingers on a fad diet. If I am doubled over in pain for days after I eat a bagel then I dont really need a doctor to tell me not to eat a freaking bagel! Why would my common sense make me fake? For not buying into the medical community and their drug pushing ways? Bottom line is I really dont need to go through blood tests, biopsys or any other intrusive tests so someone can say the word CELIAC.

    Gerhard Adam
    Well, you're absolutely right.  You've solved the health crisis in this country.  What the hell do we need doctors for anyway ... Just another human being telling us what to think and feel.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Gerhard if this many people with Celiac Disease are telling you and the author that this article is wrong the problem is not in us. It's in the article. We are responding to the content in the article. Why do you think posters with Celiac Disease are wrong about our own illness and our opinions on the small number of fad dieters. I don't get it. Why do you care if you don't have Celiac Disease? You don't understand our experience.

    Do you have Celiac Disease? Are you gluten intolerant? Are you gluten sensitive? No. Then don't try to tell us who have it what to think and that our reactions to this situation are wrong. We have given scientific studies as proof. We have given our lives as proof. Somehow none of that is good enough for you. Why aren't you listening to what those of us who have it are saying. Most of us do not think like the author and find his article and opinions harmful to our cause.

    Sometimes Op Ed pieces fail to hit their mark. When part of their target audience (Celiac Disease sufferers) tell you they have missed the mark. They have. It's really that simple. We were dragged into this debate when the author used Celiac Disease as his chosen term and made wild claims about us and conflated us with gluten intolerant and sensitives. We're not the same group and frankly most of us have empathy and support for those who have measurable symptoms and no diagnosis. Why? Because we understand how it feels to hurt from food. You don't get it and we don't need or want this kind of negative attention for our cause.


    Gerhard Adam
    Somehow none of that is good enough for you.
    Where does that even come from?  When was your condition ever questioned?  When was the nature of your experience ever questioned?  What part of my comments ever asserted that people with Celiac Disease were not suffering from something real and dangerous?

    Where exactly does this come from?
    Mundus vult decipi
    You are not listening. I am not talking about my own personal diagnosis. You could question it all you want. I'm not threatened by that because I know the truth and I live my life accordingly. I'm not worried about you dismissing my diagnosis anymore than I am worried about Lady Gaga's stupid diet choices hurting my diagnosis. That's my point. This article keeps missing it! I am talking about my opinion on this debate and the opinion of other Celiac folks. We keep telling you that we don't harshly criticize the gluten intolerant and are not threatened by the fad diet. We don't need this kind of article out there!

    Furthermore, since we don't need this kind of article and we know the harm it can cause we are arguing with you and the author in this public forum. For that I sincerely thank you and the author. I really hope people can learn from this and understand.

    Gerhard Adam
    In that respect I have to agree with you.  I suspect that many people may read this and think that gluten-free is just another fad that came out of California, and perhaps this discussion will raise the point that there is a serious disease that exists, that isn't even slightly funny.
    Mundus vult decipi
    My problem with the article is not that he has an issue with self-diagnoses. My problems are as follows:

    1. He states that there is no testing for celiac disease. This is wrong. There are very accurate blood tests available, as well as intestinal biopsies.
    2. He goes on to conflate celiac disease, which is a serious auti-immune condition, with the self-diagnosed gluten intolerance people. They are not the same thing - and by throwing around terms like 'fake celiac' (which I've never heard before) he's doing celiacs a disservice. Call them gluten intolerant, and call that fake if you want to. Don't cast doubt on the real disease.
    3. For some strange reason, he adds a political dimension to the whole thing. I just don't know what's up with that - but I'm pretty sure that auto-immune diseases with a genetic component don't care whether you're liberal or conservative.
    4. He calls into question numbers on the disease, which are pretty well established by actual scientists. 1 in 133, and up to 1% of the white population. That's not controversial.

    I really don't have a problem with him calling out the trendy people, as I think they make it harder for people who really need a gluten free diet. But his article isn't based on actual facts, and throwing around terms like 'fake celiac' and stating that there isn't a way to get diagnosed give readers a false impression of the disease.

    Despite all the anecdotes published, the simple fact of the matter is that people cannot claim scientific validity for self-diagnosis."

    Please see the Mayo clinic website. They don't recommend self-diagnosis but acknowledge eliminating gluten from the diet is valid.

    If Celiac is suspected it may be better to wait until after testing because there may be complications. But far more people probably have sensitivity, and good luck getting an official diagnosis for that, never mind the cost.

    Gerhard Adam
    If Celiac is suspected it may be better to wait until after testing...
    ... and who is doing the "suspecting"?  Someone sitting at home watching a YouTube video?

    I have no quarrel with medical involvement, but if the point is to justify self-diagnosis, then you're off the mark.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Yes, I quoted Murray because he is arguably one of the most important science voices for Celiac disease, and even he can't find it good that a whole bunch of people are laying claim to a disease and adopting a diet that has no value to them.

    Anyone claiming this diet is superior for anyone without a need is no different than the Tapeworm or Macrobiotic or Martini people - engaging in a fad and trying to science it up for legitimacy.
    lol clearly yer the expert here. did you save the crackerjack box your credentials came from?

    Gerhard Adam
    Done bitching?
    Mundus vult decipi

    this will make it clear for you

    Gerhard Adam
    ... and thank you for demonstrating that the bullshit never ends.
    Mundus vult decipi
    My 7 year old daughter has (biopsy confirmed) Celiac... and its because of the "fakers" that I have to use the term
    biopsy confirmed" While I do believe that people can be gluten intolerant and not Celiac (no one questions people who are lactose intolerant so why would we question gluten intolerance?) I do think that recently this has become the "cure all fad diet" and though this has been a blessing with all the new products out there it has become increasingly harder for me to convince new people that I'm not just a crazy mom and that she actually needs to be gluten free.

    Mr. Campbell appreciate your recognition that celiac is a real problem. Unlike some other posters I understand that you were sensationalizing to get your post across. Thanks for saying (at least in part) something I have been thinking for years.

    To the rest of you... if being on a gluten free diet really makes you feel better... awesome! Now stick to it for life, no cheating especially when you are out to eat. Telling a restaurant you are gluten free and then sneaking a bite or two of you friends gluten-full meal makes it harder for those of us who need to protect our children from cross contamination because waiters pay attention and then assure us that that item is gluten free "I have seen many people with Celiac disease order and eat this." is what I was told on my birthday.... 35 minutes later my 5 year old was praying to the porcelain god for hours.

    While I think Hank's thesis is correct--what does it matter? They are only wasting their own money. Not mine. Not Hank's. Not the taxpayers'. It's less money available for more destructive causes like canoe association lawsuits.

    I think some of us long who were diagnosed with celiac disease a long time ago (in my case about a decade ago) are very sensitive to this sort of discussion. Many of us had long illnesses that doctors took years to diagnose correctly (nearly a decade in my case). Once diagnosed, we had to deal with people thinking our disease was a made-up malady. We've had to memorize lists of ingredients, apologize for not being able to eat food at parties, and wonder about what missed ingredient/contaminant was the cause of a bout of steatorrhea. My wife was also diagnosed a few years later also with the full workup (blood test, small bowel biopsy). People give us strange looks at parties, and I can tell they think we are self-diagnosed. So reading a piece like this just makes me feel tired.

    In a lot of ways for me personally, the trendiness of celiac though has improved my life. A decade ago I had to give up beer. Now I have 10 beers to choose from. Many more products are available. More companies are entering the market resulting in more competition which in turn reduces prices. That's a big issue because food and gluten-free food is terribly expensive.

    So Hank sees Lady Gaga going gluten-free and gets irritated. I see the same thing but am happy because it means the gluten-free market expanding a few more percentage points and prices declining in a corresponding way.

    While I think Hank's thesis is correct--what does it matter? They are only wasting their own money. Not mine. Not Hank's. Not the taxpayers'. It's less money available for more destructive causes like canoe association lawsuits.
    There's a basic aspect of psychology that is the problem. Along with money, I don't mind if fakers get ridiculed for faking - but if the presumption is that this is a made-up disease because the curve of people claiming it went up sharply after it was on daytime television, then someone in a situation could get told their food is gluten-free just to 'shut them up' and it can be pretty debilitating.  

    Plus, I would generally like for words to mean something and not be relative. People made a reference to PTSD and 'the spectrum' in other comments and those are other examples of fad diagnoses that dilute the meaning in culture so much people who actually have a problem get lumped in with the fad types.

    The bit about social scientists finding a genetic basis for being able to taste GMOs and what not was defusing that relativism - the social sciences are able to promote all sorts of nonsense with surveys where they ask people if they have X and - no surprise - those people say they do, statistics get added up and psychologists call it science.  
    How droll. Yet another writer who fails to research a subject properly and then seeks to ridicule an entire population of people. Gluten sensitivity includes celiac disease, non-celiac gluten sensitivity, gluten intolerance and true allergy (IgE reactions). The blood tests for non-celiac gluten sensitivity, an immune reaction to gluten in the blood/body, are AGA-IgA and AGA-IgG. AGA stands for anti-gliadin antibody. I'll let you look up IgA and IgG. Hint, you'll find them under immunoglobulin A and immunoglobulin G. Native gliadin in the bloodstream/body tissues indeed sets someone up for a local or systemic immune reaction if the body recognizes it as foreign - and EVERYONE's immune system should do this if working properly. Gluten sensitivity, like celiac disease, affects all people about equally - not just the rich or white. In my experience, determination to seek the cause of the problem, as opposed to blindly consuming the drugs ignorant medical doctors provide to treat symptoms is more important than wealth or skin color, and the real reason you do not see more medical diagnoses. Doctors do not understand food sensitivities and frankly do not keep up with current research unless it applies to their specializations. They follow the lead of "key opinion leaders" in their fields. Documented medical research performed in the United States as far back as the 1970s linked native gliadin to schizophrenia and demonstrated that removal of gluten resulted in remission of symptoms for those susceptible to gluten sensitivity. Maybe instead of being so cheeky, you should research and report why no experts in the field of psychology in the United States today know to consider gluten or test for AGA in their schizophrenic patients, even as medications to treat schizophrenia are consistently in the top 10 highest revenue producing drugs, yet fail to address or cure the problem. As the kids say these days. Epic fail.

    Let me guess.  You make money at this and so it's important to expand the umbrella audience to include as many people as possible. As I said, people with a disease are one issue but people promoting nonsense because they are anti-scientific cranks in some weird food culture war are entirely another - which of those are you?
    Pot-Kettle. It seems that you are the anti-scientific crank that is promoting nonsense that is not based on peer-reviewed scientific publications, but your own personal opinion.

    There is no peer reviewed evidence showing millions of people have Celiac disease.  It is incredibly disrespectful of you, if you are one of the pretenders who resents being called out rather than a misguided person circling the wagons around faddish people who want attention, to demean people who have Celiac disease by making anyone who claims to have it seem legitimate.
    Your statement, "There is no peer reviewed evidence showing millions of people have celiac disease," is astonishingly inaccurate.

    And your condescending attitude deserves a harsher response than I would normally provide to one who so obviously needs a proper education on the subject matter.

    Your failure to carry out a simple Google search in order to find the "peer reviewed evidence" of which you speak does not mean that such evidence does not exist. It does. In volumes. Here are two examples. In 2003 Dr. Alessio Fasano of the Celiac Disease Center at the University of Maryland published a study revealing 1 in 133 prevalence in the United States. 13,145 subjects were included in the study. Dr. Joseph Murray of the Celiac Disease Center at the Mayo Clinic most recently published his findings that the prevalence of celiac disease has reached almost 1%, rising 4 fold since the 1950s. This study included almost 13,000 subjects.

    Yes. Millions of people do have celiac disease. Since physician education lags research, most of these people remain undiagnosed and untreated. Perhaps you are one of them.

    As for me, I published Recognizing Celiac Disease, a comprehensive medical reference on celiac disease based on 100% published, peer reviewed research. Endorsed by the Celiac Disease Centers at Columbia University and the University of Chicago, physicians and professors at Harvard, Jefferson, Temple and the University of Pennsylvania, it is the most highly recommended resource in the world on the subject. It is used in the University of Chicago's preceptor program that teaches physicians how to identify, diagnose and treat celiac disease.

    I will leave you with a quote from Mark Twain. (He was a famous American author.) "It is better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt."

    Reply if you wish to remove more doubt.

    Thank you for this post, John. I will repeat what you said - "Your statement, 'There is no peer reviewed evidence showing millions of people have celiac disease,' is astonishingly inaccurate." Please do your research, Hank. Google Scholar? Web of Science? Give them a go.

    -GFreeinDC (diagnosed celiac via endoscopy and blood work, scientist, and researcher)

    Gerhard Adam
    So, now a calculated value is proof of actual diagnosis?  The statement is not inaccurate, but rather your interpretation is presuming an unconfirmed conclusion must be true, because it was calculated that way from a sample.

    It may very well be true, but to date, there no such evidence that confirms that millions have it.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Actually I have been diagnosed with Celiac Disease - by blood work, biopsy and genetic testing. I also am among those that had their symptoms dismissed by doctors for several decades because all standard blood work came back "normal" and once diagnosed was told by my doctor that they just don't suspect Celiac Disease in adults that are not underweight - all of my celiac symptoms had been dismissed by several doctors within several specialties for many years at a major teaching hospital that has a Celiac Center. Thus those of us that struggled for many years with misdiagnosed illness do take offense to your dismissive claims. That you mention Celiac Disease is real doesn't offset the overall tone of the article. I don't understand how you substantiate that millions of people are falsely claiming to have Celiac Disease.

    Here are links for two published papers with regard to numbers of in Celiac Disease 1% and 1 in 133 - the first is very recent with Dr. Murray from the Mayo Clinic as co-author which speaks to the prevalence of Celiac based on race , the second is from 2003 from the University of Maryland which I believe was among the first to claim numbers close to 1% of population:

    Below is the conclusion from the University of Maryland paper. It states very clearly what many people that lived with undiagnosed Celiac already knew - this disease is far more common than most doctors considered. The rate of diagnosis has risen over the past few years, but many doctors still don't know the variety of symptoms that require the need for a Celiac Blood Panel. So if doctors aren't looking for it how is it possible that all with Celiac Disease are getting diagnosed?

    Our results suggest that CD occurs frequently not only in patients with gastrointestinal symptoms, but also in first- and second-degree relatives and patients with numerous common disorders even in the absence of gastrointestinal symptoms. The prevalence of CD in symptomatic patients and not-at-risk subjects was similar to that reported in Europe. Celiac disease appears to be a more common but neglected disorder than has generally been recognized in the United States."

    I happen to middle aged white female celiac living in California with three celiac children that would not have been diagnosed if not for me getting extremely ill. I have found some people where I live are eating gluten free because they feel better without gluten. They generally say they are gluten intolerant or simply feel better, not that they have Celiac Disease. People without Celiac Disease can simply order off the gluten free menus to feel better. Those of us with Celiac have to question every server, every ingredient, every aspect of every particle of food that goes into our body. How can you tell if someone is falsely claiming Celiac Disease - easy - they aren't toting along their own food to social gatherings and sound like ridiculously picky diners at your local restaurant. Most people I've met have only heard of Celiac Disease in recent news programs or articles that were written because of the gluten-free trend. It is possible to educate people to the difference between Celiac Disease and eating gluten free by choice without getting snarky.

    I have not read the comments, but I did read the post. Hank Campbell takes advantage of the panache of his Science2.0 association to demonstrate his ignorance of celiac disease and gluten issues in health in a most unscientific and unsubstantiated way. Where's the evidence? There IS evidence for portions of his arguments, but he doesn't show any awareness of it, nor of the evidence showing that celiac is drastically under-diagnosed in the United States ( I am disappointed that he did not take advantage of this opportunity to educate and inform the public in a balanced way about the dangers of undiagnosed celiac as well as the lack of benefit from an unnecessary GF diet. (PS - Could you please get a new CAPTCHA tool? I've been through 20 of these, and haven't been able to read a one of them!)

    As a nurse and someone who has been diagnosed with celiac disease, it used to bother me when I would hear about people especially celebrities going gluten free for what seemed to be no reason other than 'weight loss'. I admit I still get my feathers ruffled when I hear comments like that. However, when I hear about someone who says they believe they are gluten intolerant and have actually went on an elimination diet and claim to feel much better being gluten free, I say good for them. Stick with it, live and feel your best. How are we to judge what they feel? Should I question patients showing up in my ER saying they are having chest pain? Should I cast aside those that I feel may be drug seekers and not believe they have chest pain?? No, of course I wouldn't do that. And this is why I won't question someone who believes they feel better being gluten free....Good for them....The awareness it brings to the disease only makes my life easier. I can now eat out at many restaurants and the new gluten free products being offered continue to get better and better.

     I hear about someone who says they believe they are gluten intolerant and have actually went on an elimination diet and claim to feel much better being gluten free, I say good for them. Stick with it, live and feel your best. How are we to judge what they feel?

    I agree, but is a straw man.  I never said people shouldn't give up something if it makes them feel better - I say exactly the opposite - I only ridicule people who claim they have a disease instead of a choice, and my reason is because casual people pretending demean the people who actually have a disease.  It is also a drain on insurance companies and the medical field.

    Since you are a nurse, I am shocked you have not seen this spike in faux disease claimants.

    As a nurse that works in a hospital setting I can tell you that I have not had a patient tell me that they have celiac disease without having the actual diagnosis. I have, on the other hand, been told that a patient has gluten intolerance but has not been diagnosed with celiac. Perhaps if I worked in a doctors office, this may be different.

    Please go into more detail on why you believe it is a drain on insurance companies and the medical field.

    My daughter has Celiac disease (like I stated above Biopsy confirmed) Though her initial blood-work and endoscopy were extraordinary procedures for an 18 month old, she has only visited the doctor for yearly check ups and the occasional sick kid visit . If a person with actual Celiac is not a "drain on insurance companies and the medical field" I'm curious how someone who is pretending to have Celiac is?

    I agree. I don't see how someone who falsely claims to have celiac disease would have a drain on the the medical community, let alone the insurance companies. That's why I asked for him to follow up on his statement. I am not defending those who say they have celiac disease by any means. I just have never experienced it in my state. I am involved in 2 support groups in 2 major cities in my state, as a nurse and as a patient. I have never had anyone come to my meetings that have not been clinically diagnosed as celiac (unless they are a family member or support person). I also have never had someone tell me they have celiac that hasn't been diagnosed....I have had people in crisis and very sick waiting on testing and their EGD/Colonoscopy to be done that are suffering that suspect they possibly may be celiac. Just saying, it is not my reality that people are going around saying they are celiac when they are just gluten intolerant. Obviously the author has his own experience and those Californians seem to be really under his skin.

    Gerhard Adam
    I'm glad that newer products exist to make life simpler for people with the disease.  However, it also raises the problem of those that simply want to use the label of "gluten-free" because it is trendy. 
    Grocery shopping is challenging for people with this disease, says Andrea Levario, J.D., executive director of the American Celiac Disease Alliance. “When they find a product labeled ‘gluten-free,’ they don’t necessarily know what that means because today there is no federal standard for the use of this term.”
    So what happens when companies label foods because they think they're participating in a trend, rather than creating a product that has medical consequences?
    Mundus vult decipi
    In general, people complain and the product is taken off the market. Like with most other things. If it's done knowingly, people can actually go to jail for fraud, as happened to this guy who labeled bread as gluten free that wasn't, causing many people to get sick. He got a 9 year prison sentence:

    Additionally, the FDA has been investigating gluten free standards for years (20ppm is the suggested level - which is what it is in Europe) so gluten free labeling laws are, supposedly, just around the corner. There are also organizations that certify things as gluten free and offer product testing. National Foundation for Celiac Awareness offers this, I believe. Celiacs also know how to read labels - probably much more carefully than most people. It isn't hard to spot things that have gluten once you get used to it. In other words, you are arguing that a problem exists that doesn't.

    I think your article is interesting...not entirely correct, but a good read. I was diagnosed with non tropical sprue (celiac disease) about 25 years ago. I was hospitalized for about 2 weeks....I had a serious case of malnutrition...diagnosed with a small bowel biopsy, permeability testing and blood work. I have celiac in the classic form...I'm well under 5' tall...

    I agree with you that innate immunity is fuzzy....I honestly believe the big celiac centers had to come up with something because they just aren't finding the 1 in 133 celiacs they claimed are out there. So far it's more like 1 in 4800 or so that have been diagnosed...That many doctors can't be that wrong....I do not believe there is such a thing as non celiac gluten sensitivity...Sorry about that!

    Ok...what I believe your article is wrong about....I'm white...northern european heritage...NOT wealthy....Democrat....My kids (adults now) are vaccinated and I still believe in vaccinations...

    Yup....gluten free and celiac is definately trendy and I consider it an insult to everything I have suffered with because of my very real disease...and yes, it is a disease, not just a condition to self diagnose!

    yes, it is a disease, not just a condition to self diagnose
    Exactly.  But you are focusing on some demographic commonalities in this supposed epidemic without reading where I noted that we did not create some new species of humans since Dr. Oz came onto daytime television - Glutenus Americanus or whatever - that is suddenly out of whack with the rest of the world and has 3000% more cases than every other country.

    Like with you, people who have Celiac disease really have something - gluten is poison - the people who are pretenders are not poisoned by gluten, they are instead starved for attention.
    Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored! Please investigate the brilliant and progressive work of Dr. Rodney Ford from New Zealand who wrote Gluten Syndrome among his many publications. Focusing on Celiac Disease is like missing the forest for the trees or like only paying attention to the tip of the ice berg. Proactive prevention is the key to optimal health, safety and well being!

    Gerhard Adam
    "There will be zero gluten worldwide in a couple of generations," he says. "In New Zealand, in about five to 10 years, cigarettes will be banned from shops — New Zealand will become a smoke-free country. Gluten causes equally as many health problems as cigarettes. In a generation or two, any discerning consumer is going to be gluten-free."
    Well, thanks for playing.  So, this is supposed to be what passes for scientific? 

    Mundus vult decipi
    Rodney Ford is just another charlatan riding the gluten free trend...I don't even care if he is a 'real 'doctor...Remember Dr. Lendon Smith? His medical license was eventually taken away form him so he joined the ranks of those who 'practice naturopathic medicine'....just another charlatan trying to make a buck off the gullible people who buy thier brand of crap!

    Today I bought 10kg of corn noodles in a hard discount store, gluten-free and kosher (it's labelled on the packs), for half a dollar the pack of 500g. I think that's pretty a fair deal, noodles for the autumn, like before, when it was fast and simple to cook a hot meal.

    But my point is not about the possibility to get this food conveniently and cheap, it is true that it is a real problem in everyday life, but you can always find a hard discount store in the neighbourhood selling a stock that nobody wants to buy.

    My point is about the misconception of the potential of this regime to cure people's disease or inability to feel good and live well. I started this regime at a time where I was hardly able to speak freely without chewing my words, always tired and feeling extremely bad because I couldn't get rid of the silly symptoms of a disease I knew everything about but the crucial, a strong bipolar disorder that sent me numerous times at the hospital accompanied by the two legendary white shirts, if not the cops. I knew nothing about gluten back then, but I had tried everything else, harder and softer, newer and older meds in various combinations and posology of course, but also psychotherapy, psychoanalysis, and art-therapy and all the useless techniques that won't stop the highs and lows when the time comes.

    And suddenly, after reading an testimony by complete chance on a blog, I started this regime and everything stopped, the strange ideas, the false reality, the inability to speak freely, to laugh when it's funny, to be present-minding, the crisis, the insomnia, the maniac pressure, the low registries of the mood.

    At some point I decided to stop as well any medication I was recommended to take, and after a while I openly announced it to my wife, family, friends, doctors, and everything happened to be fine, everyone had noticed a change, it was far beyond doubt that this time it was not like always, another try to break free wildly before the big high, the ambulance and the deep low. Of course, people laughed like you do in this article, it is really annoying and also the incessant verbatim in various social occasions, almost always completely silly, "can you eat fish?", "it won't kill you if you eat just one cookie", "oncle Charlie has a digest disposition", and the like - but compared to the growing assurance that I could in the end trust myself over longer and longer periods of time, it was not a serious inconvenience in this turn to disturb the real, true, strong effect and advantage.

    So far, so good, and it seems fad indeed, but taking nuts for breakfast and avoiding carefully the gluten and the lactose, completely smoothed the sharp edges of a disease I had been unable to reign in for more than 20 years.

    Ok, so here's my point on top of this background situation : developing a modern medication for people with mood and behaviour troubles cots maybe 10 billion dollars each time, and we now know it for science facts, that taking those medication, if it doesn't hurt the brain forever, then it hurts the kidney and liver until you die eventually, and vice versa. Also, people taking these medications tend to be severely negated socially, and zombified in their creativity, ability to think, to feel emotions and sentiments, to evolve and be happy. So I write it short : what about the recent discovery of the interaction between the guts hosts and the brain? Almost every week there's an article about this new field, and what about the potential for this all in all 10% to 20% of the population of the world that suffer from instability of the mood, sporadic or recurrent behavioural irresponsibility, insane echolalia, melancholia, social retreat, and so on, if they could get better - maybe not always and all that directly cured but still! - simply by changing their food habits?

    That is not a minor public health issue, it makes a huge difference in terms of public expanses and public resources planing, you can bet on it, if suddenly you can cut the massacre of these people's brain, if you can take over the industrial abuses of the over-medication, and specially if it really makes a difference in these people's life!
    And behind the scene of this drama, that makes a great change too when politics and public health policy makers have to face the hegemony of the pharmacologist industry. No UFOs and plots there, but a complex social, economical, political, industrial reality!

    The article misunderstands profoundly, as it neglects the situation where people are maybe simply moderately intolerant, the implications and the meaning of this trend for a great variety of troubles. Very often the gluten or the lactose is not the cause of the trouble like in the strictly coeliac disease, it's another element of the puzzle, and in trying to help people rehabilitate their force to find the cue of evidences and measures that will work for them, it is a really great basis because it is simple in the concepts, simple to apply (not easy always though!), and it brings numerous other changes in the way (e.g. loosing weight maybe too if necessary) to a life that is acceptable.

    And, as far as I'm concerned, I don't care to be actually knowing for sure if I am intolerant to gluten (and lactose) for real, as long as, somehow, it worked where everything else failed noticeably! (besides the procedure to test this intolerance properly includes at some point a certain insertion of medical apparatus at some extremity of the body, that I would prefer not to be practised on my own, be it for science!...)

    That's however great that we could get the opportunity to discuss these subjects here, and sorry if I didn't read all the comments before posting.

    After a painful 9 months and several misdiagnosis, my 14 year old was diagnosed with celiac. Believe me when I say we are not rich. ItI would be nice to be, so that we could afford the gluten free diet that helps her survive somewhat comfortably. I'm curious, how many celiac patients did you interview for this article? As it is the first time I have read your work, do you usually strive for humor or actual truth in your editorial? My daughter has extreme pain and migraines when she eats wheat. I won't be sharing this thoughtless article with her. She already feels deprived in our gluten world. Almost every food was taken away for her to cope with daily life. Have you looked at ingredients lately? From rx drugs to frozen meat, gluten has become an additive that most Americans don't even realize. Yes more people have celiac, because food companies are using gluten more in their products. Disappointed that you are helping spread false information to your readers.

    Why on earth would I need tests and a clinical diagnosis for the presence or lack of presence of a “disease” when the change I have made has solved health issues that I have been dealing with for 30 years? Is it so wrong for a person to try a dietary change for a couple weeks to see if it makes a difference? Noooo we need to be running to the doctors and get their approval first, because their opinions have served us well so far? I think not. I do NOT care whether I have a label of “celiac” or “gluten intolerant” or “grain-free crazy lady.” It makes no difference and I claim no label and no disease, only that the way I am eating now (no grains no sugar) has dramatically increased my health. That is bad because?...

    I happen to be white, and educated, but I am certainly NOT rich! Though I am richer now than I was when I ate wheat! My health and the health of my family have dramatically increased. THAT is rich. And as for money, I don’t buy expensive (and ridiculous) packaged gluten-free foods. I buy real food, no junk food other than treats I make at home with wholesome ingredients, which isn't junk at all. So I spend LESS on food. I guess that’s a good way to become a richer white person, eh?

    One problem with this article (and many more like it) is that it assumes that people who eliminate gluten from their diet are also eating processed gluten-free foods (junk) using alternative, high-carb grains. Guess what? Much to the horror of the Grains Food Foundation and others like it, many of us are not eating ANY grains at all! Many of us are not eating ANY processed foods at all!

    And guess what else? There isn't anything beneficial for us in grain products that we cannot easily get elsewhere in our diet! AND a good portion of the beneficial aspects of grain products have been ADDED into them, they are not naturally occurring. They are "fortified."

    I suppose it's our collective imagination that our health has improved dramatically by going grain-free? Gluten is not the only culprit in wheat, there's also gliadin and amylopectin-A. Look them up people, and see how they are addictive and severely spike blood sugar, causing a wide range of health issues including obesity and diabetes, and yet whole grains are recommended by the ADA.

    Wheat is intensely INFLAMMATORY. Go without it a few days, and see how you feel.

    Read Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis!

    So, go ahead, write your article and act as if "feeling better" is some intangible thing! In FIVE months, my husband and I (we're in our mid 40's) have lost a combined 60lbs, and no longer suffer from severe joint pain, chronic headaches, chronic acid reflux, insomnia, severe PMS (just me, ha), bloating and gas, and chronic fatigue (to name a few.) So are we following the diet for reasons that simply do not make sense? They make sense to me, I could care less if that make sense to you.

    I suppose this and the thousands of other "anecdotal" accounts of weight loss and major health improvements are just hearsay? A vague "feel better" sentiment?

    Perhaps placebo? Imagination?

    Maybe we have some clandestine agenda to feel better WITHOUT medications? *wink*

    Or maybe we are eating the way that people are MEANT to eat. The human digestive system is damaged by eating grains. (We don't have multiple stomachs to ferment and re-digest grains the way that ruminants do!)

    While it’s unclear what your personal problem is with people choosing not to eat gluten/grains, most of these articles are being published by a BIG FOOD faction that is absolutely in a PANIC that Americans (and others worldwide!) are waking up to the fact that the nutritional guidelines given to us to "eat more healthy whole grains" have actually turned out to be the cause of the epidemic illness that has permeated our world.

    Go ahead and publish your condescending and judgmental articles and try to make people feel guilty for self-treating by altering DIET. It’s not as if we are out there getting street drugs to fix this imaginary problem we all seem have. And it’s not so that we can feel “special”, unless you mean by “special” to be free from chronic pain and have renewed energy... Awww shucks! I guess I am special :)

    The bottom line is, you can say what you like, and you can write what you like, as can others like you....

    But you can't FORCE us to eat it ;)
    Be happy, that leaves more for YOU!

    Don't you like a good plate of pasta with some tasty sauce finely cooked? Lol

    While it’s unclear what your personal problem is with people choosing not to eat gluten/grains, most of these articles are being published by a BIG FOOD faction that is absolutely in a PANIC that Americans (and others worldwide!) are waking up to the fact that the nutritional guidelines given to us to "eat more healthy whole grains" have actually turned out to be the cause of the epidemic illness that has permeated our world

    This is where the UFOs kick in I'm afraid, in this kind of vehement short-circuits...

    More probably, it happens that more studies on nutrition find out that the intensive wheat consumption during the last 50 years might well have an incidence at the epidemic level, which was not taken into account at the time since it was a positively unknown possibility. Starting from this point a minima, without using the plot game, it is possible to understand that industrials try to keep their business viable, and use various techniques to fulfil that aim, that are not coordinated by a Central Grand Wazoo that would be undetectable, omnipotent and vilain like a mafia or a band of ETs permeating our world...

    Maybe this is where "educated" stands, when you're not confusing the multiple trends and voices of a market with a Big Brother Branch of Broccoli, or something like that, if I may comment your diatribe..

    I agree that it was not likely an intentional change for the worse, but that doesn't change the fact that there are REAL health issues from consuming something that the "powers that be" say are safe AND desirable. When I say permeating our world, I don't mean it in a sense that it was some coordinated effort, but it has still happened. You can spill a glass of wine of a carpet, and while it's was an accident, your carpet is still permeated with wine and trashed unless you can find a way to remove it ;)

    The problem is compounded by the fact that there are huge industries that thrive on the list of health complaints that I noted above which many people take medications to control. Diabetes alone is a multi-BILLION dollar industry which is fed by BAD recommendations of the ADA that tell people to eat more "healthy whole grains" when it's known/proven that grains spike blood sugar like mad and trigger insulin. It doesn't take a huge conglomerate of Big Brother size to cause massive health issues, a few well-positioned recommendations from trusted sources can do it just fine. And make no mistake, read more articles like this and you will see that many/most are funded/written by grain-centric organizations. If it's all a fad, what do they have to worry about?

    And now you have people writing "scientific" articles like this who say "shame on you" to consumers who dare to make changes on their own which buck the system. Shouting that it's a rich white people's trendy disease and then further accusing Liberals and educated people of having more issues with food quality and diet restrictions is the most absurd and condescending tripe I have read in ages! And on a science site, really?

    So there are *some* people who go gluten-free because they think it's hip. BIG DEAL. There will always be a sector of people who do things to gain attention. Trust me, it's WAY too much work for those people to continue to do it without a payoff that exceeds the temporary "cool" factor. Perhaps the fact that the author is residing in California increases his unpleasant exposure to the posers who are doing it for shallow social reasons. Here, in Michigan, it is anything but "cool." If I wasn't experiencing the best health of my life, I couldn't be bothered to make all food from scratch and avoid convenience foods. This is far more than a trend.

    And I'll pass on the pasta, and shred some zucchini instead!

    After actually reading all the comments, I find myself rather torn about this article. (I was initially repulsed by the article.) I suppose I am one of the celiac fakers, as the author describes. The sensationalism of this article suggests that there are two kinds of people in the gluten-free community: diagnosed Celiacs and the self-diagnosed, trendy fakers. I was fortunate to test negative for CD, but since a gluten-free diet erased my list of symptoms, my doctor (a legitimate MD) suggested I have gluten intolerance and I keep it up. Since then, my GI (also a legitimate MD with all kinds of awards who is a well-respected researcher) has seconded the first MD's recommendation. Both agree that for some yet-unknown reason, there is a very real population of people who suffer from gluten exposure but do not test positive for CD.

    Never once have I claimed to have celiac, nor have any other gluten intolerants I know. And no one in my life has ever suggested I'm trendy. I actually did think gluten-free was trendy until my own experiences. Now I find it an oftentimes difficulty and restrictive lifestyle, but one that keeps me healthy.

    That said, until my MD suggested it, my experiences with gluten-free people were black or white: One colleague who got violently ill at a speck of flour and another who thought nothing of eating the icing off a gluten-full cake and picking around pasta salads. And worse yet, I have an in-law who will do anything Dr Oz says. Someone above referenced the Blood Type Diet? She tried to lend me that piece of trash. Since I went gluten-free because of MD-recommendation and elimination of many health problems, she's has tested negative for celiac and has self-diagnosed as gluten intolerant. She is narcissistic, not terribly bright, and looks for one fad diet after another.

    I resent the author suggesting that I want attention and have sought it through a difficult lifestyle change. It couldn't be further from the truth. I hate being singled out, and being gluten-free means that every meal outside my own home I struggle to avoid drawing attention to myself while still being confident in the safety of what I eat. I resent that on behalf of all the gluten sensitives/intolerants who require this lifestyle.

    I do not, however, resent the author calling out the idiots who claim to be gluten-free because they somehow think it's healthier. It is hard and expensive and unhealthy if managed poorly. It takes a lot of research and work, and I look forward to the fad passing and gluten-free being just another dietary lifestyle like vegetarianism or the "accepted" food allergies (like peanuts or shellfish) that are taken seriously.

    To the author, it would have behooved you to reference more than one doctor to give a counterpoint to that vague Murray quote. I'm clearly not the only reader who expected better research on a science website.

    I was trying to be concise (ha!) and seemingly contradicted myself.

    "I do not, however, resent the author calling out the idiots who claim to be gluten-free because they somehow think it's healthier. "

    By this statement, I mean that people who go gluten-free simply by giving up bread, pasta, etc. or substituting the gluten-free versions, but don't actually eliminate gluten from their diets; gluten's insidiousness has been discussed above. I meant the people like my in-law who think it's a weight-loss diet. Or the people who think it's just an overall "healthier" diet to just cut out grains, rather than ensuring they're supplementing the vitamins and minerals grains provide: like the vegetarian who lives on pasta and then wonder why they're so sick.

    Obviously it's healthier for those who suffer ill effects from gluten!

    Gluten free foods are not good for people who are diabetic. They contain lots of starches and sugars like tapioca starch, potato starch, rice, etc. Check the carbs and sugar on those foods before you buy. I don't touch them. I have been wheat free since November of 2011. I did not say gluten free or celiac. Benefits since going wheat free: losing 16 lbs, clear skin, no more dry skin, better sleep, more energy, no more hazy feeling in the afternoon, and my stats have improved. Lower cholesterol, better blood pressure readings, lower tryglycerides. Even my thyroid medicine has been lowered. I have made no other change. Have you read Wheat Belly by Dr. William Davis? Read it and try a wheat free lifestyle for three weeks. See what happens.

    I do agree with Hank that going gluten free is becoming a fad. It does seem like a bunch of celebrities are going gluten free, some for the wrong reasons, such as losing weight. Due to this fad, more grocery stores, markets and restaurants are becoming more aware of gluten free products. On another note, there are millions of people with serious health issues diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Eating gluten free foods is the only way to help cure these issues, to live a normal life. Oh yeah, this is coming from an African American diagnosed with Celiac Disease!

    The article seems to distinguish between Celiac and a self- diagnosed gluten problem, and utterly fails to address dermatitis herpetiformis and the TTG6 auto-immune reaction in the brain. Because those manifestations of a gluten reaction are not Celiac, I have to wonder whether the author is accusing people with those conditions of essentially being fakers, and therefore subjects of his ridicule?

    And what of people diagnosed with non-celiac gluten sensitivity through double-blind elimination and reintroduction? I suppose they should be ridiculed as well.

    Dr. Peter Green has said that we know as much about non-celiac gluten sensitivity now as we knew about Celiac thirty years ago. I suppose that ridiculing someone with the condition today passes as "science" and is OK, but after more research is done and objective tests are developed, ridicule of the very same someone will not be OK?

    Gerhard Adam
    I suppose they should be ridiculed as well.
    Sure ... ridicule them all, then when you're done you can go beat up autistic kids.

    What is your problem?  Why are you and so many others intent on protecting those that are self-diagnosed posers?  It simply lends cover for the charlatans that come in promoting diets and other food fads, because they're profitable.

    Great!   So, now the only people that can have a discussion or have an opinion are those that have the condition being discussed.

    The sad part is, that NONE of these posts would have occurred if Hank had started his article by stating that he had Celiac's Disease.  Do you think that being sarcastic and intentionally misrepresenting what was said will help?

    I am so done with all the "disease snobbery" that goes on in this country.
    Mundus vult decipi
    I am disturbed that your believe those that self diagnose are all rich white people that have a desire to feel different or important because of an illness. Have you ever tried living gluten free? It is not a picnic and I can't possibly believe that anyone would knowingly and willingly subject themselves and their taste buds to the deprivation that we go through on any long term basis. Those that are doing it for a fad, attention, or losing weight will see in a short amount of time that they don't work and the loss of 'normal food' does not outweigh the gain and will go back to their old ways.
    Those of us of moderate means that have self diagnosed themselves have done so in the only way possible, the elimination diet. Something my doctor could not do for me or test me for. I have no delusion that I have Celiac, that can be tested and I do not wish for their constant high alert diet. However, in the course of one year, being free of gluten, dairy, egg, sugar, and pork; my fibromyalgia is under control, my psoriasis that covered 80% of my body now covers less than 2%, my migraines are gone completely, and my menstrual cycles are normal. My daughter's psoriasis has healed and within 2 weeks stopped wetting the bed. All these have been linked to food sensitivities that go untreated.
    There are always going to be those that jump on a band wagon for the fad, but those that stay on are there through the whole bumpy ride.

    I'm not going to go into all my celiac diagnostic hoopla. This is some SEO-hungry blogger just looking to start controversy with a poorly written article where he did absolutely no research because THERE IS NO RESEARCH to do on the topic of comparing a person's bank account to the worth and value of their disease.

    So as a blogger, I commend Hank for getting this blog post so viral in the Gluten-free community. But as a Celiac and a California resident, if we ever cross paths, I will shoot you with my laser.

    I am neither white nor rich and since being GF, I am 35 again. I spent too many years in my life hurting, stiff, feeling sick and tired until I tried this very controversial diet. It's controversial because I believe people believe you don't eat Gluten because you want to be skinny. Yes I like being of a healthy weight I go to the gym for that( personally) BUT GF has given me,energy, clarity and a pain free life where I can play with my children and take them to where they need to be. Yes it is an expensive diet , I am an unemployed, college educated w/ a Masters actively seeking work. My husband is the income with which we stay afloat weekly with our fingers crossed. We can't afford a-lot of the meals and snacks, sometimes it's hard to buy the fruits and vegetables the diet thrives on. Maybe because eating healthy is more expensive than eating fast food or the company's who make these products such as bread and all purpose GF flour believe the same as you, rich,trendy,white people are purchasing it. Unfortunately, those who struggle and sacrifice for better health don't have an option but to remove gluten from their diet, fall into the same group. Shame on you! Hopefully no one you love will have to deal with any health issues that require a GF diet because the words written,forever living in the web will be nothing but foolish trash you will be forced to apologize for.

    @Gerhart: Why are you and so many others intent on protecting those that are self-diagnosed posers?

    Why are you so intent on ridiculing every self-diagnosed person as a poser?

    My view is that non-celiac gluten intolerance does exist, and that some percentage of the self- diagnosed do suffer from it. When science advances, as it has with celiac, we'll find out what that percentage is.

    But you can feel free to ridicule ALL self-diagnosed as posers; apparently it is what you do best.

    Gerhard Adam
    OK, let me explain this.

    If a doctor ran tests on you and came to you with a diagnosis that said you "feel bad", you would be outraged at such a vague nebulous answer.  Yet, somehow when someone makes a change in their personal life and "feels good", then it has become magically transformed into a valid diagnosis.

    It isn't anything of the sort.  It is simply a change that makes someone feel better.  That's it.  There is no diagnosis of any kind.

    Let's take a different example.  Suppose I'm a smoker, and I decide to quit smoking.  After doing so, I realize that I feel more energetic, and don't get winded so easily when I engage in activities.  That's fine.  I feel better.

    However, it would be completely and totally wrong for me to say that I had a touch of emphysema because I had labored breathing before, and so I cured myself of that by quitting smoking.

    That's the problem with self-diagnosis.  There can be no such thing without actual data.  Whether you feel better or worse, is entirely a subjective experience but it isn't diagnostic.

    That's what's being criticized.  If people want to eat whatever they choose, for whatever reasons, and they feel better because of it, then that's absolutely fine.  No one has ever been criticized for their own personal choices.  However, that is a far cry from making such a change and claiming that you have determined that you are gluten-sensitive, or that you have Celiac's, or any number of other diagnosis, when in fact you know nothing of the sort.

    I would guess that the majority of people wouldn't be able to distinguish between being gluten-sensitive to allergic.  So, while you can live your life however you choose, you can't simply pick whatever data you want to support your personal beliefs.  This isn't my first rodeo, so I've already heard these claims before from vegans, or about allergies to GMO foods [i.e. the ability to detect genetic modification], being allergic to power lines, etc.  That's where this self-diagnosis leads.  It provides no useful information, and allows individuals that may be experiencing little more than a placebo effect, claim credibility on par with those that suffer from real medical conditions.

    This also shelters the charlatans, because now they can express their indignation that someone would actually deign to challenge their view of "natural" eating, or the "natural" diet, or healthy living. 
    Mundus vult decipi
    You didn't address my point.

    A certain percentage of the self-diagnosed really are non-celian gluten sensitive. If you don't believe that, talk to the University of Maryland Celiac Center. They have the data on patients they have seen.

    Given that a certain percentage are non-celiac gluten sensitive, I cannot think of any justification for painting all with the poser brush. Doing so is simply disingenuous.

    That's my problem with the article, and with your initial response.

    Gerhard Adam
    Again .. the point is simple.  If they claim to have Celiac's or gluten-intolerance, then they are "posers" if they are undiagnosed.  If they simply claim that they feel better on a gluten-free diet, then there is no problem.

    No matter what you feel, or how you're doing, you cannot make a diagnosis without data.  The simple point is that you don't know anything other than that you feel good.  That's fine for your life, and worthless from a medical or scientific perspective.
    Mundus vult decipi
    I'm aware of a family with a diagnosed celiac Mom and diagnosed 3 year old. They also have a one year old, who shortly after starting solid food developed behavioral problems, digestive problems, and fell below 0% on the height/ weight chart. Because the pediatrician insisted that no one that old could react so adversely to gluten and refused to do a test, the Mom put the toddler on a gluten-free diet on her own, and all the problems resolved. They subsequently were advised by a clueful doctor to get the child tested, but decided against it because they expect the gluten challenge to cause weeks of pain for their child as well as another failure to thrive situation.

    But maybe you are right. There's no medical benefit to the child being on a gluten-free diet, and unless the little kid suffers a few weeks, it's just a poser.

    Gerhard Adam
    Oh, of course.  No one would advocate the reasonable concept of actually changing doctors.  No ... that would be too sensible.  So, instead of going to a doctor that will treat the condition, we'll just have mom make her own diagnosis, and then pat ourselves on the back for our extreme cleverness.

    What the doctor doesn't know won't hurt him.

    BTW ... while you can choose to simply conflate issues, if the mother has made a "diagnosis", then she is a "poser" since she is NOT a doctor and doesn't have anything resembling a diagnosis.  If she simply changed the baby's diet and it appears to be happier and healthier, then she has simply made a change, that she has no diagnostic data about (i.e. a one patient correlation). 

    Like it or not, people's opinions are nothing more than people's opinions and they will not become scientific simply because people wish them to be.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Oh, I see that you are a good friend of ridicule, even for completely illogical reasons. Then join the author in ridiculing the undiagnosed child.

    Gerhard Adam
    Ridicule?  Are you actually reading anything written, or simply living in your own world?
    Mundus vult decipi
    . Because the pediatrician insisted that no one that old could react so adversely to gluten and refused to do a test, the Mom put the toddler on a gluten-free diet on her own, and all the problems resolved. 
    I applaud your anecdotal friend for taking the initiative - but you echo the sentiment of a lot of commenters here; doctors are stupid and scientists who can't find the epidemic that is only happening in America are stupid too, or in cahoots with Big Gluten or whatever. 

    It seems obvious to anyone that a mother with Celiac disease who already has a child with Celiac disease wouldn't wait for a pediatrician anyway.
    Now for the money question: my original post addressed the ridicule the author had for the those without a formal diagnosis. This child is undiagnosed; are they worthy of scorn?

    The author used far too broad of a brush.

    As to your backhanded accusation about how I feel about doctors, I know some very good ones, and a few bad ones, just like any other profession. Physician knowledge on this topic has increased the last few years. If you think that makes me biased, provide some evidence to the contrary.

    Gerhard Adam
    Are you foolish or merely attempting to appear that way?
    This child is undiagnosed; are they worthy of scorn?
    The child has nothing to do with this [but you already knew that, but you have to display your faux indignation for something that was never alleged].  Do you think the mother is doing her best in treating her own child with no diagnosis?  The fact that she has Celiac's and another child with it, improves her odds that she's probably right, however I suspect you wouldn't be this naive if it were any other condition.  Self-diagnosis is always problematic.  She is doing her child no favors by not knowing.
    Mundus vult decipi
    It's really weird that you're apparently unaware that rates of celiac are as high or higher in many other countries. It isn't 'just happening in America' - which I assume you'd know if you'd done any actual research for this article. Finland, Sweden, Italy, Ireland all have 1% or more of the population diagnosed as celiac. McDonald's in Scandinavian countries has offered gluten free buns for 20 years. The difference is that, in these countries, the disease is well-known and doctors actually bother to test people for it, so people get a diagnoses.

    Gerhard Adam
    The difference is that, in these countries, the disease is well-known and doctors actually bother to test people for it, so people get a diagnoses.
    Good, so for all those comments that allege that getting a diagnosis takes years, you're saying that they are clearly wrong.  All the more reason that self-diagnosis is inappropriate.
    Mundus vult decipi
    There is no test for gluten intolerance, and celiac diagnosis can take years. You are completely missing the point that identifying gluten sensitivity of any kind, like other food sensitivities, is a lengthy process with lots of trial and error. Medical testing can actually miss Celiac, so people may say "hey, eating gluten-free solved my problems even though the test was negative, so I'm going to stick with it." The food diary IS the data! "Oh, I had soy sauce then had XYZ problems? Then the next day I had a sandwich and had XYZ problems? Then I had some waffles and had XYZ problems? And my doctor says that gluten is the only consistent ingredient in the weird array of foods causing XYZ problems?" Sounds like someone's body is rejecting gluten!

    Any doctor worth his or her pay with ask someone with digesitve complaints for a food diary, because it is the first - sometimes only or best, step towards a diagnosis.

    Gerhard Adam
    No it isn't.

    Going gluten-free without a diagnosis may be more problematic than you think.  This is precisely why the celebrity-status and faddish nature of this has the potential to introduce real dangers.
    Sounds like someone's body is rejecting gluten!
    ... and this sounds scientific or like a medically valid diagnosis to you?  How about "your body IS rejecting gluten"?  "Sounds like" displays the amateurish nature of self-diagnosis.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Wow, do you really think I was reiterating a word-for-word conversation with one of my doctors? I'm sorry my attempt at humor failed. Let me try this again. Patient complains of various problems to GP, some or all digestive. Doctor says 'keep a food diary and come back in X weeks.' Patient returns and discusses food diary with doctor and proceeds from there.

    And as for those links, where in my post did you get that I was talking solely about Celiac? Clearly I was writing about the ambiguitiy of food sensitivity in general, with gluten as the obvious example, and the very common usage of a food diary as a diagnostic tool.

    Gerhard Adam
    Well the food diary is certainly a good beginning, but it's not a diagnosis.
    Mundus vult decipi
    There is a test for gluten sensitivity! My physician husband has been successfully using it for When blood tests proved inconclusive, this test is what convinced us to try a zero-gluten diet. When ALL our troubling symptoms disappeared, we were convinced to never eat gluten again. Our son's pediatrician actually wanted our 13 year old son to continue eating gluten until his villa were destroyed enough for him to "pass" the Celiac Disease tests.....but, thank God, he had the common sense to not want to eat any more gluten. We also found out he has the gene for CD, but he is guaranteed to NEVER get this disease because he has eliminated gluten from his diet. Even as a young teen, this "science" impressed him and empowered him to not eat what he knows is toxic for him!

    "If they claim to have Celiac's or gluten-intolerance, then they are "posers" if they are undiagnosed."

    Seriously, please educate yourself. This is incorrect.

    Gerhard Adam
    Oh OK .... I guess I'll just take your word for it.

    Sorry, but undiagnosed is undiagnosed.  Whatever they're doing and whatever they think they have, they don't know.  So to claim something specific in the absence of a diagnosis makes you a "poser".
    Mundus vult decipi
    I'm so glad I read this article!! Maybe if I just wish I wasn't gluten intolerant it would really be true! How do I know i'm gluten intolerant despite testing negative for Celiac.....I did a full elimination diet and lo and behold, I actually have the ability to judge my own body's reactions to foods!! So glad I didn't trust the testing. And by the way, i'm white and i'm not rich by any means. I have hashimoto's autoimmune thyroiditis. Perhaps you weren't aware Hank but gluten molecules are similar to thyroid tissue which is what the immune system attacks when you have Hashimoto's. That means besides the digestive and very real and not imagined neurological effects I'm very aware gluten causes in me, It can also cause a full autoimmune attack which would continue to destroy my thyroid if I trusted the negative test results and continued to eat gluten despite all the factual evidence you very obviously haven't researched. I won't bother debating all the evidence with you as it's obvious it would be a waste of time. I'm not a mean person but the ignorance you put out there kinda makes me wish you suffer a gluten intolerance. Just because you claim to be educated doesn't mean your not ignorant!

    Well I have just spent 30 minutes thoroughly enjoying the discussion about this, now, controversial subject. I have a celiac friend whose wife has been through trial and tribulation to develop food for him to eat. I enjoy the challenge of making menus to suit him and othe dinner guests. I do get frustrated, like Hank, with those who jump on band wagons BUT it is amazing how many a gluten Free products are now on the shelf. Some of them are quite tasty!
    Thanks for the robust debate. I shall post this on my FB page look forward to more comments.
    Time to get up and go to work.

    Oh, Gerard, let me explain this: "Intolerance" isn't a fancy "diagnosis". It simply means what it implies.....that you don't tolerate something. People are most certainly able to determine if they have a reaction or if they just feel better for themselves. No doctor can tell a patient how they themselves feel.

    As for the increase in gluten intolerance and celiac, here's just one of many articles to explain and it certainly makes sense.

    Gerhard Adam
    Sorry, but your link makes no sense at all.  Unless someone is proposing that the plants are genetically modified to have more gluten, it's simply another case of "climbing on the bandwagon" to push an agenda.

    If you want something that is actually more likely:
    In the 1950s, scientists began cross-breeding wheat to make hardier, shorter and better-growing plants. It was the basis of the Green Revolution that boosted wheat harvests worldwide. Norman Borlaug, the U.S. plant scientist behind many of the innovations, won the Nobel Peace Prize for his work. But the gluten in wheat may have somehow become even more troublesome for many people, Murray said. That also may have contributed to what is now called "gluten sensitivity."
    Genetic modification simply makes no sense as a vehicle for increasing gluten-sensitivity.

    Now I'm sure that some will argue with that, but if they do you'll see exactly what I mean.  Suddenly the "insensitivity" will become genetically related to pesticides/herbicides and then it won't take long to make the quantum leap over to a full blown nutritional diagnosis.  Of course, it won't be based on anything except the poster's sense of what is "natural".
    Mundus vult decipi
    That's an interesting point.  Hybridization, which seems to be perfectly okay to modern food evangelists, may have created a problem that genetic optimization, which they are against, now has to fix.
    Gerhard Adam
    Well, it had to happen.
    The gluten-free diet has become a sign of enlightened eating, an intellectual diet supported by a slew of studies and a passionate cadre of celebrity supporters. Jenny McCarthy professes gluten contributed to her son’s autism.

    It’s no wonder, then, that the young cheerleaders found the increasingly prevalent condition of gluten sensitivities the perfect cover for what turned out to be very real cases of anorexia.
    Mundus vult decipi
    I see your point and agree. I keep asking why people who go gluten free to lose weight don't realize what they're really doing is called a low carb high protein diet which is proven time and time again to help with weight loss. It's in genius and I know I will probably make millions but did people realize that eating vegetables and protein and low carb will help you lose weight!! OMG!! I'm surprised at my own insight. I see what you're saying and as a person with Celiac Disease I am not offended. You're saying people are uneducated and hopping on a trend and when the trend ends they'll find another one. I'm curious how that will affect the GF options that right now Celiacs are incredibly enjoying. I don't care for the stupidity of the GF knowledge because issues like cross-contamination (no bread on my food means no bread crumbs cause you took it OFF my plate unlike my GF neighbor who just doesn't WANT to eat gluten) lack awareness. Celiac Disease is more than just living without gluten. It's a lot of health issues. It's an auto-immune disease and I suffer from lots of variables besides no gluten. Plus people forget, I can't sneak a cookie cause I don't feel like being gluten free today. I can cause unknown damage from gluten exposure when it doesn't make me physically sick. It's my life now and I'm not angry, but I definitely feel that people who do a gluten free diet for weight loss are silly, ignorant of health benefits and don't truly get what it means to live gluten free for the rest of your life.

    I gotta say, this fad really DOES drive me crazy! I truly do have a gluten intolerance. I have had kidney stones 7 times, had my gallbladder out, have IBS, and have to be very careful about what I eat overall, because of how gluten has messed with me! And I'm 24. Unfortunately, yes, more times than not, diagnoses will occur from experimenting with diet. And this is how it happened for me. I honestly could have the full blown disease, but not know it and that is because insurance companies will not cover the initial blood test for it. (or at least most insurance companies won't)

    Anyway... While the fad does make me crazy (I miss gluten - eat it if you can, I say!), it has made it easier to shop for gluten free products. Overall, I have to say, I found your article annoying. Trying to find a correllation between intelligence level, political affilliation, and health... It really is just a huge stretch to me.

    Gerhard Adam
    Perhaps it will be more clear when you hear the likes of Jenny McCarthy talking about the "G-Free" lifestyle.

    Is yours a lifestyle choice?
    Mundus vult decipi
    Maybe going gluten free is how she cured her son's autism.
    Is this article a joke? I am more offended by what you wrote here than by any celebrity who goes gluten-free as a fad.

    Going gluten-free has given me my life back, including an end to chronic migraines and much more. It's a ton of extra work to eat this way, do you really believe people choose to go though all this for frivolous reasons?

    If my not eating gluten inconveniences snotty chefs, then so be it. I'm perfectly willing and able to cook my own food. I don't need them or their attitudes. And I certainly don't need your attitude and insane (non-scientific) social-political theories about it either.

    Gerhard Adam you really believe people choose to go though all this for frivolous reasons?
    Yes, they do.  It's only extra work if you actually have the condition.  Anyone that merely claims to have the condition doesn't have to be as careful, since there's nothing actually wrong to watch out for.

    This is becoming a new favored excuse to mask eating disorders.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Hi Hank,
    I own a gluten free store in New York City. G-Free NYC is now in it's second year and helping lots of people looking for quality gluten free products. We have a consistent flow of new and regular customers (of all color). Neither group is coming into the store because eating gluten free is a trend. Customers have real complaints and are not taking 3 subway trains because eating gluten free sounds like fun. They are coming because they need to. Also, you forgot to mention another group of people that take your so called "trend" international. Over the summer, we've had customers from as far as New Zealand and Russia. If this is a trend, it is a far reaching one where people don't care about the party line, they just want to feel good.


    In addition to 'normal' Celiac disease there are other variations:
    1) There is latent Celiac disease - abnormal test results but no symptoms of CD, the person may or may not develop full blown CD at a later point. They may have had CD earlier in life, but when they re-introduced gluten no reaction occurs.

    2) There is silent CD - abnormal test results, loss of villi resulting in malabsorption/malnutrition but no symptoms of CD.

    3) There is gluten sensitivity - no abnormal test results, but the person has adverse reactions to food(s) that contains gluten. They may actually be sensitive to another component of the gluten containing food, for which no test exists. Simply avoiding the gluten containing food will help reduce symptoms. This can be unrelated to Celiac disease.

    If you are eliminating all that over-processed Wonder bread crap that contains a bunch of chemicals by going gluten free, then you probably are making a healthy choice. IMHO, go for it!!! Throw away all those bagels and eat more fruits and vegetables.

    Overall, the incidence of many auto-immune diseases are sky-rocketing in this country. It's not just Celiac disease, but multiple sclerosis, Sjorjens, Crohn's, diabetes type 1, ulcerative colitis, Lupus, and many more.

    Celiac disease is strongly linked to diabetes type 1.

    "With the rapid increase in autoimmune diseases, it clearly suggests that environmental factors are at play due to the significant increase in these diseases. Genes do not change in such a short period of time."
    The incidence of celiac disease, which causes the body's immune system to attack the small intestine, is also on the rise, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health and the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center. In the United States, 1 in 133 people are affected by celiac disease.

    What I have a problem with is that a couple of angry white guys with absolutely no medical training are writing about a serious auto-immune disease in an offensive way. Then when a few people who actually have Celiac disease take offense, they try to twist it around...oh, but we must prevent those Celiac disease wanna-bes from jumping on to the gluten free bandwagon, it is harmful to you guys who TRULY have Celiac disease! WE, who know absolutely nothing about CD, know what is best for YOU and YOUR disease!!! WE need to protect all you people with CD (who obviously have no brains) from people who follow Lady Gaga around in her meat dresses!!! WE, who are very ignorant about CD, are very concerned about YOU!!! WE, who have a political agenda, take offense when YOU watch Dr Oz, a cardiothoracic surgeon, who promotes healthy choices on TV!!!! Sounds suspiciously like our government.
    Maybe Dr Oz should write a book: YOU with a BRAIN!!!!

    Gerhard Adam
    Genes do not change in such a short period of time.
    Yes, which is exactly right.  That's the point isn't it, which is why it has been argued that gluten-intolerance is due to the fact that we aren't genetically prepared to deal with it.

    Of course it's environmental, that's where gluten comes from.

    So you've managed to post a series of links that all indicate that self-diagnosis is dangerous, because of all the other conditions that may be hidden.  Good for you.
    Mundus vult decipi
    What I have a problem with is that a couple of angry white guys with absolutely no medical training are writing about a serious auto-immune disease in an offensive way.
    Who's angry? Hey, if you are educated by Dr. Oz on television (or any of the other Four Horsemen of the Alternative)  then you also believe arsenic in organic juice is killing you and lots of other crackpot stances he has adopted because he has to fill a show each day and can't actually research anything he promotes, it's okay by me.  It's better than being an Oprah viewer.

    The people with medical training are the ones practically every commenter is saying are stupid so I am not sure why saying I have no medical training is a problem.  If I were a faux fad medical person, I could just say I took an anatomy course and it makes me the same as a doctor, like your fad diet lets you claim you actually have Celiac disease.
    Hank, could you please provide some evidence that people without Celiac are claiming to have it?

    No. He can't. That's why this whole post is such an epic fail.

    I am a young, middle-class white woman who recently (July 2011) had to change my diet to gluten-free and I find this entire article unfounded and ignorant. The insinuation that rich white women have some kind of chip on their shoulder about removing gluten from their diet is absolutely ridiculous, as is your whole cynical viewpoint toward a very frustrating and difficult diet choice. I went gluten free on the recommendation of a doctor after dealing with 5 months of mysterious symptoms that made me not want to get out of bed in the morning. After a week off gluten, all of a sudden my symptoms began to clear. Since that week, I have eaten no gluten and besides three accidental slip-ups (which I felt the effects of for the entire week following each one), I haven't consumed gluten.

    You know what? I don't have Celiac; it's not in my genetic makeup. But I do have serious and painful inflammation in my stomach, which is currently on the mend. I didn't actually get tested for levels of gluten intolerance until last month (July 2012), and when the results came back my anti-gliadin levels were at 45 (over 15 is gluten intolerance). I'm still not Celiac. And even before getting tested, I knew how serious it was for me when I accidentally consumed it. I had not received evidence yet, but I knew.

    The first issue I take with this article is your assumption that "privileged" white women do this as a way to gain attention, that they need some kind of special diet to assure their upper-class status. I can assure you that this has NOT been fun for me, though I do somewhat fit the personality which you have described. A gluten-free diet is a huge hassle, and I wouldn't wish it on anyone. Because of my particular sensitivity, I also have a great deal of difficulty consuming even gluten-free grains, and my intake of those is very limited too, so I don't even get to "enjoy" that stock of consumer options which you sarcastically point your nose at.

    But how about a waitress's perspective? I happen to be one. I KNOW how big of a hassle it can be at a restaurant to deal with gluten intolerance. Hey, I deal with it every shift. But I don't get my jollies from NOT eating the pizza and burgers that every other server partakes of. And I also know how incredibly important it is to take someone's request of a sensitivity seriously. My restaurant has a gluten free menu, and I have been able to help the staff understand what it is and take it seriously. I am extremely grateful for their flexibility and kindness in this area.

    Here's the thing. Yes, we have been eating wheat for thousands of years, but until the last 70 or so years, it has never been this processed or indigestible. The cropping up of all these seemingly new gluten-intolerants is an effect of both the diets of our parents and grandparents, as well as of a medical realization of the fact that Celiac is more common than publically known 50 years ago. Yes, it is a new trend, as more people realize how their systems work and what their genetic makeups are.

    I applaud and sympathize with all those who have gone gluten-free, as it is NO FUN AT ALL. It is much more than avoiding bread. If a package or meal does not specifically say GLUTEN FREE on it, you can bet that there is gluten (or cross-contamination) in it somewhere. I know several Celiacs and gluten-intolerant people, and I've seen every one of them sad at the fact that they can't join in on a birthday celebration and eat a cupcake like everyone else.

    For you to make fun of these people with your cynicism and skepticism is abhorrent. Shame on you.

    Recent research from across the globe shows a prevalence toward the increase in celiac disease and gluten sensitivity. We know the problem is growing. The big question on every one’s mind is – WHY? The following is a list of some of the potential possibilities.

    Genetic manipulation of grains – no long term research has been done on safety, yet we assume these foods are OK contrary to common sense. Many studies show these foods to be dangerous.
    The pervasive use of grains in the food supply. Almost all packaged foods contains grain either as a main ingredient or an agent to alter food texture, viscosity, etc. More grain exposure = more people reacting to grain.
    The use of herbicides, pesticides, fungicides, etc. Much like genetically modified foods, these chemicals are used under the assumption that they are safe.
    Over use of antibiotics. Although life saving if one has a bacterial infection, the over utilization of these drugs contributes to a change in the normal healthy gut flora thus weakening the immune system. Additionally, we feed them to chickens, pigs, cows, and fish that are being raised for human food consumption.
    Anti-acid medications. Nexium, Tums, Prilosec, Rolaids, and more, these drugs suppress acid in the stomach. Acid suppression weakens the immune system and leads to wide spread malabsorption of nutrients.
    Non steroidal anti-inflammatory medications (NSAIDS). These medications contribute to the destruction of the gastric and intestinal lining thus weakening immunity and predisposing one to intestinal permeability (leaky gut syndrome)
    Medications in general. Many OTC and prescription medications contain grain based adhesives. Sick from gluten? Take this pill (with gluten in it) and you will get better?!?
    Grain is cheap food. The government subsidizes grain making it much less expensive to use as a staple food.
    Commercialization. Everywhere you look, there is a billboard, TV commercial, nutritionist, Food Guide Pyramid, etc telling us how healthy whole grains are.
    Degradation of the eduction system. Public schools focus on teaching students how to pass standardized tests. Nutrition and physical education are given minimal time in the classroom. Many of those teaching nutrition do not lead by example thus devaluing the lesson. The nutrition basics taught focus on a Food Guide Pyramid based in grain.
    PROOF of grain contamination at the SEED level:

    Gerhard Adam
    ... and this is why the article is right on.  Your points make absolutely no sense.

    Gluten-free is quite specific.  The elimination of a protein from one's diet.

    So how does that relate to genetically modified foods?  Are they adding gluten (since that would be the only reason by gluten-intolerance would be affect)?

    Hmm .. antibiotics?  So, is gluten being controlled by bacteria in our gut that is suddenly killed off by antibiotics?

    So, you're also considering that antacids are the problem with mal-absorption and not gluten?

    Well, which is it?  You've simply cobbled together a list of things that you apparently don't like, undoubtedly in your quest for "natural" foods [which of course you have no idea what that actually means].  Instead you have some Disney notion of what Mother Nature is all about, so you just use the shotgun approach and blame everything.  That's helpful.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Stomach acid is one of the first lines of defense of the immune system. Proton pump inhibitors (Nexium, Prilosec) block the production of acid. PPIs are handed out by doctors like candy and standard practice dictates that every ICU patient be put on them. Take away that acid, open yourself up to serious infections like Clostridium Difficile. Serious infections like C. Diff can only be treated by oral administration of Vancomycin (powerful antibiotic with serious side effects). Antibiotics wipe out the *good* bacteria allowing overgrowth of *bad* bacteria and yeast/fungus etc. Changing the gut flora does affect our immune systems and does have system wide effects. Our cells are outnumbered 10 to 1 by bacteria in our body, so it is very likely that bacteria affects our bodies in more ways than we want to admit. In order for bacteria and other foreign things to survive in our bodies, they have to have some regulatory effects on the immune system. The *good guys* probably down-regulate the immune system. Take away the *good guys* and you get an immune system that runs awry and starts to attack parts of the body causing auto-immune diseases. So that is an over-simplified version of the hygiene hypothesis.

    In Celiac, the immune system believes gluten is *the enemy* and attacks it, destroying the intestinal villi in the process which absorb nutrients. This causes a cascade of inflammatory cytokines and other chemicals to be released, further complicating the disease process.

    The environmental factor responsible for Celiac disease is not JUST gluten, there is something else like a viral infection that triggers the person genetically susceptible to CD to develop it. CD cannot be explained away as only a 'gluten intolerance'; it is WAY more complicated than that. The environmental factors are probably a combination of what the above poster said: change in make up of our diet, over prescribing antibiotics and antacids, over-processed foods, changing gut flora, changes in infectious agents, changes in exposure to toxins, changes in exposure to parasites, changes in exposure to soil, changes in exposure to animals.

    The autoimmune diseases, including CD, are almost non-existent in 3rd world countries, so you have gotta ask yourself WHY? WHAT has changed in our environment to cause auto-immune diseases like CD to sky-rocket? It is not going to be a simple one sentence answer.

    The autoimmune diseases, including CD, are almost non-existent in 3rd world countries, so you have gotta ask yourself WHY? WHAT has changed in our environment to cause auto-immune diseases like CD to sky-rocket? It is not going to be a simple one sentence answer.
    They eat a lot more genetically modified foods.  If you are saying GM foods will cure Celiac disease, I like with your science optimism. 

    Sorry, that was a two-sentence answer but GM foods cannot do that yet.  So the answer to why poor people don't pretend to have a disease (some, probably the 1% everywhere else, do have it) is obvious; they don't show Dr. Oz in those countries and they can't pay for gluten-free foods.
    Did I ever mention GMO in the post that you just replied to??? NO!!! So who is not reading the posts in their entirety? The point is that our environment has changed, and something is triggering all these auto-immune diseases in developed countries, but not in 3rd world countries. Again, I gave a simple explanation of the hygiene hypothesis...but somehow YOU came up with "you are saying GM foods will cure Celiac disease".

    I DID live in a 3rd world Asian country for 3 years. I ate crappy vegetables grown by the road that were contaminated by the lead gasoline spewing out of the cars. I needed to bleach my produce in order to prevent parasite infections, which I still acquired. I also was fortunate enough to contract typhoid from the zillions of flies pouring over our wall when the Kampung burned its garbage. I showered in water that smelled like sewage. My dog caught rats the size of cats and smooshed giant cockroaches on the walls. A civet lived in our attic and kept the rat population down, but urinated and defecated on our ceilings. I was bit by a monkey and got to have the whole rabies series. When I went to the clinic, I had to make sure they used CLEAN needles and instruments. And guess what choices I had for TV??? CNN showing the OJ Simpson trial 24/7, and OPRAH!!! Dr Oz was not discovered yet. But the people who worked for us, and learned most of their English from TV, wanted us to bring them Levi's and products they discovered from watching American infomercials.

    I DID see plenty of very rich Asians shopping at the English market that rose to fame for feeding their chickens corn meal instead of fish meal so the chicken wouldn't stink like fish. Even though they could afford to access Western medicine, when possible they used Eastern/traditional medicine. They also avoided the Western diet which was starting to encroach upon the city; they protested in the streets when a McDonalds was built.

    Obviously, in that 3rd world country, their environment has also changed quite a bit, yet they don't have nearly as many diseases caused by immune system malfunction. Asthma is on the rise in the city. Since I have asthma, I was handled with kid gloves by my husband's company because one employee's child died from an asthma attack while living in that country.

    While there, I did work for an American epidemiologist who was studying the cost effectiveness of vaccinating for certain diseases vs lifelong immunity from catching the actual disease. He was leaning towards NOT vaccinating for hepatitis A and other diseases that are routinely caught in early childhood. Catching many of the childhood viruses as an adult can have some serious consequences, including autoimmune diseases.

    Believe it or not...there are actual scientific studies that show that the incidence of our 'uppity white diseases' are much lower in 3rd world countries. You are correct, the people and their doctors are not aware of these modern day diseases, but when Western scientists screen for these diseases they find the incidence is much lower.

    I agree, about Hep A anyway.  Anyone who lived on a farm in America - or grew up in the incredibly unhygienic bulk of Asia - has been exposed and won't catch it eating chicken bought on the street in Taiwan whereas a city slicker American probably should not visit at all without a shot.
    It's okay for kids to get dirty. Good luck making that case in an audience of commenters here who want warning labels put on bread.
    OH - and BTW, there is no need to pay for expensive gluten-free foods in the 3rd world country I lived in; they are RICE based. The only wheat based products were Thomas' English Muffins, Wheaties, and a few other cereals found in the duty free stores. It was also very difficult to find any dairy. I bought the boxed milk that was ultra-pastureized and had a 6 month shelf life. No yogurt, no cheese, no soft drinks, and it was hard to find any alcohol either. I ate a lot of rice and soy based products, fish and chicken, fruit and vegetables, along with assorted disgusting concoctions like lung-chips and chicken feet. The Asian diet is fairly gluten free, so it is no wonder there is not a high incidence of Celiac disease over there.

    It took 73 years for my mother to discover she is celiac...53 years for me...18 for my daughter. For years NO MD would consider our varying issues, autoimmune disorders and allergies could be gluten-related. That's why many self-diagnosis and try changing the diet....MDs are still taught it is rare and don't think outside their narrow specialties. Plus, what good is a diagnosis of something that can be fixed with food...and clears up stuff you are buying their medication for?
    We run a GF market, and the horror stories about mis-treatment from MDs are all-too common. GF doesn't have to be pricey if you are doing fresh, organic and not eating too many of the easy, prepared boxed items that you substitute for your previous wheat-laden diet! Feeding my body now satisfies me quicker...before I craved more and more as my nutrition-starved system kept demanding something that didn't poison me!
    He also fails to mention...or even doesn't know...that ONE slice of Monsanto-grain wheat bread now has as much gluten as a whole loaf did a decade or more ago! The GMO crap is killing us...and sure isn't anything like his comment that we've eaten wheat for a long time without problems? Actually they did have issues too....but the grains now are messing with more body parts than just the stomach!

    Gerhard Adam
    ...that ONE slice of Monsanto-grain wheat bread now has as much gluten as a whole loaf did a decade or more ago! The GMO crap is killing us.
    ... and do you have a link to some data on that?  As I've asked others ... what exactly do you think is being modified in GMO foods?
    Mundus vult decipi
    NIH, Dr Peter Green of University of Chicago's Celiac Research Clinic, USC Celiac MD Dr Harmon...just a few of the many who have published info most of the comments I'm reading above. Monsanto's modified strains of wheat have 3-10x the protein in them now than before.
    NIH is now including over 200 disorders, autoimmune issues and symptoms related to gluten. I have spent 5 years since my diagnosis treading, studying, working with Celiac Disease Foundation and the top MDs working on this. The info is out there, that's what Google is for!

    No, Google is for paid links, Wikipedia and links on Amazon.  The fact that you use Google to reaffirm your confirmaton bias is actually evidence you have no idea what you are talking about.
    The articles are available to the public via Google....I have medical journals and reference books that most do not have access to for MY sources. Your site shows up on Google I guess you have no idea what you are talking about.

    If there is any Karma in this'll start to feel sick...and spend years getting the proper diagnosis, as so many here have experienced.

    Had one Celiac blood panel. Tested negative. But I do have Hashimoto's auto-immune thyroid disease and my antibody attacks didn't stop until after I quit gluten. But maybe, as you say Hank and Gerhard, this is all in my head and I'm a rich white liberal who has been brainwashed by my trendy rich white liberal friends. Perhaps whenever I accidentally eat gluten and my neck swells, my body breaks out into hives and I get explosive diarrhea, that is also in my head. Or perhaps every time I accidentally eat gluten, I also accidentally eat spoiled fish entrails tainted with ecoli and topped with rotten mayonnaise. That would explain my body's violent reaction to gluten. Thanks so much for explaining to me what's going on in my body. If it wasn't for egotistical, ignorant douchebags telling me how to think and what to eat, I swear I wouldn't know how to tie my own shoes.

    Gerhard Adam
    Well, the only thing your comment demonstrated is that you have no reading comprehension.
    ...this is all in my head...
    That was NEVER said, nor implied.  Let me spell it out for you.  Whatever you do is fine for you.  However, the first time you presume to diagnose yourself and think that you know what condition you have, then you will be wrong.  You will be even more wrong if you give this advice to someone else, because you've falsely assumed that you're in a position to diagnose a condition without evidence.
    If it wasn't for egotistical, ignorant douchebags telling me how to think and what to eat, I swear I wouldn't know how to tie my own shoes.
    I don't know whether you know how to tie your own shoes, but what I do know is that if you don't know what's wrong, then you don't know.  No amount of bitching and moaning will change that fact and produce a diagnosis.

    I don't know where people got the idea that they could make up whatever shit they wanted and people simply had to accept it.  Do whatever you like in your life.  I don't care if you drain the oil pan from your car and drink it down as an aphrodisiac.  However, don't act as if you actually know what's going on, because besides your own anecdotal experience you have nothing.

    If you eat something and suffer an effect, then you have a basic correlation.  Great!  No one's disputing that.  However what you don't have is any information as to why this happens or what your underlying condition actually is.  You can assume it, you can pretend to treat it, but you are simply self-medicating and operating without any knowledge about what's going on.

    I don't know what makes people so stupid about something like this.  If you wish to do something, that's fine.  If it makes you feel good, that's great.  You may even have your own suspicions about what works and why.  What you don't have is a medical diagnosis.

    I have a brother-in-law that is epileptic and swears that medical marijuana prevents him from having seizures.  Perhaps it's true, perhaps not.  If it works for him, then that's fine.  However, it would be grossly irresponsible of him to advise someone else to avoid medical treatment and follow his personal routine, simply because it works for him.  That's the problem with self-diagnosis.

    However, you aren't interested in the real issues, instead you just want to come on and bitch and moan about how unfair life is, and how someone would dare to argue with you about science when you've already got it all figured out.  You can complain about how stupid doctors are, and yet others claim that the diagnosis is simple and routinely performed in Europe.

    Someone wants to complain that this is all Monsanto's fault, despite another poster claiming that their 73 year old mother was just diagnosed.

    In all likelihood there is more gluten in the wheat because of normal hybridization that occurred since the 1950's to produce a more robust crop.  As a result, it is likely that people with sensitivity will increase and more people will be subject to symptoms.  There's no problem with any of that.  Hell, even if you wanted to live gluten-free because Jenny McCarthy says so, is fine by me.  However, don't pretend that you have a diagnosis.
    Mundus vult decipi
    why are you so hellbent on making sure everyone who says they have celiac disease has been issued a formal membership card to the Celiac Club? i just don't get it! how is anyone harmed if someone doesn't differentiate between GI and celiac if the treatment is the same? it blows my mind how much this ruffles your feathers.

    "it would be grossly irresponsible of him to advise someone else to avoid medical treatment and follow his personal routine, simply because it works for him. That's the problem with self-diagnosis." ...i fail to see how one person self-diagnosing means they'll be on street corners evangelizing and insisting that what works for them will work for everyone else. yes, there certainly are people who do this (just like there are people who stand around screaming about how unless you've been diagnosed by a doctor you couldn't possibly have a medical condition), but this isn't the norm. (if you have some scientific proof that self-diagnosis always leads to evangelizing, i'd certainly like to hear it.)

    doctors themselves are known to jump on the bandwagon with trends, partly due to the pharmaceutical company's influence (this is well documented in the book "white coat, black hat" btw, as well as pretty obvious with a little market analysis; i'm not being a conspiracy theorist), and partly because they themselves get tunnel vision (just like any other human being)... doctors are not infallible. i'm not saying "don't trust doctors!" but i AM saying that everyone who has a stake in this is nothing more than human, and the fact that you're putting doctors on a pedestal and expecting them to get it right in a five minute visit with a patient shows me that you don't really comprehend the magnitude of the situation that is this "gluten problem" our wheat-based culture is experiencing today.

    "You can assume it, you can pretend to treat it, but you are simply self-medicating and operating without any knowledge about what's going on." know that old bit about something looking and sounding like a duck probably being a duck? why is it so important that we sequence the duck's DNA to ensure they are, in fact, a duck? why is it so important to differentiate between celiac and gluten intolerance outside the doctor's office? i want to tell you i keep missing your point, but i'm pretty sure you don't have a point. you've just got some kind of freakish obsession with knowing people's intimate medical details... OR you really REALLY don't understand how the world works.

    also, you keep calling it "celiac's disease" in other comments, which tells me you really don't know what you're talking about and you're just here to stir the pot for Hank. if you don't know the name of the illness you're ridiculing, then your argument is invalid.

    Gerhard Adam keep calling it "celiac's disease" in other comments, which tells me you really don't know what you're talking about...
    Oh my ... you caught some typos.  Should I presume you're illiterate because you didn't capitalize it?
    ...why are you so hellbent on making sure everyone who says they have celiac disease has been issued a formal membership card to the Celiac Club
    Good ... so diagnosis doesn't matter to you.  So, I suppose its fine if people simply declare themselves to be bipolar or having cancer, or whatever other ailment they feel like having.  After all, it's a free country, so people should be able to choose the diseases they can lay claim to.

    However, in the real world, making such a claim requires evidence.  Without it, it's simply a personal belief that is meaningless.

    As I've said repeatedly, if people wish to believe whatever they like about themselves, then so be it.  I am not going to stop them, nor do I care to.  However, if someone makes a claim that they don't have any diagnosis for, then they are no longer keeping it to themselves.  As a result, they will be called on it, and they should be.  This becomes even more significant when such individuals may be celebrities making claims or comments for which they have no evidence.
    Mundus vult decipi
    you don't capitalize it because it's not a proper noun. it's referencing the celiac artery in the abdominal cavity.

    if you or Hank had done any research on the illness in preparation for this garbage page, you might have learned a little something about it.

    This article made me so mad I had to stop reading. Maybe you are trying to be funny. My daughter has Celiac Disease. I keep testing negative for it, but I CLEARLY HAVE A PROBLEM and have thus been labeled gluten intolerant/sensitive. If I eat wheat/gluten I am in the constantly in the bathroom with diarrhea; when I don't eat it I'm fine. Was that too much information to share? Sorry if I offended you. But unless you'd like to be my bathroom buddy, shut the hell up. I don't know why the hell I have this problem, or why a growing number of the population has it ... I'm not a doctor or a scientist (FYI: I am a mom, I'm white, I'm definitely not rich). But I am getting so tired of people writing snooty, "funny" articles making fun of gluten problems ... you make it harder for people to take us seriously b/c they believe you and read about Lady Gaga and think we are making this crap up. If you want to write something amusing, fine ... but realize that you are doing so at the expense of people who have an actual health problem ... and we do not appreciate it.

    Gerhard Adam
    This article made me so mad I had to stop reading.
    Guess you didn't get to the part that acknowledges the seriousness of the real diseases and blasts those that are turning it into a fad.

    Perhaps you'd rather read comments like this one:

    Hi all. I wanted to share my secret with all of you. I told everyone I was going to the Dr. because I was having stomach issues. I never went and then a week l8r I told everyone that it was suspected that I was gluten intolerant. It’s extremely common and Gluten is in EVERYTHING. It’s in almost all salad dressings, it’s in most marinades, soy sauce, breads, noodles, beer, oatmeal, almost All cereals just everything. You can’t eat out because you can get glutened through cross contamination as well. You can’t eat anything at fast food places except salad. Even Mc D’s chicken on salad has gluten. My sister has it and she lost a bunch of weight because there is nothing she can eat and it’s just such a common allergy no one 2nd guesses me. Hope u guys are all well and good luck!
    That really helps people take the disease seriously doesn't it?

    It’s no wonder, then, that the young cheerleaders found the increasingly prevalent condition of gluten sensitivities the perfect cover for what turned out to be very real cases of anorexia. By the end of the school year, two out of the three girls were in treatment for eating disorders and the third was taken out of school by her parents.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Holy crap you really stirred up a hornets nest of anti-science nonsense. The root cause of all this nonsense concerning gluten is basically an anti-corporate attitude towards processed foods. And most of the people who are part of this anti-gluten fad do it because they want to remain part of the group that their nutty friends are in and they feel like they have to go along with this nonsense or they'll be shunned.

    Celiac disease and gluten allergies are serious disorders but engaging in anti-science and quackery is not the way to make people aware of these issues.

    It's a given that people are not going to believe some science things - but people who have certain food beliefs are not always the same as psychological vampires who latch on to disorders for attention or fad.  Heck, I have some beliefs that are not rational, humans are not ants, so that does not bother me.

    What does bother me; I thought they taught reading comprehension in grade school. People ranting about things I did not say and circling the wagons around the faux disease types against an 'attack' is maddening. The reason sufferers are not taken seriously is because so many people see the fakes, the fakes are not 'increasing awareness'.

    Thanks for the constructive comment.
    People with Munchausen Syndrome are the true heroes! They selflessly raise awareness for hundreds of diseases every day. You JERK! How dare you question their motives!

    actually, you're the one who isn't taking sufferers seriously. you're also not taking facts seriously. it blows my mind how much you and that other commenter (who sounds a lot like you do and i'm going to go ahead and call "sock monkey" on that guy) are hellbent on shaming people who are gluten-free because you don't think they're serious enough about it for your comfort.

    there are biopsy-confirmed celiacs who cheat on their gf diet regularly because their symptoms aren't immediate (and there are plenty of other reasons out there that celiacs cheat, none of which i personally find particularly compelling). as a former healthcare provider, i saw more than one case of a patient eating something to which he knows he's allergic, but he couldn't help himself because the shrimp cocktail (or milkshake, or cookie with peanuts) looked too delicious. i can't even remember all lung cancer and emphysema patients i cared for who smoked cigarettes until the bitter end. is the cheating celiac a faker? i hope you write a followup post about how much it pisses you off when a celiac patient cheats on their diet. that'd be awesome.

    you can't tell anything about a person's medical history by looking at them. the only thing you can determine by looking at someone is your own level of prejudice and asshattery. people have a right to do what they want with their bodies. and that includes following trends for ridiculous reasons. it doesn't concern me, as a celiac with dermatitis herpetiformis, and i don't understand why it affects you so viscerally. using your platform to express that concern perpetuates the stigma associated with my illness, and THAT harms all of us (celiacs) more in the long run than what Lady Gaga eats for breakfast this week. you're concerned about something that doesn't concern you... while that's definitely the american way (and something that right wingers seem prone to doing), it's quite out of place on a site that claims to be about science.

    pieces like this, when they lack legit background research and accurate information, make it harder for people to trust science and scientists. i can't seem to find any of your credentials here or on your personal website, although on Amazon it says that you were an executive at a software company... i'm not entirely sure how that makes you qualified to talk science, but it certainly makes you qualified to spew this bunk-infused-with-vitriol, and you've really set the bar high for that.

    this is all more proof that any putz can put up a website, and with a few keywords and stubborn dedication, they can even make it a mildly popular website. (although none of the scientists i know, including myself, hadn't heard of this site till i mentioned this failure of an opinion piece.) do it for long enough, and people will publish their drivel in book form, too. you're not doing the scientific community any favors with this. by trying to make science more partisan, you're not doing the lay community any favors with this, either.

    i assume you once met someone who decided to try out a trend that's gained a lot of popularity and you didn't like it, so you wrote this gibberish. you seem to have some kind of vendetta against people who do what they want with their bodies. that's fine, but it'd really be more appropriate on some whiny tumblr blog, rather than a "professional" website that claims to be about scientific communication.

    Gerhard Adam seem to have some kind of vendetta against people who do what they want with their bodies.
    Oh that's a good one!  The article was innocuous enough, but it was all the people that insisted that this went beyond simply what they wanted to do with their bodies that raised all the fuss.

    If it were as simple as you're portraying, then no one would've commented on it.
    Mundus vult decipi
    I just wanted to add that I have been gluten-free for over 3 years, I do not have Celiac Disease, I have another autoimmune disorder in which my body treats gluten as the same offender and attacks accordingly. There are a large number of people with this same autoimmune problem, who are advised to avoid gluten for this reason. If I eat gluten, my joints become painful and my hands become red and swell. I have had skeptics watch this happen to me after ingesting a dinner roll, and were alarmed at the swelling and redness that occurred. So, it is not a fad for me and many others, including children with autism, who also don't have Celiac Disease, but whose parents report a marked improvement after the removal of gluten from the diet. As a final note, after 3 years of no gluten, I have not lost any weight. So if people are using it as a diet plan, good luck with that.

    There is definitely a gut-brain connection. Some specialists in the field call the gut 'the second brain'. 90% of the serotonin (a neurotransmitter implicated in depression) in our body is actually found in the gut. Antidepressants that affect serotonin often cause GI side effects. Most kids on 'the spectrum' have some gut pathology. I have a son who was actually DIAGNOSED with attention deficit disorder, then later was also DIAGNOSED with Asperger's syndrome and dyslexia. He also has some GI pathology, so it is interesting to me to read about the connection.

    I have multiple sclerosis, an autoimmune disease that attacks the myelin coating of the nerves. It took 5 different neurologists, experts in the field, over a year to properly diagnose me. This happened despite the fact that I knew I had MS and told them what was wrong with me. Two different symptoms suggestive of MS were also documented in my medical history. So when some jerk thinks he knows more about my issues than I do, it is pretty irritating.

    Back to the brain/gut connection...MS is somehow related to Crohn's disease, many of the drugs used to treat CD are effective in MS. Many with MS also have Crohn's disease. Every few years, I am tested for food allergies and Celiac disease, but I have never tested positive to anything. (I do have other severe allergies though.) The allergist who tested me agreed that I had some food sensitivities, and we came up with an elimination diet to determine what foods were problematic. It has taken months to figure out what foods I am sensitive to. With all the GI issues I had, I lost so much weight that I looked like I had been released from a concentration camp. I avoid food that I am sensitive to, and there is less exacerbation of my MS and GI symptoms. I have considered going gluten free, but am still deciding if I want to cut another food group out of my diet.

    Maybe we should leave the medical science to the REAL scientists, the physicians and other medical researchers who actually know what they are talking about. This *article* of moronic dribble and ignorant prattle would never be found in a peer reviewed medical journal. This is a SOFT science site; hard science relies on the scientific method, accuracy, and objectivity; none of which are found on this site or in this *article* >:-(

    We can all go back to what we do best. HC can stick to his physics, Science 2.0, and perhaps he should avoid rich white women who live in California with gluten-sensitivity... they are probably out of his league anyways. Hopefully that will prevent any further idiotic rants.

    Maybe we should leave the medical science to the REAL scientists, the physicians and other medical researchers who actually know what they are talking about. This *article* of moronic dribble and ignorant prattle would never be found in a peer reviewed medical journal.
    The real scientists agree - what you have found are evangelizing outliers who defy the consensus.  Hey, I can find one dentist out of 10 who doesn't recommend sugarless chewing gum too.  I can find some who think HIV and AIDS are not linked.  Some think GMOs cause autism.  You are not picking good company insisting that every scientist and doctor is wrong, except the one who matches your confirmation bias.
    This is a SOFT science site
    This would be the funniest comment on the whole article, except I get the impression you don't know what hard and soft science actually means.
    Where is this data you cite on the "real scientists" agreeing about the "evangelizing outliers"? Your use of the term "outliers" suggests that there are statistical analyses on your posers theory, probably complete with charts or graphs. Please provide links or citations to this research. I have access to academic databases and would be happy to share what I can access with those interested. Also, whichever of you, Hank or Gerhard, who dissed Google as poor research: Not only do academics (I am one, btw) use Google as for some research purposes, but it is a good, accessible start for those without access to ProQuest, etc.

    Well, what a goof! I'm white, but not rich or close to middle class. I'm a very conservative right winger and wouldn't give up bread and wheat just for the heck of it. I love bread and I miss it badly. But it causes a reaction, be it celiac or sensitivity, it doesn't matter, I get horrid heartburn and diarrhea when I eat it. I have chest pain for days. I would not have chosen this path for anything. I understand some people might be giving it up unnecessarily, but more power to them. These issues started in my life about two years ago, and I'm 48 now. 2 years ago I ended up having my gallbladder removed and haven't been able to process wheat or gluten since. Not eating gluten is no fun even though there are great substitutes. I haven't lost weight because I haven't given up all carbs and I don't exercise enough. So your stereotypes are really off, I know a lot of poor white women who are right wingers who need this diet for health. LOL

    The main problem with Celiac disease and gluten intolerance is that its treatment is too low-tech for anyone in the Medical-Biotech Complex to get rich off of!

    I know where Hank is coming from, though, and wish he would stick to something non-controversial like the role of vaccinations in autism, or, my personal favorite from days of yore, aspartame causes MS because of its toxic breakdown products.

    I'm told there was a time when we didn't have fancy diagnostic labs and imaging, and doctors had to pay close attention to what their patients reported. Now, negative lab results mean more than a patient's subjective experience. Who wants a medical diagnosis anyway? Insurance companies only use it to penalize you.

    In conclusion, we're all on the same side here, people.

    As stated above, hard science relies on the scientific method, accuracy, and objectivity. A hypothesis is formed, and experiments are done to prove or disprove it. Conclusions are drawn and the results must be reproducible with other similar experiments. Physics is hard science.

    Soft science is NOT supported by accuracy and objectivity, it is more subjective and cannot accurately predict that doing X will cause Y. Social sciences are soft sciences, they cannot always predict human behavior. Examples are psychology, sociology, and anthropology.

    I also said 'soft' because this *article* is based solely on your own opinion and it is soft in the fact department.

    No, a hard science is a physical science.  A life science is biological and a soft science is social, like psychology.  This article was deep in facts, they simply differed from your subjective world view.  That does not make it anything other than baffling to people like you, who don't even understand the basics of what science is.
    I think the population of casual wheat avoiders is a constantly shifting demographic. It only stands to reason. No matter how trendy someone may think the lifestyle is, some of them are only going to try it for 30-60 days (if that) and conclude that the benefits don't outweigh the inconvenience. There are always going to be a few misguided people who jump on popular health trends.

    The fact is, it is a pain to remain wheat-free, and it often causes ridicule or social disapproval. Although I don't have celiac disease, I have found that the health benefits of gluten-free are worth any sacrifice, and it's certainly not as bad as being diagnosed with full-blown CD.

    It's also very expensive to eat this way, and don't let anyone tell you differently. If you truly strive to find the freshest and highest quality ingredients, you will pay more to make everything from scratch, that is, if you want to avoid processed junky foods. And despite what you may think, it isn't very much fun to devote more of the budget for food. Most people would rather spend their discretionary funds on smart phone apps, manicures, and concert tickets! They have far more immediate payoff!

    You may not believe in sub-clinical gluten sensitivity. In many medical circles, it does not yet have the cache of an accepted diagnostic label, but I predict that it will, before too long. Legitimizing and giving something a name is, of course, the be-all and end-all in our style of western allopathic medicine.

    In the meantime, please do not judge that acquaintance of yours who is avoiding gluten, or talks about their gluten-free lifestyle. There are certainly any number of individuals who are not themselves gluten intolerant, but they are the cook in the family, and they eat this way most of the time as well, for practical and economic reasons. This is often known as "being a supportive spouse" or "cooking right for my family."

    Finally, I could have done without the title of this post, as well as the first paragraph. The way the article opened is not a credit to the author at all. And the association of a gluten-free lifestyle with political leanings is ridiculous. FYI, I'm white, female, and VERY conservative politically.

    There are two things that people get confused about: food allergies and food sensitivities. Celiac disease is a sensitivity to gluten. That's it - really simple! Then there are those that are sensitive to wheat. There are those sensitive to MSG and chemical dyes in our foods and a myriad of other things. Then there are dairy allergies, egg allergies, peanut allergies. Until the general population - even science-like people - get this straight and communicate it consistently and accurately, no one will be able to believe anything.

    There are lots of studies on gluten intolerance. Things like, for reasons no one YET understands, the actual, real, statistical number of people with Celiac disease has gone up in the last 60 years. The amount of gluten contained in modern strains for wheat is much higher than historical amounts.

    12 years ago when my husband broke his femur because of osteoporosis (at the age of 38,) we found out he'd had all the traditional signs of Celiac all his life, but had never been diagnosed with it. I'd like to point out that just because he'd never officially been diagnosed with it did not actually mean he did NOT have it. At the time, doctors agreed that it was a highly under-diagnosed disease and with the solid statistic at that time, 1 in 300 people had it. Just about every year since, with doctors paying just a little more attention than the previous year, the statistics are more like 1 in 100 people have it.

    The rise in that statistic has nothing to do with trendiness but better diagnostics and understanding of the disease. But somehow, people still confuse this with wheat intolerance. I personally have lots of food allergies, but have found that my body does better without wheat, especially during times when my immune system is weaker (like the Winter.) I also feel better without lots of other things like alcohol, sugar, and most processed foods.

    Now, if this makes me trendy, then so what. If I feel better (and by the way, I happen to be white but NOT rich,) so what?! Frankly, science-like people like you should have much more to talk about than whether a whole bunch of people have discovered they have celiac disease or that they have wheat intolerance. And yes, many people find that when they eliminate foods that are bad for their body - yes, even wheat - they do lose weight. Just because there have been no specific scientific studies to prove or disprove this does not make it true. However, wouldn't it be nice to know why it does work? Perhaps the wheat causes an overgrowth - and thus and imbalance - of yeast in the gut. We know that sugar does this, why the heck not wheat? Or perhaps you, being a guy, have never thought about an imbalance of yeast in your gut causing such an imbalance in our amazingly designed human body and thus making you gain weight in a way that has nothing to do with calories?

    Frankly, I think you're an arrogant science-like person to assume anything to do with people making changes to their health and feeling better for it is trendy. I can certainly think of more useful ways for you to expend your time and energy in ways that actually HELP people, rather than just standing on high and judging people who have found ways that make them feel better.

    Or, perhaps, you could just spend a little more time doing research before being so egotistical.

    You, sir, are an ignorant schmuck! And you hit a new all-time low by bringing politics into it. I'm a white woman and I'm also a Democrat and a liberal. Therefore, I must be "choosing" to have the disease. What a ridiculous load of crap! I don't know who you think you are, but you're obviously trying to piss of Celiacs and just make a mockery of the whole issue, not to mention spewing your own lies and ignorant biased views. If people take you seriously, I'm just speechless. I hope you continue to catch hell for your arrogant, insensitive, misinformed "article."

    I never said all people were faking the disease - are you faking it? You seem awfully sensitive about me calling out poseurs while I defend people who have the disease.  I never once make fun of liberals, not in this article or in 2,000 other articles I have written nor in a whole book about anti-science cranks.  What I do make fun of are anti-science, militant, angry progressives who bend science to their belief of the month - and you show up and act just like the stereotype.
    Wow, 2,000 articles! That's very impressive. Would you please provide a link to your CV or list of publications so we can all learn more about your work? Clearly those of us who are skeptical of this article would benefit from learning more about your scientific and/or medical trainging and where your expertise lies.

    How DARE you say that I'm faking my Celiac Disease? You are a truly disgusting piece of garbage. You just relish in saying cruel things to people who are suffering. What does that say about you? You are truly a sad specimen of a human being.
    Sure, I might be a little "sensitive" about your ridiculous article. And I had a damn good reason to be! And maybe you should check this out:

    You are not a fan in the world of Celiacs, my friend.

    How DARE you say that I'm faking my Celiac Disease?
    Show me where I said anything of the kind.  Thank you for the link, by the way.
    Here's a little proof that people embelish their "diagnosis" I found it on a celiac forum...

    bartfull, on 31 August 2012 - 11:19 AM, said:

    Lately I say things like, "When I was diagnosed with celiac disease...", even though I never got tested by a doctor. I am SELF diagnosed, but if I say that no one takes me seriously. The way I say it, I'm not lying exactly, just heading off the misconceptions.

    Gerhard Adam
    One has to wonder at people that can't simply say they choose to be gluten-free, or that they suspect they may be sensitive.  Why assign a disease to yourself?

    It isn't a misconception.  It's just a lie.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Mention of UFOs, psychics, vaccines, gluten, or sick children seems to bring out the same group of trolls (with their TL;DR stories of misery and salvation) every fucking time. They must be coordinating their behavior somehow. They're so predictable and worn.

    Yeah hater, we don't like you either, but how is that you need to spit on the ground every time someone brings back up to your memory your own mom didn't loved you enough to make a decent human being out of your dirt?

    Since I criticize cranks and poseurs and not people who actually have Celiac disease, and you have the perfect response I would expect from cranks, I think it reaffirms the point of my article.
    And indeed you demonstrate one thing very clearly, and that's not a small achievement for such a success with the article : insults lead to more insults, but that doesn't help you get rid of the authority argument, all you have left in the end to reassert your opinion, which is not quite taking the angle properly to understand the stakes of this issue, as many people informed you about in the comments queue.

    But that's fine, the blog is great reading nevertheless and the subject is controversial certainly, and so are your views on social sciences (and the big wild world there behind..) quite irrelevant, but so common too, and your perspective is so normative at last there is nothing to discuss any further, let's insult each others brilliantly, isn't hater? :wink:

    Hank, I get it. You're angry at flighty Californians, and you're taking it out on the Internet.

    But the problem is, for those of us with the real diagnosis, is that this article gets linked and Facebooked and tweeted to us because the non-scientific amongst us will take it as real fact what you're writing, and we have to sit there and yet again, show the actual genetic and blood testing that we've done, and explain how sick gluten makes us.

    The article does nothing for the real celiacs other than cause more irritation, frustration, and annoyance at trying to get this condition taken seriously. If you really want to change things, invent some new fad diet for the fakers to get on. The only way they'll change is if they find some new cure-all to latch onto.

    And - the history of this disease lies with white people. It started in Ireland/Scotland/UK and as diagnosis has gotten better, has progressed around the world ( - probably not the most evidenced article, but something I could easily find quickly in my list of articles about the disease).

    I'm white, but not rich, and definitely not a Californian.

    "But the problem is, for those of us with the real diagnosis, is that this article gets linked and Facebooked and tweeted to us because the non-scientific amongst us will take it as real fact what you're writing, and we have to sit there and yet again, show the actual genetic and blood testing that we've done, and explain how sick gluten makes us.

    The article does nothing for the real celiacs other than cause more irritation, frustration, and annoyance at trying to get this condition taken seriously."

    Hear, hear!

    When I was first diagnosed I had a few friends and co-workers say things to me like: "No! That's a serious disease, I know someone with that and it's serious, you couldn't have that." It's ridiculous to not be taken seriously, and I feel like the take-away message from this article for a lot of folks is going to be further skepticism towards folks who don't eat gluten. That doesn't help me.

    I have a few friends who choose not to eat gluten, and I don't see what the big deal is. None of them have self-diagnosed themselves, they just choose to eat other foods. Even if they did insist that they had a disease, I really don't see how it affects me. The only time I worry about what others say about gluten is to determine whether or not foods prepared by others have gluten in them, if the person making them is correctly educated on what contains gluten and what doesn't. Their identity, disease status, etc. really doesn't matter to me as long as they understand that I cannot consume gluten.

    Instead of posting a long rebuttal on your site, I posted it on my site instead. Please take a read Hank and feel free to respond.

    Just consider this...since it's obvious you have pissed off so many celiacs, isn't it possible that your article was a failed attempt and whatever it was you were trying to accomplish? I'm all for sarcasm, humor and nailing people who have joined the gluten-free fad, but this one just didn't connect.

    I'm fine with the response.  I didn't piss off Celiacs, I pissed off people pretending to be Celiacs. the few Celiacs who were annoyed were responding to the title rather than the article.  Overwhelming, actual Celiacs agree with my points, even if they have not read this article or commented - it is good that the marketing blitz has given them more choices but they are concerned people regard their disease as made up because so many faddish attention whores are claiming to have it. That is dangerous for people who will be poisoned by gluten.
    I agree and disagree. You did indeed piss off a lot of celiacs, as the comments above and on my page attest to. As far as the "marketing blitz" I don't need more food choices. What I need is my disease to be taken as seriously as other autoimmune diseases and articles like yours simply don't help. Yes, you come to the defense of real celiacs, but there is so much other crap thrown in there that it overshadows it.

    So what is the issue?  You want to make some political/cultural hay from my article, go for it.  what you don't do is actually refute anything scientifically nor criticize the people I am criticizing, though they are clearly wrong - that smacks to me of cynical opportunism on your part.  So go ahead and coddle fakes to pump up your pageviews, I am not on Team Gluten or against it, I am on Team Science.
    "Coddle fakes to pump up your page views."

    What the hell are you talking about??

    I completely agree with Gluten Dude. Thanks, GD. -GFreeinDC

    Where is your data that actual Celiacs agree with your points? You continue to ignore requests for evidence of your claim about posers, "evangelical outliers", and diagnosed celiacs support for your opinions! How does the founder of a science website - who is presumably a scientist himself- doesn't provide scientific fact for his arguments?

    I find it incredibly funny that his upcoming book is called 'Science Left Behind'. Which I think pretty much summarizes the original racist, opinionated *article* above. I'm sure he is trying to stir up a hornets nest JUST to promote his book. NOW, I might have actually read the book, but after the C**P that I read here, on Science 2.0, I am going to assume the book is also full of C**P and will try to portray personal opinions as 'scientific fact'.

    I am in a science field, and when I see stuff like this on a 'Science' website, it is very irritating and degrading to science in general. Unfortunately, in schools these days they no longer teach critical thinking, it is generally the 'herd' mentality out there. I'm sure most younger people believe EVERYTHING they read these days.

    And YES, HC, I majored in a HARD science field. At least I learned critical thinking skills and how to support my statements with facts. Which BTW I still haven't seen here. I also learned how to read.

    "Yes, you come to the defense of real celiacs, but there is so much other crap thrown in there that it overshadows it."

    Not to speak for Hank, but, he has a book coming out that (afaik) is about how the far left is just as anti-science and kooky as the far right. His very own "marketing blitz" you might say. *shrug*

    There's plenty of science blogging going on around here if you prefer that, and Doug Sweetser (The Standup Physicist) has a post up about his own experiences with Celiac disease (here) if you're interested.


    I'm super curious to know the source behind your comment "...left-wing people also believe they are hyper-sensitive to food.". Several people posting comments have asked why you brought up the political aspect, where you get your evidence that "lefties" are more inclined to this kind of reaction, etc. but you just ignore those questions. (And, no, an anecdotal comment from a chef regarding catered events is not scientific evidence. Even my 2nd grader who just learned the basics of the scientific method knows that.)

    I didn't like your article but I am really curious about this. I consider myself fairly liberal and I do seem to be more hyper-sensitive to food. Not gluten per se, honestly I've never been able to figure out what foods leave me feeling crappy, it seems so random. I didn't think my political inclinations and weak stomach were connected in any way but I'm open to reconsider if you could just give me some facts.

    Or is it that you want to tie this post and the obvious strong reaction you'd get to your upcoming book release? You'll probably have an easier time getting on Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, etc. if you've got some good outrage from liberals to work against.

    Oooooo... this article is ridiculous! It's so judgemental and makes so many unfounded negative assumptions about people who go gluten free. And for those unfortunate ones who have confirmed celiac disease, this must really be an upsetting article to read.

    Here's some food for thought:

    It's not necessarily that people are just lemmings jumping on the gluten-free bandwagon because it's cool or they are imaging things, but people really and truly can develop gluten sensitivity later in life. (or even celiac for that matter). See the article I linked to for a study that confirmed this.

    The bottom line is that just because you/mainstream science/mainstream medicine don't understand why or how something like an increase in gluten sensitivity/allergy/celiac is occurring does not mean everyone who says they have these problems is lying about it. You'd be a better person if you could be a little more open-minded and accepting of people rather than throwing them under the bus.

    If you take away Hank's political bias, there's a lot of food for thought in this. We need a lot of work on the epidemiology of celiac. I'd like to see some genome-wide studies of celiac and other gluten syndromes. My bet is that all the terrible liberals will likely turn out to be correct, as they usually are in most science debates. Until then, by all means, let's continue to misrepresent them! How fun!

    If you take away Hank's political bias...My bet is that all the terrible liberals will likely turn out to be correct, as they usually are in most science debates.
    ha ha ... that is awesome irony!

    Well, if you say liberals are the ones who believe in ghosts, astrology, crystals, long distance healing, psychics, UFOs and that scientists are out to kill us with vaccines and food, okay - but I would have said progressives were the culprits. Liberals are terrific - unfortunately, they are diminished on the left by progressives just as social authoritarians on the right diminish their side.

    Guilty as charged that I am biased against anti-science people, though.

    Hank, do you actually personally know anyone with celiac disease? I rather doubt it. And thank you, too, for the great scientific research on food preferences. Instead of reading all those articles from Columbia University, Mayo Clinic, University of Chicago I'll just go ask a chef. Left undiagnosed and untreated, celiac disease is terminal. It will kill you. Oh, not all at once quickly & neatly, but slowly and surely system-by-system. Whatever the intent of your article, it failed miserably. Even your "explanations" or rationales show a woeful lack of information or education on the subject and a distinct lack of reporting and writing skill.

    Study of military celiac--they ain't liberals:

    Not sure of your point.  I did not say only liberals get Celiac disease - I never once mention liberals. I said people claiming to have a disease for attention are a problem and when it comes to food, a whole lot of progressives are kooky.  But if progressives and liberals were the same thing, there would not be two different words.  Informational point: not all Republicans are conservatives are libertarians either.  
    As an individual on a personal mission to create more awareness about Celiac Disease; Hank, I'd like to thank you for this article. If people don't get the humor, too bad for them.

    Greetings Hank,

    I agree with you in one small way. The gluten-free diet has certainly become a fad. We have glorious, venerable people like Kim Kardashian to thank for that. I however, and a myriad of others, have Celiac Disease. It is not a FAD. I did not choose to have this disease and would not wish it upon my greatest enemy. One must be formally diagnosed and must commit to an incredibly precarious lifelong diet that omits gluten - those who have cut gluten out of their diet voluntarily and feel better have merely figured out what works for them. Who are you to care in the least?

    Celiac Disease left me bedridden for most of my senior year of High School (before my diagnosis, and when doctors had me on a steroid regimen treating a supposed Crohn's infliction). I nearly dropped out of college my freshmen year due to my deteriorating health, incredible lack of energy and debilitating joint pain. I took matters into my own hands two years ago and asked my general physician for a blood pannel and biopsy that would prove whether or not I had Celiac Disease. Low and behold, I'm afflicted. I would not have known of Celiac Disease had it not been for the diagnoses-explosion and popularity of social-networking between CD victims, and I am grateful for it. After being diagnosed and cutting gluten out of my diet, my health has turned around completely. I'm now preparing to start Graduate School - something I never thought myself physically capable of in years past.

    You are a hugely insensitive fuck for writing this article. You have damaged your own integrity, and given your most ignorant readers a highly misinformed and uneducated rendition of what it is to have Celiac Disease. Thank you for making it more difficult to be taken seriously regarding my very serious health condition. You'd do yourself some good to get informed before you go ranting about something so damaging, but regardless, I hope your career gets hit by a bus.

    ***SIGH*** Obviously you cannot read. so there is no point in arguing further with stupidity.

    ME: hard science relies on the scientific method, accuracy, and objectivity. A hypothesis is formed, and experiments are done to prove or disprove it. Conclusions are drawn and the results must be reproducible with other similar experiments. Physics is hard science.
    HC: No, a hard science is a physical science.
    NEWSFLASH: physics IS a physical science, along with astronomy, chemistry, earth sciences

    ME: Soft science is NOT supported by accuracy and objectivity, it is more subjective and cannot accurately predict that doing X will cause Y. SOCIAL SCIENCES are soft sciences, they cannot always predict human behavior. Examples are PSYCHOLOGY, sociology, and anthropology.
    YOU: A life science is biological and a soft science is social, like psychologyy.

    Talk about not reading something and jumping to your own conclusions!!!

    Good thing I didn't write about the science debate over circumcision or people might have had strong opinions. 
    I understood the humor, but I'll be honest, the topic is a bit too close to home to me to be funny. So just commenting on the whole 'diagnosing yourself' thing. I completely agree that some people jump right in to a self-diagnosis without having a moment of intellectual inquiry. Gluten does seem to be the fad of choice for the wealthier and whiter, too. It's too expensive for it to be a fad for anyone else. Although based on my various and sundry relatives, I think religion is the attempted cure of choice for those who are poorer and whiter.

    However, on behalf of those who self-diagnose, I'd like to mention a couple issues. One is how little use most doctors are for any condition that doesn't fit nicely and neatly into a set pattern that is easy to test for. Celiac Disease is in that category, so not only do most doctor's not think to test for it, some of them actively REFUSE to test for it. In that case, what is a person to do? Try the diet and see how they feel, or live with their doctor's refusal, keep suffering, and never find out what's wrong? At least if they try the diet they'll have a slim chance of being right and feeling better. If they're wrong, they're out a few extra bucks for GF food.

    And if they try the diet, then that's it. Most of them will never get tested, because the test is actually pretty poor as tests go. It doesn't detect the disease, it detects damage that the disease does due to contact with gluten. So if you went gluten free due to doctor refusal to test you, the only way to be diagnosed is to go gluten free, show the improvement to convince your ignorant doctor, and then voluntarily eat gluten again for 1-2 months and damage yourself badly enough that it shows up on the test. And the damage patients are asked to do to themselves can be mild or severe. For some people, it can cause seizures, neurological damage, permanent intestinal damage, organ damage - the list goes on.

    When the medical community fails us, why NOT self-diagnose? It might be kooky, it might be self-indulgent, and it might be wrong. But it's better than sitting on our backsides and assuming that feeling like you've been run over by a truck is the normal state of things. I'd like to see a bit more research go into some of these self-diagnoses, but I can't look down on someone for refusing to lie down and die simply because their doctor can't be bothered to help them any further, or better yet, accuses them of being a head case because a few tests are negative.

    I am a diagnosed Celiac. My father was diagnosed 9 years before I was and I should have been tested at that point - I'd already been sick for 11 years. The entire family should have been tested, but doctors don't typically pass that information on, so I wasn't. 9 years later, I asked for the test on a whim and was diagnosed. I got the test for my children and one of them was Celiac and likely had been from toddlerhood, based on her symptoms. My brother got tested and he had it too.

    We talked to all our cousins, whose children have daily stomach aches, who have constant illness, who are exhausted all the time, look 10 years older than they are, who are having problems with depression, gastro issues, tumors and organ failure decades younger than they should be having them. We tell them about the disease and getting tested. And their doctors response was to tell them that they shouldn't even bother getting tested. There's no way they could have it. It's so rare, it'll never happen to them. Having it in the family doesn't mean anything.

    And so now my side of the family is better and their side of the family is dying before our eyes. And the main difference is: my side is more educated and started checking what the doctors were telling us. Their side is not as educated and believes every word out of their doctor's mouth.

    I know there are a lot of kooky people out there right now. But for those of us who went undiagnosed for so long and had to fight against the medical system to get diagnosed rather than getting actually HELP, self diagnosing isn't that funny anymore. I have too much sympathy for a lot of the non-kooks who have gone gluten free because they had no recourse or help from anyone other than themselves, and they are just trying to get well.

    My son would have been one of these. He's now the only non-celiac in two generations on my side of the family and we don't know what the heck he has, but we do know gluten is bad for him. We all went gluten free after our diagnosis and suddenly problems that HE had disappeared too. It was completely unexpected. It was also completely discounted by our doctors, because what do we know? So what if our child went from a bloated, tantrum-prone, exhausted little waif of a kid to one who looked and acted like a regular kid, all within the span of a couple weeks. And we get our bloated tantrumzilla back whenever we mess up and he gets gluten.

    So again, while I appreciate a bit of the humor - because man is this a fad - I don't have as much respect for diagnosing through the medical community when it comes to this disease and gluten intolerance. I had more than one doctor tell me that it was in my head, or that I must be thinking too much about things and if I stopped all this pain would go away. That's what a LOT of people with Celiac Disease get before diagnosis. If some people decide to self-diagnose and go gluten free and feel better? More power to 'em.

    And just to add to the pot - the reason we may not be seeing as many Celiacs in non-whites could be related to the fact that doctors are told that it's not as common in non-whites, so they look for it even less. However, some of the studies being done in other countries are showing that rates may be just as prevalent with other racial groups as well ( an example for Celiac Disease in Iran: )

    When the medical community fails us, why NOT self-diagnose?
    This is a good point. No one is asking people to spend 15 minutes with a GP and be told they are not ill and accept they are not ill. 

    I am fortunate to have rarely needed a doctor but the first thing I have asked, for everything from earaches to general health, is if there is a change I can make in lifestyle. For people who feel better not eating gluten, go for it, but when the foremost authority on Celiac disease says he does not know why people are going on a gluten-free diet, that means something.  I never once criticize people with Celiac disease but I still got irrational comments, which means a lot of people claiming they have it to insult me don't have it, they are poseurs - the downside is that claiming to have this disease is likely not the first time they have done it, so all of their friends and family roll their eyes and lump it in as a fad, which has real consequences for people who do have it.
    it *is* pretty obvious that you've not needed a doctor very often. you've also got the privilege of being male, and since autoimmune disorders affect mostly women, and women have historically been ridiculed, ignored, and diagnosed as "hysterical." (then sometimes leading to "hysterectomies," which are still done today, but for far more scientifically-sound reasons.)

    you received irrational comments because you exasperated people. you told them "this is all in your head!" if doctor after doctor does not take them seriously, and the previous commenter hit the nail on the head with their comment. It takes an average of a decade to get diagnosed with celliac disease, and that's a VERY long time to be told to "snap out of it" or "it's all in your head" by the very people who should be recognizing this illness far sooner and easier. While I've had a diagnosis made and I'm a card-carrying member of the Celiac Club, I still find your attitude crass and ignorant. There's a lot more to this celiac "trend" than a few dillweeds who are jumping on some stupid bandwagon. There are real human lives who suffered for years before they got answers. Some of them die of cancer and other complications before they had the privilege of an answer or diagnosis. Complications that include disabling symptoms AND disabling side effects from improper treatments (usually in the form of prescriptions because that's how the American healthcare system has evolved: present a symptom, leave with a script, rarely any substantial discussion because you can't say much in the 7 minutes the average physician spends with a patient in an appointment). Some folks are lucky enough to get a diagnosis a few months after a belly ache started. Others wind up enduring seizures for decades before a diagnosis. Some get cancer before they get a diagnosis. After years (and decades, for some) of no help from doctors, some folks run out of patience (or money) and start trying things out of desperation. I am like you in that I prefer a lifestyle change before any invasive treatments, but I was indoctrinated into this system that dictates when we go to the doctor, we walk out with a prescription, and it took me years before I could see that all these drugs for celiac-related symptoms weren't actually the best simplest answer to the problem. The doctors themselves are indoctrinated into this system, so a severe illness that's easily treatable with a diet change (when med school curricula is definitely lacking comprehensive nutrition education, and medical texts still describing celiac disease as an early childhood disorder presenting as failure to thrive with bloating) is far, far off the radar. After years of being treated the standard way, many folks do end up feeling a little disenfranchised from the world about their experiences as a person with celiac, AND frustrated with anyone who hasn't lived through this trying to sound like they know what's best. It's pretty understandable people would be a little sensitive about the implications that anyone who claims to be glutenfree needs to "prove" it in some way in order to justify their lifestyle because pieces like this perpetuate the idea that special diets can also be fad diets worthy of ridicule.

    Yes, trend-followers are BEYOND annoying. (I even admit I poo-pooed the idea that I could have it myself, assuming doctors knew to recognize everything they saw, and after I'd married into a family with a self-diagnosed celiac who put her kids on the special diet because she didn't trust doctors, and I, as a scientist, didn't want to be anything like THAT. Besides, wouldn't a doctor have diagnosed me by now? So here I am, a former hater of the glutenfree trend, and it turns out gluten was poisoning me all along. My denial, ignorance, and prejudice negatively influenced my health, and I really don't want anyone else to say "those glutenfreetards! i won't be one of THOSE! there's nothing wrong with these 3 stomach meds i take every day! EATING GLUTEN IS MY RIGHT AND SOCIETAL OBLIGATION DAMNIT!") I myself couldn't give a flying rat's ass what Lady Gaga is doing. But I DO care when someone uses some celebrity's whims, along with a healthy dose of racism, to ridicule an illness. Posts like these don't do ANYONE any favors, except maybe the SEO-savvy author of an op-ed website capitalizing on the gluten-free fad in the name of "science."

    Gerhard Adam
    Now ... that was a good post.
    Mundus vult decipi
    you received irrational comments because you exasperated people.
    Well, in your case you are just a crank.  In the cases of legitimate people reacting to cranks in other places who hyped this up to be some denial of the existence of Celiac disease, they got reasonable responses to questions and concerns.  I am not surprised people don't believe you about anything - you are hysterical.
    "I mean, wheat has been in bread for thousands of years and we have done okay. Not now, people have really changed a generation after I graduated college. Who says human evolution has stopped?"

    Yes, wheat has been in bread for thousands of years. But interestingly enough, the increasing hybridization and genetically modification of wheat and other grains coincides with the rise of gluten sensitivity and celiac disease.

    Hybridization, sure, that was a brute force way to optimize plants.  Genetic optimization? Not possible, but genetic modification might be able to fix it. 
    Wow, where to even begin?

    There is Celiac, and there is gluten sensitivity, and there is wheat allergy, three different things. There are allergy tests, and there are two tests for Celiac, but allergy tests are not 100% accurate, and neither is one of the Celiac tests. The other one is a biopsy, which is rather invasive, and both tests are costly. The only way to know for sure if you have one of these things, otherwise, is to just stop eating foods with gluten (not just wheat but also rye, barley and oats). NO ONE with half a brain does this lightly because it's very hard to do and gluten is in all the good-tasting foods.. Even with all the gluten free products now, it's found in some of those as well as many places you would never think to look. And eating out is almost impossible because of cross-contamination. If you have Celiac, you can actually damage your stomach and immune system if you eat the stuff. Who wants to take that chance? Most people who have one of these disorders spend half of their life in bed or in the bathroom, and many visit the hospital quite often. It's not fun, and not something anyone would wish for.

    Some people, though, DO have mild symptoms, a mild sensitivity or a mild allergy, so they should cut it out, even if it's not "poison" to them. Some, as you pointed out sarcastically, have no symptoms at all, but they still should cut it out because they could be damaging their bodies. By the time they have stomach pain, it may be too late.

    When you talk about someone just saying they have Celiac disease, it's probably because they don't want to bother getting the tests done to confirm it. They just are told by their doctor that they probably have it, so they stay away from gluten. It doesn't mean they are just making it up. Not all diseases and disorders are so cut and dried, especially with regards to food sensitivities. I have allergies, which I never really had, as far as I knew, before the late 80's when I went to an allergy doctor after getting the sniffles a lot. Over the years, my allergies have gotten much worse. I had no allergies as a kid. My husband is the opposite - he had lots of allergies and asthma growing up but has largely outgrown them now. There is no one rule to these things - people are not all the same. As for food allergies, I never noticed any problem with symptoms until I was out of high school. I ate burgers, sandwiches, etc. all the time. It wasn't until the early 80's that I started having any diarrhea and abdominal pain. The doctors said it was probably a urinary tract infection and gave me antibiotics, which did nothing. Then in the 90's, when things got worse, the doctors said it was irritable bowel syndrome. Do you know what a syndrome is? A collection of symptoms that are caused by some unknown thing. Nothing they tried worked, especially making me eat more high fiber cereal (which has wheat, duh!). I did get tested for allergies and was told I had a mild wheat allergy, but no one said anything about the wheat causing my intestinal problems. This is MULTIPLE doctors we're talking about. It wasn't until 2001 that a new allergy doctor (I had moved) suggested that maybe I should try giving up wheat for 10 days, and give up dairy for another 10 days, to see if either helped, because as he said, those were the two most common food sensitivities that he saw. He was an old guy, too, so it wasn't some fad. This was coming from years of experience. Finally, success, I figured out that wheat was causing my symptoms. Then I learned about gluten. I am also allergic to rye. They don't test you for barley, but it does make me have the same reaction. So I am allergic to foods with gluten. I took the Celiac test and don't have it.

    The point, though, is finding out not what disease you have, but getting rid of the thing that makes you sick.

    My guess is that it's a helluva lot more of the population than 1%, too, and I'm sure not the only one who thinks so. Many other countries in South America, Europe and Australia know this and recognize it and have much stricter laws about gluten in products than we do in the U.S. Just because it was not a fad doesn't mean it doesn't exist. The Mayo Clinic did a study showing that Celiac is actually increasing in the U.S., not just being better diagnosed. What is causing it? Who knows. Maybe since we eat a lot more than we used to, or eat a lot more burgers and sandwiches, we develop a reaction to so much of it. Or perhaps it's one of the many chemicals they put in the food, or that we inhale. Or because they grow wheat differently now, with lots of cross-breeding. We don't know the cause yet.

    Yes, some idiot celebrities use it as a fad or diet trick (eating low carb is not that different from cutting out gluten, and you can lose weight eating low carb). Also, a lot of foods with gluten are also high in fat and sugar, so you are going to feel better if you cut it out, anyway. If you stay away from all packaged food, then you are mostly left with healthy foods like lean meat, vegetables, and fish. Choose to stay away from fried foods, too, and you will be very healthy. I'm guessing most of those celebs do this. Most of them already don't eat much sugar or fat.

    I think it's good, in a way, if celebs think they have Celiac because it means more low-carb options for the rest of us, and more light shed on the disorders.

    Turning this into a black/white left/right thing is simply stupid and completely discounts anything else you say. Really, really dumb.

    And before you accuse me of making money off this, no. I have fully diagnosed celiac and don't make a penny from it.

    I agree, it is not black and white - such silly thinking is for NGOs making money and journalists who are afraid of complexity.  But about 200 comments here disagree with you; they say anyone who gives up gluten is the same as people actually poisoned by gluten and who have Celiac disease and if you are not in agreement with that thinking, you are against them. Very black and white.
    "Team Science" - where is the science? Where is any mention the gaps current science have in diagnosing Celiac Disease? How do you explain that some people with diagnosed Celiac Disease had all NEGATIVE blood tests, but POSITIVE intestinal biopsy? How do you explain the children being diagnosed by a doctors with negative blood and biopsy because their health improved upon removing gluten from the diet and they carry the genes that "can" trigger the disease. I challenge you to find primary doctors that are looking for Celiac Disease in adults. Even if they are looking for it, would they order a biopsy in with negative blood results? The symptoms and presentation of this disease are not clear cut. Earlier you accused those of us reporting the difficulty in getting diagnosis as calling doctors stupid. I have never thought doctors lack intelligence, only that their training and practice had not provided up to date knowledge of the presentation of Celiac Disease.

    Please provide the research backing your claim that people whom are claiming to have Celiac Disease are harming those of us with Celiac Disease. It is only your supposition that they will possibly cause harm - it has no basis in fact. Those of us with Celiac Disease have always had to explain (often on a daily basis) how dangerous and harmful minutes amount of gluten and be aware of every item in our lives that may contain gluten - that will never change no matter who claims to have the disease.

    I do indeed have diagnosed Celiac Disease by blood, biopsy, gene testing and dietary response - although when I challenged you earlier in this thread you dismissed me as a faker as you have done to others with the disease. Many diagnosed have traveled a very long road to acquiring a diagnosis - my thought on supposed fakers is hey they may find out by removing gluten that they do have improved health, if not they won't be faking for long when they move on to the next fad. No harm, no foul! Your theory is flawed.

    Please present some actual science or minimally where you are finding large numbers of people with diagnosed Celiac Disease that agree with you.

    For goodness sake - stop accusing everyone that is asking for you to prove your work of faking Celiac Disease - those of us that were persistent enough to acquire a diagnosis and struggle each time we set foot out of our own kitchens certainly do not deserve to be dismissed as fakers by you.

    I detest the faux celiacs! They have no idea what real celiac disease is....My health is terrible and always will be...I have a ton of complications the fauxs will never suffer from.

    Here we go, you know, and it's like in science, there's real truth or true truth (sic!) (supported by this blog), and false truth (sic!) or even worst, wrong truth, the ugly wrong truth I mean, you when it's not right and well, but filthy and gross.

    And you are right or, to say it better, on the true truth side of the celiac medal that is, on the side of fully accredited diagnosis, the one with the badge and the official cap, congrats, that's really really great for you, and you know what in the end, I also think one should be allowed to shoot at faux celiacs, these people shouldn't have the right to exist, their symptoms are all fake, their ideas are so lamely false, and their inner sense and feeling is all biased, they're only liberals, and we have a right to defend ourselves in the name of Science and sanity!

    A good faux celiac is a dead faux celiac, there's no alternative to reason, you'd better surrender right on!

    And I suspect you lie when you insist on declaring you're a fully legitimate diagnosed authorised celiac, so beware, you're put to the test, you'd better behave or you will have to to die!

    Who in the word writes this stuff? A white rich persons disease? Are you kidding me? I have extreme celiac disease that has taken over my life! I cannot go out to restaurants even if they "claim" they serve gluten free food. I have to take my own food anywhere I go, I watch my family eat while I sit and dream about the crunch chicken strips they are eating. Celiac, gluten intolerance, and gluten allergies are very real and can affect anyone. If anyone reading this has Celiac you know what I am talking about; its pure hell. I am a classroom teacher and I can't even allow my students to eat gluten in my room as I am that sensitive. It has been almost one year since I have been diagnosed and I still feel awful and am fighting this every day. Makes me sad to think anyone would ever stereotype this miserable way to live and call it trendy.

    Was there some point to your article, or did you just wake up bitchy one morning and decided to rank on the gluten free trend? Having the bully pulpit that you do, you could have used this space and disturbed a few electrons to provide useful information about Celiac disease and the helpfulness of the GF diet. Instead we get Lady Ga Ga, Republicans and rich white people? Next.

    My wife has celiac. She has suffered immensely. The trend-followers only make it easier for arrogant jerks like you to make fun of a debilitating illness.

    Gerhard Adam
    ...some people really do have Celiac disease, an actual immune disorder - gluten is like poison to them...
    I'm not clear on how this is making fun of a debilitating illness?  While you may argue about the article's tone, or how it was written, I fail to see how it makes fun of people with the disease.

    The point is quite clear, in that there are far too many people that have taken it upon themselves to become gluten-free.  That's fine.  If that's what they choose and its a lifestyle change for them, then there's no problem.  However, there are also a large number of people that don't stop there, but instead self-diagnose themselves to have a disease [Celiac's] that they clearly don't have.

    Again, this says nothing about those that actually have the disease, but instead indicates that for many of these people [especially celebrities] it has become little more than another "weight-loss" diet.  A fad, that they can point to suggesting that somehow they are going to eat more "natural".

    This denigrates those people that truly have the disease, by making it appear as if they're also part of this fad.  While the benefits may be good today, because of the availability of gluten-free food, if this is merely treated as a fad, you'll find gluten-free foods going the way of the South Beach Diet.

    There are certainly many issues here, and I understand that diagnosis can be difficult, that some may only be gluten-sensitive, and that even self-diagnosis may be necessary for them to feel better.  None of that is the issue.

    What is the issue, is for those that want to capitalize on a disease or a condition from which they don't actually suffer.  As indicated in a previous comment.  Why would a woman say that she was diagnosed with Celiac's when she simply self-diagnosed?  Why assign the disease to herself?  Instead of simply saying that she found gluten affected her, or that she simply felt better, or that it was a lifestyle change.  There's no law against those choices, so why be coy?

    Instead she specifically identified herself as having a disease, which [at least in my view] is the true insult to those that actually have it.
    Mundus vult decipi
    "However, there are also a large number of people that don't stop there, but instead self-diagnose themselves to have a disease [Celiac's] that they clearly don't have."

    What is this "large number"? Also, please provide a complete citation or link for the rest of us to access this research.

    We have about 200 in the comments section here.  Only a few people with Celiac disease objected, and just as many said they liked that I was calling out the poseurs, but the pretenders are the ones who flipped out en masse and tried to frame it so that if I was criticizing faddish attention whores, I was denying that the disease itself existed.  
    So, comments after the fact on your own sensationalized editorial are the closest you can come to providing empirical data? I look forward to using this "article" of yours as a teaching resource on poorly-researched writing. I've taught college freshmen (at an R1 univ.) who do better research than you.

    You must be teaching in the humanities - but not logic. You don't seem to know what it is. Ridiculous claims that everyone who says they feel better if they don't eat gluten gets to say they have a disease (I suspect you are either #201 of the pretenders or you are one of the misguided people who think you need to circle the wagons around charlatans) and that means the numbers are 30X what we know is just stupid.
    Gerhard Adam
    You're joking.  That's your criticism?  My use of the word "large"?  So what.  Change it to small, change it to one.  What possible difference does it make?

    Do you think that faking a disease is less significant if it is one person doing it versus a million?

    The problem is that some of these posters have clearly indicated that they willingly lie about having been diagnosed because others don't believe them if they don't.  If you don't think that's a problem ...

    As for the argument that doctors can't diagnose it, or that it takes 10 years, or that everyone is incompetent.  I fail to see how that can occur, while the same individuals claim that it is widely recognized and diagnosed in Europe. 

    I also fail to understand how people can have so many complaints about a doctor and then continue to go see them.  What kind of a nutcase continues to go to a physician that they can't trust or think is incompetent?
    Mundus vult decipi
    No, I'm in social science, and I look forward to you attacking that field in your response. All I want is to know WHERE you are getting your information. Yes, Gerhard, including the "large number" that you state. No one reading this has a clue as to where you are getting this information! I truly was not aware that there are bands of self-diagnosed celiacs going around causing problems for physician-diagnosed celiacs, as this article and Hank & Gerhard's comments suggest.

    This article makes valid points about the absurdity of the gluten-free fad diet and the dangers of self-diagnosis and distrust of medical doctors. I agree wholeheartedly on those points. But then you bring in this bizarre association with the research on a politics gene. Why? Maybe instead of invoking race, class, and politics, you could talk about WHY Celiac Disease or the less-specific gluten intolerance/sensitivity is diagnosed in more privileged Americans? Could there be a correlation with access to healthcare or affordability of fresh produce versus junk food?

    All I've been asking for is where you got the information that has led you to your opinions and whether you fully-researched this piece. Or have you just encountered some obnoxious, liberal foodies who try to couch their food snobbery in a self-diagnosis, and you decided to stick it to them by writing a diatribe against them? But it's okay, cos you threw in one peer-reviewed article to support your opinion!

    Hank, your biography on this site merely states that you founded this site. So, for all I know, I have more scientific (hard and soft) training than you. I, and everyone else who came to your site because of this article, have no reason to return, because you provide no evidence that you are a reputable source of scientific information.

    Gerhard Adam
    I truly was not aware that there are bands of self-diagnosed celiacs going around causing problems for physician-diagnosed celiacs...
    OK, good.  You don't see a problem.  So when these people post symptoms and treatments that they have concocted for themselves, you don't have a problem with this problematic information going out to others that may have real problems.

    So, you don't think its a problem when food producers and restaurants suddenly decide that they no longer need to carry gluten-free foods, because the fad is over.

    You don't think it's a problem when parents self-diagnose their kids and introduce them into a lifestyle or indicate they have a disease for which they get neither diagnosis or treatment beyond what their parents invent.

    In general, you don't think it's a problem when people simply lie about having a disease so that they can present themselves as a victim to others?

    Well, then I guess there's no problem.

    However, the next time an individual that is suffering from Celiac's gets that roll of the eyes when they are in a restaurant, you can be comfortable in knowing that it's nothing personal.   After all, why should people that really have the disease be treated any differently than those that simply make it up.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Can you please point to where in that post I said any of what you seem to think I suggest? You may be completely right that parents diagnosing their kids with Celiac disease is a rampant problem, but it'll take more than a few anecdotal posts on this or any other website to convince me.

    Gerhard Adam
    ...and if this were a peer-reviewed journal, or a scientific post attempting to draw some conclusion, then you'd have a point.  Until then you've got an article with no greater claim than that.

    I do find it interesting that when articles or websites exist to promote the idea, then suddenly those pesky "scientific standards" don't seem to play a role.  You never see someone question the basis for someone's claims at victimhood, it's only when it is challenged that suddenly we want "peer-review".
    Mundus vult decipi
    Gerhard Adam
    No, I'm in social science, and I look forward to you attacking that field in your response.
    Already did that.
    Mundus vult decipi
    You'll have to forgive me if I don't dance for some anonymous nobody. I also don't care about your entitlement mentality and belief that I have to coddle you and your desire to pretend or else 200 people will never come back.  (1) I built this for free, it gets no taxpayer money and has no corporate overlord and (2) we have a millions smart readers a month so 200 dumb ones never coming back makes no difference.

    With no corporate overlord, no government rules and no money to think about, I don't have to pretend your opinion is as valid as people who know what they are talking about. See how liberating that is?  You want to learn about me?  Stop hiding behind Internet anonymity.

    No thanks. Since you know my medical history, you surely know why I am hesitant to publish my identity online. I think I'll follow your example and set up a Spanish tutoring website. My one semester in middle school makes me as qualified as you are to run a science website.

    Oh, you are worried about a vast Anti-Celiac Conspiracy.  It all makes sense now.
    Gerhard Adam
    I suppose if this site were offering treatment or diagnostic advice you might have a point. 

    However, even you could write an article about Spanish tutoring.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Gerhard Adam
    BTW ... while I don't have a specific number, read some of the posts here.

    What is quite interesting, is that none of these people simply concluded that gluten doesn't agree with them and stopped eating it.  Nor did most of these people even say that they might be gluten sensitive.

    Instead, they insisted that they had to have a diagnosis, and if they weren't given one then they self-diagnosed.

    What's the problem here?  Would the treatment have been different otherwise?  Does it take a doctors permission to go gluten-free?  It is interesting to see how many people think that the entire medical community is ignorant, but we should take the word of a bunch of anonymous posters on the internet.

    It would be much more interesting to hear the doctors point of view from most of these posters.  I suspect the story would be significantly different.

    I actually laughed when I read one poster saying that they were told to "just suck it up".  What kind of a moron is told that by a doctor and then goes back to them?
    Mundus vult decipi
    We are in full agreement about the danger of self-diagnosis. I'm sure many of us know someone who's done that, and we are baffled by what their thought process must be! I have a relative who was diagnosed with some dairy allergy or intolerance (not sure what it is exactly). Despite her MD saying "NO DAIRY", she thinks if she takes Lactaid, she's fine. Now, since her problems persist, rather than actually give up dairy completely like her doctor told her too, she's decided she must have a gluten problem. I suspect your reaction to that anecdote is pretty close to mine.

    I have been accused of being a pretender or charlatan-defender by Hank. I guess Hank knows my medical history better than my doctors.

    The majority of the people I have encountered on ALL of the celiac chat boards have diagnosed themselves! They use the excuses that the tests have a high rate of false negatives (not true)....the doctors are ignorant....the fact that they don't posess a DQ2.5 or DQ 8 means nothing because all the celiac genes haven't been discovered one is one of my favorite lies!

    I love when they say they are real! The only time I was at that point was when I got diagnosed...I had malnutrition so bad...I was starving to death! My cholesterol was too low...all my fat soulable vitamins levels were low....I had megaloblastic all get the picture? A person with REAL celiac is sick!!!

    They are constantly getting *glutened* by imaginary gluten....after all, they are the *sensitive* celiacs....lmfao!!! You fakers can go to the a big tube a gluten free chapstick....pucker up and kiss my GOLDEN STAR ass!!!!

    One more thing.....Thank you Hank Campbell....for calling out these faking...lying pieces of crap! And definately have pity for their children....their parents have diagnosed them and made them eat gluten free as well! It's cruel to tell a child he has a disease when he truly doesn't!!!!

    My daughter has autism from having reacted to the hepatitis-B vaccine at birth with encephalitis. She also had extremely severe, chronic constipation until I put her on a GFCF diet in March, which completely resolved her constipation within two days. I conclude that she is gluten intolerant. I believe the tremendous increase in gluten-intolerant people is because they too have reacted to vaccines by becoming sensitized to some of the vaccine ingredients which resemble gluten. Comparisons of blood samples preserved in the 1950s with blood samples today reveal that gluten intolerance was almost nonexistent then, but quite common now. People might want to rethink the wisdom of all those flu shots!

    Gerhard Adam
    Naaahh ... I think it's better to rethink listening to the wisdom of someone that is posting anonymously on the internet.  BTW ... where is this link to the study of 1950's blood supplies?

    After all, you've described a major evolutionary event if gluten intolerance was almost nonexistent back then.  So, by all means ... share the data and/or articles from which you gained all this insight.
    Mundus vult decipi
    OK, Gerhard, this is a link to the AP article in the local newspaper:

    It makes reference to a study carried out by a doctor at the Mayo Clinic, Joseph Murray, recently published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology. It found that comparing blood samples from now with blood samples stored since the 1950s, that gluten intolerance had risen from .25% to 1% of all Americans. You are, of course, free to say that he is not a real scientist in order to dismiss his findings, but most people would not agree with you.

    Gerhard Adam
    I'm not going to criticize Joseph Murray.  You're providing a perfect example of how to misinterpret results.

    His study did NOT indicate that gluten intolerance had risen since 1950.  His study indicated that the celiac disease antibodies had increased thereby indicating that celiac disease had increased by a factor of 4.

    The point being that if gluten tolerance had changed, then you would be talking about a major change in human physiology.  However, the change in celiac disease antibodies supports the idea [also raised by Dr. Murray] that the likely explanation is the increase in gluten brought about by more aggressive hybridization of wheat since the 1950's.  As a result, there is more gluten in the plants than in the past.

    There's no problem with his findings.  There's only a problem with the interpretation of those findings.
    Mundus vult decipi
    And Murray is quoted in this article because he is as baffled by anyone by the spike is gluten-free diets, even though he is an advocate and authority for Celiac disease.  People invoking him on one part of the argument and dismissing him for the other are clearly engaging in a la carte science.
    Here are science facts : recent articles about Gluten :

    See for yourself, most of these articles defeat the Gluten fad theory, and support many opinions expressed by the commentators.

    That's a press release. Eurekalert also carried a press release with a hypothesis from a guy claiming dinosaurs might be ruling other planets.  So that made Big Dinosaurs On Other Planets people happy and I am also glad you found a press release that supported your hypothesis that if anyone had Celiac disease, you get to claim you have it too.
    That's not a press release it's a thread showing the press releases under the entry gluten, if you can read. Universities and researchers write articles, indeed, and publish their results, that's what it is, a thread with the articles the search engine at found about gluten. Not to assert all or any of these results are true or false, only, here's (at least a recent part of) the field, and inside it the public researches actually being lead about gluten, end of the story.

    Who do you think you are in the end, THE pope of science? Lol, alone in your room?

    There's a world of science depts and researchers crews out there, investigating hypothesis, and about gluten, here's what the world has to say, once more :

    And it's not on some private blog, no, it's right there in the public space, on as on any other science news search engine, where the general public, the press, the decision makers, read.

    Good luck with your retarded crusade, you are confusing all and every thing, and you think you're a smart ass.. ok, good for you, you're smart buddy, you shine like a Field medal, keep up the good work, you're going to get it,
    and goodbye.

    That's not a press release it's a thread showing the press releases under the entry gluten, if you can read.
    I am thrilled you are educated by press releases but the fact remains you don't read the literature and seemingly could not understand it if you did.  If you could understand it, you would stop trying to claim that the spike in people claiming to have Celiac disease and are self-diagnosed are all legitimate and that gluten is evil.

    I am all for food cranks, as I have said many times, irrational beliefs are what separate us from ants - but don't try to pretend it is science.

    If cold fusion shows up on Dr. Oz tomorrow, I guarantee you there will be 10 articles in 3 months claiming they have done it.  The fact that it is only 10 out of 50,000 physicists is proof science works but those 10 will be all the evidence believers need.
    Lol, where do you find I would "claim that the spike in people claiming to have Celiac disease and are self-diagnosed are all legitimate and that gluten is evil."?

    You're all for the pleasing of your own self-fulfilling wish most aren't, and in the end it's all maybe concerning this specious legitimacy matter that you have a problem, I don't know, it's your problem anyway, never mind.

    You read as I read : more studies on the "gluten complex" (to call it generality) are lead, they find 1) there's a problem with gluten, 2) this problem is growing, 3) more correlations are found between a series of symptoms that are hard to address, and this "gluten complex" and its metabolic effects. What is the problem with this, what is your problem with this? Are you having difficulties assuming your own questions about food and well being? Is this some kind of irrational negativism in the name of logic-science-and-reason like the common climatic scepticism?

    And I don't bother claiming to be celiac, I simply said after having tried everything else stopping eating wheat and milk products helped me get rid of the symptoms of a disease that is said to be a lifetime lot. I don't consider myself cured, I'm monitoring, so far, so good, it's not science, but I trust these facts more than the figure boards because, after all I want or have to believe, it's my good health that is in the balance, and that is all it is about, arguments you simply don't want to consider, and which are the only important ones, since the research on that matter is very young. If it were a worldwide disease, we would know more about it, but it's a local issue, in every kitchen there's a question about the food we cook, so it's a diffuse problem, every one sees for himself and his relative, and no one cares about names at this level.

    Medicine, day by day practice of medicine, is not a science, it's (at most) an art, the art to cure people by mainly explaining them how to avoid the goods that are poisons to them. It's so true most doctors don't bother testing their patients for celiac disease or gluten sensibility, it's too expansive for the social reality, it's useless, the tests (where science is the name of the method) are too long and often inconclusive yet, specially taking into account the variety of aspects of the question, and so indeed there's a trend developing, people figure out if they stop eating gluten they will live better, and it really works (as a rule of thumb, we could say it really works for a substantial proportion of those who keep up with this diet, otherwise they would stop - social agents are rational when it comes at spending the available resource), not necessarily because of the gluten, but because this insight about junk food is the occasion of many concrete changes in their life, the way they eat, the way they consume the world they live in, the way they take care of themselves, etc. What is the problem with that? The trend will pass, but in the meantime, how many more people, each in his own life, will have take a turn at this occasion, to remember to live a better life? What is your problem with this? It's not about reason and science right from the start, it's all about finding a way to live a better life. Is this what you are against?

    If you consider reason is above living a good life, you are wrong, period, and go figure loose yourself into the universal library to find a clue about it, science is not the alpha and the omega of the grand wazoo, there's more to it, and I'm not a relativist neither, so stop confusing each and every thing, please. You tend to confuse the method with the aim, and take the label for the meaning of it all.

    Now, remains the question : is the raise in gluten in the selection of wheat that occurred during the last century, and the maximization of the use of this wheat in the human nutrition, in the meantime of a global chemical contamination of the human world, the culprit of the symptoms that are (it seems) objectively addressed by the gluten free diets? I would say no, it's certainly more of a lead in a bundle of factors, and while it would be interesting maybe intellectually speaking to know everything about its causation circuitry, it is that much intricated into the survival modes and the living styles of every day's life of so many people, there will never be a way to determine this for good.

    Your premise is that science can determine all things. But you certainly know as well complexity can reach a critical mass after what you cannot determine the world for all of its factors. The subject of human nutrition is far beyond this level of complexity, you have there all the factors taking account for something in it, at every level, and you can take the entire zoo of science specialities to give each a legitimate genuine look at the phenomenons, so what do you want to do with your abrupt partial self-fulfilling limited forlorn misinformed opinion on the subject? Convince the reader you have clues about it? Do you realize actually there are anthropologists investigating the "opinionsphere"? Where do you think you (and me by the occasion - let's forget about me) appear on their scale? Are you really the science nerd that believes physics is ruling it all out?

    The point you make could be the subject of a lifetime research, don't claim to rule it out with your three notions of heuristics and epistemology, come one, who ain't done his homework? Your article would have been just fine with a grin at, but that's really all it is, an opinion about a social fact no one knows too much about at this time, an opinion about a potential epidemiological fact happening (or not) right now.

    It's your attitude that is irrational in that you seem to be calling for the end of the disgrace eating wheat all the time in every food serving makes people possibly sick, by simply calling it a mirage? It might work but... after all it might not!

    You have one way out that is honourable now you've been pulling the public trigger on that trend with so much a ridiculous trendy way to report about the trend, and it would be to study it with in real article trying to take into account the multiple aspects of this fad (if you want to call it so). What are the epidemiologic basics? What are the geo-strategical views on the subject, what do we know and ignore, what is the stake? No more cosmetics please, please do produce the marble behind the malign form, let us judge on that instead! Or, unless you do that, remain in the wannabe league.

    Your object is poorly defined, your views are all blurred, you ain't done your homework, you're not even seeing the implications of the point you're trying to make, and your opinions suck. You're like those French people, which peroration and claims to be right at the centre of the developed world, falls deaf and blind short to the true fact that they hardly represent the one percent of the global humanity yelling out at them with great semaphore moves how much they do it wrong about approximately everything they try!


     you ain't done your homework, you're not even seeing the implications of the point you're trying to make, and your opinions suck.
    You looked at a few press releases and decided that you had a disease. Oops, now you admit, you don't have a disease at all, yet you are still an expert because of the press releases you read which confirmed your bias.  Please go read sites where someone is selling something gluten-free to actresses and stop trying to discuss science.
    Still, you show how short-sighted your view is, and you keep on concluding about things you think you read between the lines. It's very poor method, sorry.

    Do I misjudge your literacy a priori like you do with your commentators btw? Now I might well start doing that after all...

    And the bottom line about the honourable way out of this mess of yours, still stands firm.
    You know it, so let's see (say in weeks or months) how honourable you are.

    I wasn't reading between the lines, I was giving you a graceful way out of your specious argument, instead of assuming you just don't know what you are talking about - and then you made me go ahead and tell you that you don't know what you are talking about.
    Actually your point is so weak you don't even argue about anything, and this lasts for a long time over these comments now, you're just using the old good hammer of the authority argument... but you are the only one thinking you have such a tool at your disposal, and which is worst, you seem to assume your authority argument is in any way valid.

    That's great, and we can conclude : your article was weak, so weak many people came to specify the fact, and all you found to reply to that, was first to call on humour, and then to call on the commentators bad faith, reading between the lines, interpreting, calling names, and without bringing any new real line to the plot you sketched up in the first place, refusing any kind of data. Your point is extremely fragile of course, and on that you'll call what, on refutability to establish a fashion of proof.

    How lame, no scientific anything on this page, only bad taste for the opinions, and the crude attempt to abuse brute force for the shortage of arguments...

    Oh and indeed "tapeworms" won't be there to support your next popperazzi writing!

    At no point to Lady Gaga self diagnose or say she had Celiac disease. She, like many others are using differnet diet tools to lose weight. Why are you taking it so personally? I'M lactose intolerant and if someone decides to cut out dairy b/c they believe it will help them lose weight I dont get my panties in a bundle. I'm also a diabetic. I don't crucify those who cut out sugar from thier diets and claim they are trending. Even if there are no scientific studies to prove a gluten free diet IS healthy and it has worked. I have used water fasting before it many people think that is horrible. i lost 40 pounds and kept it off for 17 years so you cant say across the table things don't work. Mind your own buisness. she's just trying a diet. She is a celebrity and her information gets publicized. She's not trying to make a statement or history here!

    Gerhard Adam
    ...say she had Celiac disease. She, like many others are using differnet diet tools to lose weight. Why are you taking it so personally?
    Wow ... You think that celiac disease is simply another diet tool? 
    Mind your own buisness. she's just trying a diet.
    Sure ... and if you believe that gluten-intolerance is just a "diet", then you're precisely the individual we've been discussing.
    Mundus vult decipi
    The U.S. shares with Great Britain the distinction of having the highest autism rates in the world. From one in every 150 in 2002 to one in 1120 in 2006 to one in 88 as of April of this year. The CDC's rate of one in 88 only applies to children born in 2000, like my daughter, but the rate has gone up again among those born since 2000. Although thimerosal has been taken out of most vaccines,leaving only trace amounts, it is still in the flu vaccine in full force, unless you pay a dollar extra for a single-use vial without mercury. It was added to the schedule in about 2004, for pregnant women (in whom in was formerly contraindicated) and for all children on a yearly basis from six months on up. The aluminum adjuvant as well as other toxic chemicals are still in the killed virus vaccines at levels way above the FDA "safe" levels. Prevnar was added to the schedule at about the time the mercury was largely removed, as well as the mercury-containing flu vaccine and, in some states, vaccines like that for hepaitis A. And, of course, the MMR has caused hundreds of thousands of cases of autism since its inception, although it has, as a live vaccine, never contained the heavy metals which have caused such devastation.

    Scandinavia still has autism rates of one in ten thousand, our rate in the 1970s, possibly because their vaccine schedule is now comparable to what ours was then, and their autistic children usually have Asperger's rather than the more severe kinds of autism.

    The US also led the world in ADD, Fibromyalgia, Chronis Fatigue Syndrome and lots and lots of other diseases after they appeared on daytime talk shows. Once the fad was gone those people moved on to something else.  

    Autism, for example, became something you could no longer just claim so now people are diagnosing Asperger's everywhere, including themselves. If you are contending that modern gluten somehow actually gives children autism (are you Jenny McCarthy?) and that therefore less gluten can cure it, that is pretty terrific of you to share it with all of neuroscience for free.
    Your post was hard to understand. Certain ingredients in vaccines sensitize the immune system of many people who get them to react to gluten, casein, and sometimes other substances commonly found in food. Something like 80-90% of autistic children are sensitive or allergic to these, suffering from chronic diarrhea (autistic enterocolitis is what Dr. Wakefield called it) or, like my autistic daughter, chronic constipation. The first is thought to mean an allergy, the second " just" a sensitivity or intolerance. The incompletely digested peptides are identical in structure to opiates, and so when they leak through the digestive tract (leaky because of an autoimmune reaction provoked by the vaccine) into the bloodstream and then to the brain, they can cause behavior similar to that of someone high on opiate drugs. The vast majority of autistic children get a lot better if they go on a gluten-free (etc. etc.) diet. If they had not gotten the vaccines, they would not have become sensitized, and would not have suffered from their digestive disturbances, and possibly not from autism either. Since the rate of gluten sensitivity has quadrupled in the last fifty years among non-autistic people, while the rate of autism has gone from one in ten thousand in the seventies to one in 150 in 2004, one in 120 in 2006, and one in 88 (in real time one in 50, the one in 88 is just among those born in 2000) it would seem logical that the same mechanism is at work whether the reaction ends with the digestive symptoms or whether it progresses to full-blown autism. As I said, my daughter's chronic, extremely severe constipation resolved within two days of going on the diet. Opiates shut down the bowels. There are a lot of fruitful areas for further study if scientists were to look at the evidence without bias created by Big Pharma's agenda.

    Gerhard Adam
    Since the rate of gluten sensitivity has quadrupled in the last fifty years among non-autistic people...
    Again ... what is your basis for this claim?  I have seen nothing to suggest that more people have become sensitive compared to the fact that there are higher incidences of gluten-intolerance because of increased levels of gluten in the food.  These are two markedly different interpretations of events.

    You seem intent on creating all manner of connections that have little or no merit.  You've obviously got it in your head that you know that causes of autism, so there's not much point in arguing about it.
    Mundus vult decipi
    If you could somehow weave rBGH milk and GMO corn into this elaborate scheme, you'd have a complete conspiracy theory.

    Or, it's true and you've solved one of the major epidemiology questions of a generation. You should try to publish because cracking the autism puzzle will most certainly land somebody a Nobel prize. Looks like you're about to be $1M richer.

    Bonny Bonobo alias Brat
    Interesting points Mike, actually, I'm also surprised that genetically modified (GM) wheat isn't taking more flak here in this blog. On the one hand Wikipedia claims that commercially grown GM wheat is not being grown in the US because of lack of consumer acceptance and then in the next paragraph it claims that the only two countries currently licensed for sale of GM wheat are Argentina and the United States.
    Current Status
    Currently, genetically modified wheat is not grown commercially in the United States because of a lack of consumer acceptance.[10]
    Arguments for adoption of transgenic wheat
    Proponents for the adoption of transgenic wheat feel that it is necessary to feed the growing numbers of hungry humans on the planet.[11] Only transgenic methods, they say, can ensure that we can develop strains of wheat fast enough to have adequate yields to sustain the world's population.
    The genes responsible for wheat's senescence and annualism may be reversible using transgenic means, resulting in a wheat with adventitious roots, good production of seed, and perennial habits.[12]
    In addition to increased yields, further transgenic experiments are underway to change wheat such that it provides better nutrition.[13] Attempts to increase wheat's nutritional value have concentrated on the addition of amino acids, vitamins, minerals[14] and essential oils. Increasing the amylose content to create a wheat with a low glycemic index starch, has also been a goal of transgenic wheat production.[15]
    Some transgenic wheat experiments have sought to directly boost the human immune system using human genes.[16]
    To appeal to farmers, transgenic techniques have attempted to make wheat insect resistant,[17][18] more disease resistant,[19][20] to need less nitrogen to grow,[21]and to require less pesticide.[22] As the world's climate is expected to get hotter, and water more scarce, wheat strains are being developed that will be drought resistant,[23] and heat tolerant.[24] The first transgenic wheat licensed for sale into the human food-chain (so far only in two countries worldwide, Argentina and the United States)[25] is MON 71800, and it provides resistance to Monsanto's glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup by using a CP4/maize EPSPS gene.[26] Studies conducted by Monsanto have shown that its nutritional components are equivalent to nontransgenic commercially available wheat,[27] and animal studies that have used MON 71800 for feed have confirmed this.[28] 

    So, this means that even though US consumers have expressed lack of acceptance of GM wheat, they are still consuming GM roundup resistant wheat but they have no labelling system in place to tell them which US products that they are consuming contain this GM wheat. OK, its not a Bt GMO, that has been genetically engineered to contain insecticidal cry toxins in every cell of the wheat to specifically kill target insects which coincidentally die from spores forming holes in their intestines, which eventually cause gut leakage and starvation but it is still unlabelled, genetically modified wheat.

    My article about researchers identifying a potential blue green algae cause & L-Serine treatment for Lou Gehrig's ALS, MND, Parkinsons & Alzheimers is at
    Gerhard Adam
    Scandinavia still has autism rates of one in ten thousand...
    Sorry, but that's just a fantasy.
    Mundus vult decipi
    I saw a commercial over the weekend, that reminded me of this thread. Dow (really big chemical company) was telling us how they help us make gluten free bread.

    That has got to make some heads spin........
    Never is a long time.
    In case you're interested, this article might just explain how the *fuzzy* diagnosis of non celiac gluten sensitivity came to be....It looks like anything can be bought ...even a diagnosis of a non existant condition...if you have enough

    I see you try to make light of this disease and I hear your point,. But it is a real disease and it unfortunately for your argument, tends to be moore common with Anglo Saxone. Why? Coudl it possibly be that western europeans were last to move towards the grain diet? Sems logivcal, maybe we just haven't Darwined off yet.
    But what's the problem if people are on a gluten free diet? Ever consider how much fast food is served between two slices of bread, comes out of a fry-o-later or is covered with cheese and sauce and tossed in an oven? I find my only option is often a bowl of rabbit food, when the rest of the crew is feasting on pizza. At least now with the crave, I sometimes have a decent alternative that actually fills my stomach. So back off, why the hell does it botther you?
    I'm a LIBERTARIAN by the way.

    I see you try to make light of this disease and I hear your point
    I never once make fun of the disease. I make fun of people who pretend to have a disease because they saw it on television and self-diagnosed it. 
    So back off, why the hell does it botther you?
    Because fakes tend to make people think everyone who has the disease is faking it and that is dangerous for people with the actual disease.  So stop being a poseur, if you want to give up wheat, give it up, I don't care.  By all means go gluten-free if you want.  If you are not one of the people pretending to have Celiac disease I was not talking about you - if you are, I see why the article bothers you. 
    "Are you white and a little resentful that black people get their own cool disease, sickle cell anemia? There is good news for you. Celiac disease is all the latest rage and you can be any color at all and claim it."

    You call my disease a "rage". You think we're not offended by this? I DO have the disease by the way.

    So stop being a douche bag.

    Learn to read.  And stop using females and their hygiene as an insult, you hate-filled, misogynist wank.
    I really want to believe your stance, and I agree it's a fad to some, but the difference between me and you is I believe there is likely both a genetic link and a triggering mechanism.
    But what's the harm if people to eat healthier, and more options are available to the "fad" people? Are you one of these people who hates Apple because you see their products as overpriced? Who cares! It ain't your money and it's good for the economy.

    Gerhard Adam
    ...more options are available to the "fad" people...
    Sure ... and when the fad dies, let's hope that the market doesn't die with it.  This isn't exactly the first "diet" that has come and gone taking it's "health products" with it.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Yep, there are a lot of tapeworms out of work right now!
    I am allergic to North American, bio-engineered genetically modified wheat. I ate wheat for 35 years with no reaction (hives). My allergic reaction tracks directly with the timeline, for seed engineering, in the late 1990's. The flour in your pantry has twice as much gluten, as your grandmother's flour. It also has many other protein additives detailed in "Wheat belly". So, essentially it's no longer food. Thank a chemist for poisoning the US food supply. Don't look for the FDA to protect us. They're in bed with the Chemists. They've even got shiny Patents, hanging on the wall. The only way to get them to reverse engineer it, is to refuse to eat it. When it rots on the shelves, which takes a long time due to preservatives, maybe they'll get the message. Your article was, as mis-guided as, Kathy Lee Gifford's GF segment, on the Today show... Congrats, ur one of "them"...

    I am allergic to North American, bio-engineered genetically modified wheat.
    Then you have revolutionized all of science and medicine.  Or you have no idea what you are talking about.
    Actually, Hank, research is being done in plant genomics on the evolutionary history of wheat species/subspecies that seeks to explain differences in proteins that could affect immune and histamine responses differently in different geographic populations of humans. So, be sure you know what you're talking about.

    Research is also being done on ghosts and psychics.  Let me know how that works out.
    There is no GM wheat in N. America:

    There was not in the late 90's and there is not now.

    Furthermore, you meant "geneticist" not "chemist" but neither are to blame. Blame a good 'ole conventional plant breeder.

    So as to Hanks options, I'm going with you not knowing what you're talking about.

    Because having $30 in your bank account for 2 weeks and an empty fridge except for your child's gluten free food, which is your biggest expense besides your rent, and cleaning up your 2 year old's diarrhea 4-6 times a day off the floor, is sooooo trendy. Ignorance really is bliss.

    " I mean, wheat has been in bread for thousands of years and we have done okay."

    First of all it doesn't just take "thousands" of years. It takes millions of years for evolution to take place. Man has only been eating grains in general for a few thousand years. We were doing all right before that because our bodies were (and still are) programmed to eat things naturally available to us. We then realized "Oh, well if I mill this grain, process it, add other ingredients, bake it...THEN I can eat it." Also, gluten literally is a poison to anyone who ingests it. It is a protection mechanism for the plant because, gluten being a complex protein, humans naturally can't break it down. This causes an immune,response like inflammation in the intestines, joints, etc., where, we then believe, that it's due to something else. Because of this, we use all this medicine, all of which we wouldn't need if only grains were erased from the diet. (Now, I don't believe everything is due to gluten. I'm just saying much of it is.)

    Secondly, eating so much grains causes insulin insensitivity in people. It spikes the insulin so much, that, after time, the body doesn't even recognize there is so much sugar in the system. With all this extra sugar, the body doesn't know what to do with it, so it is stored as fat.

    Also, gluten literally is a poison to anyone who ingests it.
    You are not right.  You are not even wrong. You are just clueless.
    I am DISGUSTED!!!!!!!!!!! How can you spend your time focused on people eating gluten free as a fad when there are many people, like myself, who have celiac disease and would LOVE to eat a burger, pizza, dough nut, etc. I am always looking for gluten free food in stores and restaurants that actually tastes good. if you focus on this being a "fad" and cause food manufacturers to stop creating good gluten free foods, there are millions of people who will suffer. Why should you care if people choose to eat gluten or not. No one really cares at all what you eat! Find something, other than diseases that people suffer from, to write about. Or at least do a lot more research before you share your nasty opinions!

    Gerhard Adam
    ...if you focus on this being a "fad" and cause food manufacturers to stop creating good gluten free foods, there are millions of people who will suffer.
    ... and what do you think will happen when the "fad" passes.  You'll find your gluten-free foods on the same aisle as the South Beach Diet.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Why is everyone so pissy about this? I have Celiac and found the article funny as hell... Maybe I'm an ignorant dick, but that sickle cell anemia joke had me laughing my ass off, and for those saying that gluten is poison to everyone is completely under-educated on the subject if even educated at all. Historically, Celiac disease was discovered during the famines in Ireland. At the time of those famines, most were horribly malnourished, while a select few were prospering... these were the people with Celiac, who for the first time were eating a diet without gluten in it. While I have no issue with people wanting to eat a gluten-free diet, at least be educated on the subject and know that it actually can have negative effects on people who do not have Celiac.

    I have not come across a gf person who does not know the difference between Celiacs disease, gluten intolerance or choosing a gf lifestyle.

    If Lady Gaga is choosing to go gf to lose weight, then it's to lose weight, not to claim celiacs.

    The reason gf options are on the rise is mainly because CELIACS DISEASE IS ON THE RISE!

    I have not come across a gf person who does not know the difference between Celiacs disease, gluten intolerance or choosing a gf lifestyle.
    I came across 200 just in the comments on this article.
    I am a little bit confused about what you are saying about Lady Gaga. Does she have coeliac's disease or is she just trying to lose weight? You don't actually make that clear. If she has coeliac's disease then there would be a test to discover this. You get a blood test to look for antibodies and then you have a biopsy. If it is just an intolerance to gluten then you are right, there are not really any tests. The same goes for straight up allergies because there are several potential allergens that may be causing the problem.

    If she is just seeking to lose weight then this has nothing to do with intolerance, allergy, or coeliac's. It would also be an incredibly effective method to lose weight as well because it would stop her from eating most restaurant food and radically reduce what she can buy in shops. I fail to see what the issue is with using a particular method to lose weight.

    The problem with articles like this is that when people read them they don't see the author saying that there are some people with serious difficulties in relation to gluten and a lot of people who are just hypochondriacs. People tend to interpret these articles as saying everybody who ever claims to be unable to digest gluten is an idiot who doesn't know what they are talking about. I have people with no medical knowledge whatsoever telling me that there is nothing wrong with me because they read it in an article when if I eat the wrong thing I cannot walk without a stick, I have difficulty remembering the name of the tube station I want to go to and I am in such miserable pain that I contemplate just falling onto the tracks and stopping it.

    Personally I would not be surprised if there was a huge problem with digesting these substances. I never had a problem till last year but now it is so bad that I can't imagine that these foods can be healthy for anyone. I am certain that almost everyone must have at least some difficulty with these substances.

    The opening of your article trivialises health issues for black and white people and discredits your case. I am a state registered coeliac in the UK and your article stinks, you precious twit

    Are you racist against white people or something?
    Don't you just feel so proud for calling out "white people" for a legitimate disease? A disease that "cool black people" are afflicted with too?
    Ignorance=unknowing and that sums this up.

    Are you racist against white people or something?
    I hate white people!
    And I am one!
    And I hate irony!
    Well I hate idiots and you are one of those too!

    It seems like most of the people that have responded didn't even read the article. Although it could have been said more tactfully, I agree. Many people have responded that if people go gluten free, "more power to them." I would agree with that, but STOP calling that Celiac Disease (and, for Heaven's sake, stop calling it CeliacS Disease). My son was diagnosed through blood tests and confirmed with genetic testing and an endoscopy when he was three. Sure, gluten sensitivity has given my son more options for food (if I was so inclined to feed him processed food - which I'm not). But "gluten sensitivity" is NOT Celiac Disease, and it's a disservice to those who have Celiac Disease to portray that it is. I have a serious problem with people saying they have Celiac Disease (an autoimmune disorder) when really they have the seperate condition of gluten sensitivity. Can you imagine the outcry if this happened with other autoimmune disorders. Diabetes is an autoimmune disorder. My kids get pretty roudy when I give them sugar. Should I decide they have hyperglycemia and then call them diabetics? Or should I just explain that they are fairly sensitive to sugar. The answer seems obvious, and the same should be true for Celiac Disease. I once met someone who was "diagnosed" with Celiac Disease when her natropath put a bowl of wheat in her hand and she couldn't lift her arm. I'm not going to debate the diagnostic criteria for gluten sensitivity, but I can assure you that is NOT how you diagnose an autoimmune disorder. But there she was, telling everyone she had been formally diagnosed with Celiac Disease. People who have gluten sensitivity do not have the same risks as someone who has Celiac Disease. When I tell a physician that my son has Celiac Disease, I always follow it up with the tests he has had to confirm it. Their response? "Oh, he REALLY has Celiac Disease." My take away from this article? There are far to many people who label gluten sensitivity and Celiac Disease as one and the same. The responses to the article demonstrate that far too many people who don't understand this and are ignorant to the fact that Celiac Disease, unlike gluten sensitivity, is an autoimmune disorder.

    My apologies for any typos...I'm on my phone :)

    Oh...and before anyone lashes out on me, I am NOT questioning/challenging the legitimacy of gluten sensitivity, I'm only stating that it's DIFFERENT than Celiac Disease.

    My question is why does the "author" of this article even care? What difference does it make to him how anyone else chooses to eat or why?
    If you know anything about gluten sensitivity you will know that there are people who have serious issues. Do a little more research before writing such a judgement based, nonsensical article.

    Many of the posters here are correct; this is a poorly worded, inadequately researched blog post that should not be on Science 2.0 (or maybe it should, as I have been disappointed by much of the content here). Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder (a T-cell mediated enteropathy, to be exact) associated with two gene variants and up to 25 susceptibility loci (i.e., places in human DNA that have a correlation to the presentation of celiac disease in study participants). It can lead to malnutrition, anemia, osteoporosis, miscarriage, infertility, early mortality, and a whole host of secondary disorders if untreated. The only treatment for this disorder is a diet free of the proteins generally referred to as glutens. Wheat or gluten sensitivities are histamine responses - they are treatable with anti-histamines, like Benedryl. Wheat and gluten intolerances, a third type of disorder, are less well understood by the scientific community, but are being studied at the moment. This blog post confounds these disorders and implies that anyone who chooses to eat gluten-free is claiming to be a person with celiac disease, but I don't think that's fair. Many people will admit they "just feel better" when they don't eat gluten-containing foods, but who is surprised? When people choose to eat gluten-free and stay away from processed junk food that is labeled gluten-free, they are eating a lot of fruits and vegetables, beans, nuts, rice, millet, lean meats, etc. For most people, that diet would understandably improve their physiological well-being when compared to diets rich in processed foods, breads and wheat-based pastas, etc. (think pizza, cheeseburgers, large bowls of pasta with a side of bread). Not that bread and pasta are necessarily bad for people, but everything in moderation, right? So, if someone eats a particular diet and feels better, well, that's a good thing, BUT it is important to speak with your doctor about it, as changing your diet (especially to a gluten-free diet) can leave you deficient in many vitamins/minerals/proteins that you may need. Also, it's best to know what your disorder is, if you have one, so you know how to treat it. People who go gluten-free without a diagnosis are probably more likely to "cheat" and occasionally have some gluten (even if they don't know it; i.e., the may be less careful about using shared utensils, drinking glasses, cookware, etc.), which can be really harmful for someone who does have celiac (even if they are symptom-free; not all celiacs present with symptoms). If they have a sensitivity, well, then they know if they ingest gluten, they are not doing potentially life threatening harm to their bodies and, if they feel bad, can take some OTC meds to feel better. If it were up to me, I would want to know WHY I feel better without gluten and know exactly how to manage it. For celiacs, eating gluten free is a lifetime commitment. I'm a person with celiac disease and I'd love to have a slice of your pizza or your cheeseburger, but I won't, because I know I'm doing myself great harm if I do and, honestly, I don't really have a desire, and certainly don't have a craving for, those foods much anymore. Having gotten terribly ill (hence the diagnosis, via endoscopy and blood work), I'm struggling to put weight on and I have to be careful to be gluten free and ALSO eat what's good for me and will help me get my strength back. Please, don't go gluten-free as part of a fad, but if you go gluten-free and you feel better as a result, find out why; ask yourself if it's the lack of gluten or just the kinds of foods (e.g., fresh vs. processed) that you're eating. And, please, speak to a qualified health professional (it may take going to two or three visits till you find one) before you make a life-long commitment to something like a gluten-free diet.

    I am not a doctor, but I am a professor of biological science and a person with celiac disease, so hope you feel you can trust the facts I've provided, though you follow any/all advice in this post at your own risk, of course.

    Well i'm from the UK and think you are a total idiot..
    You're telling people about a disease you can't even spell.
    It's Coeliacs you muppet!!!
    How can you call it a rage or trend. It's an intolerance to gluten and or wheat.

    Gerhard Adam
    It's Coeliacs you muppet!!!
    LOL ... how parochial.
    Mundus vult decipi
    I think he was joking.  Well, I hope he was joking.  If he not, he took the comments section from 'I hope you get black disease' crankiness to full-on crackpottery.

    Unlike people dogs don't suffer from hypochondria--they are either well or they are sick. They don't succumb to fad diagnoses and fad treatments, even if their owners do. Yet we have known for decades that there is a genetically based gluten intolerance in Irish Setters, which some hoped could be used as a model for c(o)eliac disease. As far as I know there is no political party affiliation in Irish Setters, who are neither democrat or republican. And I am not even going to touch on your persistent desire to insert anti-vaccine activists into most of your posts, because I find it insertion into any and every topic too bizarre.

    Interesting, but kind of a straw man.  I also would not feed my dog avocado and yet if a human celebrity creates a fad around claiming avocados are bad, would you cite dogs as proof those are bad for humans?  I never said Celiac disease did not exist, I said fakes are bad.

    Otherwise, I agree with you that I often mention people who are anti-vaccine are also anti-science about food.  That is because one time an epidemiologist answered a question about where to find pockets of anti-vaccine people and the response was, 'find a map and stick a pin everywhere you find a Whole Foods.'  That turned out to be right and they also are primarily voting the same way.  Hey, the right wing is not perfect, they don't believe in global warming.  
    I think you are missing the point Hank. There is scientifically DOCUMENTED genetically linked gluten intolerance in dogs; a species which is incapable of acting on fads.This isn't about Lady Gaga claiming a disease. I provided you with histological and biochemically based documentation to show that the disease exists in a species which is too dumb to invent it. If you are curious you can find more by googling : gluten intolerance Irish Setter.

    I have no idea what "Anti-vaccine people" or "anti-science" people means. In my experience, the people who are "anti-vaccine" are people who are actually literate enough to realize that vaccines have their place and time, they need to be used judiciously rather than indiscriminately in order to gain protection from infectious disease without causing immune mediated disease.
    You are correct that those types of people are also often aware and literate in nutrition as a preventive modality from chronic disease. Whether they shop at whole foods or not- I have no idea.
    I know scientifically literate Republicans--have a few for friends. My impression is that they are Republicans because the party offers them financial benefits. But IF I had to generalize, (acknowledging right from the start that all generalizations end up being proven wrong) as a party, in my humble opinion-- conservative/ Republican minds don't lend themselves to science nearly as readily as they lend themselves to religion.

    I'm still unsure of the broad point you are making in telling me dogs can't eat bread - or are you saying that if dogs can't eat something no one can?  I can't eat hay and humans would starve if we ate only grass, though lots of other animals can and process it just fine.  I never said all animals were identical, nor did I say Celiacs do not exist.  We both agree that animals do not invent dietary problems, yet obviously people do; if animals were dumb enough to invent Dr. Oz maybe they would run the planet.
    I am sorry if I am not articulating clearly, and I will attempt one last time.
    1. Dogs don't fake diseases, Hank. They are not posers.
    2. Not all dogs are gluten intolerant- some Irish Setters are.

    I'll try with a concrete example .
    Your friends gift you an 8wk old Irish Setter puppy, Hank. He is cute, smart, fun and adorable. You have him properly vaccinated, properly dewormed for parasites. You buy him a premium quality dry dog food as suggested at PetCo/ PetSmart, which happens to contain barley.
    A couple of months after you get the pup he has an episode of diarrhea all over your favorite white Oriental rug..... Over the next month he goes through intermittent episodes of partially losing his appetite, sleeping more, and having episodes of diarrhea. One day you find him vomiting what looks like coffee grounds (digested blood) and having bloody diarrhea. Having learned of gluten intolerance in Irish Setters, here on Science 2.0--would you think it to be prudent to
    A) do a trial of a gluten- free diet by switching to a grain-free food (meaning : self-diagnose your pup)
    B) would you continue to feed him the food you were sold at Petco/petsmart), until it was conclusively proven via bloodwork, Xrays, endoscopic biopsies that he is gluten intolerant?

    Now I see, you are anthropomorphizing dogs.  Well, no, I would not feed a dog bread or chocolate, nor would I recommend that people who don't want  to eat gluten should eat gluten, or alcohol, or anything else.  

    But if a Hollywood celebrity tells me her dog has Celiac disease, I would make fun of her.  I guess you wouldn't but you are doing society a disservice - and medicine - by not doing that.  
    Gerhard Adam
    I don't think it's anthropomorphizing, since the point was specifically made about a dog being fed dog food that happens to contain gluten.

    As a result, I think the point was whether you would self-diagnose your dog in an effort to help your dog feel better, or if you would wait until you had a formal diagnosis from the vet.
    Mundus vult decipi
    But that has nothing to do with the article.  Would we take someone seriously who diagnosed their dog with Celiac disease?
    Gerhard Adam
    Well, part of the point is that these dogs are gluten sensitive, which is quite common in canines.  In addition, many dog foods contain grains [hence the gluten connection].  So, if you saw such symptoms in your dog, then you might well self-diagnose by removing the gluten from your dog's diet without waiting for a formal diagnosis.

    Obviously it would be improper to actually diagnose a particular disease without confirming tests, but the general concept of gluten sensitivity would make sense [just like it would for any human that feels better without gluten].

    Whereas I believe your point is primarily pointing out the tendency for people to not simply self-diagnose, but to be motivated by celebrity status making claims for no better reason than that it seems to be the fad among many.  So, while there are many individuals that suffer from celiac disease, and many that may well be gluten sensitive, the issue of self-diagnosis becomes problematic when it is simply a matter of fashion. 

    Equally this doesn't mean that everyone that has such sensitivity is simply being fashionable, but it is an attempt to distinguish between the two groups.  The former suffering from real conditions that have real consequences, versus the poseurs that may be gluten-free one day, but have no problem cheating. 

    Essentially they are the "noise" in a signal.  If there is too much "noise" then the entire message of celiac disease and gluten sensitivity is lost, whereas if we can cut the "noise" then we are in a better position to understand and deal with the actual disease and those suffering from such sensitivities.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Hand...I asked you a very specific question.

    I was expecting a very specific answer, which you are clearly evading:

    A. I, Hank, would try a gluten free diet trial for my new Irish Setter pup with symptoms suggestive of gluten intolerance.

    B. I, Hank, would Not try a gluten free diet for my Irish Setter pup (with symptoms suggestive of gluten intolerance) in the absence of a conclusive diagnosis....... because rich white people and celebrities seeking the spotlight through any means necessary, like Lady Gaga, claim to have celiac disease?

    Gerhard Adam
    I think the point that Hank is trying to make is that real symptoms can take real actions; self-diagnosed or not.

    However, let's imagine the following scenario, where someone like Lady Gaga talks about having celiac disease [without any actual diagnosis] and then someone hear others talking about it, and reads about it in dog foods.

    Suddenly someone's dog has an incident of diarrhea, so they immediately conclude that their dog is gluten-sensitive and proclaim that the dog has celiac disease.  In this case, it wouldn't be a matter of making their dog feel better, but rather it would be someone being a tad too zealous in diagnosing a condition for no better reason than that it seems to be the "thing to do".

    What would you think of an owner that brought their dog in, reporting that the dog has celiac disease, however on hearing a bit of the background you find that the owner has been switching dog foods [especially from a higher quality to a lower quality brand].  I would suggest that the owner isn't doing anyone [least of all their dog] a favor with their self-diagnosis.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Hi Gerhard.

    I think you are very skilled at separating out the shaff from the core in issues, which I very much appreciate.

    >Suddenly someone's dog has an incident of diarrhea, so they immediately conclude that their dog is gluten-sensitive and proclaim that the dog has celiac disease. In this case, it wouldn't be a matter of making their dog feel better, but rather it would be someone being a tad too zealous in diagnosing a condition for no better reason than that it seems to be the "thing to do".< we see this all the time. The difference between a person who randomly tries stuff and a person who tries stuff deliberately would be is that the second would demonstrate that the choice they are making is based on being educated and literate on the subject rather than randomly throwing darts at a board without a clue of what they are thinking or doing. In this specific case an owner would say something like this" I've read that some Irish Setters are genetically gluten intolerant. Because my Irish Setter has symptoms consistent with the disease ( as described in your link) I tried a gluten free diet and it worked. Or I tried a gluten free diet and the symptoms persisted; therefore I am here now to get the dog worked up properly via objective diagnostics.

    >What would you think of an owner that brought their dog in, reporting that the dog has celiac disease, however on hearing a bit of the background you find that the owner has been switching dog foods [especially from a higher quality to a lower quality brand]. I would suggest that the owner isn't doing anyone [least of all their dog] a favor with their self-diagnosis.< this is an owner who would buy a celebrity endorsed diet (there are plenty of those out there --did you know Robin of Batman and Robin fame is a nutrition expert? + so is Ellen De Generes - whose expertise in nutrition allows her to recommend vegan food for carnivoires )

    or buy a food because a 21yr old sales clerk at PetCo/PetSmart feeds it to their own dogs or claims it is great because the kibble floats.

    This type of clients lacks a mental framework of assessing information for its accuracy and separating science from marketing fiction.... and they are likely to harm their dog, their kid, or themselves.

    Thor Russell
    Well I would definitely try a gluten free diet for a while. If it appeared to help, I would after a random amount of time go back to food with gluten in it and see if the dog is sick again. If Lady Gaga says the world is spherical, it doesn't make it flat. 
    Thor Russell
    I would too Thor.
    There is always a calculation being made of benefit to risk. There is a clear benefit that if you are correct and the Irish Setter is gluten intolerant a simple diet trial would stop suffering without an expense and invasiveness of endoscopic biopsies. If the dog doesn't respond to the food trial, the expense and the invasiveness of the tests becomes justifiable. This is assuming the patient has not been chronically ill such that he is critically ill- anemic, hypoptoreinemic and debilitated when the trial is being conducted.

    I agree that some folks are claiming to be sensitive to gluten without really understanding what it means. I've never heard people falsely claiming celiac disease though. I'm from Seattle, and yes people in Seattle and other "liberal left-leaning" cities tend to choose their food more carefully, but these cities are also usually ranked healthier, and have the lowest obesity rates. What exactly is wrong with wanting to eat healthier? I take issue with your use of the chef's anecdotal story of how his customers order differently, since you failed to mention that unfortunately, the differences between these two "groups" of eaters are in their health. That is ultimately what is important.

    I do have Celiac Disease, and hate it. I am not rich or skinny. I am not on the diet to lose weight. Gotta say this wheat products do taste better and are lower in calories than the gluten free varieties. So, I ditched the starches and stick to lean protein, vegetables, and a few fruit choices---kind of a modified Atkins without all the fat. I really do hate it that people think you can lose weight on this kind of diet. That's just plain STUPID!!! You will definitely GAIN weight if you eat the gluten free starch choices as the net carbohydrates are very high.

    Here is an idea - maybe the liberal/conservative food allergy split can be chalked up to the differing attitudes, with conservatives having a more self reliant attitude, and liberals having an attitude that the community needs to take care of them.

    I'm a Republican with celiac disease and I would never go to a conference and expect them to serve food especially for me (nor would I trust the food). I would either bring my own food or eat beforehand.

    And I appreciate the article, it is so true. When I tell people I can't eat the free pizza I feel like I'm being a SWPL complainer but I'm not.

    Gerhard Adam
    I'm a Republican with celiac disease and I would never go to a conference and expect them to serve food especially for me (nor would I trust the food). I would either bring my own food or eat beforehand.
    Unless you're growing it yourself and processing it yourself, you're very much dependent on the "community" to ensure that it is available.  That is typically the problem with the conservative view, is that while depending on the community, they perpetually think they're doing it all themselves.
    Mundus vult decipi
    The farmers would be selling the food to me in your case. Providing special food at a conference is asking people to go out of their way for no payment.

    Gerhard Adam
    Are you arguing that the conference is also free?  If so, then are you arguing that all the food is free?  If so, then why not special food preferences.  If not, then why would you presume that you special dietary needs would be exempt from being paid for?
    Mundus vult decipi
    Screw you Hank Cambell I was just diagnosed with Celiac Disease about 2 months ago after years of suffering. I had never heard of the disease nor did I even know what gluten was. I was diagnosed after blood work and a biopsy, the doctor called me and told me I had Celiac's Disease and couldn't eat gluten. Little did I know what he was telling me was going to ruin my life! I can't go out for beers anymore with friends, almost all restaurants are off limits, my grocery bill doubled for food that taste terrible. I hope you end up with it so you can know the pain that the rest of us are going through and when it kills your social life we'll see how you mock it then.

    Gerhard Adam
    Perhaps you should pay more attention to what you're reading.
    Unfortunately, some people really do have Celiac disease, an actual immune disorder - gluten is like poison to them, not an 'I feel better if I don't eat a bagel' issue. Those sufferers are not the laughable 1% suddenly claiming they have Celiac disease, though.
    Mundus vult decipi
    frank campbell, you are a completely ignorant dumbfuck troll, and you are doing "science' a huge disfavor by your dumbfuckery. please get aids and die.

    'Get' AIDS?  That's so 1988 - but it explains how you can know so little about Celiac disease.  The crackpot who wished the Bubonic plague on me was at least original.  Why not just threaten to spray my apple with alar or something? 
    Apologies for not reading the whole discussion, which is many times longer than the article itself. As a college student on average college funds I eat a gluten free diet. What does that consist of? Rice, potatoes, fish, nuts, vegetables, healthy fats, fruit, beef, eggs, fish, chicken, and some protein powder for good measure.

    What's the catch? I have to cook it myself. I'm lactose intolerant, and I when I eat gluten I can't focus on my school work. It makes sense for me to eat gluten, and in fact I wish I could. When I was devouring bagels and such last spring in an effort to gain size, all I did was bloat up and lose all my focus on my academics. There's no reason to be eating those processed foods in the first place.

    So while you may want to say republican this, democrat that, I say removing processed wheat is a step in the right direction. I don't care if it's right wing, left wing, or the middle (finger).

    So while I'm likely not going to sway your stance, realize that gluten free ISN'T a big deal. Most of the labelled "gluten free" boxed foods shouldn't be eaten either for that matter though!

    There is evidence that giving up wheat can help weight loss because of a protein in wheat called giladin that induces cravings and increases appetite; it has a drug-like effect similar to the casein in milk.

    Halarious article. My wife is a restaurant manager and she is always mentioning how suddenly everyone is gluten sensitive - yet its not as if anyone was dropping dead on the restaurant floor previously.

    It reminds me a lot of the austism 'spectrum'. Kids these days can be fully functional, speaking, etc but labeled as "on the autism spectrum". Riiiight, now pay up for some amazing meds!

    .>My wife is a restaurant manager and she is always mentioning how suddenly everyone is gluten sensitive - yet its not as if anyone was dropping dead on the restaurant floor previously.<

    The events your wife could observe in a restaurant would be PerAcute Adverse Effects; anaphylaxis for instance. Leaving out many subchronic and chronic adverse events, which are much more common, which lead to objectively documentable organ damage, chronic symptoms and Chronic disease-- your wife could Not possibly observe in a restaurant.

    And yet if she self-diagnosed it in an animal you would claim she was right. How can be anti-science and pro-science at the same time on the same issue about the same component?
    >And yet if she self-diagnosed it in an animal you would claim she was right. How can be anti-science and pro-science at the same time on the same issue about the same component?<

    Had you actually read what I posted, Hank-- you would recognize that the very specific case I posted ( which you didn't answer, by the way--what's up with avoiding questions, hank?)
    was of a dog breed (Irish Setter) in whom there should be a very high index of suspicion of gluten intolerance , based on decades-old- published Science.

    ( which you didn't answer, by the way--what's up with avoiding questions, hank?)
    I don't remember but generally if the crackpot meter hits Condition Yellow or higher I stop answering.
    Actually, what avoidance of answering the very specific question I posed demonstrated to me, Hank is two things
    1. You lack common sense
    2. You lack confidence to make a simple judgment call even when presented with all the information needed to make the call a very easy one to make.

    Riiiiiight, and I'm sure the hot weather can be blamed on gluten as well as the strange animal migrations. Gluten: it's the new el nino!

    Riiiight. Actual Medical Evidence Bites Ignorance of the blessedly Dumbed-down; skilled in one thing-- of pounding their prefabricated round pegs into square holes.

    Gerhard Adam
    Gluten sensitivity issues can be quite significant and severe, so don't presume that it has no impact.  The primary issue in this article is for those that pick on a particular condition, elevate it to a fad, and declare themselves to have a particular disease.

    Regardless of that level of self-diagnosis, it should NOT be confused with the notion that gluten cannot produce severe problems.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Still, the whole 'sensitivity' thing is false. You're either celiac or not. This is because, as humans, we are sensitive to soooo much more than just gluten. Theoretically you could label us all 'Pollution sensitive' and we would need to all go find our sliver of forest to live if we want to survive long and live a normal life. Instead we tough it out, as with our thousands of sensitivities, and we live a normal life in our cities, sensitive but unaffected. This is exactly how it WAS with gluten, until it became trendy to avoid it and act like the avoidance has made a difference.

    Gerhard Adam
    Not so.  I'm not talking about sensitivity in a "touchy feely" sense.  I'm talking about people that experience effects from gluten without having a specific disease condition.  I don't know where you got the idea that somehow someone just needs to "tough it out".  Do you just "tough it out" if you get an infection? 
    This is exactly how it WAS with gluten, until it became trendy to avoid it and act like the avoidance has made a difference.
    I suspect that you don't actually know how anything WAS beyond your own anecdotal experience.  Since the amount of gluten has increased over the past 50 years because of plant hybridization, your claim that it's somehow the same as it once was is simply wrong.

    My beef is simply with people that want to climb on the bandwagon and lay claim to a disease that they've never been diagnosed as having to gain some credibility form themselves in what is actually a lifestyle choice.  However, one can't deny that there are people that may not have a specific disease and still suffer symptoms.
    Mundus vult decipi
    Recently diagnosed celiac via expensive and uncomfortable endoscopy... and I have to say, if you're JEALOUS of anyone having ANY disease, you're an idiot. I'm grateful for gluten-free menus and products -- though many of them are full of other allergens I can't have, like tree nuts, and they are all ridiculously expensive.

    I'm betting you're one of those people that makes fun of people who are allergic to peanuts, and to kids allergic to peanuts whose parents worry about them at school and try to get them peanut-free lunch space. I bet you'd complain if a flight is made peanut-free so that someone like me doesn't have to worry about dying at 35,000 feet (or the greater embarrassment of having to use an Epi-pen and then causing a medical diversion of the plane... BTDT and people were WAY more worried about all kinds of things other than whether or not I was going to survive after someone ate peanuts anyway, despite the announcement by the flight crew of the peanut-free flight). Good times.

    Living with life-threatening food allergies really sucks. Though I fit your supposed demographic (white, female, 45, middle class, educated), I am not a faceless wanna-be, nor am I a poseur. I'd love to get rid of these allergies and join the "eat whatever the hell they put in front of me" crowd, but there doesn't seem to be a way to do that. Make fun of me if you want, but it doesn't change the facts.

    Not sure what your complaint is. If you read this article, you saw clearly I am not talking about you. 
    I am very disappointed that the author of this article is also the founder of the site. This piece (offensive, insensitive, poorly researched, of suspect premise), the style and quality of author's responses to his critics create an impression of a person with unresolved personal issues and does great disservice to the intended purpose of this site and other comparable resources.

    author's responses to his critics create an impression of a person with unresolved personal issues
    So now the majority of people in these comments don't understand simple science but do feel qualified to psychoanalyze others.  Why am I not surprised?

    Just curious, what personal issue could anyone have about Celiac that would need to be resolved?  You think someone with Celiac bullied me when I was little and I blame all people with the disease for it and I waited 35 years to write an article not criticizing people with the disease but instead criticizing people who pretend to have it because it makes people with the disease look bad?  That makes very little sense.
    Well, your response illustrates my point exactly . Where did "the majority" that you mention has come from? It was me only, one person and no, i did not try to analyze you but find an excuse for your style, arrogance mixed with simple lack of knowledge in the area of the celiac disease. And you have completely missed my point - i am disappointed that scientific outreach and writing would be linked in your reasers' minds with your personality and lack of attributes of an intellectual. You're just trolling, getting web hits and, yes, not dealing well with real issues that seem to bother you.

    I guess this is supposed to be funny. However, if you had had your thyroid destroyed by gluten-triggered Hashimoto's and had your gut trashed such that you have hypoproteinemia and have to take free amino acids to feel at all well, you would NOT find it funny. BTW, did you ever learn what the word "empathy" means when you were in school?

    BTW, did you ever learn what the word "empathy" means when you were in school?
    Yes, and I learned reading comprehension as well.  If you did, and you read this article, you know none of this is talking about you. Be honest, did you read it?  Because I know 300 other commenters did not.
    This article could have been great, if it weren't for the half-baked political statements.This is a health issue and maybe a social one, but not a political one. I'm a well educated young person, and I certainly know right-leaning young women (not just liberals) who say they eat gluten-free for their health, which is *sometimes* a load of crap. Take note, I register as an independent voter (who sometimes leans liberally but is not necessarily a democrat), and I firmly believe that the first step in identifying what is medically wrong with someone comes from taking the initiative yourself. It's not about treating Dr. Oz as gospel, but taking the time to evaluate a problem you're having before running off to the Doctor's office to say "fix me".

    For example, I tried to figure out the cause of some of my own skin sensitivities and went to my Doctor as an informed patient. Over the last few months I've developed eczema, and most "normal" shampoos, body washes, and skin creams now cause my skin to rash and flake. If I'm having an outbreak (it's usually on my face), I can't apply any typical "healing" lotions to the area, because my skin will swell and feel as though it's burning. I wish I could say that because I'm "rich" and "liberal" (really not apt words to describe me) I was making up the sort of pain and embarrassment of having the skin on my face and scalp swell, itch, burn, and flake off. I'm proud that I looked into natural options, and much like those with a gluten intolerance, explored my options for an at-home, "elimination" treatment (I went through a period of making my own washes and "soaps", which can be surprisingly cost-effective). It's not about your political persuasion, or outlandish statements about liberals because you like to get into it. It's about being INFORMED. Maybe the only genetic study that needs to be done is find a genetic marker that shows aggressively non-negotiable and extreme political (left AND right) views are inheritable, because I'm sick and tired of listening to this sort-of banter that really doesn't have anything to do with the issue at hand.

    Even if being informed means being overzealous, it's better than suffering unnecessarily. I'm somehow sure the celebrity hoop-la is better than blank-stares at restaurants. My mother doesn't have Celiacs, but she has a severe sensitivity to gluten, and this was YEARS before it became "trendy". The notoriety has helped her to have better GF options, even if people DO roll their eyes and think she's got a "made up" condition. And yes, sometimes I too roll my eyes at others who don't seem to have any reason (moral or health) for changing their diet drastically, but for now it's a "trend".

    Nothing half-baked to political beliefs that impact science acceptance.  Entire best-selling books have been written on the topic, just like "Wheat Belly" is a bestseller.  
    This was in such poor taste, but I can only assume you don't see that because you've never suffered for years without a diagnosis. I've had celiacs for almost 3 decades and didn't know it. I was initially diagnosed with fibromyalgia, which for years was taken not as a legitimate illness but that I was lazy. I also had horrible acne, which no doctor could ever help with. When I started having GI issues, I was told I had anxiety that was causing my inability to digest food. People always assumed I was making things up when I said I couldn't eat things.

    The reason this article is not funny is it's exactly what people say to you before you get a diagnosis, and sometimes getting that diagnosis can take years. In the meantime, you're told that your problems are imaginary, that you don't really know what's wrong with your body, etc. Even *doctors* will say this to you! Oh yeah, and if you have food sensitivities, doctors very often will not diagnose them. They will simply tell you, "Don't eat it." Do you know I saw over a dozen doctors before I got a diagnosis? I finally went to a GI specialist who was willing to stop writing off my issues as IBS and actually did an endoscopy. He told me I had one of the 'most impressive' cases he'd seen in a long time. You can't believe how angry I am that I was written off not only by people in general but doctors in particular who should have been using scientific evidence to verify if I had to the disease or not...but they like to think you're making things up just as much as everyone else.

    We live in a nation suffering from epidemic levels of obesity and autoimmune disorders. If people are trying to take steps to make their diet healthier and feel like something is working for them, then good for them. It's obvious to me that healthcare practitioners have a poor understanding of how diet and health interact, and I think it makes sense to let people try things and see if they feel better. Maybe they aren't sensitive to gluten, but there are a lot of foods that are often consumed with gluten and it can be hard to figure out what's causing a problem. If it's helping them, so be it. And yes, I'm glad that there are so many people out there trying to get it out of their diet because it's made it SO much easier for me to eliminate gluten from my diet.

    The reason this article is not funny is it's exactly what people say to you before you get a diagnosis
    You're basically saying all of the fakes (and there are a lot more than 30 years ago) should get a free pass because some people do have it. Unlike when you were younger and it was little known, people default to disregarding it now because there are so many fakes.  Yet you are angry with someone who says there should be fewer fakes rather than the fakes that cause people to roll their eyes at your disease. That makes no sense at all.
    No, I'm saying that your assumption that there are 'fakes' has not, in fact, been validated. What evidence do you have to prove that all these people who are self-diagnosing food sensitivities are faking it? Doctors basically expect people to do this as they don't really have tests for most food intolerances. Celiacs is actually an exception. As someone pointed out above, there are a lot of people who are gluten intolerant and don't have celiacs. As I also mentioned, there are a lot of people who may have other sensitivities to foods that are often consumed with gluten.

    People have been making the assumption that people are 'fakes' for a long time. People don't believe you when you say you don't feel well. The natural state is to assume that if it doesn't hurt you, it must not hurt them and they are making it up. This is essentially what you're saying. I think you would see things far differently if you'd ever had to deal with a chronic illness like this. People don't treat you nicely. It's not because people are conditioned to do so because there are so many 'fakes''s because they can't understand what it must be like because they've never felt that way. It's a combination of ignorance and lack of empathy. And you are displaying both.

    How so?  How is one guy on the Internet making any difference in your health?  You just got done saying no one believes it is real - well, I did not cause that, not two weeks ago or 30 years ago.  If you want to believe there are 30X as many people with this disease as there are, go for it.  But you can't be angry when people roll their eyes if you gripe at the people like me, who call out fakes because it does a disservice to people who have the disease, and then you rally around the fakes and coddle them until they move onto the next fad.

    When I was young, Celiac disease was serious business; now I see rich, white women every other day on TV claiming to have it.  And yet if I cannot 'validate' they are fakes - just like I cannot validate you are not an alien from Jupiter nor can I disprove any other negative - you say to let them say they have it.  Again, okay by me, but that is why you get eye-rolling.   
    This is the problem: it doesn't do a disservice to those of us who actually have a diagnosis. It actually helps! It makes people more aware of the condition. One of the blow offs you'll often hear is, "Well, I've never heard of that!" In other words, you just pulled it out of thin air (or some orifice). They're skeptical. Once they've heard of people having these issues, they're actually far more open to it, more willing to accomodate, and far less difficult and skeptical. And people are starting to tie in the consumption of certain foods with a lot of illnesses that they would likely have not thought were related...making it easier to get an accurate diagnosis. One guy on the internet makes a difference because he's trying to prevent people from taking care of their health and blowing off what could very well be legitimate health issues for some people. You're not promoting knowledge and understanding of the're making it more likely that people will call into question that something makes me ill unless I have a note from my doctor.

    When you were young, celiacs was probably 'serious business' because only the most severe cases with the most persistent suffers were diagnosed. (This should be plainly obvious!) Like many other diseases, many doctors weren't aware of celiacs and never considered it at all, so many people went undiagnosed. In the past 30 years, a blood test (although one that was often wrong) has been developed. And in the past ten years, they can now do preliminary testing using a capsule endoscopy, which is likely to be more accurate than a blood test. Like so many other illnesses, better diagnostic tools can and have increased rates of the disease within the population. Obviously they couldn't make terribly accurate estimates of frequency when they couldn't diagnose it very accurately. Further, celiacs is only the most extreme of gluten sensitivities. People with non-celiacs sensitivities are going to have a significantly harder time getting a diagnosis.

    And just so you know, once I found out I had celiacs, it turned out that my grandmother has had it, as well. She's 80 years old. No one ever thought to test her for celiacs despite having problems since she was in her twenties. I remember my dad even saying she was making things up. People have been telling her she was faking it for a very, very long time.

    I don't think you should go ranting on about things when you obviously have no understanding of the issue. Do some real research, and base your rants on facts rather than calling them into question because you don't like them or it wasn't like that 'when you were a kid'. (Frankly, almost nothing in medicine is the same as when I was a kid, and that's probably a very good thing!) The people who say that there are a lot of people who don't know they have the disease have done so based on statistical studies and an understanding of the genetics of the disease. I'm sorry, but I'm far more likely to believe statistics out of the University of Chicago Celiac Center than some dude who writes a blog. (

    I'm sorry, but I'm far more likely to believe statistics out of the University of Chicago Celiac Center than some dude who writes a blog.
    I agree, they were created specifically to advocate for Celiac Disease patients and they use the same statistics I cited.  You should be spending time raising money for the Guandalini center, since they are all donation funded, and that way they can help the 2.7 million people who somehow don't know they have a disease that is poisoning them. That would also save you from complaining about 'some dude who writes a blog' and then citing the exact same statistics I cited in the article.
    Statistics? You cited statistics?

    This is the problem. You had one link to an article on a non-science oriented site and you're calling that statistics. The entire rest of your post was a comparison of people who go on gluten-free diets for health reasons other than Celiacs to antivaxxers. You *could have* tried to make people more aware of what could be potential celiacs symptoms (especially when they are non-GI related, for instance, anxiety or dermatitis herpetiformis, and later lactose and fructose intolerance). You could have talked about how prevalent it really is as well as non-celiacs gluten sensitivity. But you didn't. You basically put anyone who doesn't have a confirmed diagnosis into the 'lefty nuts' basket. The problem is, every one who has celiacs diagnosed was once of those who suffered from strange symptoms and didn't know why. Rather than making the post an informative piece that would help people know what you look for, you lumped everyone who has concerns about their diet and their health (including those of us prediagnosis) into the same group. In doing so, you haven't presented any science...just an uneducated, uninformed, and inflammatory rant.

    This is my favorite page on Science 2.0

    The angriest, biggest, most hilarious hatefest in the entire website. Heck, make that the universe. Better than a season ticket to the Dwarf-Tossing Emporium on Hollywood and Vine.

    Yet someone else who is of the mindset that if a doctor or microbiologist can't figure out exactly what's causing something, it doesn't exist. You wouldn't be saying that if you actually saw a person die from something 'unknown' because you yourself have obvious proof of it. You're acting like a solipsis t(ok that's not the perfect word, but I think you get the idea) when it comes to health, for some reason. No wait, I know why. Because America runs on and values hardwork, and someone who claims illness is someone who is probably going to be strain on the country, they won't fit with your values. And to go along with your poor black people who eat all foods perfectly happily, it's funny how you ignore the much lower life expectancy of people who magically just don't have allergies or sensitivities to food.
    Of course you wouldn't have said that any disease was all 'in the head' a couple hundred years ago, because 'all in the head' diseases didn't exist, and oh look, you're a product of your time too. People got sick and died from unknown illnesses 500 years ago. People still get sick and die from unknown illnesses. You also ignore that epidemiology is a part of medicine.
    I'm with you that placebos exist, and that there are definitely some people who have just made themselves feel better, all in their head, by being gluten free. Even then though, I don't know why you'd be upset about it unless you're a wheat farmer or something. This isn't like not vaccinating yourself where there can be serious, fatal problems from believing in a theory. Think about it as placebo just not in pill form and be done with it. Isn't that what you want, placebos to make people feel better?
    Beyond that though, you seem to think a placebo effect is strong enough to consistently make someone sick enough to have to stay in bed for a week even when they don't know they've ingested gluten. You are not up on your research regarding the topci either, as many people who claim gluten sensitivity DO have increased IGA antibodies in their blood, (whenever I read studies who use gluten sensitives and celiacs and normals as test subjects, there's a breakdown of who has what, and IIRC it looks like the number is around 50%) but they just don't have the intestinal damage. You also don't consider that any immediate celiac symptoms, in actual celiacs, that don't involve bad feelings in the gut, aren't properly explained either. Now's your time to say that those celiacs don't actually experience those symptoms for a medical reason, so it's clearly all just in their head. Nor do you address that gluten sensitivity runs in families with confirmed celiac disease. Ah but of course, those are just those people who think they have it but have been misdiagnosed, right?

    And as far as the weight loss thing goes, there's still theories behind it that haven't been debunked, nor really proven. Such like thyroid tissues resembles gliadin and weight loss from being gluten free could be your endocrine system not getting all fucked up from it.
    In any case, I believe what I see, even if I don't know why. Observation is a part of science too. My fiance who lives with me went gluten and dairy free with me when I got diagnosed with celiac disease has lost 30lbs without trying, and that in a pretty short time period, not quite 3 months. He also gained weight when he ate wheat and cheese during a long weekend when we weren't at home. I have not lost any weight. We both eat pretty much the same thing, and I very, very quickly replaced wheat products with gluten free grains and baking. My fiance has borderline hypothyroidism (not enough for meds). My thyroid tests are all in range. I can't see how his weight loss can be a placebo, seeing as he wasn't expecting it. I could see that maybe he's just eating fewer calories, although it doesn't seem that way. I'm pretty certain he hasn't been eating at a deficit ~1000 calories a day at least. Luckily for curious me, he gets his thyroid regularly checked, so in a month's time we can actually see if anything changed.

    Yet someone else who is of the mindset that if a doctor or microbiologist can't figure out exactly what's causing something, it doesn't exist. 
    No, diseases exist whether they are diagnosed or not.  You'll need to cite where I said this disease does not exist. 

    The rest of your comment, insisting gluten-free is an awesome diet, is silly.
    I don't need to cite anything. Your entire post is ridiculing people who say they are gluten intolerant. If you actually believe they have some sort of physical reaction to gluten, then your entire post t is akin to saying 'lol that person has cancer'.
    The rest of my post insists nothing about how awesome a gluten free diet is. Now who's putting words into someone else's mouth.

    Your entire post is ridiculing people who say they are gluten intolerant. 
    Sure. It's a fad but a lot of people don't want to say they follow a fad, so they instead claim they have the disease. And all that does is get people with the disease lumped in with trendy celebrities and Oprah viewers who will have a new disease in a year. Do you have the disease or not? If you do, what is the issue?  If you are instead sensitive you modify your diet and you are fine, just like anyone who eats ice cream and get an upset stomach. That is not the same thing as people who are poisoned by gluten and that is who needs defending.
    After months of vomiting 10-15x a week amongst other issues, I had a scope, colonoscopy, and full allergy blood panel. All the doctors could tell me was that I did not have celiacs. After doing some of my own reading, I decided to cut out gluten, and see what happened. Here's a short list:

    -The arthritis that I had in my hips for a few years completely disappeared within weeks
    -My period, which had always been abnormal, completely regulated into a normal, 28 day cycle
    -The sores that I would get all over my scalp completely disappeared
    -The hive-like rash that I would get from time to time down my arms and hands completely disappeared
    -The depression/anxiety that I had issues with for several years completely went away
    -I stopped pooping un-digested food 15 minutes after I had eaten
    -I haven't gotten a single bug bite in the past three years that I've avoided gluten
    -I stopped getting the bloated, hard belly after eating
    -I stopped vomiting, completely

    "How do you know if you are gluten intolerant? Elaborate assays? DNA? At least a blood sample? Nope, you just have to give up wheat.."

    Did a doctor diagnose me with celiacs? Nope. No elaborate assays for me, either. I just gave up wheat and my health and happiness dramatically improved. I'm sorry to hear that this is such an issue for you!

    You defend Celiacs in this article, but do not mention those with a Gluten Allergy. Given your sarcastic approach to those who give up gluten, but are not Celiac, I can't tell if you are ignorant of the difference or don't care to distinguish the two. Celiac is an autoimmune disease and is the more serious disorder, but you can also be allergic to gluten without having Celiac. I am not talking about an anaphylactic reaction either (which is certainly another serious problem). I was diagnosed with a gluten allergy through a blood test, where the blood is exposed to different kinds of food. When exposed to gluten my blood creates antibodies to fight it. Because I had been misdiagnosed with a different disorder in my teens, I went 12 years without knowing gluten was causing my symptoms. Most doctors do not admit the blood test I was given and just suggest eliminating the foods that are common problems for people. Or tell you that nothing is wrong with you. Someone with an allergy like mine could read your article and dismiss the thought that eliminating something from their diet could help. Not only does my allergy create typical digestive problems, it also destroyed my immune system. At the height of my problem I was sick every day, not just with vomiting and diarrhea (sometimes without warning), but with bronchitis, strep throat, incapacitating migraines, and the flu. I woke up every morning feeling like I had the worst hangover of my life. Once I eliminated gluten from my diet, I began to get better and my immune system is now able to fight things off again. I haven't caught so much as a cold in 2 years. That may seem unimpressive to most people, but when you've been sick since you were 15 it's like a miracle. Or I guess I could just be trendy, as you suggest, and do this to feel special. Nothing makes me feel cool and special like telling a room full of people that I can't have that bread or else I'll shit my pants. It's much better than just buying skinny jeans or putting pink streaks in my hair.

    Hank, I have to write this one to you! I'll admit that when I first read your article it seemed mildly offensive, because you basically start out with the worst of what you're trying to say. Then, like any person who is offended should do, I reread your article in hopes that I misunderstood and needed a second look. SURPRISE! I no longer was offended, nor felt the need to give you the "Black Death" (lol). At first glance, your article comes off to be putting down Celiac Disease, but if you keep your mind open through the ENTIRE article, it has little to do with the DIAGNOSED disease or the people who HAVE truly been diagnosed. In all honesty, to me, your article isn't anything about the disease, but that it is just one of the numerous latest trends. It would be like people claiming they have Cancer just so they can have chemo and lose weight- not cool. While I do believe that Celiac is completely real, no one can be actually diagnosed with out the proper tests run! (EXAMPLE: I can get indigestion and think I'm having a heart attack!) On an ending note, I would like to add that I, too, have all the symptoms of Celiac and have an appointment to run the proper tests, and didn't realize the trend was so big until I read your article, so I'm not faking(lol). Everyone have a good one, and quit taking everything so negatively!

     It would be like people claiming they have Cancer just so they can have chemo and lose weight- not cool.
    I'd be right there with you in my contempt if someone made that claim, unless it were in The Onion.  They can pull it off. Thanks for reading it twice - and being sane.
    I really don't have time to read the 'book' of coments that your article has but riddle me this. Why does wheat today have a lower protein content than wheat grown 40-50 years ago? I'll give u a hint, hybrids so more can be grown, all about the $ here in america.
    Try reading a little on how we arrived at dwarf wheat,

    Not sure of your point. Are you saying if we went back in time to 50 years ago, people with Celiac disease today would not have it?  Thanks for letting us all know you had no intention of reading the article or comments and just want to spam us with your blog.  That shows you really care about the gluten community.
    My appologies, I just reread your article and realized it contained only one scientific starement about wheat, the rest was opinion. I was going to try to explain my point that wheat today does not resemble(biochemically) the wheat that was grown by our ancestors. This would require me posting references from scientific/peer reviewed journals, which you would not understand. You even cherry pick statements from Dr. murry to fit your article. Try staying all political with no science based ref's if u want, it would come across more credible. My graduate advisor ate students with your mentality for breakfast. You say you are educated, but your article shows something else entirely.

    ha ha ... you just accused someone else of cherry-picking.  I assume you also do not know what 'irony' means.
    My oldest daughter and I both have celiac disease (the real one diagnosed through a doctor lol) I absolutely love this ! In a way I am kinda glad going gluten free has gotten to be so trendy, were able to find almost normal foods now and even go out to eat.. This is stinkin funny though thank you for your unique perspective

    Almost one year ago, at age 61, after a lifetime of being very sick to my stomach almost every single day, a new doctor finally tested me for Celiac disease. I cannot begin to count all the doctors I have been to over the years who told me it was just IBS.

    My Tissue transglutaminase antibody (tTG) blood test came back with a high count. My small intestine biopsy showed flattened (severely damaged) villi. The damage is so bad that my gut may never heal. I have malabsorption issues which have resulted in early osteoporosis, anemia, and an inability to digest fats. I have so many food allergies caused by an overly sensitive digestive system that my list of foods that I can eat is short. And I have had a lifetime of asthma caused by Celiac disease related GERD. And I must get an endoscopy every year to watch for possible stomach/intestinal cancer because I have pre-cancers caused by the Celiac disease.

    I accidentally got "glutened" a few days ago and cannot begin to describe how very sick I currently am. The doctor said that it could take up to 3 months to get over this spell.

    I am very grateful for the gluten sensitivity fad! Because of it, I am finding some rice-based foods and drinks that I can have -- although I have to be careful that there is no dairy, soy, corn, nuts, or legumes in the products.

    Actual Celiac diagnosis is on the increase as more doctors become aware that it can show up in anyone at any age. According to the Chicago University Celiac Center, one in every 133 people in the U.S. is walking around with undiagnosed Celiac disease.

    Celiac disease is no laughing matter.

    My daughter has coeliac and had to have 3 blood tests plus a biopsy before she was diagnosed,before that they also said IBS............. These people calling themselves coeliac when they are just wheat/gluten intolerant haven't a clue! They need to study what an Autoimmune disease does to the body.Those of you who are wheat gluten intolerant only, just feel ill for a bit, with coeliacs it actually does damage to the body and can take ages before they feel ok again..............But I have to agree for what ever reason, gluten free foods are easier to get as each year goes by!............. Do you know you are more likely to have coeliac if your parents/grandparents have some sort of autoimmune, doesn't have to be the same one either. Unfortuantley for my daughter, she is the 4th generation with one.

    As a doctor who specializes in Celiac Disease, I can confirm that is a very real issue. It is too bad that because this disease causes sickness and not death it is taken so lightly. Growing awareness of an issue does not make it a fad, if that were true then Breast Cancer would be a "fad", but I don't believe there is an author dumb enough or brave enough to make that suggestion. See here if you want to learn a little more about how real celiac disease is.

    Who said it wasn't real?

    Ohhhh, you just want to spam us with your link and never actually read the article. Never mind, then.
    It seems your article is a symptom of the real problem. Why don't we (human animals) know how to eat? Why must every bite be so over thought? As someone with "diagnosed" celiac disease, what I miss most is the anonymous meal. Just to sit down and eat whats in front of me, without analysis of contents or handling, sounds lovely. I think sensitivities fall into a "biological preference" . Our bodies know when our feed doesn't jive well with us. Fine. No need to make a scene or an announcement, just find the feed you need. I usually eat at home (even if I'm going out) because nobody cares like I do that my food is "safe" to eat.
    However, autoimmune diseases and food allergies aside, my real question is this: "what are you supposed to feed a human body in order to thrive?"
    Why is this so difficult to ascertain?
    I have theories and ideas that all point in the same general direction. I think our fake food confuses the signals we would normally get from our bodies. What is it you are craving really when you want a green apple jolly rancher? vitamin c? Sure, some people have "special dietary needs" for attention, but I suggest that many have special needs because they are trying to find their right feed.

    Sure. For the life of me, I can't figure out why so many South Koreans, many of whom have a mild allergy to alcohol (red face, etc.) continue to drink it.  

    Am I allergic to salad?  When I was little, my parents wanted me to eat it, and then they said I would when I got older, and yet I don't. Same for most vegetables.  Do I need to find a disease name for that to confer legitimacy on why I can't eat most vegetables?  No, I just tell restaurants to keep the salad because I won't eat it and don't want it to go to waste.

    If I were actually poisoned by salad, that would be a different issue. Instead, I just want to vomit when I try to eat it but is that a disease or did some psychological switch kick in because my parents wanted me to eat it?  So it goes with a lot of the fad gluten contingent. There may be lots of reasons they want to not eat gluten, it just may have nothing to do with biology - whereas people with celiac disease can't move on to the next fad.
    I think that many people eliminate gluten because of the potential of celiac to be a progressive disease. It is likely that there are some genetic predispositions, but it is also possible that it could happen to anyone under certain circumstances. Hence, in my case, I've eliminated wheat foods from my normal diet (theres an encounter every so often) simply because the risks outweigh the benefits. Wheat is a nutritionally-bereft food, and I'm not missing anything in my diet from eliminating it. If that makes me a "rich white girl," than so be it.
    Also, wheat often accompanies foods that are generally regarded as "unhealthy"--pizza, cake, pastries, deli meat, etc.--so if people are truly into the diet scheme for health, they can benefit from eliminating wheat simply because it removes the fellow travelers as well. In my case, enough evidence suggests that removing wheat has more potential for benefit than for harm, so it gets nixed. Oh no, it looks like me and Lady Gaga have something in common. Time to go hang myself.

    Don't go crazy there, Little Monster.  The progression of celiac is an interesting idea but I haven't seen any evidence (non-anecdotal) of that. Does anyone get it later in life?  It's still too small a disease population (and too faddish on the other end) to get legitimate stats but I haven't seen any numbers, outside statistical outliers, get it 'late' - most everyone had chronic issues that were unresolved until they stopped gluten.
    To be perfectly honest, I didn't get the "monster" reference at first (I'm laughing now). Anyway, much remains to be discovered, and I agree--the faddish aspect is confounding; too many are in it for the wrong reasons. I'm aware of enough people who have benefitted from eliminating wheat (and potentially, by extension, the fellow travelers) as a means of improving health to recommend it to most people who have gastrointestinal issues, etc., but by no means do I think it is a panacea. At most, it is a proximate indicator of our over-reliance on crap "food." If you ask me, I'd rather see a bunch of people not eating it "because its cool" if it helps them think twice about twinkies, fruit loops, etc. That being said, I'm not an advocate of gluten-free replacement items, or much of anything for that matter that is highly refined (except ice cream--mmmm). Yes, our recent fascination with gluten has left many things unsolved. Time will tell.

    Gerhard Adam
    The disease can develop at any point in life, from infancy to late adulthood.
    Mundus vult decipi
    I am surprised you posted this claim and link, since you easily note the obvious flaw.  They have found older people and younger people who have it.  That does not mean these older people suddenly 'got' it, it means they suddenly were diagnosed with it once it was able to be done. 50 years from now, we will know where it not it develops in later life.
    Gerhard Adam
    Sorry, but that's a stretch to suggest that it is a condition serious enough to warrant diagnosis in children, but not so serious that someone may live with it for 50 years before getting diagnosed?

    Generally, in children, the diagnosis occurs in conjunction with a "failure to thrive" assessment because the child is not absorbing sufficient nutrients because of celiac disease.  This makes the idea of failure to diagnose until late adulthood seem implausible.

    I think that perhaps we also need to be clear that we're not actually talking about the disease but rather the symptoms.  After all, if it is genetic [then it obviously is present in the child], then one may have the disease absent any symptoms, while someone else may have symptoms immediately. 
    Many adults who have celiac disease do not have any symptoms, or they have only mild symptoms. Symptoms may occur at any age but most commonly develop during the 20s, 30s, and 40s.
    Mundus vult decipi
    It is my belief that the conditions exist on a spectrum: a fully healthy gut on one end, celiac and other GI conditions on the other. There are many symptoms that exist throughout, however the most powerful treatment that has been found to relieve the symptoms from the far end is a gluten-free diet. I'm sure that many other factors contribute to the development of GI issues, however, since wheat has been so successfully implicated in celiac, it makes for a reasonable target in other conditions, as symptoms may very well overlap. It seems as though gut integrity can be impaired over the course of a lifetime, so maybe those who are genetically predisposed are simply more vulnerable (on a spectrum, of course) to environmental insult.

    Thanks for the link, that is rather substantive. However, the question may remain as to whether it was developed or simply diagnosed at a later date. I'd have to do some research to figure that one out. I, myself, believe that it is likely that it could develop from the ol' wear 'n' tear over the course of a lifetime, as following a gluten-free diet can improve a number of measures of gut health for afflicted individuals. It is part of the reason that I exclude wheat from my diet even though I am not diagnosed with celiac. It seems reasonable to believe that a substance that can harm the villi of celiac sufferers could impair the gut integrity of healthy individuals and progress linearly towards total villous atrophy (celiac). My exclusion of wheat is an educated guess, and I personally don't miss junk food all too terribly.

    Regular bread isn't usually considered junk food but it's your choice on what to eat. There is no benefit to a gluten-free diet if you do not have an issue, every expert agrees with that.  Did you also give up egg, nuts, milk, peanut, fish, shellfish, strawberries and tomatoes? Those substances harm allergic people too. Not to mention cats, dogs, etc.
    Like I said, I do somewhat of a risk-benefit analysis with foods. but it's not just limited to potential allergenicity. It also involves the methods of production, cost, etc. I'm not trying to say that my way is the best, but rather that each person should experiment. Indeed, some people experience issues with dairy (and gluten problems have been implicated here--since a gluten-free diet can restore gut health, it is probable that it can restore the ability of villi to secrete lactase to a certain extent), but it works for me and is a viable source of nutrition. I get cheap, farm fresh eggs locally. However, I am not aware of any autoimmune diseases that have been solely attributed to strawberries or tomatoes or whatever, so that weighs rather heavily in on my decision to exclude wheat. You can think what you want of my approach, it works for me. I don't think that is wrong of anyone to seek ways to improve their health--if they have the resources available to improve their quality of life, why condemn them?

    Forgive me but I gave up reading the comments after about the fifth entry. Do you actually have Celiac Disease?

    No. Are you trying to say that the only immunologists who can research this have celiac disease?  Can non-heart disease patients be cardiac surgeons? Can science media discuss global warming, since we don't have global warming disease?  I am not sure of your point, unless you are trying to make the point that cranky old guys who were in World War II would claim about World War II, that historians didn't know anything unless there were there.  Is that your contention, that the only people allowed to discuss a disease must have it?  
    Enjoyed the article! Surprised a lot of people can't seem to understand what you're trying to say and verbally attacking you for poking fun at people that have just decided suddenly that they have gluten intolerance because they saw a TV show.

    I think the reason a lot of women believe going gluten free makes them feel better is because they made a dietary change that helped them lose weight. Maybe they did feel better because they started eating healthier than they were. Maybe instead of three pieces of toast in the morning they now eat fruit or something.
    .. I even tried jumping on the bandwagon and I noticed no difference. I have low thyroid AND IBS and someone suggested it. Didn't change a thing for me. And yes, I tried it for about 6 months or so. What changed things for me was eating smaller portions of food. Turns out I was just eating larger portions of food than I should have and the main things I was eating large quantities of were bread and pasta. .. So once I ate smaller portions, surprise, I felt better and lost weight. Also had more energy because I wasn't eating more than recommended serving sizes and then sitting around watching TV. (interesting side note.. I now eat more bread/pasta because I go running on a regular basis and still feel just fine and have maintained my weight)

    I think it's great there is lots of gluten free products out there readily available for people that have celiac disease. .. I am not surprised that other people have decided they have a gluten intolerance now though. .. Part of this could probably be attributed to the "blood type" diet that claims if you're O positive (I think) you should be avoiding gluten and doing 30 mins aerobics 3 times a week. .. Of course you're going to lose weight, you're cutting out a food group and exercising! .. Same with some of the other blood types where you cut out meat and only eat veggies, etc!!

    Just because a diet is working for you doesn't mean you have a "sensitivity" to the foods.. Self diagnosing can be very dangerous in some circumstances.

    Also, the vaccine thing pisses me off. We are now getting all of these illnesses that we thought were wiped out running through our schools because parents believe vaccinating their kid will give them autism (thanks to celebrities spreading misinformation), etc.
    You don't want to vaccinate your kid, that's fine but don't get mad when they get something that could have been prevented. We have people moving here from other countries where diseases that we may have wiped out are still common. It shouldn't be surprising that some of these diseases then are now cropping back up and you'd think people would be more on board with vaccinating again to ensure they dont' get it.

    I think it is ignorant on your part to blanketly state "you just have to give up wheat and say you feel better and you are allowed to claim you have it". I have recently given up gluten as I was suspecting it was contributing to bloating, fatigue, and nausea. By doing this, I have more energy and no bloating. As a resident of Ontario, Canada, testing for Celiac disease is not covered by our Health Insurance and is quite costly. I may have Celiac disease; I may not have Celiac disease. I do not, however, claim to have it. No one questions me when I say 'no thanks' to a cup of coffee because coffee upsets my stomach. For some reason, people have a hard time wrapping their heads around the fact that gluten can adversely affect many people. I may not have to deal with some of the serious repercussions of eating gluten, like those with Celiac disease, but I sure as hell feel better. Is that not OK?

    I do believe that there may be a lot of people on the GF band wagon for a lot of different reasons, popular fad being one of them. For me, I'm glad that it did become a fad and that I was able to find information about Celiac disease. For years I have had joint problems, swelling, unexplained infertility, and numerous belly complaints. I was diagnosed with unexplained infertility at 26 years old (one of the things Celiac can cause btw). I had so many complaints I felt like I was going nuts and falling apart. Now 36, I'm convinced I must have some kind of autoimmune problem going on. I found out about the problems gluten could cause and took the challenge. After stumping doctors for years, my complaints started quickly falling away one by one. I, myself was shocked! I started introducing gluten again and experienced gluten's wrath! The one amazing thing that happened to me during this process was the first positive pregnancy test I've ever had in my life. Unfortunately, I had an early miscarriage. I am seeing an immunologist now and will have biopsies done to test for Celiac among other tests to rule out other possibilities. At least I really do feel good again, and that is not at all in my head.

    Personally, I hate that I won't be able to eat "real" bread again and will have to watch everything for the rest of my life. Even if the tests come back negative for Celiac, I am one of those out there that will decide to stay GF. Thanks to a fad, I guess, that gave me knowledge. I refuse to go by a label of something I wasn't diagnosed with though, and will figure my way around restaurants without making everyone jump to my GF command. So far, so good.

    As far as the new GF products out there... no thanks. I buy products that were always GF and eat a normal diet with fruit, veggies, potatoes & meat. So far, I'm not starving and enjoy my food. I really can't afford all that processed GF junk anyway. And I'm white. lol

    Thanks for the article. It was funny and got a lot of good reactions which were both fun and informative to read. :-){%22435263796525134%22%3A436666526383467}&action_type_map={%22435263796525134%22%3A%22og.likes%22}&action_ref_map={%22435263796525134%22%3A%22fbrecT%22}

    I don't think going gluten-free is all that difficult in today's American world. More expensive, sure.  However, for people with celiac disease, because that protein is a poison to them, accidents or people lying about having gluten in food when they think all patients are faddist fakers are a concern. The good news for them is that a recent study says they may be on the way to a vaccine - at least then gluten-free would be a choice, like it is for Lady Gaga right now.
    Loved reading about the vaccine. I would love nothing more than really good slice of pizza! Thanks again.

    I like New York style(soft thin crust, not that cracker junk you get at places like Pizza Hut), one of the best (IMO) is Three Brothers which has a number of location between Washington DC and Baltimore :)
    Never is a long time.
    To Mi Cro:

    I'm American living in the Netherlands for the past 10 years. At this point, just give me a TRUE American slice, and I would be happy... well, at least until the tingling in my fingers, horrible bowel problems, and extreme joint pains set in, to name a few. Man I miss pizza! :-)

    To everyone else:

    I was just reading more of the comments on here. It really is a hot subject! What I like about this writing style is that it opens up a platform for people to talk. Browse through the comments and you really learn a lot.

    What I don't like are the comments where people take true personal offense. Unfortunately, there are people out there who have hijacked "Celiac" and contribute to give it a bad name. However, because of the increased interest people have in it, people like me are finding information and getting help, and others have finally found relief for life-long problems which have never had a diagnosis. There are two sides to every coin.

    This is an article, written from the perspective of someone observing the abuse of, yes, in his opinion, wealthy democratic/ left wing Caucasion people, finding yet "another" fad to dive in to. Come on, right wing, left wing, his opinion, whatever, this is just funny! He was exercising humor to try and highlight his point. At least, that is how I took it.

    Maybe living out in CA you get sick of all the plastics and sick of all the new fads, diseases, and everything else that you need an outlet to sometimes vent your opinion. I think he did it in a very creative way. (I thought the comment under the pic of the girl surrounded by gluten products was hilarious!)

    Threatening a writer for his opinions or views is completely inappropriate. Insulting him for it is just anti-social, bullying behavior. Challenging him is okay. People must remember, this is ONE article. A snap-shot. Not all of his opinions were expressed here, and writers write with a mood. It is expressing ONE opinion on a subject, but read through the comments and he obviously has more to say on the matter when challenged.

    I wonder how you would feel if everything you said were documented. Would you be torn apart, or is everything you say so politically correct that you would never offend anyone? If your answer is the latter, you are a liar. If you are not a liar then you are something for the social sciences to study!

    Living with Celiac or gluten sensitivity is not fun. The writer obvisously takes that seriously, all-be-it he did not get into the whole facets of gluten sensitivity and every single condition under the sun that might or might not be related to it. I also did not see him denying that there are real and true problems with it.

    For everyone that is offended, why don't you give the guy a break, understand it has a certain light political humor to it, and take it with a grain of salt? God knows you can't take it with a grain of gluten! (sarcastic humor, in case you didn't get it).

    Talk about it great, but don't stone the guy to death for writing some lite satire about a serious subject. Appreciate the opportunity to discuss the issue because of his writing. I found this article by Googling "Pringles + Gluten". I've learned a lot, and appreciate that I have, while being entertained at the same time. I suggest you all do the same.

    Wishing you ALL good health.

    Gluten is added to so many foods these days that allergies and sensitivities are bound to increase, as have corn and soy allergies due to the massive amounts of those crops pumped into the food supply. Compounding this is the fact that these crops are often genetically modified, and GMOs wreak havoc on the gut. I grew up in the '80s and '90s eating McDonalds and Hamburger Helper. These foods are so processed and pumped full of additives that they've mucked up an entire generation's digestive tracts and immune systems. It's not that people are complaining about symptoms humanity has always experienced; it's that the way we've been eating the last couple decades have created new maladies. You're just in a different cohort, sir.

     Compounding this is the fact that these crops are often genetically modified, and GMOs wreak havoc on the gut. 
    Sorry, but science is not like politics, where you and the busboy in a restaurant and biologists all have the same vote and all opinions are valid.  There is nothing in your comment that was valid.  In the 80s and 90s, food got a lot healthier - in the 70s we were supposedly far less healthier because things were cooked in animal fat.  Now you are contending hamburger helper and foods cooked in vegetable oil gave you a gene that increased your risk factor for this disease - and genes in use since the 2000s did too.  Basically, you are just throwing a bunch of words around and finishing with 'cohort'.  If you knew what celiac disease is, you would know why comments like this (and it isn't the worst among the 400 other comments on this article) are frustrating to people who know what they are talking about.
    You sound ill informed and obviously haven't done much research on nutrition or current findings on saturated fat. The saturated fat scare of the '80s and '90s is long over, and you need to inform yourself on the nature of food additives like MSG and high fructose corn syrup. Some people may be intimidated into thinking you're informed because you are such a surly blowhard, but you obviously haven't done much research on this issue before ridiculing people who are finding they have problems tolerating and increasingly toxic food supply. Check out some of the books on the issue. Lots of research out there. Don't be lazy.

    The saturated fat scare of the '80s and '90s is long over, and you need to inform yourself on the nature of food additives like MSG and high fructose corn syrup.
    So you are in a panic about whatever the latest food scare is, that is what you are telling us.  You didn't even read this article, did you?  It's you I am ridiculing.  You need to stop getting your science from Dr. Oz and the other Four Horsemen of the Alternative.  
    PROCESSED WHEAT: Scientists suggest that there may be more celiac disease today because people eat more processed wheat products like pastas and baked goods than in decades past, and those items use types of wheat that have a higher gluten content.

    CROSS-BREEDING: In the 1950s, scientists began cross-breeding wheat to make hardier, shorter and better-growing plants. It was the basis of the Green Revolution that boosted wheat harvests worldwide. But the gluten in wheat may have somehow become even more troublesome for many people, scientists say.

    I thought I was dying when I was 25 and it ended up being celiac disease. Its beem three years now and I stillfeel very ill. My friends make jokes and are not understanding of serious of a disease this is, I assure them my condition is not a silly act

    Yep. As I noted, when I was young this was serious stuff. It is the fad aspect of today that makes the world a little dangerous for celiacs because people may think you are making it up or say something has no gluten just to avoid any hassle. 
    Hank - I'm sorry but I find we as a society are much more susceptible toward hypochondria than we used to be. We are bombarded with all these drugs on TV with all their weird side effects, we are exposed to many industrial chemicals still, and we are much more out of touch wikth the natural world because of all our @#$% gadgets. How does Europe compare in allergic cases? I haven't heard anything from Asia either, even though the Chinese cuisine in cludes practically everything that moves! Are we just neurotic? Is the white race getting weaker genetically? I suspect we are, although I eat raw milk products all the time, and have been on the organic lifestyle since 1972. I am 60 years young today, have no pain issues, even though I have friends my age or a little older who are about ready to die, or so you'd think - I used to be allergic to wheat, eggs, milk, chocolate, cats, but I OUTGREW all my allergies except cats, but I don't keep cats, I have birds, so i don't care about that one. Hasn't anyone outgrown anything, or doesn't that happen anymore?

    Sure, people outgrow allergies, but we have created a culture where it is cool to have a malady. We have a whole generation of young people overdiagnosed with an elaborate spectrum of behavioral and physical issues (and companies happy to create medications to homogenize us all). Europe is a lot more anti-science than the USA but nothing compares to Asia - they are the home of crackpot alternative medicine scams for a reason.
    OK. Good point, Hank. There is an autoimmune component to my Mom's side of the family, and the most vicious was rheumatoid arthritis. A very nasty, painful, deforming disease. Unfortunately, my Mom's youngest brother, also called Hank, married a woman who had rheumatic disease in her family. The two daughters had rheumatoid arthritis (the older of the two), and the younger one had S.L.E. Liz later died of the effects of this disease on her liver - and left behind an eleven year old. She was 51. The lousy genetics skipped over both my Mom and myself, but i remember hearing my aunt praying for God to take her. No medication modern science provided seemed to help very much, and my Aunt started to look for things in nature, namely, types of exotic shellfish from Australia, etc. They didn't help either, of course. I feel sorry for young people sometimes, they are not allowed to explore on their own and just be children. They are overmedicated, they are overscheduled. Yes, I feel sorry for them. They didn't have the childhood I had.

    Mr. Anonymous - I'm glad that you outgrew your allergies and the organic lifestyle is working for you, but I hate to break it to you - Celiac disease IS NOT AN ALLERGY! It is a legitimate, genetic medical condition of the immune system. It is not pleasant, and the symptoms of it mimic symptoms of many other conditions, which causes it to be misdiagnosed. People visit doctors for years trying to find out what is wrong with them, and many doctor's don't look for Celiac because they are told in medical school that it is so rare they may not see it during their career. Luckily for those of us that suffer, doctor's are becoming more receptive to the fact that it is not as rare as they have been told. Unfortunately for those of us that suffer, it has also become a trendy diet. It's a double edged sword - it's great that Celiac is more recognized by the medical community and that we're seeing more gluten-free products available in grocery stores and restaurants, but at the same time the people who have latched on to the trend cause people to think that everyone who is gluten free is just on the bandwagon and this is not the case. As for China, didn't they have a problem with lead in baby formula a few years back? I don't think there are strict guidelines in place in China to protect the food supply. By the way Europe has been aware of Celiac and receptive to it as a legitimate condition for a lot longer than we have here in the U.S. and Europe has more stringent guidelines about what they allow in their foods than we do here as well. It would be nice, but unfortunately Celiac's disease cannot be outgrown. It would be nice if it were that easy.

    Hahaha! Oh, how I have enjoyed reading the responses from so many strident, outraged nutcases! It was a great article but most people must have just read a sentence or two and then fell over themselves to reply and viciously castigate you. I'm just imagining hundreds of mouth-breathing morons fuming for days over this article. Oops! Now there'll be lots of nasty responses about how they can't breathe through their noses because of some deadly virus unleashed by conservatives...hahaha!!!

    This is simply the worst, most condescending piece of trash regarding celiac disease I've come across in all my years of research. As a sufferer of celiac symptoms for 27 years, I'm offended but then that's obviously your entire point. Ridicule and feel the power. Well, I feel sorry for your pathetic attempt to explain exactly what a gluten free lifestyle brings about and how many people can benefit. You don't get it. You are not open to learning. I wish you the best with your lifestyle choices.

    You can't possibly have read this article. If you have had celiac disease for 27 years, you know exactly the people I am ridiculing.
    I will reiterate what many here posted and say that this is not a black and white issue. It isn't either a 'yes you have full-blown celiac or you're fine to eat as much wheat as you want to deal. There are true celiacs (my Grandmother was one of them who was unfortunately not diagnosed until her health and mind was already failing rapidly while she was in her 60's - she died with dementia soon after []), and then there's gluten sensitivity or intolerance which means that your body produces IgG antibodies to gluten which is the response your body normally gives off to fight an invading virus. A severe allergic reaction utilizes mainly IgE antibodies while IgG is often delayed by hours or even days. Scientists are only now just beginning to understand how the immune system works and numerous immune cells have been discovered that all do different things. Along with IgE and IgG is also IgM and IgA and others Potentially any one of these and perhaps other undiscovered immune cells may be the reason why some people have life-threatening responses to gluten while others have minor but nagging symptoms.

    This gluten sensitivity (again, talking about IgG mediated responses) can show up at any point and is often related to gut imbalances and inflammation. It can especially occur after a long bout of antibiotics as much of the immune system is found in the gut and especially the beneficial bacteria found within. A severe reduction of beneficial bacteria can directly cause food sensitivities and intolerances due to the immune system being compromised. This indicates that gluten sensitivity and intolerances behave differently than that of celiac disease, which may use a different immune response altogether. In fact, celiac response to food looks on the outside to be very much like severe lactose intolerance, which is caused by a lack of production of enzymes. Perhaps celiac disease is caused by the body's lack of production of a certain enzyme needed for the digestion of gluten. At any rate, we don't know the full scope of the disease and I digress.

    I am someone who has tested as gluten intolerant, meaning that the levels of IgG antibodies in my blood which react to gluten is high. For someone who is non-sensitive, they will not have any antibodies against gluten since their body has no need of them. This is similar to when you get a sickness and your body creates antibodies to the virus that caused the sickness and from then on you're immune to that sickness. Except instead of there being a few viruses that your body can easily overwhelm with little effort, by eating wheat every meal of every day (most people unconsciously do this - yes, wheat is ubiquitous in the Standard American Diet), you essentially run your immune system on high 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. This causes an incredible amount of inflammation (since the immune system works by generating inflammation) which can cause anything from skin rashes to arthritis to headaches to muscle pain to fatigue in minor cases and more extreme forms of conditions and diseases in more severe. This inflammation damages the own body's tissues which lead to chronic conditions and eventually diseases.

    The thing with intolerances or sensitivies is that it definitely depends on quantity. I am also severely intolerant to cow milk and products derived from. If one drop of cow milk passes my lips, no, I don't fall down and die. I don't curl up into a ball of pain. My body was able to handle that quantity of milk with relative ease and nothing was felt externally and I continue my day as if nothing had happened. However, eating two slices of pizza with cheese provokes extremely irritating and itchy rashes and eczema on my face. I start feeling the tingling sensation like spiders crawling under my skin within hours and in a day my face is red and blotchy, sensitive to the touch and itches constantly. It takes weeks and weeks of complete dairy avoidance for my skin to heal the moment I cross my threshold of tolerance. So that argument of "AHA! You consumed a minute quantity of cow milk and didn't react! You're lying!":is completely false. Someone may have a true, legitimate reaction to wheat based on quantity in the same way. Eating a crumb will not cause them hours of pain in the bathroom. Eating a whole sandwich may trigger a massive headache, or joint pain, or IBS or any numerous things. Every person is different, therefore everyone's immune responses will be different as well. This is why doctors don't want to do immune testing because that means they have to work individually with people. Doctors like to categorize and lump everyone together and give them all the same treatment. Since we're all unique, there's no way that will work effectively for anyone, especially when it comes to immune-related conditions.

    Regarding your stance that you're 'fighting' for the cause of celiac people by whistle-blowing the ones you call 'fakes', well, from the posted responses, I would be amazed if you still believe you took the right approach. Yes, there are people that think not eating gluten = a quick fix to everything. Yes there are people that self-diagnose and call themselves celiac when they're not. I used to be one of those people before I understood that celiac disease and gluten-sensitivity were two different things. I thought celiac was synonymous with gluten sensitivity which, as I found out later, is not the case. So I have amended my ways. But guess what? Avoiding gluten is HARD. The fakes will try it and quickly give up because, let's face it, there are easier ways to lose weight than to never eat a slice of bread again in your life. However, I would be extremely surprised to hear anyone say that people in NA don't eat enough wheat. In fact, wheat is everywhere. Most people eat it every meal of every day. Think a bagel for breakfast, a sandwich for lunch, and pasta for dinner. Try any other combination and in almost any case wheat is hiding somewhere in there. In any sense of the word, NA does not eat wheat in moderation but to excess. Anything done in excess will be bad and will be felt one way or another. If cutting out wheat (or cutting down or whatever) will moderate excessive carbohydrate consumption, then yes, it WILL amount to lost weight and the person will feel better. Whether it was because they were truly celiac, or gluten-sensitive or were just eating way too damn many refined carbohydrates, the benefit will be seen. If the person just changes everything over to 'gluten-free' and doesn't change their carb consumption, they won't lose weight anyway, in which case they will just go back to eating gluten when their little trial failed to work. In the case that gluten-sensitivity WAS in fact causing that person to gain weight (either water weight or lowered metabolism), they will lose weight regardless of how many gluten-free carbs they decide to eat instead.

    In any case, what this all results to is for celiac disease sufferers to have more resources and recognition, gluten-sensitive people will have options to enjoy the foods they like without the negative reactions that go with it, and fakes will try it and quickly fall off the bandwagon since the gluten-free diet won't do what they think it will do. Or maybe those people might replace all those diabetes-inducing carbohydrates with fresh green salads and fruits and reap the benefits of not eating so much refined-wheat products anyway. It's a win-win for all.

    I will also support one thing someone posted here. If you don't have celiac disease, and you obviously haven't researched a whole lot into it otherwise you wouldn't have such a black-and-white stance on the matter (what health matter is EVER black and white, by the way?), then why on earth are YOU trying to be the champion in this perceived fight? Did celiacs ask you to don your superhero cape so you can weed out the evil villains of society, those who DARE to call themselves celiac without a doctor's certificate... how dare they?! The horror! The villainy! Oh I must pick on this trend because it is the worst thing to face America in this day and age! Someone quick, make a documentary on how celiac people are so degraded by a few kooky celebrities who no one takes seriously anyway!

    In all seriousness, for one thing, if you don't have background experience, and you didn't do the research to look at every angle of the issue, then quite simply you aren't qualified to write anything remotely resembling a scientific piece of literature on this matter. I have done my homework. I have spent years studying food intolerances and auto-immune reactions in the hopes that I can overcome my own struggles with foods and from my standpoint your article was highly uninformed and highly inciting to all parties involved, essentially creating even more hurdles for those with celiac disease, and more judgmental attitudes and spreading of disinformation by people who don't understand anything about it.

    Oh, and by the way, a food elimination diet is a perfectly legitimate, researched and clinical way to assess food reactions and sensitivities regarding a whole host of conditions.

    "Conclusion: Food elimination based on IgG antibodies may be effective in reducing IBS symptoms and is worthy of further biomedical research. "

    "In fact a worsening of neurological symptoms has been reported in autistic patients after the consumption of milk and wheat. The aim of the present study has been to verify the efficacy of a cow's milk free diet (or other foods which gave a positive result after a skin test) in 36 autistic patients. ... We noticed a marked improvement in the behavioral symptoms of patients after a period of 8 weeks on an elimination diet and we found high levels of IgA antigen specific antibodies for casein, lactalbumin and [beta]-lactoglobulin and IgG and IgM for casein. ... Our results lead us to hypothesise a relationship between food allergy [or intolerance, sometimes the terms are used interchangeably] and infantile autism as has already been suggested for other disturbances of the central nervous system."

    "CONCLUSION: Serum IgG4 antibodies to common foods like wheat, beef, pork, and lamb are elevated in IBS patients. In keeping with the observation in other atopic conditions, this finding suggests the possibility of a similar pathophysiological role for IgG4 antibodies in IBS."

    "Psoriasis patients with antibodies to gliadin can be improved by a gluten-free diet"

    "Nineteen patients with delayed onset food sensitivity were compared with fourteen patients with immediate reactions and twenty-one non-atopic subjects in terms of clinical symptoms, foods involved and IgE mediated immunological reactions. The immediate reactors were frequently positive to all tests used ... Those with the delayed onset variety were seldom positive by skin testing (13%), or skin window (0%), while 39% were positive by leucocyte histamine release and 48% demonstrated specific IgE food antibodies. Control subjects had negative responses to immunological tests for IgE antibody except for leucocyte histamine release (24%). Reasons for the differences between immediate and delayed onset food sensitivity in clinical symptoms, foods involved and immunologic parameters are discussed. A careful history in conjunction with the elimination and challenge technique remains the most useful tool at present for the delayed onset group. In vitro methods for detecting specific IgE responses may also prove to be helpful.

    Do you need any more examples? I will be happy to oblige. Of course, it's all right there on the web for anyone to find if they have a mind to actually do the research for themselves.

    Excuse the various typos and lack of punctuation at points as I was copy/pasting it multiple times, editing and whatnot. I know how Mr. Campbell loves to make himself look smarter by pointing out typos so consider this grammar-bully insurance.

    Christine, thank you for the wonderful post!
    I hope that Hank stop being frustrated from the other 400 furious replies,
    and will learns from your words, doing better research (=better article) about this delicate issue.
    As the others celiacs here I did carefully read the article (as also comments like the Linda's one) and it's just made me really sad.

    Please don't bother commenting on this page anymore. The author obviously set out to cause anger and controversy. Nothing he says here is backed up by science, and he knows that. He is just being sensationalistic in the hopes of getting a lot of traffic to his page. We all know that he is wrong. Let's not indulge his sadism anymore.

    Everything I said is backed up by science unless you mean to say that celiac disease is simply a subjective world view and anyone who wants to claim they have it or wants to go gluten-free a a dietary fad deserves the same consideration that people with the disease have.   So, yeah, if you are a fad person, I understand why your feelings are hurt and say there is no science to affirm that celiac is a real disease and you can't just pretend to have it.   
    Last New Year's I was at a party where a local physician told me he thought this whole "gluten thing" was overblown. Had my wife heard him, he would have looked forward to castration rather than the dressing down he would have received. I am celiac. I am very sensitive to even the smallest amount of gluten in my diet. It took me 19 years of illness to get a diagnosis, then it was by accident. I had a recurring symmetrical herpetiform rash, heart palpitations, migratory joint pain, sleep apnea, acid reflux, high blood pressure, divirticulosis, and alternated between diarrhea and constipation. Within 72 hours after going off gluten, I was symptom free. In 2010 an accidental ingestion of gluten through cross contamination left me ill for months, and losing 26 pounds in 21 days. Complications from undiagnosed celiac killed my mother, and the cortisone she took for Lupus she did not have during her pregnancy killed my sister. This is a serious disease, not just someone's imagination. You attempt to damn with small praise the efforts being made to accommodate for the disease. It is true that when any disease becomes better known, some people imagine they have it. On the other hand, it is true that when any disease is known only within small specialties, its diagnosis is rare. I don't care if some people imagine they have the disease, many more have it and do not know because the physicians who are treating them look at symptoms through a straw, seeing only "their" symptoms and diagnosing "their" diseases. The publicity is helping many people, and not hurting others. If you feel a need to go on a witch hunt, why don't you go after the physicians who let celiac slip by unnoticed and continue to see and treat only isolated symptoms. They are the only villlains in this play.

    You may have a point about who the villains are, but your use of the term 'witch hunt' shows you are misguided.  I had no witch hunt, I simply made fun of people who adopt it as a fad and claim going gluten-free does far more than it does. Doctors said gluten caused your heart problems and going gluten free cured that?  You have absolutely revolutionized cardiac medicine and I'd love to see the journal study about your case.

    I'm all for wealthy retired people advocating whatever diet they want, but telling people going gluten-free is a cure for heart disease is shockingly irresponsible.  You are going to kill people.

    I truly believe your wife would have castrated that physician who disagrees with her beliefs - she showed up here calling me an 'idiot', a 'miserable human being' and 'pathetic' so I concur with your belief she is unhinged enough to remove someone's genitals for disputing her crackpottery.

    Hank is right, the fake celiacs make my life as a diagnosed celiac difficult. (diagnosed 2002 here, long before the fad) People think it is a fake disease and some people have even attacked me for having to be sure I get a gluten free meal while travelling, that it is not a real disease and I am irritating them when mentioning it to the server.

    Unlike the fake celiacs who can go back to wheat after the fad is over, or whenever its inconvenient for them, I cannot cheat at the diet and their fad makes my disease look less worthy of treatment and cure. I'd love to be able to eat wheat again, I'd prefer a cure over the admittedly better gluten free options these days. But even then, many "gluten free" items are not gluten free enough for a celiac.

    Also, being poor with celiac disease sucks. There is very little support out there for those of us unemployed/underemployed and having to stay on a gluten free diet. I have found creative solutions to maintain my diet on a shoestring but it is by no means easy.

    There is some good news. They used a synchrotron to visualize what is happening in the immune system and can now work on a blood test and a therapeutic vaccine for patients with celiac disease who carry the gene HLA-DQ2.   It will be a while before it's available but it may mean that celiac becomes manageable, like diabetes, even if accidents happen and gluten is introduced. I assume a diet modification is still the best way to go overall but at least no one will be poisoned if they get gluten by mistake.
    Jennifer Esposito, cast member on "Blue Bloods", says her Celiac disease means she can only work a very limited schedule. She worked every day on "Spin City" and on lots of movies so it sounds a little odd. The producers are not buying it and think she is just 'calling in sick' to get more money so they put her on unpaid leave until she discovers gluten-free foods. Nevertheless, she says "my doctor said you needed a reduced schedule due to Celiac."

    Thank goodness for a "scientific" article that's based on what celebrities do and say. How very useful and informative. Not at all biased and petty.

    The science of celiac disease is well documented. But claims of celiac disease have gone up 2500% since the fad started, while actual diagnoses have not. The diet claims by celebrities are real and people do listen to celebrities, so that is relevant. That is why advertising is a trillion dollar business.

    Gluten free food is now a gigantic business despite the fact that most people buying it get no benefit at all from it.  That is what a 'trend' is.
    Doctors have only been diagnosing patients with coeliacs for the past couple of decades, and the increased number of cases is more or less directly linked with increased research and awareness within the medical profession.
    You have zero basis for saying claims have increased 2500%, and you're ignoring the fact this is a disease which is still gaining recognition in the medical profession itself.

    "Diet claims" and "coeliacs claims" are entirely different things. Lady Gaga didn't say she had coeliacs. She said she was trying a gluten free diet to lose weight. That's her business. Unless you have any proof suggesting she was sponsored by gluten free food companies to go gluten free then talking about advertising it as a fad is baseless.

    If you're going to make claims stating most people buying gluten free food don't need to, at least back that up with some actual evidence. The fact is most people who eat gluten free eat more fruit, vegetables, and rice, rather than marketed products.

    I've noticed you've ignored my comments pointing out that opinions like yours have consequences for people who suffer from coeliacs. I'll take that to mean you care only about continuing your hysterical tantrum about how upset you are that other people would dare follow fad diets, and not at all that perpetuating claims that most people eating gluten free don't need to results in them getting sick when people think that's all it is.

    Look, there is no point in arguing, you are clearly agenda-based rather than evidence-based. I don't care what you choose to eat, from my point of view the gold standard for a food allergy is 'give it up and see if you feel better'. But this gluten intolerance thing has been pumped up to where even people who show no signs of allergy, much less a celiac reaction, are embracing it.  If you don't like the 2500%, yell at the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center. It's their figure. The rates for gluten intolerance were 1 in 2500 10 years ago and are 1% now, that is a 2500% increase. Math may confuse you, so say 25X instead. Either way, it is clearly due to the fad.

    I'm happy you feel better giving up bread. Nothing you have said disputes the fact that this is a diet fad and companies are exploiting the free marketing. Gluten-free products are 242% more expensive than their traditional counterparts and are of no benefit to non-celiacs, they are actually unhealthier.  That means it is a trend for rich, white people, just like I said.
    Sorry to bump an ancient thread, but your article is making the rounds on Reddit and it is new to me.

    But I thought you'd like to know, Mr. Campbell, that your biggest risk for ending up on a gluten-free diet someday isn't the fact that you're liberal and live in California - it's your last name and Scottish ancestry. While you correctly pointed out that "humans have been eating grains for thousands of years," you haven't noted that wheat tends to do poorly in cold & wet environments, or that gluten-containing grains weren't a major part of agriculture in northern Europe until the last few centuries. For example, the rate of Celiac in Scotland and Ireland are, respectively, two and three times higher than they are in England.

    That might have something to do with the perception that gluten intolerance tends to affect affluent, white, liberals. Or maybe, affluent white liberals are among the few Americans who both believe in science and can afford medical services.

    In the meantime, diagnosis rates lag statistically expected cases, and we absolutely lack a process to test for non-Celiac gluten sensitivity, despite increasing evidence that such a thing exists. Those would normally be arguments for more research... but who has the financial incentive to study illnesses with a free cure which can't be patented?

    These are two different things; there is no evidence for transgenerational epigenetic gluten sensitivity that is impacted by living in the Highlands or anywhere else where the weather stinks. Wheat goes bad in damp weather, nothing new to that - it is actually much better now than 200 or 2,000 years ago.

    I do agree that diagnosis rates lagged in the past for an obvious reason - it was hard to diagnose - but there is no disputing that it's a fad now. We had a big spike in ADD diagnoses in the 1990s too, and unsurprisingly those have plummeted now that it's no longer trendy.

    As I said a few times, there is good news for celiac patients in the attention, especially over the long term. In the short term, they have to be more careful because people may see crackpot celebrities embracing a fad and believe everyone is doing it, and that doesn't put fad types at risk at all but it certainly does actual celiacs. 
    Well it's obviously not the weather itself, but it's likely that regional variations in agriculture had different effects on genetic selection. 500 years of selecting against genetic gluten sensitivity is a lot different than 10,000 years.

    With regard to the supposed trend involved, how about comparing this to lactose intolerance? In the 90s, we used to be told that lactose intolerance almost never existed - or if it did, it probably wasn't a big deal - yet this trend sprang up of people who felt better without lactose, the consumer market has adapted to the new demand, and research has followed. Have people stopped buying lactaid, or has that trend simply become the new normal?

    Then again, my perspective is different from a small town in a red state. I always wonder how it can be so trendy, when it seems like no one around me has even heard of it. We're a long way from full diagnosis and fully understanding all of the ways peoples' immune systems respond to gluten, so this trend has a whole lot of steam left to sustain it.

    Lactose intolerance is not an an immune response, it's a problem with digestion caused by lactase deficiency, so they aren't good analogies. Conflating lactose intolerance and celiac disease further muddies the issue for the public, especially the incorrect claim that lactose intolerance didn't exist before 20 years ago. Of course it existed, it killed more kids than celiac disease ever did or will, and therefore became a target for research, because babies died before they were even weaned. 
    FYI, while sickle cell is found in people of African decent, it is also found in other populations (Mediterranean, Indian, and Middle Eastern).

    Can always treat it with Medical marijuana what do you think?

    Absolutely. For people who don't have celiac disease to smoke a product that doesn't help it sounds like an ideal fit.
    The people who do this kind of thing are the ones outraged by this article:

    "Lately I say things like, "When I was diagnosed with celiac disease...", even though I never got tested by a doctor. I am SELF diagnosed, but if I say that no one takes me seriously. The way I say it, I'm not lying exactly, just heading off the misconceptions."

    No, that is actually what a lie is, just like if I were to say "When I was diagnosed with brain cancer..." but simply declared I have brain cancer. 

    It is why people began to wonder how much of celiac was real and how much was fake - as I noted in the article, when I was young celiac was serious stuff, no one was 'self-diagnosing' because it was not a $5 billion a year fad. Now, the gluten-free label tail is clearly wagging the 'gluten-intolerance' dog.
    It's a lie that's necessary because of people like you. If people think it's self diagnosed and don't take you seriously, then they're not going to be careful with your food.

    I have a few members of my family who have tested positive for coeliacs, and a few who have the same symptoms and have tested negative. I get just as sick as any of the members of my family who have tested positive if I have even trace amounts of gluten. Switching from telling people that I'm gluten intolerant or probably coeliac to simply saying I've been diagnosed is the difference between weeks of stomach pains and frequent trips to the bathroom.

    The comparison to saying you've been diagnosed with brain cancer is moronic on a number of levels. Saying you've been diagnosed with brain cancer doesn't help in anyway whatsoever, where as saying you've been diagnosed with coeliacs means people are less likely to serve you food that has gluten in it. Brain cancer can present a number of symptoms which can be caused by a large number of things. The symptoms caused by coeliacs are somewhat more specific, and can be strongly assumed after an elimination diet.

    As with any condition, a few people will claim they have it when they don't. That's not the case with coeliacs, and it's a pretty shitty lifestyle change. I like food. I like beer. I like baking. I hate going hungry when I'm out or traveling and there are no gluten free options.

    And finally, Lady Gaga isn't an example of someone claiming to have coeliacs, so you haven't even given one real instance of this happening in your article to back it up, which you really should be able to do if it's such a fashionable trend. Lady Gaga said she was going gluten free to lose weight. Not that it was because she has coeliacs. Ridiculous notion or not, this isn't what your article was about.

    It's a lie that's necessary because of people like you.
    You lie about having a disease because we won't believe you have it unless you lie? That makes no sense.

    It makes sense if you read the following sentences, but gathering from the way you wrote your "article", you prefer to read only a sentence here and there and fill in the rest with your imagination.

    People choose to lie about whether or not they're diagnosed officially, because otherwise the result is they end up sick when people think it's just a "fad" diet and they don't need to be very strict about food preparation.

    People choose to lie about whether or not they're diagnosed officially
    In blind tests, 75% of people who claim they have 'sensitivity' have nothing of the kind - they show no reaction at all to gluten, much less any discomfort. Actual celiacs, on the other hand, are obviously poisoned by it. I am not buying your 'official' diagnosis any more than you would buy it if I claimed I unofficially had a stroke this morning.  Your rabid defense of the right to self-diagnose simply affirms my point that it is a lifestyle choice for most.

    I was listening to NPR today and the chef they had on had a whole Thanksgiving for vegan and gluten-free people. To NPR, it is a diet and lifestyle choice also, unless NPR listeners have overwhelmingly become celiacs. 

    Well, maybe they they are. The advertising package for NPR listeners brags about how rich they are.

    Rich people doing it and getting NPR shows about it; that's what a trend is. You can continue to put article in "" because you happen not to like reality but this is a fad. There are not 2500% more celiacs than there was a decade ago. It's just a fad trend from a dopey book.
    My wife has celiac disease, and has been gluten free for about 30 years. Due to other allergies, she usually cannot eat the plethora of "gluten free foods" that are everywhere.

    In general, having options is a good thing. In specific, given the incredible cost of (say) a loaf of gluten free bread, it is still significantly cheaper to bake it ourselves. A loaf of good GF bread we b ake costs about $1.50; we buy GF flours by the 50 pound sack as the cost of them in small amounts is also staggering. $4.50 for 1.5 pounds of rice flour ?? Really? When rice is incredibly cheap?

    The big issue with the popularity of gluten intolerance - or supposed gluten intolerance - is that folks will stop believing that for the small number of people with genuine gluten problems, the stuff makes you very sick indeed. We have "his and her" toasters, condiments that might get crumbs in them (think jam, butter), and such. We have traced some gastric distress of hers on occasion to something as simple as a crumb of wheat bread that got into her stuff, determined a day later when she was having issues. For those with the genuine problem, it's miserable indeed.

    The tedium comes in where I see a coworker eating donuts and cookies in the morning - then at lunch claiming she is "gluten free.' Well, those donuts and cookies weren't gluten free, because I saw the packages they came from!
    This makes the people who genuinely MUST be gluten free not taken seriously.

    Since we don't think the world needs to accommodate our issues, we simply carry food for her when we go places. We don't insist everyone deal with her medical issues. For those new to being gluten free, I have to say this: learn to deal with it yourself. Do not insist every restaurant, friend, coworker, and such adjust to your issues. It's safer for you (no accidental ingestion) and easier on them.

    You are a fucking moron, I have three combat tours. Celiac is real it damn near killed me,I have had nearly half of my intestine removed. I have gone from a 230 pound SF operator to 145. I don’t have the time or energy to debate this. Anyone who has it for real knows .

    Who said celiac wasn't real? Are you saying you have PTCD, Post Traumatic Celiac Disease, and the military is to blame? I was a US Army officer and I fail to see how your military service changed your biological response to gluten but not mine.

    Oh, you didn't read the article and just commented on the title. Carry on, then.
    Wow, this article stirred up some anger and defensiveness! I've been following the gluten-free movement sort of peripherally for a while now. It is clearly the fad of the moment. Why is that so hard for some of these commenters to acknowledge? It's not as if medically diagnosed celiac sufferers can't exist on the same planet with the hangers-on.

    Anyway, if you have a problem with this article, you have WAY too much of your self-identity invested in your medical condition. Sheesh.

    I really doubt there are many people who choose to go gluten free long term as part of a fad. I'm guessing you have no idea what it means you need to cut out of your diet, or how much of a nightmare it makes traveling, or even going to friends places to eat.

    More specifically though, the reason I imagine coeliacs, both diagnosed and undiagnosed, get annoyed about idiotic articles like this is because they live with the consequences of people holding the opinion it's "just a fad diet". I even have close friends who don't take it seriously and will cook a dinner at their place for me and say "Oh, by the way I just added a little bit of flour to this, but that should be ok, right?". And that's when they think to mention it.

    The result of people thinking it's a fad is that coeliacs and gluten intolerant people end up either going hungry or getting sick. And not just a day of being sick as with the flu. It can give some people weeks of symptoms. Asides from feeling sick this can result in missing work or school, or at least being unable to perform at your best.

    I think what you really need to consider is why it's so important to you and the article writer to comment on the very few people who adopt this diet as a trend. Is your self-identity so tied up in dismissing others that you feel you need to do it, even at the expense of actual sufferers?

    This reads like a badly researched opinion piece in a women's magazine. There's nothing scientific about it - simply whining about celebrities and people who self diagnose. The title in itself is horrifically offensive. People have been self diagnosing by the masses since the internet and WebMD have been available. Why focus on coeliacs? It's damaging because if people are inclined to think people have self diagnosed or are simply saying it as part of a trend then they're less inclined to be careful when serving food to sufferers. Chefs, waitresses, friends, family, people who stock the bakery section in the super market - if any of them think it's not as serious as it is and throw a stock cube that says it contains traces of gluten into the soup then it has real consequences for a lot of people.

    I think you need to question your motives for writing this. It's damaging to coeliacs, who suffer from the opinion that it may be self diagnosed or simply a trend diet, and contributes absolutely nothing except a whinny sounding rant.