Gluten-Free Diet is NOT a Fad
Some people see a whole bunch of "gluten-free" products popping up in the shelves and think that's just a fad. But it is not a fad. There are people who are genuinely sensitive and allergic to gluten and they get seriously sick if they eat gluten. More and more people are becoming aware that they are gluten sensitive. This is a real thing. Some are estimating that about 30% of the population is gluten sensitive to some extent.
Gluten Sensitivity is a Spectrum
Look at all the forums and newsgroups about gluten sensitivity. There are people there agonizing about not being able to eat their favorite food and scrutinizing whether this sauce or that sauce contains gluten or not. This is not a fad. They have to do this because if they get a drop of gluten, they can be in pain for the next three days.
Of course, there are the majority of the people who can eat gluten and have no symptom and no ill effects. But certainly there are a percentage of people who will have ill effects from eating gluten. For them, a gluten-free is not a fad. It is a requirement.
Gluten sensitivity is a spectrum. For those who have celiac disease (about 1% of the population), they have to be very strict about not getting exposed to gluten. There are estimates (no one really knows the correct number) of around 1 in 7 who is gluten sensitive. Other estimates say that maybe up to 30% of the population may be gluten sensitive. Then others say that 100% of the population can not digest gluten. Although they may not have any ill effects from it.
Watch the Hawthorn University YouTube webinar where Marjie Andrejciw explain how she very sensitive to gluten. Even gluten from shampoo, cosmetic, lipstick, hairspray, and stamps may need to be avoided.
Clinicians Prescribing Gluten-Free Diets
A gluten-free diet is certainly not a fad to those clinicians who prescribe a gluten free diet and treat people with gluten sensitivity. They see people improve on a gluten-free diet all the time.
This is why Dr. Thomas O'Bryan put on The Gluten Summit to spread awareness of gluten-sensitivity. To him, a gluten-free diet is not a fad. He is an anti-gluten crusader.
A New York Times article writes ...
"Dr. Thomas O’Bryan, a chiropractor turned anti-gluten crusader, said that when he tested his patients, 30 percent of them had antibodies targeting gliadin fragments in their blood. “If a person has a choice between eating wheat or not eating wheat,” he said, “then for most people, avoiding wheat would be ideal.”
Another anti-gluten crusader is Dr. Peter Osborne of the GlutenFreeSociety.org He is not only anti-gluten, but anti-grains as well.
Then there are many other doctor's who wrote books about the problems of gluten. For example, Dr. William Davis and his book Wheat Belly.
Symptom Improvements on a Gluten Free Diet
Those that say that gluten-free diet is a fad is not aware of all the studies showing symptom improvements from patients when they go on a gluten free diet. For example, there is evidence that shows children with ADHD improve on a gluten-free diet.
Those who say that a gluten-free diet is a fad should also read Dr. Mark Hyman's article "Gluten: What You Don't Know Might Kill You"
There are a whole list of articles on the web and podcasts with testimonials of people who get sick consuming gluten and tons of story of how their symptoms improve on a gluten-free diet.
Some even say that their rheumatiod arthristis cleared when on a gluten-free diet. If you understand the biomechanical effects of gluten, then you will understand that the diseases that are most often helped by a gluten-free diet are autoimmune in nature. And you will also understand that a gluten-free diet is not a fad for that subset of the population that have gluten sensitivity or autoimmune disease.
That is why anyone with an autoimmune condition should be tested for gluten sensitivity. Many podcasts and books from different experts have repeated mentioned that Cyrex labs is the best test for checking gluten sensitivity. The conventional celiac test at your doctor's office may not catch gluten sensitivity even when you have it (this is known as a "false negative").
For those who come back with the test results showing the sky high antibodies against gluten will know that whenever they consume gluten, it gets into their bloodsteam (which it should not), and their immune system is launching an inflammatory attack as if they were foreign invaders and possibly causing systemic side effects because of it. For those people, a gluten-free diet is not a fad. Their test result shows in black and white that a gluten free diet is required.
People who do not have gluten sensitivity (and most of the population don't have) may not understand how gluten affects the other subset of the population. And if you are one with gluten sensitivity, you may even feel less understood when they say "gluten-free diet is just a fad."
So the next time you hear someone say gluten-free diet is just a fad, send them the link to this article or post this on your facebook page so they can understand that for a subset of the population gluten-free diet is not a fad.
In the latter part of the below video where Dr. Mercola interviews Dr. David Perlmutter, author of the book Grain Brain, you can hear Dr. Perlmutter say in his own words that gluten free diet is not a fad.