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Why would you want to be gluten free?

Updated on February 18, 2016

Why do people eat gluten free?

You have likely heard the phrase “Gluten-Free", whether it be at a restaurant, grocery store, party, TV or in a joke. Most people have no idea what it means other than you can’t eat the good stuff.

There are several reasons why someone might eat gluten free:

1. They are following the gluten-free fad diet that many celebrities try to push.

2. They have an allergy to wheat.

3. They are doing it for health reasons such as leaky gut, autism, digestive issues, etc.

4. They think it’s healthier.

5. They have CELIAC DISEASE.

From someone who has Celiac disease I find #1 and #4 frustrating. Anyone who would give up gluten when they don’t have to is just silly, but I am thankful for all those fad dieters who have paved the way to get more gluten free goodies on the shelves.

However, they tend to give eating gluten-free a bad name which is why there are so many jokes about it.

Going back to why a person would eat gluten-free and my perspective:

1. Any and all “Fad Diets” are silly.

Many people have no idea what the diet is, it just happens that their favorite celebrity on TV is doing it and they look pretty good, so why not?

2. There are wheat allergies, (there are allergies to everything).

Those people who have true allergies need to stay clear of wheat. Wheat is only one part of gluten.

3. There are many health reasons why one would eat gluten-free.

Autism, leaky gut, and digestive issues are a few of the health issues that would lead one to be gluten-free, and I know they work from experience.

4. Those who are changing their diet to include no grains and going all whole foods will be healthier and will lose weight.

That is clean eating, not gluten-free dieting. It just so happens when you eat all whole foods (no preservatives, no grains) you are eating gluten-free.

Those who are eating all those processed boxed gluten-free foods, breads, etc. are not healthier, and will not lose weight. Very little nutritional value is in those gluten-free pre-made items and it is empty calories. Our family gained a few pounds going gluten-free until we learned this.


Lets learn what Celiac Disease is

What is Celiac Disease?

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that can occur in genetically predisposed people where the ingestion of gluten leads to damage in the small intestine.

It is estimated to affect 1 in 100 people worldwide. Two and a half million Americans are undiagnosed and are at risk for long-term health complications.

When people with Celiac disease eat gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye and barley), their body mounts an immune response that attacks the small intestine and other areas.

These attacks lead to damage on the villi, small finger like projections that line the small intestine, which promote nutrient absorption. When the villi get damaged, nutrients cannot be absorbed properly into the body.

Celiac disease is hereditary, meaning it runs in families. People with a first-degree relative with Celiac disease (parent, child, and sibling) have a 1 in 10 risk of developing the disease.

What are the symptoms?

Celiac disease can be difficult to diagnose because it affects people differently. There are about 300 known symptoms which may occur in the digestive system or other parts of the body. Some people with Celiac disease have no symptoms at all. However, all people with Celiac disease are still at risk for long-term complications, whether or not they display any symptoms.

Some of the most common symptoms are:

Abdominal bloating and pain, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), chronic diarrhea, constipation, failure to thrive, fatigue, irritability and behavioral issues, vomiting and weight loss.

Celiac Symptom Checker

How is it treated?

Currently, the only treatment for Celiac disease is lifelong adherence to a strict gluten-free diet.

People living gluten-free must avoid foods with wheat, rye and barley, such as bread and beer. Ingesting small amounts of gluten, like crumbs from a cutting board or toaster, can trigger bodily damage.

For fun look up all the foods that contain gluten. Licorice, candies, cookies, gravies, you might be amazed at all the foods.

What are the Long Term Health Effects?


Autoimmune Hepatitis

Autoimmune Thyroid Disease

Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis

Multiple Sclerosis

Primary Bilary Cirrhosis


Sjögren’s Syndrome

Other Autoimmune Disorders

Nervous System:

Central and peripheral nervous system disorders

Gluten Ataxia

Peripheral Neuropathy

Neurological Manifestations:

ataxia, epileptic seizures, dementia, migraine, neuropathy, myopathy and multifocal leukoencephalopathy

Reproductive System:

Infertility and miscarriage

GI (Digestive System):

Crohn’s Disease

Gall bladder malfunction

Intestinal lymphomas and other GI cancers (malignancies)

Lactose intolerance

Microscopic Colitis

Pancreatic insufficiency

Primary Sclerosing Cholangitis

Ulcerative Colitis


Dermatitis Herpetiformis


Cardiovascular System:

Idiopathic Dilated Cardiomyopathy

Iron deficiency anemia

Muscular-Skeletal System:

Early onset osteoporosis or osteopenia


Type 1 Diabetes Mellitus

Vitamin and mineral deficiencies

Don't be ANGRY about not eating gluten, be thankful you can control your disease with food vs drugs, shots, and machines!
Don't be ANGRY about not eating gluten, be thankful you can control your disease with food vs drugs, shots, and machines!


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    • glutenfreealaska profile image

      Theresa Gates 14 months ago from Alaska


      To this day 11 years after my diagnosis I still get that stupid question. "Why would you want to be gluten free" Even with Celiac being well known these days, people are still ignorant to the fact WE do not follow a gluten free diet because we think it is fun or healthy or to be like famous stars who follow it. Anymore I just walk away and let it go. I wish I didn't have to, I wish my daughter and son didn't have to. Life continues and there will always be idiots that don't get it I am just glad we are all healthy now.

    • Jakes51 profile image

      Nicole Jakes 14 months ago from Denver, CO

      It's funny who asks the questions "why do you want to be gluten free?" Many people don't understand. The few that do are usually chronic pain sufferers themselves who agree that they would give up gluten too if it made their pain go away.