LA CROSSE, Wisconsin (WXOW) - Many people are going gluten-free these days, and according to Valerie Pampuch, a Registered Dietitian at Gundersen Health System, a new study suggests a lot of people are self-diagnosing their sensitivity.
“There was a recent study saying a lot of people are getting rid of gluten in their diet,” said Pampuch, “however, a lot of people are doing this without the help of their doctor or being diagnosed properly.”
Gluten is a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. It keeps bread elastic and some people react poorly to it.
“Celiac disease is more of an allergic reaction,” said Pampuch, “where our cells in our body really fight against the presence of gluten and the lining in our small intestine is destroyed.”
And if you’re concerned you have a gluten intolerance or celiac disease, it’s important to go to the doctor before cutting it out of your diet.
“If you think that you might be intolerant of gluten or have celiac disease, it’s really important to not take gluten out of your diet and come and see your doctor to be tested. We need that in your diet still to have a proper diagnosis.”
Some of the symptoms of having celiac disease are diarrhea, unintentional weight loss, bloating or abdominal distention, or a deficiency in B-12, folate, or iron. You are also more susceptible if you have a family history of celiac.
And if you’re going gluten-free to lose weight, you should probably think twice about it.
“It’s a fad, and a lot of people in blogs and famous people are doing the no-gluten thing and it’s very appealing,” said Pampuch. “People taking gluten out of their diet for weight loss reasons, that might be a dead end. That’s not really what gluten does anyway.”