This is one topic that always gets my back up. You see Gluten free this and Gluten free that and it is all a scheme or ploy. There is no such thing as a gluten allergy. There is a disease where gluten plays an active and aggravating role and it already has a name, Celiac Disease. In the same vein in some patients IBS (Irritable Bowel Syndrome) can mimic Celiac but the truth is that unless you have either one of those two diseases you don’t have a problem with Gluten. In order for you to have an “allergic reaction” the white blood cells in your body call mast cells and basophils have to be activated in excess by a antibody named IGE. For people without Celiac there is no activation and no inflammatory response.
Most people who claim to have an gluten allergy claim it gives them an upset stomach or other digestive symptoms. This can be the other stuff in the food not the gluten protein. Digestive discomfort can come from a variety of factors but rarely from Gluten unless you have an active disease as mentioned above. Some will even go so far as to argue and say they were diagnosed by their doctor. Well first of all, a lot of doctors only spend 15 minutes or less with their patients and make a quick diagnosis to get your out of their office so they can go to the next patient. At first that might seem unlikely or even cruel but most doctors know that digestive distress can be caused by a lot of things and until it starts effecting what is called “quality of life” then they limit diagnosis to main testing regimes and unless one of them spots an abnormality it is considered acute. Now a doctor has ways that are invasive and time consuming to investigate digestive distress but those are expensive and again time consuming. If an allergen test shows not sensitivity or evidence of Celiac they normally just tell you it is a gluten sensitivity and send you on your way.
This is actually more the fault of the patient than doctors. Patients want to know something is wrong and have an immediate fix so they can walk out of the doctors office and think, “Yay all I have to do is X and I am cured.” Did you know that most people will leave a doctors office and get a prescription filled and then not use it or not complete it? It is a proven fact that a lot of people who take antibiotics stop taken them as soon as they feel better. The truth is most people go to the doctor to feel better emotionally not physically. Then you folks wonder why healthcare is so expensive. Now that is not to say that people are all hypochondriacs. While I am sure there are some in this world the truth is that while there is usually a medical reason behind a symptom or the fact you are feeling bad, some times there are either multiple causes or a cause that is so small it would be more cost effective to treat the symptom than the underlying cause.
Its the people who don’t take the time to really research their medical problems that get me. Wikipedia is not a medical journal or research paper. It isn’t even a primary source. WebMd is fine for first aid or for sending you looking in the right direction it in itself is not the answer box. You have to take the time and energy to track down the primary sources, look at the sample groups and really dig into the issue instead of relying on some book by some unknown doctor. Or what is worse is when you rely on some hippster website that promotes organic, gluten free foods. Remember the brain is an extremely powerful organ so you can easily feel better because you bought X from that apothecary website or whole foods because you THINK you should feel better. Now you go off telling everyone how right you were in the first place when in fact it is only in your head. So when you claim you have a gluten allergy you are full of it. Go look deeper, look at the other causes. Unless you are showing a inflammatory reaction there is no way I am going to believe that you have a problem with Gluten. Oh, unless of course you have Celiac disease.