5 Myths about gluten intolerance



gluten-free-mythsThis morning I came across an article in the Washington Post about gluten myths. I thought the article was very informative and wanted to share it with all of you.  Thank you to Alessio Fasano.

You can read the entire article here

I thought I would write my own take on the five myths in his article.

1. Our bodies are not meant to process gluten, so no one should eat it.

Either you think gluten intolerance or celiac is a non existent disease-all in someone’s head, or you think as the author states-humans cannot process gluten and should not eat it at all.

My husband would beg to differ.  If you eat bread, cookies, etc. with no joint pain, brain fog, stomach upset, and all the other myriad effects gluten intolerance can cause, then you should not stop eating gluten.  There is no reason for you to stop, even if Gwyneth Paltrow or Dr. Oz say you should.

2. Cutting gluten from your diet is beneficial, even if you don’t have celiac disease.

This is utter nonsense and could be dangerous.  Not eating gluten can deprive you of essential nutrients.  You probably won’t lose weight either.  I’m not sure where this myth came from.  As I have stated in previous posts, this is not a healthy diet folks.  Or and easy one.  I’m certain that if there was a magic pill that would allow all of us suffering with this condition to eat donuts, we would take it in a heartbeat!

3. Gluten sensitivity doesn’t really exist.

This myth truly saddens me.  Whether it be the press, quack doctors or your friends and neighbors, the “it’s all in your head” BS needs to stop.  Celiac and gluten intolerance can be seriously debilitating.  In fact, I think it should be considered as a disability.  Before everyone who is reading this goes ballistic at my saying that, what I mean is that it should be taken seriously by medical doctors and insurance companies.  Yes, I think it should be covered by insurance.  The cost of care and food alone can be financially debilitating.  I know of some people who stopped eating gluten free because they could not afford it.   Not taking this condition seriously is hurting a lot of people.

4. People with celiac disease can eat a little bit of gluten.

This myth is the most dangerous.  This was based on a study done in 1988.  1988!!!  I do not have celiac, but have been told by more than one person “a little bite won’t hurt you”.  This is like telling an alcoholic ” one drink won’t hurt you”.  It is ignorant and downright unfair to say this to someone who is struggling with gluten intolerance.  Instead of excluding people with this problem, why not go out of your way to include them?  Of course, there are exceptions.

I had an inlaw that had celiac when no one had ever heard of it before.  He could literally eat nothing.  It eventually killed him.  Luckily today there are more and more options, but at the same time, more and more ignorance

5. If you have celiac disease as a child, you will outgrow it.

We now know this not to be true.  I feel really sorry for kids with this disease.  And I applaud the parents who are so vigilant with everything their child puts in their mouths.

I am making it my mission to advocate, educate, and help in any way I can.  If I can make a difference in the life of just one person with this challenging condition, I have succeeded.

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Wendy Peavy says:

    I had never heard the term “celiac disease” until a friend of mine had a toddler with failure to thrive. The little girl was eventually found to have severe celiac, along with other food allergies. I have long since lost touch with my friend, but now I am seeing my husband, who shows symptoms of MS and has Crohn’s in the family, show signs of gluten intolerance. I tried a few years ago to go gluten free to help my Fibromyalgia symptoms but found it prohibitively expensive. I am happy to have found your blog through my own post about my first real foray into gluten free cooking. Thanks so much for visiting my blog. I hope we can learn from each other


    1. glutenfreelady says:

      Hi Wendy
      I feel for you and your husband. Living gluten free is very expensive. I hope one day gluten free foods will become a bit more mainstream and the cost will drop.
      Thank you also for visiting. Please feel free to contact me personally with any questions.


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