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My Non Gluten Life | Gluten Intolerance Is Rising - But Why?

Gluten Intolerance Is Rising - But Why?

by James Novotny 21. July 2010 19:41

I read an interesting article today relating to the rise of Gluten Intolerance in the West. It seems that, more and more, more people are adopting a gluten free diet, even if they have not been diagnosed with any form of gluten allergy. Granted, the diet can be healthier for you, but at what cost? People need to educate themselved more on the topic prior to jumping on the gluten free bandwagon.

The concensus among leading researchers is that allergic and autoimmune disorders are on the rise worldwide. Most of the rise affects well developed countries a great deal more than undeveloped countries. Why is this you ask? Simple, "hygiene theory". This refers to the fact that most people in developed countries are generally clean people. Hygiene and cleanliness is important to us so we avoid anything dirty or unsanitary. The downside to this is this makes us much more suseptible to to disease and allergies. Our bodies do not get enough "face time" fighting these issues and thus attacks itself rather than the bad substances and can cause permanent damage if allowed to continue.

For this reason, it is really a bad idea for anyone to attempt to self-diagnose themselves and subsequently follow a gluten free diet without consulting a physician. A gluten free diet is not necessarily good for you if you do not have a gluten intolerance or celiac disease. Unfortunately, with all the press, gluten free diets have been getting recently, more and more people seem to think that it is a good idea for them to follow a gluten free diet. Wheat, in general, is difficult for even healthy people to digest. For people that self diagnose themselves and then eliminate it from their diet, it will be very difficult to go back to a regular diet if they find out that they, in fact, are not gluten intolerant. Further, if you are a healthy person and you eliminate gluten from you diet, you run the risk of excessive intake of carbs and micronutrient deficiency. Bottom line is, do not try to self diagnose yourself when it comes to gluten intolerance.

Many researchers agree that allery-type disorders and autoimmune disorders tend to increase at a rate of double every 20 years or so. Most of this is attributed to the hygiene theory, but I suspect some of it should be attributed to the way food is grown and the additives added to try to increase crop production. Regardless of the specific reasons, I believe gluten intolerance is here to stay. I, personally, have been gluten free for 2 years and embrace the increased attention it has been receiving. Hopefully, more food manufacturers will jump on board and produce more and more products that are gluten free. It's really not a fun diet to be on so, if you don't have to live gluten free, then enjoy the finer things in life; like bread.

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