Drew Brees, Chelsea Clinton, and Lady Gaga are doing it. Should you? Eating gluten-free is more than trendy, says Family Medicine Physician Omer Ansari, M.D. “Eliminating gluten from your diet may be a benefit to your health.” Dr. Ansari shares the following about going gluten-free:
What is gluten?
Dr. Ansari: Gluten is a protein found in wheat and other grains. It’s been in the human diet for thousands of years. The difference is that today’s wheat is different than it was 50 years ago. Today’s wheat has been genetically modified to make it easier to grow. Wheat used to have 22 chromosomes, but modern wheat is up to 42 chromosomes. This modern wheat is difficult to digest for many people, causing harmful inflammation.
Who might benefit from a gluten-free diet?
Dr. Ansari: People with celiac disease are intolerant to gluten and should not eat gluten at all. Your doctor can test you for celiac disease with a simple blood test and tissue sampling. But many other people – up to 80 percent of the population – are hypersensitive to gluten and could benefit from eliminating gluten from their diet. For these people, gluten is indigestible and causes inflammation inside the gut. Your fatigue, depression, bloating, diarrhea, weight gain, high blood pressure, arthritis, foggy brain, and diabetes may be related to gluten. Some experts even feel there’s a connection between gluten and ADHD and Alzheimer’s disease.