You may have heard someone talking about buying gluten-free food in recent months. No doubt it's a growing fad, but it could also provide some relief to those who are enduring a certain digestive disorder.
That digestive disorder is Celiac Disease, and new research is finding that a huge portion of our population that has it is going undiagnosed. Doctors at the Mayo Clinic found that roughly 1.4 million Americans unknowingly suffer from the disease.
It can lead to bloating, stomach pain, diarrhea, and even more serious complications such as painful migraines. The treatment for those with Celiacs is to eliminate gluten from their diet.
According to Mayo Clinic Health System Dr. Sandra Cepo, "There are people that have never been diagnosed with Celiac Disease but they have it and they decide by themselves to go on a gluten-free diet and they feel good on that diet so they stay on that diet and some of them will never be diagnosed."
You may already be noticing more gluten-free options at restaurants and the grocery store. Natural Foods Manager Kayla Kolbe says companies are coming out with new gluten-free options almost every week. "It's amazing the things they've come up with, gluten-free mozzarella sticks, pita chips...you know, things that were kind of off-limits before to people with Celiac Disease who couldn't have the wheat, oats and things like that so there's more options out there."
Gluten-free products do taste different....but not necessarily in a bad way, and because of substitute ingredients they also often cost considerably more than products that contain gluten.
Health officials say it is ok to be on a gluten-free diet even if you do not have Celiac Disease.