Control Celiac Disease! (Gluten and Wheat)

Celiac Disease, a fairly common illness (~1 in 141), is an immune sensitivity to gluten, a component of wheat, barley and rye.  People with celiac disease need to avoid foods and products that contain gluten.  Testing for celiac disease depends on blood tests and biopsies of the small intestine, neither of which are 100% reliable.

Gluten and wheat sensitivity is present in slightly more than 1% of the population. A true wheat allergy is present in about 1 in 1000 people.

Why has gluten become so much of a problem?  There are several theories discussed:

1) Gluten and wheat sensitivity may have always been around, but just not recognized.

2) Maybe it is because of all the selective breading and genetic modification of our wheat that has caused the problem.  

3) Maybe it’s not necessarily the wheat, but all the pesticides and other chemicals mixed with our food.

4) Maybe wheat is not healthy for human consumption.  This is unlikely, since for centuries wheat has been a staple foor for mankind. (see below)

5) Maybe it is the additional animal products in our diet that have triggered the problem.  Other autoimmune diseases are worsened by eating animal products, and improved with a plant-based diet.

Gluten sensitivity has become a fad, but studies indicate that most people who think they have gluten sensitivity do not.

Read: What to do if you suspect gluten problems.

Enterolab has developed a stool test for gluten sensitivity which they suggest is more sensitive than the standard tests for celiac disease.  They reference a study their founder performed, however, as I reviewed the scientific literature, I could not find his article or any others in support of their lab test in a scientific journal.  So at this point, I can not recommend using this test.

Two books, The Wheat Belly and The Grain Brain, have gained popularity and focused attention on gluten.  They suggest that everyone should avoid gluten, and wheat and grains in general. Although I have not read the books, I have reviewed their web sites, and additional information I could find via an Internet search.  Personally, I find the current (as of 2016) scientific evidence lacking in support of their arguments.

One important argument in favor of eating grains is that when we look at the Blue Zones, the places in the world where people live the longest and the healthiest, 4 out of 5 of these cultures consume grain as their main source of calories! 

Read: The Smoke and Mirrors Behind Wheat Belly and Grain Brain

For the 98% of people without gluten or wheat problems, gluten is actually beneficial, promoting healthy gut bacteria, boosting immune function and reducing the risk of heart disease, cancer, diabetes and other chronic diseases.

Gluten-Free, Plant-Based Recipes:

For people with a true gluten or wheat sensitivity or allergy, purchasing and preparing food can be difficult.  Following are some links to help.  Be aware that not all of these recipes would necessarily be healthy! (French Fries can be “ vegan”) You need to keep in mind other principles, like maintaining a diet low in added sugar, fat and salt!

The Gluten-Free Vegan

Gluten-Free Vegan Recipes

How about some gluten-free bread recipes?

Gluten-Free Vegan Homemade bread

Gluten-Free Sandwich Bread

Vegan Bread Recipes

Top 20 Gluten-Free Bread Recipes

Gluten-Free-Vegan Girl

Gluten-Free Vegan Bread on Pinterest

Gluten-Free Vegan Bread

Scholarly Articles:

Irritable bowel syndrome and gluten sensitivity without celiac disease: separating the wheat from the chaff.

Randomised clinical trial: gluten may cause depression in subjects with non-coeliac gluten sensitivity - an exploratory clinical study.

Non-celiac wheat sensitivity diagnosed by double-blind placebo-controlled challenge: exploring a new clinical entity.

Additional helpful information is available at:


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Lifestyle Medicine


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and the surrounding region!



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© David Drozek 2014