I can’t eat gluten. Ever. And if you are reading this, I’m guessing you can’t eat gluten either. Ever.
What happens when we do eat gluten? I asked this same question 3 years ago and here are some of the results:
- Exhaustion beyond belief
- Serious brain fog
- Intense itching
- Achy joints
- Agitated and short-tempered
- Horrific stomach pain
- Inability to make decisions
- Crazy mood swings
You get the point. It sucks. Not only does it suck symptoms-wise, let’s not forget that it’s actually attacking our own body and damaging our intestines. So even if you don’t have symptoms, you’re still getting hit.
So…this all being said, why would anyone with celiac disease eat gluten? They wouldn’t. For the most part, we accept and understand that gluten is our enemy and we need to be as strict and diligent as humanly possible and remain 100% gluten-free. We reluctantly accept it as part of our journey.
If this is the case, then why are some leaders in the celiac industry asking us to eat gluten?
Two cases in point:
1) Coeliac UK, the oldest and largest celiac disease charity in the world, recently promoted a study that is being done by the University of Roehampton in London. The study is investigating the potential beneficial effects of GLUTEN FRIENDLY BREAD on coeliac disease patients. The bread is between 21-100ppm gluten. To be involved in the study, you must be a diagnosed celiac, on a gluten-free diet for at least a year and “not be extremely sensitive to exposure to gluten.” It’s this last one that gets me. Like I said, lack of symptoms does not necessarily equate to lack of damage. Here is a link to the study.
2) The University Of Chicago Medicine Celiac Disease Center is enrolling people with celiac disease in a clinical study to test the effectiveness of a pill to “treat” celiac disease. I emphasized TREAT because it’s not a cure…simply a pill that may minimize the damage caused by gluten. To be eligible, you must have celiac disease and be willing to eat bread that contains gluten over a 3-month period. And what do you get…besides a mean case of the shits and a bevy of other symptoms? $160. Like that would even cover the cost of the toilet paper. Here’s the link.
Look…I know both of the above companies do important work for our community and this is in no way a personal attack. But I do question their judgement. It says to me…and to whoever sees the study…that a little gluten won’t hurt you. I suppose they are asking for volunteers to take one for the team, so to speak, but are the potential benefits really worth it?
Me says no. What you say??