Health Matters: Understanding the Gluten Free Diet

The gluten free diet fad is still a popular fad. But for many, it could be a medical necessity.

It’s no surprise the gluten free market is booming.

If you go into any grocery store, more gluten free items are lining the shelves.

While celiac disease, or the allergy to gluten, has not hit a spike, it’s gluten intolerance that’s on the rise.
 
Matthew Mehl is a life-long sufferer of celiac disease, but hasn’t always known.
 
“All the years that I had the symptoms and didn’t know what was going on with me just kept rolling with it,” says Mehl’s Gluten Free Bakery Co-owner, Matthew Mehl.
 
That’s why Matthew, along with his other brothers who suffer from the disease, opened Mehl’s Gluten Free Bakery.
 
“We’re realizing we’re all part of one big happy family. The food allergy family and it seems like were multiplying like jack rabbits. It keeps growing,” says Mehl.
 

And doctors can’t quite figure out why.

People who are gluten intolerant aren’t allergic. They just have trouble digesting gluten. And the number of cases continues to grow.
 
“People are more aware of gluten free as a diet they can follow and they’re trying it out and finding that their symptoms go away or if it’s something in the wheat made now a days causing people to react to it differently,” says Essentia Clinical Dietitian, Katie Barkley.
 
Symptoms of gluten intolerance include bloating, gas, diarrhea and constipation.

“This is just one of the options at Mehl’s gluten free bakery. It’s a s’mores cupcake and I’ll do the hard work and try a bite…it’s delicious.”

 

It’s a diet attracting not just those who can’t eat gluten, but those who choose not to.
 
“Then they can put a rule on their food intake and say I’m not going to eat this therefore we’re eliminating a food group and eliminating calories so we tend to replace those calories with something else,” says Barkley.
 
Dr. Barkley says for any diet grains are extremely important, especially for those avoiding gluten.
 
“You can try quinoa, rice, oatmeal,” says Barkley.

 

Barkley tells me for those who suffer from celiac disease common symptoms include skin rashes or hives.

However, she says it’s possible people might not experience any reaction at all and could still be destroying their intestines.