GLUTEN-FREE

Health & Nutrition - - NUTRITION UPDATE - Jowar, ba­jra ragi/ nachni Radha Mun­shi, Pune

QAfter many years of di­ges­tive prob­lems, I de­cided to go gluten-free and have felt much bet­ter. Does this mean I need to go gluten-free for the rest of my life? Is there any di­ag­nos­tic test other than ‘if you feel bet­ter, stay gluten-free? I keep see­ing new prod­ucts la­belled gluten-free. I un­der­stand this is im­por­tant for peo­ple with celiac dis­ease, but should ev­ery­body try to eat gluten-free?

AIf you feel bet­ter, you may want to go gluten-free or in­tro­duce small quan­ti­ties of gluten in your diet. Yes, there are di­ag­nos­tic tests for gluten in­tol­er­ance. Ev­ery­body does not need to go gluten-free at all. It has be­come very com­mon and al­most fash­ion­able to blame all di­ges­tive prob­lems on gluten. How­ever, there is no harm in in­clud­ing gluten-free grains such as or in your diet as they are very nu­tri­tious. Dr Deepak N Amara­purkar, Gas­troen­terol­o­gist, adds Gluten sen­si­tiv­ity is of two types: Al­lergy, which is called as celiac dis­ease, and di­ag­nosed on the ba­sis of blood test. For pa­tients with celiac dis­ease, gluten in any form is taboo for life. Other form of gluten sen­si­tiv­ity is called as non-celiac gluten sen­si­tiv­ity. These pa­tients test neg­a­tive for the tests for celiac dis­ease but their symp­toms im­prove with gluten with­drawal. It is not clear that life-long gluten with­drawal is es­sen­tial for these pa­tients. There is a lot of re­search go­ing on in this field. Ge­net­i­cally en­gi­neered gluten-free wheat is likely to be made avail­able com­mer­cially in the near fu­ture. Med­i­ca­tions to be used with the meals which will pre­vent gluten ab­sorp­tion from the in­tes­tine, are also likely to be avail­able. Re­gard­ing your case, I would rec­om­mend you to see a gas­troen­terol­o­gist for ap­pro­pri­ate test­ing.

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