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.