DI­GES­TIVE HEALTH

The News Herald (Willoughby, OH) - - Advertising - Michael Kirsch, MD, FACP

Q: Should I Try a Gluten­free Diet? A: Is gluten re­ally Pub­lic En­emy #1? It seems that ev­ery­one is elim­i­nat­ing gluten from their diet for one rea­son or an­other. Restau­rants and su­per­mar­kets of­fer a wide va­ri­ety of gluten-free foods. Years ago, physi­cians ad­vised a gluten-free diet only for in­di­vid­u­als who had celiac dis­ease (CD), which is an au­toim­mune dis­ease that largely ef­fects the small in­tes­tine. Gluten are pro­teins con­tained in wheat and other grains. We are learn­ing more about how gluten can ir­ri­tate the di­ges­tive sys­tem of peo­ple who do not have CD. Some pa­tients sim­ply have dif­fi­culty tol­er­at­ing gluten-rich foods and rarely, pa­tients can have an ac­tual al­lergy to gluten and wheat prod­ucts.. Un­like ac­tual celiac dis­ease, we do not have ac­cu­rate tests to de­ter­mine the pres­ence of these other gluten dis­or­ders. Symp­toms of gluten in­tol­er­ance and wheat al­lergy can mimic those of CD, lac­tose in­tol­er­ance, ir­ri­ta­ble bowel syn­drome and Crohn’s dis­ease. All of these con­di­tions can have bloat­ing, cramps and di­ar­rhea. Gluten in­tol­er­ance is much more com­mon than celiac dis­ease. And, these symp­toms could also be a side ef­fect of one of your own medicines! Fi­nally, there are pa­tients who have none of these gluten con­di­tions, but yet feel bet­ter on a gluten free diet. When I see such a pa­tient, even if I can’t ex­plain it, I ac­cept that the pa­tient knows best since no one knows your body bet­ter than you. Do you sus­pect that gluten might be your ‘en­emy’? I would be pleased to dis­cuss this with you per­son­ally. For your con­ve­nience, you may re­quest an ap­point­ment on our web­site www.cd­ho­hio.com. Cen­ter for Di­ges­tive Health 34940 Ridge Rd. #B Wil­loughby, OH 44094 (440) 953-1899 www.cd­hwilloughby.com

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