Don’t be a glutton for gluten

| May 20, 2014
gerald deas

Dr. Gerald Deas

By Gerald W. Deas, M.D.

As I visit many market places selling healthy foods, I am surprised to observe so many signs on food objects stating “gluten free.”

I can recall as a child when my intake of excessive sweets caused my mom to say, “stop being a glutton.” Now glutton has nothing to do with gluten because if you have an allergy to gluten, a small amount can cause your intestines to get an attitude , causing a feeling of bloating, cramping, diarrhea and excessive farting. Also, weight loss and anemia.

Sensitivity to gluten can even cause babies  a failure to thrive. This is one reason an infant should never start with mixed cereals too early. For they may be allergic to gluten. Rice cereal is a preferred starter.

Gluten can be found in foods such as salad dressings, gravies, meats with fillers (franks), most baked goods, ice cream, candies, beer, ale and also pastas.

An intolerence to gluten can be life-long and a gluten-free diet is necessary to prevent gastrointestinal symptoms.

Gluten can be found in wheat, barley, oats, rye and mixed breakfast cereals. The small intestines are lined with finger-like projections called villi, which absorb nutrients as food passes thru the gut, If one is allergic to gluten, these small villi become useless, causing intestinal symptoms which can be a life-long affliction.

A gluten free diet is the only answer, so beware of foods you are eating that may have hidden gluten to those who are sensitive. An allergy to gluten affects one to six of every 10,000 Americans.

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Category: Health, Local, National

About the Author ()

Gerald W. Deas, MD, MPH, MA is a physician, poet, patient advocate, playwright, media personality, political activist and public health crusader. Read his full bio at

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