Another one of my strong dietary beliefs is questioned in a New York Times article, Jury Is Still Out on Gluten, the Latest Dietary Villain. The article really stacks the experts, who are all MDs, against everyday people who have benefited from not eating gluten. No naturopath or anyone else who might have prescribed a gluten-free diet to someone without diagnosed celiac disease was ever mentioned. Well, unless you count Dr. Don W. Powell’s statement: “A lot of alternative practitioners like chiropractors have picked up on it and are waving around magic silver balls, crystals and such, telling people they have gluten intolerance.” He happens to be the Associate Dean for Research at the University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston. Awesome. Sign me up to work in his lab.
In my case (note that I’m not a professional), there were no magic silver balls, and no crystals. I don’t know if I’m celiac, but I kind of doubt that I am, and I won’t go back on gluten so that I can have a biopsy to find out. I just know that I stopped eating gluten, and good things happened. I had skin conditions that improved, chronic infections that haven’t come back, my immunity is better in general, my mood improved, I lost weight, and my digestive system is finally pretty normal. Is gluten-free a fad? Perhaps, but I don’t care. It’s made such a big difference that I wouldn’t give it up.
I had a professor in England who said that the Clean Air Act of 1956 was the one piece of legislation that made the single biggest difference in his life. I know it’s a bit of a stretch, but if you can imagine my body as the UK, going gluten-free is my personal Clean Air Act. Sometimes rules — difficult as they may be to follow — have unimaginably good consequences. I appreciate allopathic medicine, and I have many friends who are in that field. But I think sometimes things work that pure science (or the pure science we know) can’t explain, and some doctors are too quick to write them off as quacky medicine. Eating the right foods for your body isn’t magic.
I’ve been reading a blog called Gluten-Free Girl for several months, now (in fact, hers is one of the blogs that inspired me to start this one). She talks a lot about being gluten-free, food, love, and life in general, and she eats so, so well (I’m sure living with a chef helps). Anyway, I like to think there are as many people out there who have had amazing experiences with going gluten-free as there are “experts” who think it’s just a trend.