More Americans buy gluten-free, but is it another diet fad?

Print
Email
|

by SHELLY SLATER

WFAA

Posted on September 28, 2012 at 9:56 AM

DALLAS -- There are a number of ways to detox, and a number of reasons to do it.

Some doctors say getting rid of wheat is a way sick people can start feeling better.

But is being gluten-free just another fad? That depends on who you ask.

Laurie May Brown is learning a whole new way of cooking and eating. She is avoiding gluten in wheat.

"I make everything from scratch," Brown said. "Nothing processed. No sugar."

She was healthy, until turning 50. That's when she started having severe stomach pain that was ultimately diagnosed as ulcerative colitis, an autoimmune disease.

"For five years, I've felt awful -- tired, depressed, everything ached all the time," she said. "I felt sick all the time."

Doctors couldn't figure out the reason for Brown's problems, so she decided to start from scratch by taking the "usual suspects" out of her diet, as doctors suggest.

"The ones that are at the top of the list: wheat, dairy and gluten, soy, sometimes sugar, alcohol, caffeine, processed foods, eggs," Brown said. "So, the common allergens."

Gluten in wheat is also a common focus of dietitians.

"Symptoms like bloatedness, even like a brain fog, a general fatigue, even though you sleep, you don't feel that good, your energy dips through the day," said Dr. Toni Vaughn. "Sometimes it can even show up on skin conditions."

Gluten-free products can be found readily on store shelves now. Americans will spend about $7 billion on them this year.

It's led critics to say it's a diet fad, because most people buying gluten-free don't really have a sensitivity to it.

But Laurie May Brown said it's work for her. Her joint pain is gone, her digestive problems are gone, and her blood pressure is down.

"There's no going back for me," Brown said. "My husband said, 'I'm so glad to have my wife back!'"

Print
Email
|