Tuesday, January 18, 2011

CNN Poll Ranks Gluten-free Diet First


This data comes from the Celiac Central Quarterly, a newsletter of the NFCA (National Foundation for Celiac Awareness).

2011 is going to be another big year for gluten intolerance (celiac and gluten sensitivity both). I personally have big plans to raise awareness and I was delighted to see the results of a recent lunchtime poll that CNN conducted.

Due to increased public attention and news coverage about gluten, CNN conducted a poll on the gluten-free community utilizing the following question: “Do you or a family member adhere to a diet that’s been prescribed by a health care professional?” They were interested perceptions about a diet and any medical need behind adopting a certain diet.  As you may recall CNN had a recent spot about gluten where they insinuated that it was a “fad” and that people ate gluten-free because they “wanted” to more than they “needed” to. 

More than 12% of the respondents selected a gluten-free diet, placing it first among all the diets included. (Other diet options were free of various ingredients such as sugar, nuts, shellfish and sodium.) If you think the percentage should have been higher, let me lend some perspective.  It wasn’t until I started writing in this area and getting responses from people around the world that I started to appreciate how difficult most people find it to have their doctors do any testing for gluten intolerance.  And I don’t need to remind you the problem of utilizing insensitive tests or tests that only measure severe intestinal damage associated with celiac disease.  We are unfortunately still very much ensconced in a medical community that thinks a gluten problem means celiac disease, that celiac is rare, and that all celiac have severe digestive symptoms.

Yes, that’s the bad news, but the research is proving that gluten problems are anything BUT a fad and I truly believe that the truth will prevail.

To your good health,
Dr Vikki Petersen
Co-author of the bestselling “The Gluten Effect”

1 comment:

Janet NZ said...

I was diagnosed with celiac disease by a gastro specialist who did an endoscopy (looking for a suspected hiatus hernia). The specialist told me he had done a couple of biopsies, but they were "just a formality. I can see the damage in your small intestine - you definately have celiac disease." However, the biopsies came back "normal gut mucosa seen" - so my GP refuses to believe I have a problem. I have been gluten free since Dec 2009 and all my symptoms - acid reflux, diarrhea, extreme fatigue have disappeared. I suspect the biopsies were negative because I had already realised that eating breads etc made me feel unwell, so I had not been eating much of that anyway. So, if I was questioned by CNN, I would have to say No - I am not following a diet recommended by my health professional.