Gluten Intolerance not just a fad

Jill Morton, Staff Writer

More and more people seem to be saying they’re gluten intolerant. Some people say it’s just a fad; just because people are more aware of it, they automatically think their bodies don’t do well with gluten. I disagree.

It’s really difficult and not at all fun to try to eat gluten free. I’ve only recently started doing this; I was informed a couple months ago that my body doesn’t seem to like gluten foods much, even though my taste buds were telling me I loved those types of foods.

If you ever think that someone is pretending to be gluten free just to be snooty, you’re probably wrong. Because who would give up eating pancakes, muffins and a lot of other delicious food just to be like “look what I can do.” I’m here to tell you it’s not worth it.

It’s also typically more expensive. Gluten free items can be pricier and much more difficult to find in the store. I have to go to a special grocery store just to get a decent kind of bread that won’t make me feel sick.

Also, it’s really difficult as an athlete because I need so many calories every day from running around for three hours at practice. Most people get a lot of their calories from pastas and breads. I have had to learn to adapt from eating those same types of foods all the time. If I only had to eat half as many calories as I do now, it might be a little easier to get enough of the right types of food in me.

As a result of becoming aware of my intolerance, I have had to change my diet quite a bit. No more pancakes for breakfast, no more pizza for a quick snack. I’ve started making my own food more often. Anyone who knows me at all will know how often I make special gluten free muffins. While they are delicious, it would still be preferable to eat like a normal person. For example, it’d be nice to just be able to grab a box of muffins at Target instead of having to make my own all the time.

Evidence shows that in recent years, people are becoming more and more prone to gluten intolerance and celiac disease. The gluten intolerance, is four times more common today than it was in the 1950’s according to Dr. Joseph Mercola, an osteopathic physician. Osteopathy involves an emphasis an massage and other forms of physical treatment over traditional medications.

It’s on the rise because the different way that gluten is produced in the present day. Wheat grain has been altered to be more resistant to droughts, but our stomachs have not been able to adapt quite so quickly. Since there has been so many changes in the way gluten is made, it then makes sense that it changes how people react to it.

Some of the symptoms include stomach pains of all sorts, fatigue and nasal congestion. It can even go as far as causing brain fog, headaches and anxiety according to Medical News Today. These symptoms make it way less appetizing to eat that gluten-filled cookie. Most of the time it’s not worth it.

“‘Gluten’ comes from the Latin word for glue, and its adhesive properties hold bread and cake together,” Dr. Mercola said. “But those same properties interfere with the breakdown and absorption of nutrients, including the nutrients from other foods in the same meal.”

These are the reasons I don’t understand why some people think others with gluten intolerance are faking. It would not be worth it at all. Next time you are annoyed with someone asking for the “gluten free” offerings at a restaurant, take a moment to empathize with them.

Jill Morton is a opinion writer for Dakota Student. She can be reached at [email protected]