Summary of The War on Gluten

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Millions of Americans have jumped on the gluten-free bandwagon, with mixed results. Seeking relief from symptoms such as joint and abdominal pain, diarrhea, headaches, bloating and rashes, many claim that eliminating dietary gluten has a beneficial effect. Researchers say that although most such patients don’t have celiac disease or wheat allergy, their symptoms are real, and eliminating gluten may well be a valid strategy for relief. getAbstract recommends this article by Science writer Kelly Servick to those who suffer from unexplained symptoms they suspect may be gluten-related.

About the Author

Kelly Servick is a staff writer at Science magazine. She focuses on stories about biomedical research and policy.  



An increasing number of people think they are gluten intolerant.

Gluten is a “tangle of proteins” found in grains such as wheat, barley and rye. Some three million Americans subscribe to a gluten-free diet, complaining that gluten causes joint and abdominal pain, diarrhea, headaches, bloating and rashes. Yet few of them test positive for wheat allergy or celiac disease.

Celiac disease and wheat allergy are specific, identifiable conditions.

Celiac disease, a genetic disorder, causes severe gut inflammation in reaction to gluten. Wheat allergy can cause itching, vomiting and trouble...

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