You're sick and tired of being sick and tired and bloated and foggy-brained. An allergist or doctor tests you for food allergies and tells you that you should avoid gluten. You've been gluten-free for a while, but you're still experiencing some of the following symptoms:
- gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea and cramping
- skin breakouts (hives, eczema, swelling)
- joint pain or migraine headaches
- mood changes
- immune disruption
With the explosion in gluten-free offerings, you would think your food allergy symptoms would vanish. Gluten-free product sales in 2011 exceeded $6 billion, almost a 20 percent increase from 2010.
Despite the glut of gluten-free offerings - including gluten-free beer - an increasing number of people still feel bloated. In addition, more people are developing Celiac disease or non-Celiac sensitivity. But why? Here are a few possible reasons:
1. Products labeled gluten-free aren't really gluten-free: Gluten-free labeling - at least in some cases - offers the same dubious promise as "cage-free" or "natural." In an attempt to regulate gluten-free foods in 2007, the Food and Drug Administration proposed to allow manufacturers to label a food "gluten-free" if the food does not contain 20 or more parts-per-million gluten, among other parameters. But if a food contains 19 ppm gluten, it still might trigger an allergy or sensitivity.