Why do some products at the grocery store say Gluten-free?

by Dr. Sharleen Hawco ND November 10, 2008

Gluten is a protein that is found in wheat, barley, oats and rye. People who have celiac disease (an autoimmune condition, which results from an inappropriate immune system response to gluten, affecting digestion and absorption) must be on a gluten-free diet for the best effective treatment. Products now in the grocery store are stating that they are gluten-free to let the public know that it does not contain that specific gluten protein. Rice does contain glutens, but its protein differs from those of wheat, barley, oats and rye. Therefore it is considered gluten-free.

The symptoms related to gluten sensitivity vary, but some common symptoms include cramping, bloating, diarrhea, flatulence, nausea, fatigue, unresolved skin rash or dry skin, and anemia. Many people do not have celiac disease, but may have a slight gluten-sensitivity. It is safe for anyone to be on a gluten-free diet, however gluten can be found in almost everything, including salad dressing, frozen yogurt and even dried fruits.

If you suspect that you may be gluten-sensitive, there are a variety of tests that can be done with your naturopathic doctor:  including IgG Food Allergy test or Gliadin IgG Antibodies.

Dr. Sharleen Hawco ND
Dr. Sharleen Hawco ND


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