The digital magazine “Outside Online,” highlights celiac disease, gluten sensitivity and their debilitating effects on undiagnosed athletes.
Imagine attempting to climb to the top of Mount Everest, but being unable to achieve your goal due to an upset stomach, diarrhea, fatigue and weakness. This was the case for mountaineer Dave Hahn, who later discovered is inability to complete this athletic feat was due to undiagnosed celiac disease.
Hahn’s story, as well as the story of Brian Lopes, a mountain biker living with gluten sensitivity, was the focus of a recent article featured in the digital sporting publication, Outside Online. The article focused on the improved performance of athletes after receiving their diagnosis of a gluten-related disorder. Importantly, the article interviewed expert celiac disease researcher, Alessio Fasano, MD of the Center for Celiac Research in Boston, who noted a gluten-free diet isn’t recommended for all athletes – just those with a medical reason to eliminate the protein from their diets.
Also weighing in on the topic of gluten-free athletes was expert dietitian Shelley Case, the author of “The Gluten-Free Diet.” She offered a tip for athletes who think they have gluten sensitivity: Run a mile and time your performance while still eating gluten. Then, go on a gluten-free diet for four weeks*. Once the four weeks is up, time yourself on the mile run again. If you feel better and improve your performance, then gluten sensitivity could be an issue.
Read the rest of the story and see what else the experts had to say in the article on Outside Online. The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) will be hosting a free webinar titled on “Shifting the Focus: Lessons Learned from the Physical and Emotional Well-Being of Gluten-Free Athletes.” Register here now and tune in at 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT on Thursday, July 18th to keep this conversation going!
*The National Foundation for Celiac Awareness (NFCA) recommends getting tested for celiac disease prior to adopting the gluten-free diet. Learn more about celiac disease testing here.
The GFree Athlete Cycles for Celiac Awareness
Celiac Disease Symptoms Checklist