Health Journalist Shares Her Experience with Gluten Sensitivity

January 13, 2012

Health Journalist Shares Her Experience with Gluten Sensitivity

Published in The Washingtonian, article highlights gluten sensitivity symptoms and the challenge of “convincing the skeptics.”

In a new article “Living with a Gluten Allergy,” health writer Dana Scarton takes an in depth look at gluten sensitivity, sharing her own experience with the condition and the medical field’s changing attitudes about gluten-related disorders beyond celiac disease.

Scarton starts out noting that 2 years ago, she never suspected that the symptoms she had been experiencing were related to gluten. As she came to learn, gluten-related issues and their effects can vary. She quotes Dr. Alessio Fasano, Director of the Center for Celiac Research at University of Maryland, on the differences between celiac disease and gluten sensitivity.

“You are not going to die of gluten sensitivity,’ Fasano says, ‘but your lifestyle can be greatly affected if it goes undiagnosed. Dealing with it can be so stressful and the symptoms so debilitating that it can cause someone to lose their job, lose their partner, things like that.”

Scarton’s article addresses the gluten-free lifestyle and how finding gluten-free food has become much easier. For her, diagnosis was the biggest challenge. Much of that has to do with the medical community, which only recently has begun to recognize and diagnose gluten sensitivity.

“If you came to our clinic two years ago and said, ‘Doc, I have these symptoms, and I know that when I eat less gluten I feel better,’ we’d give you a celiac test,” Fasano says. “If it came back negative, we’d tell you to go in peace. If you didn’t eat gluten and thought you felt better, we’d figure it was a placebo effect. That had been our attitude for quite a long time.”

Fortunately, as Scarton notes, “Attitudes are beginning to change…”

To read the full article, visit The Washingtonian .