Delving more into what my clients with celiac disease and gluten sensitivity are needing from a dietitian, I’ve done a lot of reading and professional development around gut health and food intolerance. This has been a fascinating journey with so much to learn. Research in gut heal is really starting to heat up, but is still in it’s infancy. We are now seeing the tip of the iceberg, so to speak. And because there is new emerging gut health research, companies that “sell health” tend to jump on this very quickly.
With the intention of making money. Because that is the point of a business.
Please, please, please be discerning about where you get your information from.
Can Supplements Improve Gluten Tolerance?
The past week I’ve heard several stories about people with celiac disease taking supplements, and claiming that it has “cured their celiac disease” or they are able to “cheat” without symptoms. This has so many red flags. I’m sure this is not an isolated case in which supplements have been taken in order to “cure” celiac disease or allow people to mistakenly eat gluten again.
I get it. We all desperately want a cure. If we had Aladdin’s Lamp, I’m sure a lot of us would be wishing for a way to eat normally again! But that reality is not here yet. Celiac disease is an autoimmune disease. That means that the body has mistaken a part of itself as an invader. Once the immune system has developed an autoimmune disease, there is no changing it’s mind. It’s permanent.
There is no supplement, therapy, enzyme, alternative treatment that can make this go away and the only way to treat celiac disease and gluten intolerance is through a strictly gluten free diet for life. Fortunately dietary management is an effective treatment, unlike the rest of the autoimmune diseases of the body.
Damage can occur in the absence of symptoms.
Many people with celiac disease or gluten intolerance have significant symptoms when they are accidentally exposed to gluten. For many other people, they do not. Symptoms do not indicate whether or not damage occurs in the intestine as a result of a gluten exposure.
This is not something to be taken lightly. Even without an obvious physical reaction to gluten, repeated exposure to gluten in the diet put a person with celiac disease at risk for long term health consequences. The scariest being other autoimmune diseases, osteoporosis and certain types of cancers.
70% of people go to the internet and consult “doctor google” before actually speaking to a real health professional.
This is a believable statistic. We live in an age where information is easily at our finger tips! This is a scary thing too because MIS-information is also very prevalent.
There is a lot of glamorous and “sexy” health information being presented on social media. Everyone seems to have an opinion about how to lose weight, how to clear up eczema and how to heal leaky gut. Consider where it is coming from. Is it from a credible source? How do you separate facts from the fluff?
Health information needs to come from a health professional.
Think about it. Is the information you get from a sale representative that works for a supplement company going to be reputable? Where is the information going to be coming from? Is your best interest at heart?
What about a professional with years of rigorous training, practical experience and a legal responsibility to present evidence based information? Dietitians are obligated to only present information to the public and clients that is evidence based and will not cause harm. This means the sources of a dietitian’s information are going to be credible and based on fact. A dietitian is also not going to be making a profit off whether you consume certain types of supplements. Consider the motivation behind health bloggers and social media posts before believing everything you read.
As a mentor of mine once told me “it’s important to have an open mind in life, but not so open that your brain falls out!”. Too true.