Need another excuse to skip bread?
or “celiac sprue” to the medical community, affects three million
Americans, although most are unaware of it. That’s because the
symptoms gas, cramping and weight loss often are mistaken for
irritable bowel syndrome, according to the National Institutes of
Gluten from grains such as rye and barley can come in contact
with the small intestine and trigger an allergic response, eroding
the lining and damaging tissue. This in turn saps the body’s
absorption of important nutrients, including calcium and iron,
which leads to anemia, weight loss and osteoporosis.
The only effective defense against celiac, say doctors, is a
strict gluten-free diet. That could mean substituting wheat flour
with potato, rice or soy flour. Also, sufferers must beware of
sources of gluten such as additives, preservatives and even
mouthwash. For more information, consult the National Digestive
Diseases Information Clearinghouse at www.digestive.niddk.nih.gov