Gluten free diets have become tremendously popular in the last several years. It can be attributed to different factors—the rise in diagnosis of celiac and Crohn’s disease, a better understanding of gluten sensitivity, and even a non-medical diagnosis. There continues to be a tendency for people to try a gluten free diet without a medical diagnosis.
Why Would People Avoid Gluten?
There are certainly legitimate reasons to avoid gluten if you’ve been diagnosed with a medical condition, and you should always heed your doctor’s advice on that front. But with the growing trend of going gluten free and the wide availability of gluten free products, some may think that the diet is healthier, or that they could cure an undiagnosed digestive issue on their own. Self diagnosing and self treatment can be dangerous, if you are suffering from some sort of digestive troubles, it’s important to schedule an appointment with GI Associates so we can provide an official diagnosis and set you on a path to feel better.
What’s The Harm In Going Gluten Free?
Some may think that when comparing gluten free products to those containing gluten, the only difference is the presence of wheat and flours. However, when compared side-by-side, researchers have found that gluten free products typically contain less protein than their counterparts. They also found variances in lipid and saturated fat contents, sugar contents, vitamins, minerals, and fiber. This change in your diet or in your child’s diet could lead to nutritional deficiencies as you are suddenly not getting the proper balance of nutrients. If you or your child are on a doctor’s prescribed gluten free diet, it’s crucial to ask them for a list of foods you should integrate into your diet to make up for what is being lost with the elimination of gluten.
Lastly, some research has shown that eliminating gluten prior to being properly diagnosed by a doctor could lead to a missed diagnosis. Part of what doctors look for when they’re diagnosing celiac disease is observing how the body reacts to gluten. If you’ve been avoiding it prior to a diagnosis, your doctor may not be able to detect it as easily or accurately.
GI Associates provides a comprehensive diagnostic environment for both adults and children, making it the ideal place for you to take your family. The medical approach toward treating children varies greatly, and it’s important to ensure that everyone in your family receives the proper care. GI Associates has a pediatric division dedicated to treating gastrointestinal disorders in children. We realize that children have gastrointestinal diseases that are different from adults and require a unique approach. Contact us today and we can schedule your appointment.