Is Avoiding Gluten in Foods Always Necessary?

Many who shun the component of wheat, barley and rye may not need to do so, experts say

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The only significant downside to gluten-free diets is cost, since gluten-free foods are significantly more expensive than foods that contain gluten.

"If people are uncomfortable and want to put themselves on a gluten-free diet and they don't mind it, there's no real harm to that if they're willing to bear the inconvenience and cost," said Greenwald.

However, both experts cautioned that it's important that a doctor rules out celiac disease before anyone undertakes a gluten-free diet. Lowering the amount of gluten in your diet can change the results of the blood tests used to screen for celiac disease, and might mask the presence of celiac disease. With celiac disease, it's essential to avoid all gluten to avoid complications.

More information

Learn more about food allergies and intolerance from the American Gastroenterological Association.

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