Is a Gluten-Free Diet Right for You?

Candidates include people with celiac disease, gluten sensitivity or those with a wheat allergy

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Friends and family can sometimes be more of an issue for someone with celiac disease. "There's a lack of understanding about the need to avoid gluten 100 percent of the time," she said.

But if you don't have celiac disease -- which affects about 2 million people in the United States, according to the U.S. National Institutes of Health -- there should be no harm in trying a gluten-free diet, Levy said, assuming that you've seen a doctor if you suspect celiac.

He said you can get all the nutrition you need from a gluten-free diet. But, he added a note of caution for those who eat gluten-free with the hope of losing weight.

"People who go on gluten-free diets tend to gain weight," Levy said. "People often substitute gluten-free flours and alternative baked goods, and too much of these foods can increase weight."

More information

The American Gastroenterological Association has more about celiac disease and a gluten-free diet.

To read about one woman's experience with a gluten-free diet click here.

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