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Horrible Slate Article


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#1 admin

 
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Posted 29 July 2009 - 07:50 AM

Hello Everyone,

There was a horrible article published by Slate, and we need to let them know:

http://www.slate.com...23745/?from=rss
Title: Throwing Out the Wheat - Are we being too tolerant of gluten-intolerance?

Take care,
Scott

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#2 grainfree

 
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Posted 29 July 2009 - 07:59 AM

It was a well written article which led to questioning celiac disease in myself and now probable pending diagnosis. Thumbs down to the Slate article.
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#3 FMcGee

 
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Posted 29 July 2009 - 10:47 AM

I'm going to duck down behind my couch and ask this question: Isn't there something of value in this article? Can we assume that EVERYONE on a gluten-free diet who isn't a celiac is doing it for the "right" reasons? Isn't there some worth in asking why gluten-free diets are on the rise, without jumping to the conclusion that it's just better for everyone to avoid gluten? I'm not saying no one who isn't a diagnosed celiac should keep on eating gluten. People can eat whatever they want, and more gluten-free food is better for those who want or need to eat it. I'm also not saying that only celiacs benefit from a gluten-free diet. I'm only saying that I like asking questions (which is why I'm in academics). I wouldn't shout down this writer. It's worth the conversation. E-mail him, sure, but I, personally, am not going to gather the torches and the pitchforks.
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#4 Tim-n-VA

 
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Posted 29 July 2009 - 11:08 AM

Other than the title (is it really possible to be too tolerant of other people's decisions), I didn't have any problems with the article.
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#5 FMcGee

 
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Posted 29 July 2009 - 11:10 AM

Other than the title (is it really possible to be too tolerant of other people's decisions), I didn't have any problems with the article.


Yeah, I agree. And we can probably forgive him the title, because his editor might have chosen it, and it's kind of a catchy title, nice symmetry. Sentiment's no good, but I don't think the article made that argument.
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#6 Celiacos de México

 
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Posted 29 July 2009 - 11:11 AM

I think the problem is that the article was to underestimate the condition of the Celiac to adopt a gluten-free diet and compare it with a mode of feeding ... Those who are not celiacs are indeed free to consume the type of food they like, but we can not assume that the gluten-free diet for those suffering celiac disease is caused by social conditions for pleasure is a need to stay alive.
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#7 FMcGee

 
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Posted 29 July 2009 - 11:12 AM

I think the problem is that the article was to underestimate the condition of the Celiac to adopt a gluten-free diet and compare it with a mode of feeding ... Those who are not celiacs are indeed free to consume the type of food they like, but we can not assume that the gluten-free diet for those suffering celiac disease is caused by social conditions for pleasure is a need to stay alive.


I actually don't think it said that at all. It noted that those with celiac disease have severe problems with gluten, and then went on to talk about people who are not diagnosed and adopt the gluten-free diet.
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#8 Takala

 
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Posted 29 July 2009 - 11:20 AM

Oh, that is ... not good.

Let me study it a bit and formulate a response.
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#9 hannahp57

 
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Posted 29 July 2009 - 11:28 AM

The words do not undermine the severity of Celiac Disease but in context i think it would do just that. someone just reading that not knowing much about it would probably think that it means that Cliac Disease is just a big scare for people who just want something to blame their stomachache on. Also i do not think they know enough about gluten intolerance or sensitivity. If you begin a diet and it works then why question that?
if a person started the diet and felt better for a short amount of time but then began feeling the same way then i would consider the "placebo effect". there is a lot to be condsidered here and i think the article took the issues much too lightly. I didnt care for it. i read that line about:
"The human gut can't fully process gluten. At best, it's converted into a set of indigestible protein fragments that pass uneventfully through the gastrointestinal tract" and thought 'huh. it doesnt feel so uneventful when it happens to me'. then the article continues and mentions diarhhea etc. thats just one example but it most definitely could have been better written
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#10 Rissmeek

 
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Posted 29 July 2009 - 11:28 AM

I actually don't think it said that at all. It noted that those with celiac disease have severe problems with gluten, and then went on to talk about people who are not diagnosed and adopt the gluten-free diet.


It gave false stats, more than .75 percent are affected, that is more likely the amount that have been diagnosed. The comments to the article just show what this type of article can do to the gluten-free community.
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#11 Tim-n-VA

 
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Posted 29 July 2009 - 11:38 AM

It gave false stats, more than .75 percent are affected, that is more likely the amount that have been diagnosed. The comments to the article just show what this type of article can do to the gluten-free community.


The most commonly cited statistic on this board is 1 in 133 which is 0.75%. The "false stats" are no more false than the stats cited on this board almost daily.
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#12 mushroom

 
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Posted 29 July 2009 - 11:58 AM

Most of the latest estimates I have read have increased the number to 1 in 100. I don't have citations for this statement.
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Neroli


"Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted." - Albert Einstein

"Life is not weathering the storm; it is learning to dance in the rain"

"Whatever the question, the answer is always chocolate." Nigella Lawson

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Caffeine free 1973
Lactose free 1990
(Mis)diagnosed IBS, fibromyalgia '80's and '90's
Diagnosed psoriatic arthritis 2004
Self-diagnosed gluten intolerant, gluten-free Nov. 2007
Soy free March 2008
Nightshade free Feb 2009
Citric acid free June 2009
Potato starch free July 2009
(Totally) corn free Nov. 2009
Legume free March 2010
Now tolerant of lactose

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#13 ravenwoodglass

 
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Posted 29 July 2009 - 12:47 PM

I have some real issues with this article, it was obviously written by someone who doesn't have gluten intolerance or celiac and has never done any real research. Just a couple issues I have are the these-

" Now imagine that you've cut out gluten from your diet completely—that means no bread, no cereal, no wheat whatsoever. Chances are you'll have reduced your total intake of carbs, and thus the amount of α-amylase in your gut. In other words, the mere fact of being on a gluten-free diet could make you more sensitive to grains and cereals—which would only reinforce your conviction that you're gluten-intolerant. Slip up for even one meal, and you'll pay the price with indigestion. (Same goes for people who don't eat meat or dairy: A momentary lapse can yield a nasty stomachache.)"

The gluten free diet is not a low carb diet. In fact many of the gluten free items are actually higher in carbs than ones from gluten. We also suffer from what is much more than simple 'indigestion', many GI and celiac folks have multiple systems that are impacted, it is so much more than just a stomachache.


"The mere fact that someone who cuts out gluten feels better doesn't mean that he has an autoimmune disease or a wheat allergy or some other medical condition. Any kind of restrictive diet can help alleviate gastrointestinal distress. If you're paying more attention to what you eat, there's a good chance your symptoms will lessen. That's not because gluten or red meat or another food is damaging your small intestine; it's because eating less makes it easier for your gut to recover. Then there's the placebo effect of starting any treatment, which might well address some of the more abstract symptoms of gluten intolerance, like fatigue, mood swings, and depression."

Placebo effect!!!!!!! Yea right Not all restrictive diets help alleviate symptoms that we suffer from gluten or any other food that we are intolerant to. Many of us go through hell eliminating food after food and not having any resolution until the true culprit is found, whether it be gluten, soy, eggs, potatoes, dairy etc. If the placebo effect was going on then eliminating any food would help but it doesn't until we finally find the one that is really causing the issue.

The article also fails to address the fact that blood testing and biopsy are far from absolutes. Even the NIH recognizes that false negatives exist.
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celiac 49 years - Misdiagnosed for 45
Blood tested and repeatedly negative
Diagnosed by Allergist with elimination diet and diagnosis confirmed by GI in 2002
Misdiagnoses for 15 years were IBS-D, ataxia, migraines, anxiety, depression, fibromyalgia, parathesias, arthritis, livedo reticularis, hairloss, premature menopause, osteoporosis, kidney damage, diverticulosis, prediabetes and ulcers, dermatitis herpeformis
All bold resoved or went into remission with proper diagnosis of Celiac November 2002
Some residual nerve damage remains as of 2006- this has continued to resolve after eliminating soy in 2007

Mother died of celiac related cancer at 56
Twin brother died as a result of autoimmune liver destruction at age 15

Children 2 with Ulcers, GERD, Depression, , 1 with DH, 1 with severe growth stunting (male adult 5 feet)both finally diagnosed Celiac through blood testing and 1 with endo 6 months after Mom


Positive to Soy and Casien also Aug 2007

Gluten Sensitivity Gene Test Aug 2007
HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 1 0303

HLA-DQB1 Molecular analysis, Allele 2 0303

Serologic equivalent: HLA-DQ 3,3 (Subtype 9,9)

#14 Mskedi

 
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Posted 29 July 2009 - 01:00 PM

The gluten free diet is not a low carb diet. In fact many of the gluten free items are actually higher in carbs than ones from gluten.

I had a problem with that part of the article, too. I am in no way eating fewer carbs. As a vegetarian, a lot of my protein sources were MADE of wheat gluten, so now I'm eating way MORE carbs.

"The mere fact that someone who cuts out gluten feels better doesn't mean that he has an autoimmune disease or a wheat allergy or some other medical condition. Any kind of restrictive diet can help alleviate gastrointestinal distress. If you're paying more attention to what you eat, there's a good chance your symptoms will lessen. That's not because gluten or red meat or another food is damaging your small intestine; it's because eating less makes it easier for your gut to recover. Then there's the placebo effect of starting any treatment, which might well address some of the more abstract symptoms of gluten intolerance, like fatigue, mood swings, and depression."

Then why do I feel fine after eating gluten-free cake? That's far from healthy. Also, I have gorged myself with gluten-free food -- it's a totally different feeling from the gut-ache that comes from gluten-y foods.

I also took issue with the argument about how a vegetarian would get sick if he/she ate meat. After 14 years of vegetarianism and some frustration with gluten-free food, I tried a few bites of meat. It was fairly repulsive and I won't be trying it again anytime soon, but I didn't get physically sick in the least.

I don't think I totally hated the article -- I appreciate him making sure that it was clear that for Celiacs there is absolutely no tolerance for gluten -- but I don't like how it had an "if you aren't officially diagnosed, you have no business avoiding gluten" approach. Considering how long it has taken people to get diagnoses (my grandmother didn't get hers until she was in her 70s and the damage was irreversible), it just seems like a stupid stance to take.
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#15 mushroom

 
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Posted 29 July 2009 - 01:40 PM

but I don't like how it had an "if you aren't officially diagnosed, you have no business avoiding gluten" approach.


That's the part I didn't like either, that that doctor's official stamp of approval (which half of us have spent a lifetime trying to wring out of our doctors--doctors who, incidentally, believe that celiac is an extremely "rare" disease and which was one of the reasons we didn't know about it either), can suddenly change the status of our gluten avoidance from fad to necessity. Walk a mile in our shoes....
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Neroli


"Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted." - Albert Einstein

"Life is not weathering the storm; it is learning to dance in the rain"

"Whatever the question, the answer is always chocolate." Nigella Lawson

------------

Caffeine free 1973
Lactose free 1990
(Mis)diagnosed IBS, fibromyalgia '80's and '90's
Diagnosed psoriatic arthritis 2004
Self-diagnosed gluten intolerant, gluten-free Nov. 2007
Soy free March 2008
Nightshade free Feb 2009
Citric acid free June 2009
Potato starch free July 2009
(Totally) corn free Nov. 2009
Legume free March 2010
Now tolerant of lactose

Celiac.com - Celiac Disease Board Moderator




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