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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Gluten-free Athletes: Green Bay Packer Running Back James Starks

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

    Caption: Photo: CC-gtalan

    Celiac.com 09/16/2011 - Add Green Bay Packer running back James Starks to the list of professional athletes who are reaping the benefits of going gluten-free, after experiencing health issues.

    Though Starks has not released an official diagnosis, his new diet may indicate celiac disease. If so, changing his diet and avoiding gluten will likely improve his immune system, energy level, and overall health.

    Photo: CC-gtalanStarks told reporters recently that, before his change, he had "…been feasting off of carbs thinking it was good, but my body didn't react to it the right way. That played a big part in the healing process."

    Since going on a gluten-free diet, Starks says he has put more weight on his 6'2" frame, and is now up to 225 pounds, right where his coaches want him. He also says he feels stronger.

    Starks is one of many pro athletes who have recently gone gluten-free. Others include: Kyle Korver of the Chicago Bulls, who credits a gluten-free diet for an improved post-game recovery; US swimmer Dana Vollmer, who went gluten-free before winning her first gold medal at the 2011 World Swimming Championships, and after years of battling severe stomach aches and fatigue; and UFC fighter Dennis Hallman, who celiac disease, who has openly discussed his condition and following adjustments to his training regimen.

    Like everyone who has made the switch away from gluten, Starks has had to make his own personal sacrifices, avoiding favorites like fried chicken and pepperoni pizza. However, those sacrifices are paying off with a renewed energy and vitality leaving Starks hungry for another Superbowl run.


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    Its nice to see advertising about celebrities with celiac disease. The more that is written about the disease then people will become more knowledgeable about it. Also more manufacturers are producing gluten free products as the disease becomes more popular in the press.

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    If he does have celiac disease I wish he would disclose it to help bring awareness of the disease. Also it stated he can't have pizza or fried chicken. Why not, I do, there are pizza places and gluten free crust and with Bisquick and other gluten free breading you can make fried chicken.

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    I agree with Mechiell this article is great to hear other famous people can share their change of diet with gluten-free foods to help promote energy and awareness to celiac. He can still enjoy fresh gluten-free pizza restaurants like Mariposa Cafe in San Francisco and Oakland and Mission Pizza make fresh gluten-free pizzas. Raley's sells gluten-free corn flakes to bread your chicken or fish.

     

    When we first found this diagnosis, I had research and read gluten-free books and recipes books to be created with comparable foods that all of the family can changed to new diet and was better than cooking two different meals a day.

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in science, scientific methodology, biology, anatomy, medicine, logic, and advanced research. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

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