• Join our community!

    Do you have questions about celiac disease or the gluten-free diet?

  • Ads by Google:
     




    Get email alerts Subscribe to Celiac.com's FREE weekly eNewsletter

    Ads by Google:



       Get email alertsSubscribe to Celiac.com's FREE weekly eNewsletter

  • Member Statistics

    77,316
    Total Members
    3,093
    Most Online
    Wee Lala
    Newest Member
    Wee Lala
    Joined
  • 0

    The Media Encourages Negative Social Behavior Towards Gluten-Free Dieters


    Jean Duane


    • Journal of Gluten Sensitivity Winter 2018 Issue


    Image Caption: Image: CC--Jimmy G

    Celiac.com 01/11/2018 - Gluten-free, food allergies and celiac disease have reached the media in the form of jokes and ridicule. This is a serious development because the media influences viewer's day-today reactions to various social situations. In many ways, TV becomes a role model for social interactions. DeVault (1991) says that "an enormous body of science, literature and even humor tells us how a middle-class man and woman might 'do' family life" (p. 16). This is the fundamental reason why the media jabs about gluten-free and food allergies are so impactful. What we see on TV, we emulate in life. If 'doing gluten free' is something to be ridiculed, as with the examples below, then those of us with food allergies need to unite our voices to be heard in public forums to change this practice.


    Ads by Google:




    ARTICLE CONTINUES BELOW ADS
    Ads by Google:



    An example of food-allergy ridicule is found in a scene in The Smurfs 2 when the unctuous "Corndog King" presents every child at a birthday party with a corn-dog. A concerned parent asks if the corn-dogs contain peanuts, and he says, "No, I would never use peanuts." Meanwhile, a little boy is shown eating the corn-dog just as the Corndog King recalls that they are fried in peanut oil. The parents rush to the little boy urging him to spit it out. Here is the snippet:

    . I think the producers thought this incident was funny. Newsflash: It isn't. This scene has been criticized on various blog sites as making light of allergies, but one criticism from a parent of a child who recently died from inadvertently eating peanuts is especially poignant. The parent said scenes like this are not funny, nor entertaining. Scenes of this nature on TV undermine the consequences of food allergies.

    As much as I love Frankie and Grace, the game that the siblings played in Season 3, Episode 1, called "Bud's Super Needy Girlfriend Game" is offensive. It shows them eavesdropping as Allison, Bud's girlfriend, talks about her allergies to a stranger at the art show. With each statement Allison makes, such as, "it is easier to tell you what I am not allergic to," the group takes a shot of liquor. Allison says, "and that's when I realized I have celiac disease" and the siblings laugh and take another shot. This goes on for several rounds. The siblings ridicule Allison's allergies and maladies in a very uncompassionate way, setting an example for viewers on how to respond when there is a person in the crowd who has allergies. In another episode, when Allison faints, the reaction from the siblings is, "…she always has to be the center of attention. She conjures up some kind of illness. But there's a name for it, 'Fictitious disorder.'" (For a transcript of this and similar scenes, please check out: http://thewalkingallergy.com/2017/08/grace-and-frankie-i-bet-allison-has-mcas/). These responses to Allison's physical malaise are callous and may encourage copycat behavior in real life situations.

    Humans are easily influenced, starting from infancy when they imitate their parents (McCall, Parke & Kavanaugh, 1977) and continue to be guided by what they view in the media, especially on TV. Ramasubramanian (2010) conducted a study to discover how stereotypes of laziness and criminality changed as a result of reflecting on TV depictions of racial/ethnic groups by white viewers (p. 109) and concludes that the ways these scenes influence opinions and attitudes is worrisome (p. 106), perpetuating stereotypes and prejudice. A study conducted by Tan and Kinner (1982) found that interracial children who watched a TV program showing cooperative, positive behavior, yielded "pro-social" (p. 654) social interactions, when compared with a control group. The impact of what is viewed on TV and how it translates to social (or anti-social behavior) has been validated. Humans imitate what they see. Similar to how racial stereotyping is reinforced by the media, so are people with food allergies who become the butt of jokes. The media is teaching unacceptable social norms disguised as humor.

    Disney's episode of Quitting Cold Koala (edited out after parents complained, but still on YouTube in a home-video snippet) shows the character named Stuart (who has a "five page list of dietary problems" according to his nanny) sitting at the breakfast table with other children. He is a cute little boy who wears glasses cocked awkwardly on his nose. He told the cook that he couldn't eat pancakes that contained gluten only to be attacked by other children throwing gluten-containing pancakes in his face! Here it is on:

    . Stuart reacts the way anyone would who has celiac disease. He says, "That's gluten!" and frantically tries to wipe it off his face. I agree with the person who put the video of it on YouTube. This is not "remotely funny. Depending on how sensitive Stuart is, he may have had to suffer through a reaction because of those mean kids. And though this segment was deleted from the final cut of the episode, several people captured videos of it so it remains on the Internet for anyone to see. It sets a sad, and arguably violent standard for how to treat the child that has special dietary needs. Huesmann and Taylor (2006) found that violent behavior on TV poses "a threat to public health inasmuch as it leads to an increase in real-world violence and aggression" (p. 393). Violence toward someone with food allergies, such as throwing pancakes at the person who has just declared they are sensitive to gluten is an example of how behavior seen on TV could be re-enacted in real-life.

    How do scenes like the three examples above translate into our everyday social interactions? Does the waiter who watches a scene on a sit-com ridiculing someone with food allergies doubt the customer the next day as she orders a gluten-free meal? Does the waiter play a derivation of the "Needy Game" seen on Frankie and Grace and have a shot of liquor in the back room with his waiter-buddies for every customer that orders a special meal? Ridicule in the media completely undermines the severity of celiac disease, and other food-related illnesses.

    I experienced a situation the may have been influenced by commercial programming recently while ordering at a restaurant. I special-ordered my salad, deliberately sitting on the end of the table and explaining to the waiter that I needed to ensure it was gluten and dairy free. I spoke quietly, but since there were only two others at the table, unfortunately the conversation stopped during ordering and the others heard me. The waiter rolled his eyes when I gave him my order, and moved on to the next person who said, "I'll take the salad 'regular' with all the fixings" in a kind of a sarcastic way that belittled my order. My dinner was spoiled because I was irked with my dinner companion, and because I was skeptical of the food I was served. This kind of slight happens all the time, and is likely because of the role models depicted on TV and other media that portrays that it is it socially acceptable to mock the person with special needs.

    It is hard to understand why food sensitivities trigger so much negativity. If someone says they have heart disease, they are taken seriously. Other autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, Hashimotos, and diabetes are met with seriousness, but gluten-sensitivities seem to be a charged 'trigger' reaction, that I believe has been perpetuated by the media. People ordering in a restaurant seem to be challenged by the waiter – scrutinized whether it is an 'allergy,' 'autoimmune response' or 'fad diet.' When did waiters have the prerogative to make that kind of decision? Where did this 'right' come from? I believe the media has perpetuated these attitudes.

    Nobody with special needs should endure scrutiny or ridicule. I'm frankly glad for the publicity gluten has received because it has enhanced awareness, but I am discouraged about how the media seems to think celiac disease, gluten intolerance and food allergies are a joke. Here is our call to action: When we see something offensive in the media ridiculing food allergies, we need to say something in a public forum to bring attention to this unacceptable portrayal of people with food sensitivities. Please post on social media, or on Celiac.com to create a buzz that this type of ridicule/humor is unacceptable. Perhaps by doing this, we can influence positive changes.

    And on another subject… the winners from the survey.
    A couple of months ago, a survey studying the impact of food sensitivities on adults living together offered a $25 gift card to Amazon to four lucky winners. Those are: Morgan, Angela, David and Tricia. (Winners have been notified and gift cards were sent via email.) Congratulations! And thank you for your participation in the study.

    References

    • DeVault, M. L. (1991). Feeding the family: The social organization of caring as gendered work. Chicago, IL: University of Chicago Press.
    • Huesmann, L. R., & Taylor, L. D. (2006). The role of media violence in violent behavior. Annual Rev. of Public Health (27), 393-415.
    • McCall, R. B., Parke, R. D., Kavanaugh, R. D., Engstrom, R., Russell, J, and Wycoff, E. (1977). Imitation of live and televised models by children one to three years of age. Monographs of the Society for Research in Child Development 42(5), 1-94.
    • Tan, A. S., Kinner, D. (1982). TV role models and anticipated social interaction. Journalism Quarterly 59(4), 654-656.
    0


    User Feedback

    Recommended Comments

    Guest Kiya

    Posted

    Thank you for raising this issue. I thought perhaps I was being overly sensitive. A related issue is the proliferation of media articles claiming that most people who are on a gluten free diet do not need to be and do not even know what gluten is (based on unscientific survey someone claims to have done somewhere!), and giving dire warnings about the hazards of a gluten free diet. And that only people with doctor diagnosed celiac disease should ever avoid gluten. And that the problem is very rare. The media has the public convinced that we are just following a fad diet they know nothing about. I am getting sick of having acquaintances and relatives warn me about these things, as if they are concerned I am killing myself by not eating enough enriched flour. I used to politely give people a little education about the broader spectrum of gluten related disorders, including DH, and the difficulty of diagnosis. But lately have started to get a bit testy with them. As for waiters, I have even had them ask me if I was diagnosed by a physician and what happens if I eat gluten. I have resorted to just telling every waiter: "This is a medical issue not a lifestyle choice."

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    Guest Michelle Pease

    Posted

    Thank you for a wonderful article. Unfortunately it's not just the media. I have doctors "roll their eyes" when I say I can't digest gluten and experience rather severe reactions. It so happens that neither could my father and neither can my oldest son, it's not just me. I don't even discuss these issues with doctors any more, my son won't even go to a doctor about it. My insurance will cover a dietitian if I have diabetes but not for a food allergy/ sensitivity. If doctors won't acknowledge food sensitivities and allergy why would the media?

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    Guest Trish

    Posted

    Great article! That is shameful how some shows are portraying people with food allergies. I wish I did not have them, but I do, and to feel my best I have to avoid certain foods. Food allergies and/or sensitivities are serious business! So many people are unaware that their health issues are tied to the food they eat.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    Guest CJ Russell

    Posted

    I had a similar experience with a waitress a few months ago. I made it clear when ordering that I needed my food gluten free. When my food was delivered the steak had a breaded and fried onion ring on top of it! When I told her that I couldn't eat the steak because of possible contamination she told me that I should have made it clear that it was a health issue so she could have been more vigilant. I have to take a doctor's order to a restaurant in order to not be served something hazardous to my health?

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    Guest Barbara

    Posted

    Thank you for this great article. It seems a lot of comedians find it necessary to poke fun at gluten free sufferers. They should walk in the shoes of someone that has this disease. Or care for a child that cries because they can't have a cupcake at a party. Or go to dinner with their wife and opt out of the movie after because they will not know whether the meal was truly safe. It is not an easy life to live. It is not a peanut allergy where your life could hang in the balance, but their are many consequences to bear. I'm sure most people who suffer from autoimmune diseases, or allergies hear most of the comments you state above. If I were to hear them 15 years ago when I was first diagnosed I would have been devastated. Over the years I have come accustomed to people's behavior and attitudes. I didn't chose this disease, it chose me.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    Guest Joe E.

    Posted

    Here's the problem--for all of us with actual medical issues, there are likely 2 or 3 times as many following gluten-free as a fad diet. I see so many people supporting going gluten-free for non-medical, woo-based reasons, that I'm not surprised we aren't always taken seriously. Those articles telling people to not eat gluten-free if it's not a medical necessity? I'm all for them if they bring us to the a point where our needs are taken seriously. It isn't a nutritionally balanced diet--especially when chosen by someone with no thought given beyond the woo of "we aren't evolved to digest gluten." They're the ones most likely to be harmed by it, because they're likely cutting out a lot of other perfectly healthful foods. I have no problem with a server asking if my diet is a choice or a medical necessity if it gets me food that I know I can eat.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    Guest Scott Adams

    Posted

    Here's the problem--for all of us with actual medical issues, there are likely 2 or 3 times as many following gluten-free as a fad diet. I see so many people supporting going gluten-free for non-medical, woo-based reasons, that I'm not surprised we aren't always taken seriously. Those articles telling people to not eat gluten-free if it's not a medical necessity? I'm all for them if they bring us to the a point where our needs are taken seriously. It isn't a nutritionally balanced diet--especially when chosen by someone with no thought given beyond the woo of "we aren't evolved to digest gluten." They're the ones most likely to be harmed by it, because they're likely cutting out a lot of other perfectly healthful foods. I have no problem with a server asking if my diet is a choice or a medical necessity if it gets me food that I know I can eat.

    What about people who eat a low-sugar diet but don't have diabetes? There is some evidence that gluten is harmful to everyone, not just celiacs. What evidence is there that it isn't taken seriously due to more people eating gluten-free? For me, more people seem to know about it than every before.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    Guest D Glynn

    Posted

    I have experienced scrutiny as well at restaurants. I expect it to some extent - not everyone is educated in this area. I try to be as nice as I can and explain that it is Celiac and gluten will hurt me. If I do not feel comfortable then I will never eat there again. Money drives most things in this society so I would hope that restaurants that bother to have a gluten free menu see the value in the gluten free customer. When I go out it is with family and friends. It's not just one customer that you lose, it is many - over and over. And to the person who said that their DOCTOR rolls their eyes - please, please find yourself a new COMPETENT doctor. They are supposed to be educated, trained professionals. If this person doesn't recognized this as the legitimate disease it is, I don't see how you can trust or respect them.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    Guest WendyKat

    Posted

    What about people who eat a low-sugar diet but don't have diabetes? There is some evidence that gluten is harmful to everyone, not just celiacs. What evidence is there that it isn't taken seriously due to more people eating gluten-free? For me, more people seem to know about it than every before.

    I agree. I've been diagnosed Celiac since 2003 and back then people had NO idea what you were talking about. I had waitresses, chefs and restaurant managers look me straight in the eye and say, "I've never heard of such a thing," as if medical degrees come with a food service job. Nowadays, even if there´s some eye rolling, people KNOW WHAT YOU MEAN and don't give you that blank stare. I much prefer that. Obviously, knowledge and NO eye rolling would be the best case scenario, but we can work towards that. In the meantime, I just make it clear that it's a medical issue right up front, and that seems to help.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    Guest Michael Mann

    Posted

    Thank you for raising this issue. I thought perhaps I was being overly sensitive. A related issue is the proliferation of media articles claiming that most people who are on a gluten free diet do not need to be and do not even know what gluten is (based on unscientific survey someone claims to have done somewhere!), and giving dire warnings about the hazards of a gluten free diet. And that only people with doctor diagnosed celiac disease should ever avoid gluten. And that the problem is very rare. The media has the public convinced that we are just following a fad diet they know nothing about. I am getting sick of having acquaintances and relatives warn me about these things, as if they are concerned I am killing myself by not eating enough enriched flour. I used to politely give people a little education about the broader spectrum of gluten related disorders, including DH, and the difficulty of diagnosis. But lately have started to get a bit testy with them. As for waiters, I have even had them ask me if I was diagnosed by a physician and what happens if I eat gluten. I have resorted to just telling every waiter: "This is a medical issue not a lifestyle choice."

    "This is a medical issue not a lifestyle choice."EXACTLY! If I am asking a food server about gluten-free, I tell them that up front. And that those of us who are allergic, are glad there may be a number of neurotic people who have made gluten-free into a mass market. But for us, it IS a medical issue. If they ask what happens if I eat gluten, I just put on a poker face and say "I'll probably catch fire and burst into flames." They´re never willing to take a chance on that.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    Guest Linda

    Posted

    I saw a cartoon, Jumpstart, written by Robb Armstrong poking fun at gluten free so I wrote an e-mail. When I replied that I was glad he realized he should not have done that he wrote back an angry reply. If you listen carefully, many times gluten free thrown out in conversation on comedy sitcom´s. Being gluten free is not an easy lifestyle and because you don´t fall over with an immediate bad response, people think well a little won´t hurt. I´ve had to explain many times that it is an autoimmune response and yes a little will hurt.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    Guest coloradosue

    Posted

    I quit going out for the exact reasons stated above. Pretty much become a hermit because no matter how sincere I am about having celiac disease, show the information on cell phones, give them documents explaining what celiac disease is, it is never enough! Short of having an actual reaction 20 minutes after ingesting a supposed gluten free food in front of everyone, I have given up trying. I did all this at a Super Bowl party 2 years ago (Super Bowl 50) in front of family and friends. I am still embarrassed to this day. The new gluten free testing device, called Nima, is the only way I would even think about going out again. Going to try to get my HMO to pay for it (or a part of it ). We'll see. Good Luck everyone!And Stay Safe!

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites
    Guest Guest larazotide acetate

    Posted

    Just wait about 3 years.  The drug larazotide acetate is expected to go into Clinical trial level 3 this year (2nd quarter of 2018).  The drug is expected to stay in level 3 for 3 years.  It's expected to go into Clinical trial level 4 after that.  Level 4 is when the drug is given to doctors to give to the applicable general public.

    The drug is supposed to help people with celiac disease.  Larazotide acetate counteracts the effects of the hormone zonulin.

    When the drug enters level 4 expect to be inundated with ads everywhere telling people to get tested for celiac disease.  I'm thinking that the drug will be able to be used for people with non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS), too.  I suspect that the medical industry will come out with a blood test for NCGS in 3 years, too.

    Share this comment


    Link to comment
    Share on other sites


    Your content will need to be approved by a moderator

    Guest
    You are commenting as a guest. If you have an account, please sign in.
    Add a comment...

    ×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

      Only 75 emoji are allowed.

    ×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

    ×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

    ×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


  • Popular Contributors

  • Ads by Google:

  • Who's Online   11 Members, 0 Anonymous, 1,052 Guests (See full list)

  • Related Articles

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 01/16/2018 - More and more, people are adopting a gluten-free diet due to perceived health and weight-loss benefits.
    A team of researchers recently set out to ask people with celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity about their views on the health effects of gluten, and safety of vaccines and gluten-free food products.
    The research team included Loren G. Rabinowitz, Haley M. Zylberberg, Alan Levinovitz, Melissa S. Stockwell, Peter H. R. Green, and Benjamin Lebwohl. They are variously affiliated with the Department of Medicine, Celiac Disease Center, Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons New York USA; the Department of Philosophy and Religion James Madison University Harrisonburg USA, the Department of Pediatrics Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons New York USA, the Department of Population and Family Health, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University New York USA, the Department of Epidemiology, Mailman School of Public Health, Columbia University New York USA, and the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University New York USA.
    Their team conducted an online survey of celiac and non-celiac gluten sensitivity patients from a celiac disease center e-mail list. They used univariate and multivariate analysis to compare responses from the two groups. The overall response rate was 27%, with 217 non-celiac gluten sensitivity responses, and 1,291 celiac disease responses.
    Subjects with non-celiac gluten sensitivity were more likely than those with celiac disease to disagree with the statement that "vaccines are safe for people with celiac disease." In all, 41.3% of respondents with non-celiac gluten sensitivity said vaccines are safe for celiacs, while just 26.4% of celiac patients said so. Celiac patients were slightly more likely to decline vaccination when offered, at about 31%, compared with just over 24% of gluten-sensitive respondents.
    After adjusting for age and gender, non-celiac gluten sensitivity subjects were more likely than celiac disease subjects to avoid genetically modified (GMO) foods, eat only organic products, believe that the FDA is not a reliable source of information, and believe a gluten-free diet will improve energy and concentration.
    People with non-celiac gluten sensitivity were more likely than those with celiac disease to have doubts about vaccine safety and to believe in the value of non-GMO and organic foods.
    The team's findings suggest that there might not be enough easily accessible information on gluten and its inclusion in food and drugs, and that may reinforce incorrect beliefs that are contrary to good public health.
    Source: Springer.com.

    Yvonne (Vonnie) Mostat
    Celiac.com 01/19/2018 - Did you know that there are so many issues and questions surrounding celiac disease that even doctors who specialize in it find that the scientific data changes every six months, and this includes research data, new diagnostic and testing recommendations, and its connections to other diseases and conditions. In fact, many of us who think we have "arrived" and know it all might actually need a refresher course on the disease.
    There is always something new to learn about this disease. For example, did you know that the primary proteins in wheat gluten are gluten and gliadin, and gliadin contains repeating patterns of amino acids that many humans' digestive systems cannot break down, and gluten is the only substance that contains these proteins?
    People with celiac disease have one or two genetic mutations that somehow cause the immune system to attack the walls of their intestines when gliadin is present. That in turn causes finger-like structures called villi that absorb nutrients on the inside of the intestines to atrophy and the intestines can become leaky, wreaking havoc. Symptoms which vary widely among people with the disease, can include vomiting, chronic diarrhea, or constipation and diminished growth rates in children.
    The vast majority of people who have celiac disease don't know it, and not everyone who has the genetic markers will develop it. What worries doctors is that the problem seems to be increasing. Studies on blood collected in the 1950's show that the rate of celiac disease appears to be increasing. Some blame changes in wheat for this increase, as some varieties now grown contain higher levels of gluten.
    Did you know that the tTg-IgA - Tissue Transglutaminase Antibodies will be positive in about 98% of patients with celiac disease who are on a gluten-containing diet. That same test will come back negative in about 95% of healthy people without celiac disease. Though it is rare this means patients with celiac disease could have a negative antibody test result. "There is also a slight risk of a false positive test results, especially for people with associated autoimmune disorders like Type I diabetes, autoimmune liver disease, Hashimoto's thyroiditis, psoriatic or rheumatoid arthritis and heart failure, who do not have celiac disease. There are other antibody tests available to double-check for potential false positives or false negatives, but because of the potential for false antibody tests results, a biopsy of the small intestine is the only way to diagnose celiac disease.
    If your tests were negative, but you continue to experience symptoms, please don't give up. Consult your physician and undergo further medical evaluation. Ask to be referred to the closest hospital research department that deals with celiac disease.
    Did you know that there is something called "silent celiac disease," also known as asymptomatic celiac disease, where patients do not have any noticeable symptoms, but still experience villus atrophy damage to their small intestine? The number of ways that celiac disease can affect patients, combined with a lack of training in medical schools and primary care residency programs contributes to poor diagnosis rates in the United States. Some estimate that 80% of celiacs remain undiagnosed.
    Did you know that some people with wheat/gluten sensitivity still experience symptoms such as "brain fog", depression, ADHD - like behavior, abdominal pain, bloating, diarrhea, constipation, headaches, bone or joint pain, and chronic fatigue, yet they do not test positive for celiac disease? Terms like NCGS (non-celiac gluten sensitivity), and NCWS (non-celiac wheat sensitivity) are used to refer to this condition, but only after the removal of gluten from the diet resolves their symptoms.
    Did you know that celiac disease research funding has been neglected in the United States, and, as I have often said, where the United States goes, Canadians soon follow. A five-year review ending in 2017 shows the NIH gave less money to celiac disease than other gastro-intestinal conditions. Additionally, the National Institute for Digestive and Kidney Diseases awarded the fewest number of grants to celiac disease research over the same period from 2011 to 2015.
    The review, published as commentary in the Journal of Gastroenterology (http://www.gastrojournal.org/article/S0016-5085(17)36084-5/pdf) found that NIH funding, which is the major source of research support for inflammatory gastrointestinal diseases, showed no association between the estimated prevalence or mortality rates of a disease. In general, NIH support is seen as essential for improving the understanding of health and disease. The review included celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), Crohn's disease, eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE), Barrett's esophagus and non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). In fact, both IBS and NALFD, neither of which is associated with increased mortality, still receive more funding than celiac disease. According to the report:
    "Although there is no global metric for disease importance, it is difficult to justify on medical and scientific bases as a reason for such large and persistent funding differences . Although Crohn's disease has many available and emerging treatment options, celiac disease, for example, is more prevalent and has no current treatment to patients beyond the burdensome gluten-free diet."
    However, we cannot complain that celiac disease is not getting the same exposure that Irritable Bowel Disease has if we do not get involved directly and help spread the news about celiac disease, which will help others get diagnosed and treated. We also need to report erroneously labeled "gluten-free" products. Sometimes we pass the buck and hope that someone else will report an error on product label, for example I have been sold something that indicates it is gluten free when it was actually just "wheat free", which is a common error among fast food companies. What do they know about malt? Unfortunately there is no EPI-PEN for the celiac, so you must learn to be your own advocate and check whatever goes into your mouth.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 01/26/2018 - Party retailer Party City finds itself in hot water over a recent commercial that implies that people who eat gluten free are "gross." The ad, which was part of a pre-Super Bowl effort to tout deals at the discount party store, has offended customers and non-customers alike.
    The commercial depicts the host of a Super Bowl party chatting with a guest. When the guest asks about a sad-looking plate of gluten-free snacks, the host replies: "Those are some gluten-free options."
    The guest asks: "Do we even know people that are like that?"
    To which the host replies: "Tina."
    The the guest delivers the big, supposedly funny punchline: "Oh, gross, yeah."
    Obviously, there's more than just a little bit wrong with this ad, which does not clarify whether "gross" is refers to gluten-free people in general, or just to the unseen Tina.
    "Your new ad mocking people who eat gluten free is inconsiderate and wrong at best," one Twitter user wrote to Party City. "My celiac disease is not your punchline."
    "Your commercial is disgusting. Do you have any idea how hard it is to live with a life threatening food allergy?" another one reads. "I will not be shopping at your store anymore."
    In the face of overwhelmingly negative public feedback, Party City buckled. The company has withdrawn the commercial, and issued the following apology:

    "Party City values its customers above all else, and we take your feedback extremely seriously. We recognize that we made an error in judgment by running the recent Big Game commercial, which was insensitive to people with food allergies. We have removed the commercial from our website and all other channels, and sincerely apologize for any offense this may have caused. We'd also like to clarify that Sunny Anderson was not involved in the creation of this commercial in any way, and we apologize for any offense it has caused with her audience and fans. We will also be reviewing our internal vetting process on all advertising content to avoid any future issues. In addition, Party City will be making a donation in support of Celiac Disease research."
    In addition to the statement of apology, Party City has promised to make a donation to the Celiac Foundation.
    Read more at: BusinessInsider.com

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 02/20/2018 - Party City has pulled a controversial advertising spot that provoked outrage in gluten-free community by tagging gluten-free dieters as 'gross.'
    Moreover, both Party City, and the advertising firm behind the pre-Super bowl ad, Hill Holliday, have issued public apologies in an effort to mitigate the outrage caused by its obviously insensitive ad.
    The ad starred two women attending a Super Bowl party and standing in front of an "inflatable snack stadium."
    When one of the women points out the gluten-free options, the other asks "Do we even know people that are like that?"
    The first woman answers: "Tina."
    To which, the second woman says: "Oh, gross, yeah."
    Perhaps unsurprisingly, furious viewers wasted no time in launching the Twitter hashtag #IAmTina, which called out both Party City and Hill Holliday for insensitivity toward people with celiac disease or gluten-sensitivity.
    Party City apologized via Instagram, and also clarified that celebrity Sunny Anderson played no part in the campaign.
    The company statement reads, in part: "Party City values its customers above all else, and we take your feedback extremely seriously. We recognize that we made an error in judgment by running the recent Big Game commercial, which was insensitive to people with food allergies…We will also be reviewing our internal vetting process on all advertising content to avoid any future issues. In addition, Party City will be making a donation in support of Celiac Disease research."
    Read more at: Adweek.com

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 02/13/2018 - It is perhaps unsurprising that processed gluten-free foods are less nutritious than their gluten-containing counterparts.
    We've had data showing gluten-free foods to be high in sugar. We've had studies that show us they contain more salt. And now, for the trifecta, we have a recent study that shows us they contain more fat, sugar and salt.
    A study by the University of Hertfordshire surveyed more than 1,700 products from five UK supermarket chains and found that gluten-free foods have more fat, salt and sugar than their gluten-including counterparts, despite consumer perception that they "healthier" options. Except for crackers, every gluten-free food in the survey had more saturated fat, sugar and salt than non-gluten-free counterparts.
    On average for gluten-free brown bread and white bread had more than double the fat of regular breads. Gluten-free products also had significantly lower protein content than their gluten-containing equivalents, and were generally lower in ï¬ber and protein.
    Gluten-free products were also more likely to break the budget. On average, gluten-free products were also more than 1½ times more expensive than their counterparts, while gluten-free brown and white bread and gluten-free white and wholegrain flour sold at more than four times the price of comparable regular breads, on average.
    Overall, gluten-free foods are likely to be less nutritious and more expensive than their non-gluten-free counterparts.
    Basically, people on a gluten-free diet need to be extra careful about getting nutritious food. Simply substituting gluten-free versions of a a standard non-gluten-free diet likely means more fat, sugar and salt in your diet, along with less fiber. If you don't have a medically diagnosed reason for avoiding gluten, then be mindful about four food choices.

  • Recent Articles

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 06/18/2018 - Celiac disease has been mainly associated with Caucasian populations in Northern Europe, and their descendants in other countries, but new scientific evidence is beginning to challenge that view. Still, the exact global prevalence of celiac disease remains unknown.  To get better data on that issue, a team of researchers recently conducted a comprehensive review and meta-analysis to get a reasonably accurate estimate the global prevalence of celiac disease. 
    The research team included P Singh, A Arora, TA Strand, DA Leffler, C Catassi, PH Green, CP Kelly, V Ahuja, and GK Makharia. They are variously affiliated with the Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts; Lady Hardinge Medical College, New Delhi, India; Innlandet Hospital Trust, Lillehammer, Norway; Centre for International Health, University of Bergen, Bergen, Norway; Division of Gastroenterology and Hepatology, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts; Gastroenterology Research and Development, Takeda Pharmaceuticals Inc, Cambridge, MA; Department of Pediatrics, Università Politecnica delle Marche, Ancona, Italy; Department of Medicine, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, New York; USA Celiac Disease Center, Columbia University Medical Center, New York, New York; and the Department of Gastroenterology and Human Nutrition, All India Institute of Medical Sciences, New Delhi, India.
    For their review, the team searched Medline, PubMed, and EMBASE for the keywords ‘celiac disease,’ ‘celiac,’ ‘tissue transglutaminase antibody,’ ‘anti-endomysium antibody,’ ‘endomysial antibody,’ and ‘prevalence’ for studies published from January 1991 through March 2016. 
    The team cross-referenced each article with the words ‘Asia,’ ‘Europe,’ ‘Africa,’ ‘South America,’ ‘North America,’ and ‘Australia.’ They defined celiac diagnosis based on European Society of Pediatric Gastroenterology, Hepatology, and Nutrition guidelines. The team used 96 articles of 3,843 articles in their final analysis.
    Overall global prevalence of celiac disease was 1.4% in 275,818 individuals, based on positive blood tests for anti-tissue transglutaminase and/or anti-endomysial antibodies. The pooled global prevalence of biopsy-confirmed celiac disease was 0.7% in 138,792 individuals. That means that numerous people with celiac disease potentially remain undiagnosed.
    Rates of celiac disease were 0.4% in South America, 0.5% in Africa and North America, 0.6% in Asia, and 0.8% in Europe and Oceania; the prevalence was 0.6% in female vs 0.4% males. Celiac disease was significantly more common in children than adults.
    This systematic review and meta-analysis showed celiac disease to be reported worldwide. Blood test data shows celiac disease rate of 1.4%, while biopsy data shows 0.7%. The prevalence of celiac disease varies with sex, age, and location. 
    This review demonstrates a need for more comprehensive population-based studies of celiac disease in numerous countries.  The 1.4% rate indicates that there are 91.2 million people worldwide with celiac disease, and 3.9 million are in the U.S.A.
    Source:
    Clin Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2018 Jun;16(6):823-836.e2. doi: 10.1016/j.cgh.2017.06.037.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 06/16/2018 - Summer is the time for chips and salsa. This fresh salsa recipe relies on cabbage, yes, cabbage, as a secret ingredient. The cabbage brings a delicious flavor and helps the salsa hold together nicely for scooping with your favorite chips. The result is a fresh, tasty salsa that goes great with guacamole.
    Ingredients:
    3 cups ripe fresh tomatoes, diced 1 cup shredded green cabbage ½ cup diced yellow onion ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro 1 jalapeno, seeded 1 Serrano pepper, seeded 2 tablespoons lemon juice 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar 2 garlic cloves, minced salt to taste black pepper, to taste Directions:
    Purée all ingredients together in a blender.
    Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour. 
    Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper, as desired. 
    Serve is a bowl with tortilla chips and guacamole.

    Dr. Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.
    Celiac.com 06/15/2018 - There seems to be widespread agreement in the published medical research reports that stuttering is driven by abnormalities in the brain. Sometimes these are the result of brain injuries resulting from a stroke. Other types of brain injuries can also result in stuttering. Patients with Parkinson’s disease who were treated with stimulation of the subthalamic nucleus, an area of the brain that regulates some motor functions, experienced a return or worsening of stuttering that improved when the stimulation was turned off (1). Similarly, stroke has also been reported in association with acquired stuttering (2). While there are some reports of psychological mechanisms underlying stuttering, a majority of reports seem to favor altered brain morphology and/or function as the root of stuttering (3). Reports of structural differences between the brain hemispheres that are absent in those who do not stutter are also common (4). About 5% of children stutter, beginning sometime around age 3, during the phase of speech acquisition. However, about 75% of these cases resolve without intervention, before reaching their teens (5). Some cases of aphasia, a loss of speech production or understanding, have been reported in association with damage or changes to one or more of the language centers of the brain (6). Stuttering may sometimes arise from changes or damage to these same language centers (7). Thus, many stutterers have abnormalities in the same regions of the brain similar to those seen in aphasia.
    So how, you may ask, is all this related to gluten? As a starting point, one report from the medical literature identifies a patient who developed aphasia after admission for severe diarrhea. By the time celiac disease was diagnosed, he had completely lost his faculty of speech. However, his speech and normal bowel function gradually returned after beginning a gluten free diet (8). This finding was so controversial at the time of publication (1988) that the authors chose to remain anonymous. Nonetheless, it is a valuable clue that suggests gluten as a factor in compromised speech production. At about the same time (late 1980’s) reports of connections between untreated celiac disease and seizures/epilepsy were emerging in the medical literature (9).
    With the advent of the Internet a whole new field of anecdotal information was emerging, connecting a variety of neurological symptoms to celiac disease. While many medical practitioners and researchers were casting aspersions on these assertions, a select few chose to explore such claims using scientific research designs and methods. While connections between stuttering and gluten consumption seem to have been overlooked by the medical research community, there is a rich literature on the Internet that cries out for more structured investigation of this connection. Conversely, perhaps a publication bias of the peer review process excludes work that explores this connection.
    Whatever the reason that stuttering has not been reported in the medical literature in association with gluten ingestion, a number of personal disclosures and comments suggesting a connection between gluten and stuttering can be found on the Internet. Abid Hussain, in an article about food allergy and stuttering said: “The most common food allergy prevalent in stutterers is that of gluten which has been found to aggravate the stutter” (10). Similarly, Craig Forsythe posted an article that includes five cases of self-reporting individuals who believe that their stuttering is or was connected to gluten, one of whom also experiences stuttering from foods containing yeast (11). The same site contains one report of a stutterer who has had no relief despite following a gluten free diet for 20 years (11). Another stutterer, Jay88, reports the complete disappearance of her/his stammer on a gluten free diet (12). Doubtless there are many more such anecdotes to be found on the Internet* but we have to question them, exercising more skepticism than we might when reading similar claims in a peer reviewed scientific or medical journal.
    There are many reports in such journals connecting brain and neurological ailments with gluten, so it is not much of a stretch, on that basis alone, to suspect that stuttering may be a symptom of the gluten syndrome. Rodney Ford has even characterized celiac disease as an ailment that may begin through gluten-induced neurological damage (13) and Marios Hadjivassiliou and his group of neurologists and neurological investigators have devoted considerable time and effort to research that reveals gluten as an important factor in a majority of neurological diseases of unknown origin (14) which, as I have pointed out previously, includes most neurological ailments.
    My own experience with stuttering is limited. I stuttered as a child when I became nervous, upset, or self-conscious. Although I have been gluten free for many years, I haven’t noticed any impact on my inclination to stutter when upset. I don’t know if they are related, but I have also had challenges with speaking when distressed and I have noticed a substantial improvement in this area since removing gluten from my diet. Nonetheless, I have long wondered if there is a connection between gluten consumption and stuttering. Having done the research for this article, I would now encourage stutterers to try a gluten free diet for six months to see if it will reduce or eliminate their stutter. Meanwhile, I hope that some investigator out there will research this matter, publish her findings, and start the ball rolling toward getting some definitive answers to this question.
    Sources:
    1. Toft M, Dietrichs E. Aggravated stuttering following subthalamic deep brain stimulation in Parkinson’s disease--two cases. BMC Neurol. 2011 Apr 8;11:44.
    2. Tani T, Sakai Y. Stuttering after right cerebellar infarction: a case study. J Fluency Disord. 2010 Jun;35(2):141-5. Epub 2010 Mar 15.
    3. Lundgren K, Helm-Estabrooks N, Klein R. Stuttering Following Acquired Brain Damage: A Review of the Literature. J Neurolinguistics. 2010 Sep 1;23(5):447-454.
    4. Jäncke L, Hänggi J, Steinmetz H. Morphological brain differences between adult stutterers and non-stutterers. BMC Neurol. 2004 Dec 10;4(1):23.
    5. Kell CA, Neumann K, von Kriegstein K, Posenenske C, von Gudenberg AW, Euler H, Giraud AL. How the brain repairs stuttering. Brain. 2009 Oct;132(Pt 10):2747-60. Epub 2009 Aug 26.
    6. Galantucci S, Tartaglia MC, Wilson SM, Henry ML, Filippi M, Agosta F, Dronkers NF, Henry RG, Ogar JM, Miller BL, Gorno-Tempini ML. White matter damage in primary progressive aphasias: a diffusion tensor tractography study. Brain. 2011 Jun 11.
    7. Lundgren K, Helm-Estabrooks N, Klein R. Stuttering Following Acquired Brain Damage: A Review of the Literature. J Neurolinguistics. 2010 Sep 1;23(5):447-454.
    8. [No authors listed] Case records of the Massachusetts General Hospital. Weekly clinicopathological exercises. Case 43-1988. A 52-year-old man with persistent watery diarrhea and aphasia. N Engl J Med. 1988 Oct 27;319(17):1139-48
    9. Molteni N, Bardella MT, Baldassarri AR, Bianchi PA. Celiac disease associated with epilepsy and intracranial calcifications: report of two patients. Am J Gastroenterol. 1988 Sep;83(9):992-4.
    10. http://ezinearticles.com/?Food-Allergy-and-Stuttering-Link&id=1235725 
    11. http://www.craig.copperleife.com/health/stuttering_allergies.htm 
    12. https://www.celiac.com/forums/topic/73362-any-help-is-appreciated/
    13. Ford RP. The gluten syndrome: a neurological disease. Med Hypotheses. 2009 Sep;73(3):438-40. Epub 2009 Apr 29.
    14. Hadjivassiliou M, Gibson A, Davies-Jones GA, Lobo AJ, Stephenson TJ, Milford-Ward A. Does cryptic gluten sensitivity play a part in neurological illness? Lancet. 1996 Feb 10;347(8998):369-71.

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 06/14/2018 - Refractory celiac disease type II (RCDII) is a rare complication of celiac disease that has high death rates. To diagnose RCDII, doctors identify a clonal population of phenotypically aberrant intraepithelial lymphocytes (IELs). 
    However, researchers really don’t have much data regarding the frequency and significance of clonal T cell receptor (TCR) gene rearrangements (TCR-GRs) in small bowel (SB) biopsies of patients without RCDII. Such data could provide useful comparison information for patients with RCDII, among other things.
    To that end, a research team recently set out to try to get some information about the frequency and importance of clonal T cell receptor (TCR) gene rearrangements (TCR-GRs) in small bowel (SB) biopsies of patients without RCDII. The research team included Shafinaz Hussein, Tatyana Gindin, Stephen M Lagana, Carolina Arguelles-Grande, Suneeta Krishnareddy, Bachir Alobeid, Suzanne K Lewis, Mahesh M Mansukhani, Peter H R Green, and Govind Bhagat.
    They are variously affiliated with the Department of Pathology and Cell Biology, and the Department of Medicine at the Celiac Disease Center, New York Presbyterian Hospital/Columbia University Medical Center, New York, USA. Their team analyzed results of TCR-GR analyses performed on SB biopsies at our institution over a 3-year period, which were obtained from eight active celiac disease, 172 celiac disease on gluten-free diet, 33 RCDI, and three RCDII patients and 14 patients without celiac disease. 
    Clonal TCR-GRs are not infrequent in cases lacking features of RCDII, while PCPs are frequent in all disease phases. TCR-GR results should be assessed in conjunction with immunophenotypic, histological and clinical findings for appropriate diagnosis and classification of RCD.
    The team divided the TCR-GR patterns into clonal, polyclonal and prominent clonal peaks (PCPs), and correlated these patterns with clinical and pathological features. In all, they detected clonal TCR-GR products in biopsies from 67% of patients with RCDII, 17% of patients with RCDI and 6% of patients with gluten-free diet. They found PCPs in all disease phases, but saw no significant difference in the TCR-GR patterns between the non-RCDII disease categories (p=0.39). 
    They also noted a higher frequency of surface CD3(−) IELs in cases with clonal TCR-GR, but the PCP pattern showed no associations with any clinical or pathological feature. 
    Repeat biopsy showed that the clonal or PCP pattern persisted for up to 2 years with no evidence of RCDII. The study indicates that better understanding of clonal T cell receptor gene rearrangements may help researchers improve refractory celiac diagnosis. 
    Source:
    Journal of Clinical Pathologyhttp://dx.doi.org/10.1136/jclinpath-2018-205023

    Jefferson Adams
    Celiac.com 06/13/2018 - There have been numerous reports that olmesartan, aka Benicar, seems to trigger sprue‐like enteropathy in many patients, but so far, studies have produced mixed results, and there really hasn’t been a rigorous study of the issue. A team of researchers recently set out to assess whether olmesartan is associated with a higher rate of enteropathy compared with other angiotensin II receptor blockers (ARBs).
    The research team included Y.‐H. Dong; Y. Jin; TN Tsacogianis; M He; PH Hsieh; and JJ Gagne. They are variously affiliated with the Division of Pharmacoepidemiology and Pharmacoeconomics, Department of Medicine, Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard Medical School in Boston, MA, USA; the Faculty of Pharmacy, School of Pharmaceutical Science at National Yang‐Ming University in Taipei, Taiwan; and the Department of Hepato‐Gastroenterology, Chi Mei Medical Center in Tainan, Taiwan.
    To get solid data on the issue, the team conducted a cohort study among ARB initiators in 5 US claims databases covering numerous health insurers. They used Cox regression models to estimate hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for enteropathy‐related outcomes, including celiac disease, malabsorption, concomitant diagnoses of diarrhea and weight loss, and non‐infectious enteropathy. In all, they found nearly two million eligible patients. 
    They then assessed those patients and compared the results for olmesartan initiators to initiators of other ARBs after propensity score (PS) matching. They found unadjusted incidence rates of 0.82, 1.41, 1.66 and 29.20 per 1,000 person‐years for celiac disease, malabsorption, concomitant diagnoses of diarrhea and weight loss, and non‐infectious enteropathy respectively. 
    After PS matching comparing olmesartan to other ARBs, hazard ratios were 1.21 (95% CI, 1.05‐1.40), 1.00 (95% CI, 0.88‐1.13), 1.22 (95% CI, 1.10‐1.36) and 1.04 (95% CI, 1.01‐1.07) for each outcome. Patients aged 65 years and older showed greater hazard ratios for celiac disease, as did patients receiving treatment for more than 1 year, and patients receiving higher cumulative olmesartan doses.
    This is the first comprehensive multi‐database study to document a higher rate of enteropathy in olmesartan initiators as compared to initiators of other ARBs, though absolute rates were low for both groups.
    Source:
    Alimentary Pharmacology & Therapeutics