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Men Are Biggest Gluten-free Diet Cheats

Celiac.com 06/19/2015 - And the biggest gluten-free diet cheats are? Men.

Photo: CC--Jason SaulAccording to a recent survey commissioned by U.K.-based gluten-free bread company Newburn Bakehouse, gluten-intolerant men feel stigmatized by their dietary restrictions, which leads them to cheat on their diets far more commonly than women. 

The survey showed that 36 percent of U.K. men sensitive to gluten in food regularly cheat, even though cheating can have adverse health consequences.

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Moreover, one in five of those surveyed said they believe a gluten-free diet is “not for real men.”

This makes for some fairly large numbers of male gluten-free diet cheats.

Studies by the University of Maryland Center for Celiac Research show that about 6 percent of the U.S. population suffers from some degree of gluten intolerance, while about 1 percent has celiac disease.

How about it? Do you or any males you know have celiac disease or gluten intolerance? Do you or they cheat of a regular basis? Share your thoughts below.

Celiac.com welcomes your comments below (registration is NOT required).





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15 Responses:

 
Craig
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said this on
19 Jun 2015 11:50:21 AM PDT
I often feel like I'm the only celiac who doesn't cheat. Nobody seems to match my standards of strict gluten free eating. When you cheat you ruin your own health as well as the entire gluten free community and beyond. When mainstream USA serves contaminated gluten free food on their menu everyday we have problems and that still happens in every small town and city. It's a mess out there for some reason people can't say, "no".

 
mjsee
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said this on
22 Jun 2015 10:57:41 AM PDT
You aren't the only one. I have never cheated. Not since the first day of my diagnosis, three days after my 50th birthday. I've gotten glutened dining out...but never in my own kitchen. I don't understand people who *do* cheat. The immediate consequences are...unpleasant.

 
Lillian
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said this on
20 Jun 2015 6:43:55 AM PDT
That's not true at all my husband follows a diet which is recommended by Lisa Plog which is gluten-free and he has been sticking to it. I also, follow the same diet recommended by Lisa Plog and I have lost 11 pounds. In my opinion, it is not a gender specific issue but individual specific issue. The diet of lisa plog has been working great for us.

 
Jared M
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said this on
22 Jun 2015 8:55:07 AM PDT
I guess it depends on what you consider cheating. I certainly do not knowingly eat any gluten-containing baked goods, pastas, pizzas, etc.

However, I love good beer. Therefore, I absolutely detest any beer made with sorghum. Those are truly the most awful beers I have ever tasted. You may as well mix some molasses with alcohol and just call it Redbridge.

If the ELISA tests for Omission beers and Stone Delicious IPA are accurate, and if <20ppm is not harmful for Celiacs, then I am not cheating. If these tests are not accurate, or if even <20ppm is harmful, then I am cheating.

I do not exhibit any symptoms from drinking these gluten-reduced beers. I have none of the "foggy" head issues. I have no problem maintaining weight. And I recently had possibly the best annual physical I've ever had - at 43 years old.

 
Graeme
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said this on
22 Jun 2015 4:31:37 PM PDT
You're lucky... I SO miss beer. I guess I'm too sensitive because I have a reaction to all "gluten removed" beers like Omission. I can't STAND Redbridge, though there are some better sorghum beers that are far more palatable than Redbridge.

 
Rick
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said this on
22 Jun 2015 9:33:29 AM PDT
Do I cheat? Some would say so. I eat a fairly strict GF diet, but at a restaurant where there may be a tiny amount of gluten in a sauce and no equivalent GF dish available, I'll eat it. I feel often a restaurant or manufacturer fail to label an item made only with ingredients that are naturally GF as gluten free is because of lawyers or because they don't want to pay for testing. I will eat dishes made with fermented soy sauce because fermentation destroys most of the gluten and because soy sauce is such a small part of most dishes. But I confess I dream of eating real pizza again.

 
norm
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said this on
22 Jun 2015 12:13:17 PM PDT
I was diagnosed 5 years ago and other than a medical study I did for 8 weeks I have only cheated twice and that was the early days. Real men don't do GF diets is BS. I have RA symptoms so bad with in an hour that I can not function because of the pain. Even though it is extremely frustrating to be on GF diet I do not knowingly cheat ever any more.

 
Eddy
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said this on
22 Jun 2015 2:34:17 PM PDT
I don't see how man or woman would want to cheat. At the time I was diagnosed I was in so much pain I thought I was dying. Besides being buckled over and spewing your guts on the throne isn't exactly manly! In the long run the consequences aren't just digestive, the malnutrition messes with many different facets of a celiac's health.

 
Graeme
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said this on
22 Jun 2015 4:28:13 PM PDT
I've been diagnosed with celiac disease for about 2.5 years. I've been incredibly strict and will not willfully cheat. I have mistakenly been "glutened" a few times by accident. But will not cheat... the pain associated with it isn't worth it and my manliness has never been affected.

 
Helen
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said this on
22 Jun 2015 7:56:47 PM PDT
I never ever cheat knowingly. I worry to much about the long term consequences to do that.

 
Cassi
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said this on
23 Jun 2015 5:39:07 AM PDT
I gamble at restaurants. I don't have celiac, but have a gluten intolerance (and yes I should have gotten the celiac test but I'm 3 years into being GF and the medical problems that I underwent 8 months of expensive testing for disappeared in 3 weeks.) I'm assuming I encounter a small amount of gluten through that but sometimes (particularly at Mexican restaurants) it's really hard to communicate and I do trial/error.

The only time I knowingly cheated I had canker sores almost immediately and I only ate half a small Girl Scout cookie.

 
avwalters
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said this on
24 Jun 2015 7:20:14 AM PDT
Cheat? You mean intentionally? Why would I? It's not food to me, it's poison. I have nieces and nephews who are also celiacs, and they cheat (and/or refuse to eat GF.) Maybe it's not a gender issue so much as an age issue. I've reached the point that it's not worth it to cheat--not even as a convenience on a social night out.

 
JR
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said this on
25 Jun 2015 4:31:46 AM PDT
It's important to not let the title of the article give a negative and uncomplimentary impression of men, in general. The title makes it appear that women are strong willed and diligent, and men are not.
Probably, if the numbers showed that women were the ones that cheated the most in dealing with a gluten free diet, there would not have been an article on this website. But since studies indicated it was men, then that's fair game.

 
admin
( Author)
said this on
25 Jun 2015 2:48:33 PM PDT
So we should not say anything negative about men...but since the study showed something negative about men it is ok to report it? Sorry, I don't follow you...

 
Jeff
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said this on
29 Aug 2015 4:47:20 PM PDT
I am a man who should have been gluten free all his 58 years but it has only been 13 years and strictness has never been an issue for me given the suffering of the first 45 years of my life. We could use some bumper stickers that read however:"Real Men With Celiac Don't Eat Gluten". I think it sure beats the one that says "Real Men Eat Tofu." (although I do).




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I believe the talk around this forum is that cheerios are not gluten free enough for people with celiac at this time. I don't know if anything has changed on that and when their lawyer calls me I'll quickly delete this. haha

Could be we generally say get off of dairy for a few months when going gluten free. The part of the intestines that produce the enzymes, and help break down dairy are associated with the tips of the villi, which are the most damaged if not gone in celiacs. THIS is why most of us end up with a lactose intolerance early on. And most can introduce it later after healing. As to her symptoms with it there was a bunch of research about dairy permeated the gut and causing neurological issues in a autism study I was looking at years ago. And there have been other studies about damaged intestines and how the hormones in milk can easier effect ones body. Personally I also have a huge grudge against dairy on a personal level as it is not natural to suck on a cows tits and drink the stuff, nor your dogs, nor a rabbits......I mean come on even Human Breast milk you would find odd to drink as an adult right? Back in the past dairy was a great way to get calories and fats when there was famine, etc around I mean it is meant to make a calf grow into a 500+lb cow. But on a genetic and hormonal level it is not really for human consumption and now days the whole corporate BS propaganda push and dairy farms shove that oh its healthy stuff down your throat. There are plenty of dairy free options for everything feel free to message me if you need help finding anything I have been dairy free for over a decade.

The full celiac panel checks TTG IGA and IGG, DGP IGA and IGG, IGA, EMA as Jmg stated above. Your test included TTG IGA and IGA. If your IGA was low, a low on TTG IGA would be inconclusive. But your IGA is fine. A high on any one test is a positive for celiac and should lead to an endoscopy for confirmation. So I'd get tested for TTG IGG, DGP IGA and IGG and EMA since there are symptoms. Warning I'm not a doc.

I did a gluten challenge for my endoscopy and requested a second blood test after my follow up with the consultant. I never did see those results but my GP said no celiac was indicated: Which left me gluten free for life, that wasn't an option after the challenge, but with a less satisfactory diagnosis, one by omission rather than the definitive 'you're celiac' one I was expecting. Yes! I have been 'properly' glutened on a couple of occasions but on several more I've detected a change or a reaction based on what could only have been trace amounts. NCGS is as yet poorly understood but patients tend to have more neuro symptoms than digestive. That's definitely been my experience, although it was only after going gluten free that I realised quite how many digestive symptoms I had just been living with as 'normal'. Close friends and family get the full explanation. 'I have an auto immune disease similar to 'coeliac etc.' If they stay awake long enough I'll tell them about the less than perfect testing process I went through or the Columbia Med research and the possibility of a blood test soon. They can see the difference between me on gluten and off it so they understand its not all in my head* If I'm ordering food in a restauarant or asking questions about food prep etc I will often just self declare as coeliac - people are aware of that and understand those requests are medical rather than fad diet based. I don't have any problem doing this, I'm not going to claim that and then cheat on dessert for instance and to be honest I expect once the research is complete the two conditions may wind up alongside others as different faces of the same coin. In the meantime I safeguard my health and avoid getting into a detailed conversation about genuine gluten sensitivity versus faux hipster posturing! *apart from the bits which are in my head

I originally had it on my face and scalp. (22 years ago) First biopsy with dermatologist came back as folliculitis. Then when I had a new outbreak on my upper back, she was able to remove a nice clean blister and we got the diagnosis of DH. She started me on Dapsone (100mg/day) and gluten free diet. Now I take 25-50 mg/day. My understanding at the time was that DH was the skin version of Celiac. Did a lot of research on my own. I met Dr. Peter Green at a Gluten free Vendors Fair and he said that a diagnosis of DH IS a diagnosis of Celiac, even if no other symptoms. So I stay gluten-free