There is considerable debate among physicians as well as patient groups regarding the presence or absence of all of this so-called “gluten sensitivity”. Despite the fact that an entire industry has exploded, restaurants itemize “Gluten Free” on their menus, and patients swear that avoiding wheat and forms of gluten makes them feel better, many physicians refused to acknowledge this medical condition in the absence of a specific laboratory test indicating celiac disease. Now the argument has been settled that in fact there is a large fraction of patients with wheat intolerance that has little to do with a specific immune reaction to gluten. Many indigestible carbohydrates – so-called “fructans” — contained in larger quantities in certain foods cause an undue amount of fermentation that causes gas that stretches the bowel and causes pain. The FODMAPS diet pioneered by Dr. Peter Gibson, an Australian, is helpful for many of these people, and now studies seem to indicate that many gluten-intolerant people actually suffer from this type of indigestion. Basically, the gluten-free crowd has been instinctively correct for many years. Imagine that.
Also, there is much more scientific fact now behind the concept of a “leaky gut” in which some components of wheat and certain other food seem to make the intestine more permeable to substances that can induce inflammation systemically. Dr. Armen Alaedini at Columbia University Medical School has effectively proven this now. So, in polite medical company, “leaky gut” should no longer produce eye rolling dismissiveness and should be acknowledged in physician’s medical notes and records.