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to not understand the fuss about gluten?

146 replies

Bleakhouse1879 · 10/08/2015 13:08

This has probably been asked on here before, if so, shoot me down.

When I was a wee nipper I had never heard of gluten or its dangerous life changing properties. Now everyday I'm hearing about gluten-free this and gluten-free that, "I'm a celiac" or "my wife is intolerant to wheat and everything else in life"

Please could someone explain to this confused and rather befuddled gentleman of advancing years what all the fuss is about? Is it genuine or is it just another attention-seeking illness?

OP posts:
ArendelleQueen · 10/08/2015 20:36

There is no proper evidence to suggest going gluten free can help with arthritis, particularly the autoimmune types, unless you have coeliac disease also.

HookedOnHooking · 10/08/2015 20:37

It's all fake. I just shit myself in public for the sheer hell of it.

PrimalLass · 10/08/2015 20:38

No, that's why I said it was anecdotal. But if you are in pain every day then it is worth a shot.

PrimalLass · 10/08/2015 20:41
ReallyNotAMorningPerson · 10/08/2015 20:46

Agree with the poster who said there's no rule that something has to be life threatening to merit avoiding it. Sugar isn't 'life threatening', but lots of people feel better eating less of it.

I don't understand why people get in such a flap about other people's food preferences. To use the MN word it seems a little 'controlling'. Let people eat / not eat what they want.

And to coeliacs who get annoyed by non-coeliac people who want to avoid gluten because it makes them feel better - don't get annoyed with them. Get annoyed at the people who disparage them and thus make it into a big 'thing'. It's those people who are making things difficult.

(And - for what it's worth - you could argue that the people shouting that gluten is only relevant if your coeliac make it difficult for non-coeliacs who want to avoid gluten because it makes them feel better - arthritis, asthma, other autoimmune disorders, etc - because people say it's meaningless if it's not for coeliac.


There is research about the negative effects of gluten and gastrointestinal ones are just one of them. So coeliacs shouldn't have the monopoly on avoiding it if others want to too.

ReallyNotAMorningPerson · 10/08/2015 20:49

Arendelle depends what you mean by evidence. There is no systematic review. But there is sufficient growing evidence to give cutting it out a go if it appears to be helping.

BarbarianMum · 10/08/2015 20:55

ReallyNot I love other people avoiding gluten - it means that so many more places will cater for gluten-free diets.

I do get slightly annoyed at people who areg luten free except, for example, when they really fancy a baguette. It does make it harder to get the message across to people that when I say gluten free I mean not even a little bit, ever, not even hidden in a sauce where I can't see it Hmm.

ArendelleQueen · 10/08/2015 20:56

Primal "No retardation of radiological destruction was apparent in any of the groups." Proof's in the gluten free pudding, I'm afraid. If it helps someone with their pain, then that's great but there's nothing to suggest that it alters disease activity or auto-antibodies. I have tried it btw, I've tried everything.

FithColumnist · 10/08/2015 21:02

The reason why I'm glad, is because you've stated you are Male. I don't disagree with what you post, the bluntness of it etc (as some do), but most of it now makes sense, what with you being a Man.

Wait, what?

But, just to re-iterate what virtually everyone else has said in this thread, some people don't eat gluten because they either have a life-threatening allergic reaction to it, or they have Coeliac disease.

Some people don't eat gluten because of vague "health" reasons and will, by the time the next dietary fad comes around, have moved onto this. (Paleo diet anyone?)

The main difference between these two very distinct groups of people is that the former are unlikely to mention it unless offered something made with gluten, while the latter are apt to bang on about it at every opportunity. They also probably do Crossfit.

PrimalLass · 10/08/2015 21:03

I'm just posting links, not making a case.

It works for DP.

HippyChickMama · 10/08/2015 21:17

125 g Butter
250 g Dark chocolate
3 medium Egg, separated, plus
3 individual Egg white(s)
50 g Caster sugar
1½ teaspoons Mixed spice
½ teaspoons Icing sugar


  1. Preheat the oven to gas mark 4/180°C/fan 160°C. Line the base of a 20cm springform cake tin with non-stick baking parchment.

2. Melt the low fat spread in a saucepan. Remove from the heat and add the chocolate, stirring to dissolve. If there are any lumps of chocolate left after 1 min, return the pan to a low heat and continue stirring until dissolved, then remove the pan from the heat.
3. In a bowl, whisk the egg yolks with half the caster sugar and 1 tsp mixed spice until pale and thick. Fold in the chocolate mixture.
4. In a separate, clean, grease-free bowl, whisk all the egg whites until they form stiff peaks. Gradually whisk in the remaining caster sugar until the egg whites are stiff and glossy.
5. Add a large spoonful of the egg whites to the chocolate mixture and fold in quickly to slacken it. Carefully fold in the remaining whites until fully incorporated. Spoon into the prepared cake tin and bake for 40–45 mins or until risen. Leave the cake to cool in the tin
6. Mix together the remaining mixed spice and the icing sugar and dust over the cake

It's lovely served warm with a dollop of clotted cream.
I do a lemon drizzle cake made with polenta, a gf chocolate and beetroot cake and gf brownies. Mrs Crimbles coconut macaroons are amazing and gluten free and the gf cakes in Costa are nice too. As a general rule, if you're making something 'short' (shortcrust pastry, crumble, pancakes etc) you can use gf flour fairly successfully but if you want to make something that relies on long strands of gluten for texture (bread, cake etc) you're better off ditching the flour and finding a flour free method.
HippyChickMama · 10/08/2015 21:22
  • should read butter instead of low fat spread in instructions
Mawsymoo · 10/08/2015 21:25

Another coeliac sufferer here. Unfortunately my diagnosis was delayed - I was diagnosed with IBS, I had constant cramps and diarrhoea, mouth ulcers, peripheral neuropathy, amenorrhea and associated infertility, I was skin and bone and I felt like shite. It was only when I broke a few bones and had a dexa scan that the bone consultant suggested coeliac. I have osteoporosis throughout my spine and hips BUT since cutting gluten I have quality of life at last, and best of all a lovely DC and another on the way! The bones will have to be dealt with after this DC and that will be my childbearing days over with but I feel lucky to be as well as I am.

I'm happy the popularity of gluten-free diets has increased the availability of foods but it can make it hard to get people to take me seriously when I say NO gluten at all.

ppeatfruit · 10/08/2015 21:32

Thanks for replying angelblue and Milaauw.

It is odd that some people are upset by other people's food choices.

I follow my Blood Type and that REALLY pisses off others. I am 64 with no health problems at all. I am fussy , yes ,but I'm happy and try not to evangelise though I do like to help if it's possible.

knittingbat · 10/08/2015 21:45

Agree with barbarian, I am delighted it's so trendy now as the range of gf products is so much better! I was diagnosed a year ago, after two attacks that involved being hospitalised, seemingly for gallstones. Interestingly if I accidentally ate gluten I wouldn't immediately react... But if someone didn't 'believe' me and fed me gluten continuously, I would be mostly carted to a&e in the middle of the night with a morphine drop hanging off me, using up NHS resources. It has many different symptoms for many different people. It was an endoscopy/colonoscopy biopsy that diagnosed it - they had tested everything by then and were flummoxed. A surprise diagnosis but better than a lot of things, but long may gf be an enormous fad so that 'real' coeliacs can have the convenience of gf menus at most restaurants, get gf beer at some bars and most supermarkets, and have tons of blogs and recipe books and magazines catering to my diet. They make my everyday life much easier, quite apart from being free to cut out whatever they want for whatever reason they want Smile

cocobean2805 · 10/08/2015 21:47

Thank you so much hippy that sounds amazing!! I'm going to try it next weekend! Oooh the Mrs crumbles macaroons! Oooooh! They are delish! The apple cake is gorgeous but NOT gluten free, I had to eat two because my dad bought them without checking! I'm going to be the size of a house and I was pleased by the Costa gf options.

AnUtterIdiot · 10/08/2015 23:10

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

AdoraBell · 10/08/2015 23:35

Interesting that so many have mentioned mouth úlceras. I haven't had any since I started avoiding gluten. Had them for years and never connected the problem To food. Not even my GPs or Dentists thought of it. I was told I had IBS and advised To avoid Rich spice foods and stick To plain toast during a flare up. This was nearly 30 years ago.

Mausymoo I'm glad you finally got a diagnosis, and DCsGrin

ZazieSiddharta · 11/08/2015 01:04

Gluten is bad for many medical conditions from coeliac disease to Hastimotos to IBS.

And, to be honest, if a person choses not to eat something, that's their decision, no-one else's.

iamEarthymama · 11/08/2015 07:54

I am just echoing what previous posters have said but I feel cross and sad that I am perceived as 'faddy' but people who seem to have no empathy or kindness, just a sense of superiority.
I was ill over many years, I had IBS, endometriosis, chronic fatigue, swollen joints, huge periods of depression, frequent respiratory infections, particularly, bouts of sinusitis, insomnia and, worse of all for me, bouts of itching when I would be up all night scratching my arms until I drew blood.

I was constantly at the doctors, saw consultants, took different medication.
I worked but in my own time battled to do anything but sleep.

A good friend who had given up gluten advised me to stop eating wheat and gluten, I was desperate but had nothing to lose by not doing so.
After about 3 weeks it was as though a switch went off in my body, I can only say it was as though I was fully awake, fully conscious. Bit by bit most of the symptoms have eased, though I still get every cold going.
Best of all, the itching has stopped! Blessed relief. I read about Joni Mitchell and feel she had the same reaction as me, I was prepared to believe in Morgellans.
The downside is the restrictions; no more eating without thinking, though as a vegetarian for 35 years I was used to that. There is gluten in so many products!
And the cost! It is expensive, my fruit loaf I have for breakfast is £2.50 - £3 a loaf.
But things are changing, so much more choice, bread and cake seem to be able to retain some moisture. I eat more healthily and have lost weight, I fully engage with my life and have regained my love of life.
I wish I had known when my mother was alive, I struggled to care for her through this fog of tiredness.
For though who say it is my 'choice', yes, it is. My GP offered to test me after I had stopped and results were inconclusive. I could eat gluten for 6 weeks then test again but I don't need proof. I know what happens if I slip up, I am unable to function properly.

(I wrote most of this last night but was very tired so saved it. I woke at 3am with most awful itchy arms, as I have just had surgery and can't use one hand this was so irritating. I don't know what I have eaten, I will need to look at all the ingredients of everything I ate yesterday. Some change will have been made to something and funnily enough the manufacturers don't slash "Now With Added Gluten!" on their products! Hmm

So this essay could have been summed up as It makes me Ill so I don't eat it, it isn't done just to upset yo, it is bloody expensiveu and I am not secretly scoffing cake as most of the people other posters know are!!

ppeatfruit · 11/08/2015 10:01

Yes Anutter I LOVE Leon the best fast food place in GB I reckon. Even their hot chocolate with soya milk is dairy free.

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