Gluten intolerance on the rise

So it's not my imagination: More and more people are finding they have an inability to tolerate gluten. (Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, barley, and some oats.) A new Mayo Clinic study supports ever-growing anecdotal evidence that celiac disease has increased dramatically in the past 50 years ... and not just because of better diagnosis and awareness. According to Dr. Joseph Murray, lead researcher quoted in the press release: "Celiac disease is unusual, but it's no longer rare. Something has changed in our environment to make it much more common. Until recently, the standard approach to finding celiac disease has been to wait for people to complain of symptoms and to come to the doctor for investigation. This study suggests that we may need to consider looking for celiac disease in the general population, more like we do in testing for cholesterol or blood pressure."

And this is just for celiac disease, a true autoimmune allergy, not simply a sensitivity. My son "merely" has an intolerance, and there's no reliable test for that -- the only way to tell for sure is to go off gluten and see if you feel better, which he did -- and he developed it as an adult. My pet theory is that the "something" that has changed in our environment, leading to increased adverse reactions to foods, is the corruption and overprocessing of our entire food supply. What do you think?

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