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Should You Go Gluten Free?

Should You Go Gluten Free?

For people who need it, gluten-free is more than the latest food fad. For those who don’t, it’s just money down the drain.

In honor of Celiac Disease Awareness month, Plus helps separate the hype from the truth:

When people with gluten intolerance or celiac disease, remove gluten (a protein found in wheat, rye and barley) from their diet it has a range of benefits from decreasing stomach pain, bloating, and gas to reducing more serious symptoms like joint pain, skin rashes, and anemia. 

But those without the intolerance are pointlessly avoiding healthy grains and throwing away good money.

So, how do I know if  I'm really gluten sensitive?

A new blood test called Array 3, from Cyrex Labratories identifies gluten reactivity more accurately than earlier tests. It's the the most comprehensive analysis available for determining gluten sensitivity, according to Dr. Chad Larson, an advisor on the clinical consulting team for Cyrex, “because it accurately identifies gluten reactivity and measures antibody production against 8 wheat proteins and peptides, three essential enzymes (transglutaminase-2, transglutaminase-3 and transglutaminase-6), and the gliadin transglutaminase complex.”

That’s a lot of science-y words. Who should take it?

Larson tells us that the test isn’t for everyone. Array 3 is only recommended “for people who have non-responsive gastrointestinal symptoms present with multiple-symptom complaints — including joint pain, fatigue, muscle pain, brain fog, hormone imbalances, and chronic inflammation — or suffer from depression or neurodegenerative symptoms like peripheral neuropathy, Alzheimer’s disease, or multiple sclerosis,” says Dr. Larson. 

And if you have those symptoms?

Ask your doctor about the Array 3 blood test. Results are reported in about two weeks. “Patients can then work with their physician to develop an appropriate treatment plan that may or may not include the elimination of gluten from their diet,” Dr. Larson adds.

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