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Should you go gluten-free even if you don’t have celiac disease?

By Brierley Wright, M.S., R.D., October 5, 2011 - 11:51am

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Brierley asks: Have you eliminated gluten from your diet?


This grandmother is desperate to locate information about placing young children WITHOUT CELIAC disease on a gluten-free diet.

My daughter decided to do this to my two grandsons, now 6 and 4. They have normal allergies to dust, pollen, mold, but no digestive tract problems and have been healthy all their lives.

My grandsons are not gaining weight. The oldest hasn't gained one pound since being placed on a gluten-free diet two months ago. He also has bluish/reddish circles under his eyes and looks sickly.

But my daughter is adamant that this is the best diet for them. I am heavily against it and have heard that it will stunt growth in children who do not require this diet because they are losing important vitamins and minerals that are contained in gluten, which I believe they need.

Any advice or information you can provide would be greatly appreciated. I am so worried about my grandsons.

Thank you for your time.


11/20/2014 - 1:55am

I recently stopped eating gluten to see if it would help my painful bladder or IC. It is an auto ammune disease. It has been 2 weeks and I started having alot of mucle pain and pain from my chest to my intestines, also back pain. I am very concerned that eating gluten free when you dont have a gluten intolerance may be bad for you. I am 54 and I have never experianced this kind of pain. Also my energy is low and my mind is not working as fast as usual. Does any one know if this is a side affect of going gluten free? Joan


04/01/2013 - 5:59pm

I have. No bread, no pasta. It has been 15 months. The weight loss began immediately when I dropped gluten. Nowadays I have a choc chip cookie containing flour every other week - no big deal. Not necessary to check with a doctor - why? Use common sense. Eat whole grains like brown rice, oatmeal; lots of fruit & veg. I have an excellent diet, much better without all the bread I used to eat (I now have organic raw almonds, fruit and something like a boiled egg or rice cake with peanut butter, every day for lunch). I cook at home 95% of the time. I lost 40 pounds through the food changes and through exercise, and I've been at an ideal weight for 9 months now. My doc was thrilled, after the fact.


03/01/2013 - 9:09am

I have done so for periods of time, mainly to see if there is a difference.
I haven't noticed any great change, but I think this might be too simplistic an approach.

After Menopause I became aware of changes in my being that I couldn't understand:
1. My hair became almost completely white( I was a yucky dirty-blonde colour that I had streaked with a light blonde so that my seasonal sun-induced colour had some continuity) At age 55, (I am now 71)my hairdresser asked why I was still having light streaks added, and suggested I should consider dark streaks instead.
I have not had my hair coloured since, but I was completely white until I started taking Natural Desiccated Porcine Thyroid tablets about 16 months ago.
For many reasons I figured my Thyroid was not working properly, I had lost almost all my body hair, my eyebrows were vanishing(so I had them Tattooed on) My diet had not changed in years, and now I was gaining weight, dieting did nothing!
My nails were changing, I got a toenail fungus on my right large toenail and ridges on my fingernails. My missing eyebrows began to sprout from my make a long story short I presented my theory to my GP who admitted he did not know enough about the Thyroid to understand the relevance of my symptoms. He didn't even know there was a Canadian DIN# for the Porcine Therapy, his computer told him to prescribe Synthroid. He said he couldn't find a supportable reason to refer me to a specialist, I asked why Obesity wasn't enough.....he said if that was alright with me he could do that...duh???

That was the primary reason for my concern, I discovered the symptoms that proved to me there was a greater question.......he had hesitated to avoid 'hurting my feelings'?

He referred me to an Endocrinologist who started me on the tablets because I refused to take Synthroid, after reading the potential side effects....I already had quite enough happening, didn't want to add more problems and have to take another medication...etc.
My fingernails and toenails are almost back to normal, my hair is turning back to dirty blonde and I have lost 40 lbs without changing my eating at eyebrows have grown back!!! Even my eyelashes are darker again. No Toenail Fungus after treatment with Tea-Tree-Oil and having my nails trimmed twice by a get fungus infections if you are susceptible!!!!! They ARE EVERYWHERE!!
It seems apparent that I have been dealing with a Thyroid problem which also translates as one of the auto-immune disorders, so Glutens may be a part of the 'Big Picture'

I intend to change many foods in my diet after my next appointment with the Endocrinologist(next week) and document what I have accomplished. Our Thyroids indirectly control so much of what our bodies do, they are not being considered properly. The current blood tests do NOT begin to diagnose Hypo-Thyroidism. The 'normal' range is huge and you have to be in an extreme stage to show up as either Hypo or Hyper.

This is a complex issue that deserves so much more attention, but it doesn't make big money for the Industry, so we likely will never see steps taken to help us.



02/28/2013 - 8:04pm

I have been gf for a year now.. I have had horrible allergies all my life. Recurring nasal polyps, operations every 2 years to remove them.. (For 40 years ugh). In spring 2012 my ent injected the polyps in hopes of delaying surgery for 6 months.. A common tool for people like me. In November I went in to see him again, he was amazed and asked repeatedly what changes I had made.. Sinus's were clear, only one polyp was blocking one nostril.. He injected it and asked if he could start documenting my gf journey. In January, I started being able to get air thru the blocked nostril. A couple weeks ago I started picking up scents .. Like soaps and food.. A new experience for me! As of today, one year into this.. My allergies and skin have never been better.. Stomach problems are non existent. This has been a miracle for me.. I can't help but think that a lifetime of problems could be solved by diet. Cannot wait to see how the next year go's!


02/27/2013 - 9:51am

Trying. I have severe join and muscle pain, don't know why. So, thought I would try this gluten free diet.


02/03/2012 - 7:33pm

I was recently diagnosed with Hashimoto Tyroiditis and was told to reduce or eliminate gluten as it causes the adrenals to work overtime and do "double duty." Thank you for the great article!!!
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10/28/2011 - 9:30am

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