Columbia University Medical Center

Gluten-free diet more popular than ever, but who really needs it?

Gluten-free foods are seen more and more these days at restaurants and grocery stores. That’s great for the 1 percent of people who have celiac disease, says CBS News chief medical correspondent Dr. Jon LaPook. However, many people on these diets don’t have the condition, and worse, many people who shouldn’t eat gluten due to celiac have no idea they have the disease. …Other conditions besides celiac disease may also warrant a gluten-free diet. LaPook says a small percentage of people have what’s called “non-celiac gluten sensitivity,” a condition that has increasingly gained attention in the medical community. Some of these people may feel better if they take gluten out of their diet. But the discomfort could also be something else like lactose intolerance, a bacterial infection in the intestines or irritable bowel syndrome. “I would urge people to go to a doctor and try to really figure out what’s going on,” he says.

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