I’m putting together a presentation for a class in which I’ve been invited to give a guest lecture. When putting together any presentation, I bury myself knee-deep in searches for facts and figures, graphics and diagrams, and sources to cite.
When I searched for facts about gluten intolerance, I came across doctorgrandmas.com, a company that sells certain processed foods (which should probably be a red flag right there) that had the repugnant audacity to suggest that: “it has become very fashionable to be told by persons claiming to be health providers that a person is gluten-intolerant” and that “this is [a] serious disservice to the public.”
Uh, no. Not even close.
Thus, in return, I felt I had no choice but to submit the following response (I’m posting it here; it may never otherwise see the light of day, as it is understandably awaiting moderation on their website):
“Hi there. I need to take a very STRONG issue with the comment above…
You said: “It has become very fashionable to be told by persons claiming to be health providers that a person is gluten-intolerant.”
I don’t know what kind of medical practitioner you are or what kind of formal education you have, but if you actually see patients every day with fibromyalgia, thyroid problems (including Hashimoto’s), other autoimmune disorders such as Lupus, gastrointestinal problems, adrenal fatigue, leaky gut syndrome, and the list goes on and on and on, maybe you would take a different stance.
There is absolutely *nothing* “fashionable” about this concept. In fact, getting the conventional medical establishment to recognize it has been like pulling teeth. And yet, it’s happening. In fact, it’s old news. Read about the estimated underdiagnosis of Celiac Disease here: http://www.webmd.com/digestive-disorders/celiac-disease/news/20080520/celiac-disease-underdiagnosed
And that’s just Celiac Disease itself. There is another mechanism concerning gluten intolerance that can be found here: http://www.glutensensitivity.net/VojdaniDiagrams.htm#GI; simply scroll down to the Gluten Intolerance picture; this is very well-documented in the most recent scientific literature. Dr. Vojdani himself (a PhD immunologist) has written roughly 200 papers on the subject. This particular phenomenon is even MORE serious than Celiac because now at stake is the ability to form antibodies to your own nervous tissue (i.e. brain and spinal cord).
I can understand your desire to sell your product and I can understand what sounds like a frustration with a shift in population needs, tastes, and demands–a shift toward gluten-free foods (which you are not at this time willing to produce)–and thus away from your products. However, to make light of–and scoff at–such a serious, legitimate, established disorder is nothing short of odious.
I wonder how many of you know someone with any of the disorders I mentioned above? You might want to do some research…and then perhaps change your tune.
Thank you for your time.”
I don’t know about you, but most of us arrived at our gluten intolerance diagnosis either by taking our health into our own hands after doing some lengthy investigation, or visiting a doctor (or other healthcare practitioner) who happened to have a clue. In my case, it was both. Judging from the people who seek my help, these practitioners are few and far between. Thus, gluten intolerance is not anywhere near a “fashionable” diagnosis. It is hard-fought, struggled for, and finally won.
I don’t know how many diagnostic lab tests a food processing company orders on its patients, but I run lab tests every day that indicate that the patient needs to eliminate gluten completely in order to have any hope of getting better. Even if the tests don’t show it, the medically-supervised Gold Standard of food intolerances–the Elimination/Controlled Re-introduction regimen prove beyond the shadow of a doubt that there is a gluten problem. I have seen the need to pull every single one of my patients off of gluten completely, except for one.
I’m sorry that this company feels so defensive. Perhaps they’re feeling the pinch of competent doctors who pull their patients off gluten–or grains altogether, in favor of a hunter-gatherer diet of sorts that is much more compatible with our evolutionary design and genetic makeup. And if they don’t feel this pinch, chances are that they will eventually. The tide is turning, as people catch on to the real source of their chronic health problems and the accompanying misery. Corporate farms, food processors, and restaurants who refuse to adapt will inevitably get left behind.
I just felt I had to speak up against this company’s assertion because the real disservice lies in their words.