Gluten, the set of wheat proteins that gives properties for food processing, is the cause of celiac disease (CD), and patients require a gluten-free diet lifelong. There are other bad-called gluten-related diseases as non-celiac gluten sensitivity and irritable bowel syndrome, for which triggering compounds are unknown, while wheat allergies and carbohydrate intolerances are associated with other wheat proteins and fructans, respectively. The boundaries of each disease are not clear, inducing confusion for diagnosis and dilemma about the right diet. Nowadays, the people who are currently in a gluten-free diet exceed several times the expected number of those requiring dietary gluten exclusion. It is because people consider themselves as affected and dangerously decide to self-diagnose as gluten intolerant and adopt a gluten-free diet. The alternative compounds used in gluten-free foods to obtain the technological properties given by gluten could induce problems in some disease conditions or lead to undernutrition especially in children and adolescents. It is because some gluten-free foodstuffs are limited in vitamins and minerals and contain more fat and sodium than their conventional wheat analogues. Therefore, gluten-free is not a good option for persons without diagnosis; it should be understood as a therapy, prescribed and followed by specialists.
Part of the book: Celiac Disease and Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity