Half of People Who Go Gluten-Free Still Have Symptoms

Most people discover they have a sensitivity to gluten, or even an allergy to gluten, the hard way. You eat some food containing gluten, experience stomach discomfort, and have digestive problems. You suspect it might be gluten, so you go gluten-free and start to feel better. And your suspicions are confirmed when you finally go to the doctor and are diagnosed with Celiac disease or a an allergy to gluten.

Sound familiar? An estimated 3 million people in the United States have Celiac disease, and only a small percentage of them have been formally diagnosed by a doctor. In some cases, it may be possible to manage Celiac disease or a sensitivity to gluten by eating a gluten-free diet. But increasingly, doctors are finding that going gluten-free isn't enough to prevent complications for some people.

Celiac disease researcher Dr. Francisco Leon says an estimated 50 percent of people who go gluten-free still experience low-level symptoms that can be harmful to their health. And it's why he's passionate about developing a drug to treat this condition known as non-responsive Celiac disease.

So why do some people on a gluten-free diet not get better, even after six to 12 months of eating clean? The main reason is, they're probably still being exposed to small amounts of gluten. And it's understandable. It's no secret that gluten is found in grain-based foods. But it's also widely used in processed foods, including chocolate, pickles, sushi, soy sauce, processed meats, rotisserie chicken, curry powder, and even licorice.

The drug Leon is developing with his team at the company Celimmune, is currently going through clinical trials with promising results. But more research will be required before this drug to help people with Celiac disease will be available.

If you have Celiac disease or an allergy to gluten, avoiding gluten is critical to your health. We've been helping people go gluten-free for more than a decade by serving up Gluten-Free-Friendly meals, and our team of professional chefs are always in the test kitchen working on new gluten-free recipes made from fresh ingredients.