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Gluten Sensitivity: It’s In Your Head.

May 2014

Are you one of those folks who, even though you don’t have celiac disease, feels much better having shunned gluten from your diet?

Unfortunately the science shows there’s a 100% chance that’s either in your head or something else in your diet, entirely.

I know, you’re going to say that an Australian scientist showed that gluten sensitivity is real. Unfortunately that very same guy just reversed that study with a new study that showed respondents, not knowing whether they were on a gluten free, low gluten or standard diet, reported the exact same symptoms for all three diets… And the best part is that the scientist went all “next level” on the study. If you wish to know just how far he went, check this article out.  In a stroke of genius, the scientist also made each person their own control.

Here’s the important sentence: “In contrast to our first study… we could find absolutely no specific response to gluten.”

So there you have it folks, that gluten sensitivity is in your head.  You don’t really feel better than me, you feel better than you, because you quit the gluten.  The power of the mind is an amazing thing. Your brain makes it so.

The important thing, ladies and gentlemen, is that you can once again enjoy that burger on a bun.


  1. magnuminsp says:

    Since I am afflicted by this, perhaps you can invite me over for dinner, full of gluten. An hour later, after I have rendered your bathroom uninhabitable, you can rethink the above 🙂


    There are some individuals who go off gluten “because it makes them feel better”. Of course, they don’t really go off gluten. Doing it for one meal doesn’t count. It is a lifelong issue. It also has become the newest fad diet. I can assure you this, if you go on a gluten-free diet, you will not lose weight.

    • bgddyjim says:

      I’m not the scientist brother, just the reporter. The real interesting thing would be for you to try all three of his diets to see if you have the same reaction to the gluten free diet as you did with the low and high gluten diets – or the same reaction as 100% of the people who participated in his study did.

      On the other hand, there is a possibility that there are those who do have a real sensitivity, who would have your experience with gluten on two of the three diets and that he simply failed to find one. If that’s the case, it would be some slim odds. The study showed that the reaction, gastro distress, bloating, etc. was expected and therefore experienced on a gluten-free diet. You’re probably looking at something like half of one percent of the population if I had to speculate.

      I didn’t mean to insult you, or anyone else for that matter, but when you look at the science, the findings are very compelling.

      In the end, what is important is that you’re happy with what you eat and you are comfortable.

      • magnuminsp says:

        Not insulting at all.

        When my wife told me about this a few years ago I thought she was nuts. We did our own “experiments”. I think my wife enjoys torturing me!

      • bgddyjim says:

        Funny how they get like that, eh? Gotta look at the bright side though: At least it keeps things lively!

  2. I have thought the gluten thing is a bunch of BS all along. I am not denying the microscopic percentage of people that have problems with gluten but really it’s become another money-making, fad-diet opportunity. Just my thoughts. . .oh I know that makes me a teabagging racist or some such drivel right?

    • bgddyjim says:

      It’s a pretty big club…though I’m having a tough time figuring out how paying enough in taxes already works into the mix. Maybe someone from extremist liberal minority can help us out with that one.

      That said, there may very well be those out there who really are sensitive to gluten even if the science shows it to be unlikely. I’m just glad this will end the fad part. I follow a blog written by a girl with Celiac’s who says that all of this gluten-free stuff in the supermarket is only partially gluten-free and making her sick as hell.

      • Again, I’m not denying some people have problems with it. . .but, there are countless examples of how these kinds of things morph into incomprehensible monstrosities. The number of our children being treated with drugs for ADHD for example.

      • bgddyjim says:

        Believe me brother, I’m with you on this one.

      • magnuminsp says:

        The “science” doesn’t show it is unlikely. It shows, that there are other causes, which incidentally, affect me as well. Fructose, Lactose, etc…. also affect me although not in the extreme manner as the gluten.

        We have done various experiments and the conclusion is, I am just intolerant! 🙂

        To your friend with Celiac, true celiacs will have a reaction to an “overdose” if you will of so-called gluten-free food.

        This article will not end the fad part of things because people are always looking for ways to feel better. Always looking for a quick fix.

        Remember the high carbohydrate, low fat diets popularized in the 80s? How did that work out? 😉

      • bgddyjim says:

        No doubt about the folks just wanting to feel better! I’d add a layer though: They want to feel better on the cheap. Feeling good is hard freaking work, thus why these things turn into fads so easy.

  3. My father and I were just talking about the gluten thing the other day! “Feeling better is cheap and feeling good is hard freaking work” bout sums up how I feel about this. 😊

  4. It seems to me like 90% of the people claiming gluten sensitivity are just being trendy. haha

  5. Glenn Smith says:

    Reblogged this on Justglenn and commented:
    As a chef I understand certain dietetic needs, but people look for any reason to blame general, poor eating habits on anything that is trending. The rules in my mind are simple; eat real food, eat in moderation, avoid anything that can be in your mouth in 1 minute that does not come from a plant.

  6. The Guat says:

    I wonder about that all the time. I eat all kinds of pasta and bread and I’m all good. People here are all over that gluten-free stuff. I don’t even think these non-celiac disease peeps realized it was “bad” for them until they read it somewhere.

  7. Sandra says:

    I’m starting to wonder if it’s the GMO grains that cause people issues. . . . there is more in our food supply than Monsanto would want us to know about.

    • bgddyjim says:

      The non-GMO movement is based entirely on non-science and truthfully, is flimsier than the gluten free fad Sandra. It’s the mind. It wants to feel bad so you feel bad. It’s not rocket science. Then on top of that you get the those who use it to feel superior or smarter than those who aren’t aware of the whole gluten thing, and there’s your fad. The GMO thing isn’t much different. Real science shows that GMO is much safer than crossbreeding.

      • Sandra says:

        My husband (environmental scientist) just gave me. Quick lesson on how GMos actually work. Let’s just agree to disagree on this one. I would take cross feeding interspieces cross breeding any day over crossing some known (but other mostly unknown genes that they haven’t even studied yet, from entirely different species any day. 🙂

      • bgddyjim says:

        Yup, we’ll definitely have to agree to disagree. I’ll take Monsanto over the Obama Administration any day of the week and twice on Sunday.

      • Sandra says:

        (He is actually a botanist 🙂

      • Sandra says:

        But I totally agree with on the anti gluten “fad”. 🙂

  8. FatSlowTri says:

    Unfortunately, most people are doomed to the confirmation bias in this issue because they will seek out what they already believe to be true and disregard anything that shows otherwise. You can see this in the comments you’ve already received, and it showed in the study. If people believe they are sensitive to gluten, and believe that’s what they are eating, then guess what … they will have issues. I thought the study was very interesting. What is the number of true celiac’s? Something like 1%?

    • bgddyjim says:

      That’s right, about 1%. I don’t discount the possibility that someone could develop an allergy somehow (my own mom had a spell in which she was placed on one heck of a crazy diet and gluten was something they recommended she stay away from and this was 20 years ago, long before the fad) but let’s just say it’s highly unlikely. Certainly not in the numbers that would support a fad. The VAST majority are just like you said.

      • magnuminsp says:

        The number of true Celiacs is roughly 1% of the population.

        What “spell” was affecting your mom? My wife is currently doing research for a paper she is writing on a certain bacteria that lives in your gut, and when certain things happen weakening your immune system, allergies as well as other issues can develop.

        The study, both of them and for that matter, the other study on fodmaps as well, are flawed from their inception. The criteria for being part of the study is poor at best. It is no wonder that the same doctor got exact opposite results!

        When you start out with a flawed pool for your test, the results are guaranteed to be inaccurate.

      • bgddyjim says:

        I don’t remember brother, I was too wrapped up in my own mess back then (it was actually before I sobered up). I just know her immune system went haywire and she was allergic to darn near everything for about three years. Eventually she was able to start adding things back into her diet and she’s been back to normal for quite a while now. I’ll see if she’ll let me interview her for a post…

      • magnuminsp says:

        From my post on my blog:
        In April of 2003, Tealas mother passed away. As sad as that was, things got worse. The apartment that she was living in was filled with all sorts of “nasty” items. Decayed food, fecal matter, etc. I got the dubious honor of cleaning this mess up, which took about a week of non-stop work. Several chemicals had to be used and of course, there were the mold splotches all over the walls.

        Immediately after cleaning the apartment, I began to feel sick. I developed a nagging cough, phlegm, and a host of other respiratory problems. Finally, in August of 2003, after coughing up blood, I decided, with a little prodding, that it was time to go to the emergency room. When I arrived, I said the magic phrase, “I am having trouble breathing”, which I was, and I got right in to see the Doctor.

        The first thing that was done was to obtain all of my vital signs which were good. The next thing was to get a sample of my blood. When the nurse started to draw my blood, he looked at Teala, she looked at me, I looked at them, and Teala looked at me! I asked what was going on? The nurse informed me that usually, when someones blood is this color, they are being embalmed! My blood was a dark shade of purple. The next thing that was done was an O2 saturation test. Normal readings are in the high 90s. Mine was 78…which is close to death!

      • bgddyjim says:

        Probably the mold. The last company I worked for, after I left, sent some guys in to do some remediation work and they did it without respirators… They ended up in the hospital for a week after that. Someone else’s funk is nothing to toy around with without at least a mask.

        In my mom’s case, there was nothing like that. She’s a clean freak to a ridiculous degree. It was something else.

      • bgddyjim says:

        By the way, glad you’re okay brother. That must have been scary as hell!

  9. FatSlowTri says:

    To follow up, though, you will never convince me that GMO is healthy or “alright”.

  10. Jim, Good news. I cannot live without my bread.
    I have some friends who have gone gluten free and they say it changed their life. I also have friends that say fish oil changed their life. I take fish oil but it hasn’t changed my life.
    In the book “Wheat Belly” I think the argument is that the wheat we eat today is not the same wheat our ancestors ate, just 50 years ago or so. I read the book once a while back, but that was part of Dr. Lustig’s argument.

    • bgddyjim says:

      I think what that study showed was that for the vast majority, those whose lives were changed, the change happened in the gray matter between their ears. As far as that goes, whatever works – it’s all good.

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