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PHC 4109 FIU Celiac Disease Discussion

I’m working on a health & medical discussion question and need the explanation and answer to help me learn.

Do some research on Celiac Disease and read this storyLinks to an external site. that covers the gluten-free trend in the United States. Do you think a majority of the general public actually knows what gluten is? (The Jimmy Kimmel video linked in the NPR story is a funny satire on gluten knowledge.) Do you think this is a “fad”? Do you think it is doing more harm than good? Please comment on your findings and post any other sources you use. Here is an interesting NPR articleLinks to an external site.  about the potential for unknown exposures to gluten in “gluten-free” identified foods.

Possible sources:
MedLine Plus: Celiac DiseaseLinks to an external site.

NIH: What is Celiac DiseaseLinks to an external site.
Links to an external site.

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PHC 4109 FIU Celiac Disease Discussion

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Introduction:
Celiac Disease is an autoimmune disorder that affects the small intestine. It is triggered by the ingestion of gluten, a protein found in wheat, barley, and rye. When individuals with Celiac Disease consume gluten, their immune system responds by damaging the lining of the small intestine, leading to various symptoms and potential long-term complications.

It is important for the general public to have a good understanding of what gluten is and how it can affect individuals with Celiac Disease. In recent years, there has been a growing gluten-free trend in the United States, with many people following a gluten-free diet even without a medical necessity. This prompts the question: Does the majority of the general public actually know what gluten is?

Answer to the Content:
Based on the research and the NPR article provided, it is evident that a majority of the general public may not have a comprehensive understanding of what gluten is. The Jimmy Kimmel video linked in the NPR story shows that even some celebrities and influential figures have limited knowledge about gluten. This suggests that the general public’s awareness of gluten and its impact on individuals with Celiac Disease may be limited.

The gluten-free trend can be considered a “fad” in some aspects. Many people choose to follow a gluten-free diet without having a medical necessity, often driven by a desire to lose weight or improve their perceived health. This trend has led to a significant increase in gluten-free products and availability in the market, catering to the demands of the public.

However, while the gluten-free trend may have benefits for individuals with Celiac Disease, it can also have negative consequences. For instance, individuals may mistakenly believe that a gluten-free diet is healthier or more beneficial for weight loss, leading to unnecessary dietary restrictions. Moreover, the increased popularity of gluten-free products may lead to cross-contamination issues and hidden exposures to gluten for individuals with Celiac Disease.

The potential for unknown exposures to gluten in “gluten-free” identified foods, as highlighted in the NPR article, is concerning. The study mentioned indicates that a significant portion of commercial gluten-free products may contain trace amounts of gluten due to cross-contamination during processing. This puts individuals with Celiac Disease at risk of consuming gluten unknowingly, which can have severe health implications.

In conclusion, while the majority of the general public may not have a comprehensive understanding of what gluten is, the gluten-free trend has gained significant popularity. Although it may be considered a “fad,” it is essential to recognize both the potential benefits and risks associated with this trend. Educating the public about Celiac Disease, gluten, and the importance of following a gluten-free diet when medically necessary can help mitigate potential harm and ensure individuals make informed choices.

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