Last week on Dr. Oz, Elisabeth Hasselbeck was the guest of honor.  The discussion:  Celiac Disease.  Officially, I have not been diagnosed with Celiac.  Mainly because, much like Hasselbeck, I self-diagnosed.  So, by the time I found a GI Guy who actually knew what he was doing, I had already stopped eating gluten.  Which meant that in order to obtain an official diagnosis I would have had to reintroduce gluten into my diet.  Fortunately, my doc thought it was completely unnecessary to put myself through that kind of pain just to confirm what we already knew.  According to him:  “if it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck…”.  He was rather confident based on my symptoms that I was a “classic Celiac case”.

I’ve been gluten free for two and a half years now and the pain that I was experiencing on a daily basis is gone.  I’ve also developed dairy and soy intolerances as well, but at least I know what was causing the pain and what I need to avoid.

When I first read The G-Free Diet I noticed that Hasselbeck was getting a lot of criticism.  I can understand why, but to be honest…I think her book was a great starting point for me.  Our story was pretty much the same.  Years of not knowing what was wrong, a misdiagnosis, unnecessary meds, etc. I felt relief reading her book.  Finding comfort in the fact that someone else had to go through the same thing I did and ended up prevailing.  The book was easy to read and explained things in a very direct and basic way.

So, I was kind of disappointed when I finally got around to watching Dr. Oz’s episode today.  I feel like they made light of the situation and tried to generalize it in an effort to turn the whole gluten-free thing into a cash cow.  It seemed almost like they were trying to ‘sell’ a gluten-free diet as a way to slim down and feel better (a fad diet), rather than explain just how painful and debilitating Celiac can be.

However, they did make several good points…such as addressing the sometimes hidden presence of gluten in things like lip gloss, hand lotion and soy sauce.  They even gave Redbridge Beer some air-time.  It’s not the best beer I’ve tasted in my lifetime (hello, Guinness), but it’s not terrible and every summer when I’m out on the deck I’m thankful it’s an option!!

I guess in the end it’s all a matter of even bad publicity is good publicity.  Any exposure that Celiac and gluten-free products can get is a good thing and will hopefully increase awareness on the patient, consumer and manufacturer level!


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