My daughter has celiac and it caused her multiple, terrible GI problems when she was younger. She'd also get really moody and irritable. Lots of screaming and crying and pain. Poor girl
Now that she's been GF for years she's so much better.
Because she has celiac I've been primarily GF for quite awhile now. Because it's a genetic disease it comes from either me or her father. He developed an autoimmune arthritis two years ago and has had GI issues his whole life, so I told him he should get tested for celiac. I said I'd do the bloodwork too, but in order to do that I had to start eating gluten again. Reintroducing it to my diet, I had immediate brain fog, fatigue, and ADD symptoms I haven't had in awhile. I never made the connection before, back when I was diagnosed with Adult ADD, that those symptoms had gradually disappeared in the last several months and that's when I rarely ate gluten anymore. Feeling so dumb and tired definitely triggered some depression as well.
Long story short, I'm done with gluten. I haven't gotten the bloodwork back, but I don't really care what the result is. I know what makes me feel better, so that's what I'm going to do.
I pretty much did the same with my kids. I have three autoimmune conditions. My ex has celiac disease (and IgA nephropathy and dermatitis herpetiformis... ) but after we got divorced he went back to eating gluten. My kids got a bad hand so I asked the doctor to do the genetic test for them instead of having them eat gluten again. It kinda sucks that you have to eat gluten in order for the antibodies to show up and the 'gold standard' test of blown-up villi to show up...I can understand not waiting for the outcome of a test to decide and just listening to what your body tells you.
Gluten-free foods are needed, because some people have celiac disease. No, it's not just the medical establishment making shit up to get money.
If you didn't hear about it when you were younger, it's probably just because there wasn't that much that was scientifically known about it. For hundreds of years people thought leeches could cure people. Should we have stuck with that, instead of following all this newfangled BS about germs?
I'm gonna get myself in fighting trim... scope out every angle of unfair advantage. - The Mountain Goats.
It depends on what it is. Bread definitely. But it's mostly an issue with texture and the peculiar taste that wheat has. Flat breads like pita, crackers, and flour tortillas are really terrible texture-wise. It's not all bad but there is a lack of chewiness which is one of the biggest reasons why wheat bread is such a pleasure to eat. Gluten is very unique in that it provides a texture-taste that is found no where else. That's why exactly duplicating wheat pizza crust is the Holy Grail of all GF foods.
Baked goods like cakes, cookies, muffins, coffee cake, breading/coatings, and pie crusts don't taste any different IF you do it right. A supreme-size if. It took a lot of expensive experimenting to tweak the flour combos to get the taste and texture right. There are some good GF pastas on the market (even if they are horribly expensive...$3.79 for 16 oz of pasta?! Or $5.99 for a loaf of bread? ) It can get really expensive to eat GF if you don't want to learn to cook certain things. I'm glad cooking is a huge creative outlet for me and I love experimenting...be in trouble otherwise.
I generally don't bother with a lot of baking/breads simply because they are expensive and don't taste as good and while I could bake them, it is expensive and generally they are not foods I want to encourage myself to eat a lot of anyway. My mum has found a way to make really good chocolate cake for my birthday, and excellent crepes. I also find that Domino's GF pizza crust is the closest to chewy that I have found, despite being thin crust, so I'm happy with that and their sauce isn't thickened with anything wheat based (some are). Boston Pizza makes pretty decent personal pizzas that are GF, although the crust is not chewy like regular pizza.
Generally the texture of most baked goods is a lot denser and more crumbly without gluten. I've found that corn based pasta tends to get mushy and quinoa based tastes stronger. Brown rice based is the best I've found yet. It has a bit of an al dente texture, but I liked brown pasta better before I went off gluten, so it is not a big hardship.
There's a lot of stuff out there marketed as GF that is really unnecessary. If you just avoid anything with wheat, rye or barley (and that can include salad dressings, soups, cocoa, soy sauce and various things you wouldn't think of) and read labels, it's not that hard to live pretty normally. Overall, I only feel the pinch when I eat at other people's houses or go to a potluck, because I either need to take my own food and be conspicuous, or ask all kinds of questions about what went into each dish and still have to trust that they remembered anything that would have been problematic. I hate feeling like that person that is stuck on their own health issues.
Most restaurants are really good now about providing gluten free options, and I've found that you can make up your own meal too, based on what kinds of things they have in stock. Usually I just send a card to the kitchen explaining I'm celiac (along with what that means if I accidentally have some gluten) and requesting that things be prepared in a certain way and they are very accommodating. Restaurants are beginning to educate their staff better, although there are still many people who don't know what it means or what the implications are.
Grocery stores now stock nearly everything you could wish for in GF versions, but they are very expensive. I keep a loaf of bread for toasting, but I would not regularly eat it and each loaf is small, dense and not tasty when not toasted or in a grilled cheese sandwich.