As promised in the beginning of the challenge, this will be about all the Miley Cyruses and Gwyneth Paltrows of the world — the people who follow a gluten-free diet for no other reason than the "diet."
Gluten-free products have been a wet dream for the companies producing them. The irresponsibility of food manufacturers has caused a lot of misinformation, and within the last few years, this fad diet has created more than $4 billion in profits for those manufacturers.
There are many people that have a legitimate reason — celiac disease, intolerance, sensitivity or allergy — but also for a lot of other people out there we know your gluten allergy is fake. You're not allergic. You're just on a gluten-free diet and you want attention.
Congratulations, you're on high-powered Atkins diet or Paleo diet. Improved diet usually results in feeling refreshed and renewed. The Atkins and Paleo diet are both nearly gluten-free, and both are great diet options for people with weight and health issues. However, a change in your health doesn't necessarily mean there was an allergy involved.
It’s great that you’re feeling healthier and a sense of well-being, but what's bullshit is that you blame the discrepancy between your previous and current state of health on a fictional allergy that you haven't had medically proven to have. Call it a gluten-free diet if you want, but don’t throw the word "allergy" around like you have a legitimate medical problem. Just to recap here: if your "allergy" is really just a diet with no medical basis, you are being a selfish asshole.
Ways To Tell If Your Allergy Is Fake
- You discuss your gluten allergies at parties. Especially unprompted and totally uninvited.
- Your allergy "comes and goes" at will.
- You go out to an Italian restaurant and walk out unscathed because you ordered the gluten-free lasagna.
- You reminded your server 100x already yet complain to the manager that "the bitch never brought me free bread."
- You ask for gluten-free biscuits with extra gravy.
- You used WebMD, Dr. Phil, Opera, Dr. Oz, or The View (possibly a combination of more than one) to self-diagnose your "condition."
Real gluten allergies and Celiac disease cause a shitload of serious complications, not the vague malaise otherwise known as being a daytime television couch potato with nothing more to live for than the next episode of "The Real Housewives" and complaining to anyone that will listen about the "woman next door who is clearly an unfit mother, just look at what her little fucking brats are wearing to school today."
Saying "I cut out all gluten from my diet, now I feel so much better, I was totally allergic to gluten!" is like saying "I stopped masturbating sixteen hours a day, now I don’t have hand cramps anymore, I was allergic to masturbation!"
The most important thing to realize is to know where "lifestyle changes" end and "real medical conditions" begin. If you suffer from a real, legitimate gluten allergy, chances are you will be in an almost constant state of discomfort before you figure out what’s really wrong.
Right now, having a gluten allergy is just another item on the checklist of trendy, socially acceptable disorders and diseases like OCD, insomnia, and bipolar disorder. Stop reading this article for a second and go check out your Facebook feed. How many status updates along the lines of "Yay! I cleaned the bathroom today, my ocd is so bad lol" or "Can't sleep. Damn this insomnia" or "I woke up with a smile but can't find my keys and now I’m mad, why am i so bipolar sometimes" did you see on your feed?
"Collecting" chemical imbalances like Edward Norton collected terminal disease help groups in "Fight Club" has both invalidated the symptoms of those with actual problems and made it more difficult to get treatment and be respected.
I've gotten a good number of emails from readers of my blog both congratulating and criticizing me for going on a gluten-free diet for 30 days. The difference, though, is I've always used the word "diet" in all my posts, descriptions, and conversations to distinctly draw the line that I don't suffer from an allergy. And I did it because, yes, it is challenging, but also to gain a little more empathy for those who are actually suffering and have the medical documentation to prove it. Not you, asshole.