TUPELO, Miss. (WTVA) — Five or ten years ago, would you have ever thought to go gluten-free?
Are gluten-free products on your grocery list?
There are many people who choose to remove gluten from their diet for a variety of reasons. There are others who have no choice but to eliminate it altogether.
Madison Young has Celiac disease.
She cannot consume any product or even touch one that contains gluten — a protein found in wheat, rye, barley and oats.
Her diet is a strict one.
"Sometimes, it's kind of awkward when you have to go to a restaurant and order special food or you have to bring your own food. There's nothing there that you can eat," Young said.
Her mother spends a great deal of time searching for gluten-free recipes.
"I spend a lot of time on the Internet and looking in cookbooks and magazines and just (seek) help online a lot," Lori Young said.
Registered dietitian Alice Anne Lee says symptoms for someone with Celiac disease can be severe.
That can also be said of someone who is sensitive or allergic to gluten.
"Nausea, vomiting, diarrhea and very uncomfortable abdominal cramping can occur. There are several different side effects that can occur on an individualized basis. It affects everybody a little differently," Lee said.
What about those who choose to be gluten-free as a means to lose weight?
That decision mystifies Lori Young.
"It's an expensive diet, and I don't see it as one to lose weight on. For us, it's a diet for healthy nutrition," Young added.
"It is kind of a fad diet that's going on, but a lot are having some issues with it because there's so much food that you cut out. You're not getting the nutrients unless you are taking a multivitamin, and you could be missing on some of those," Lee said.
Tupelo health products store employee Crystal Crouch says most of her customers searching for gluten-free products do not follow fad diets. They just feel gluten-free is a healthy lifestyle choice.
Lee says the gluten-free diet is a difficult one.
"Yes, you may have weight loss at the beginning because you are essentially cutting out a lot of different food items and beverages as well, but you're not gonna stick with it. That's the thing with any fad diet," Lee said.