Gluten-free Dieters Could Be Hiding An Eating Disorder

Anorexia BrainMedical experts have raised concern that individuals following a gluten-free diet may be using this method to disguise the fact they are suffering from an eating disorder.

According to the Daily Beast, some doctors are growing worried that many image-conscious members of the public are diagnosing themselves with a gluten allergy in order to give themselves a socially acceptable way to shed the pounds.

In an interview with the news provider, Annakeara Stinson from Brooklyn, New York, said she received positive reinforcement from her peers when she cut out the substance, which encouraged her to continue to reduce her intake of food.

She said her decision to go gluten-free came about when she experienced stomach pain and trapped wind, despite the fact she was never tested by her doctor for coeliac disease. In just one month, Ms Stinson lost a stone before her dieting spiralled out of control and she became obsessed with food.

An article she wrote for XO Jane - entitled My Gluten Allergy Was A Veil For An Eating Disorder - revealed she would eat only the cheese off her friend's pizza and a few peanut butter rice cakes for lunch on a normal day.

"From the outside, people just thought I had allergy issues, but really, it veiled all these other things that were going on ... I remember thinking if I were to let go and start eating wheat again, that I would balloon," she admitted.

However, medical experts have suggested that Ms Stinson's case may not be the only one of its kind, as researchers estimate that 80 per cent of US residents who adopt gluten-free eating do not actually have coeliac disease.

Dr Mark Borigini, a rheumatologist who wrote about gluten sensitivity for Psychology Today, said: "People read these articles on gluten and think this might be the answer to the problems they may have.
"If you're using this gluten fear as just another channel for a bigger problem - like an eating disorder - then that's of real concern."

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