SymptomFind's Guide to Creating a Gluten-Free Diet Plan

Medically Reviewed by Carolin Schneider, MD

Photo Courtesy: zoranm/E+/Getty Images

Gluten is a protein found in products derived from wheat, barley, and rye. It is well established that the consumption of gluten triggers the onset of the digestive disorder celiac disease. Starting and maintaining a gluten-free diet is the only way to effectively manage the symptoms associated with celiac disease. This diet regimen is also necessary for those suffering from a food allergy to wheat and wheat products. 

Today, many people who are not diagnosed with celiac disease or a wheat allergy are still opting for gluten-free diets. Many believe that eating a gluten-free diet may help them lose weight, increase their energy, or ameliorate their headaches. However, the evidence for these associations is primarily anecdotal. In fact, researchers do not recommend following a gluten-free diet unless you have been diagnosed with celiac disease or have a gluten sensitivity (wheat allergy). 

Nonetheless, maintaining a gluten-free diet can get complicated — and it may result in vitamin and nutrient deficiencies. To coincide with National Celiac Disease Awareness Day, we're providing a starting point for folks diagnosed with celiac disease and wheat allergies, so that they can maintain a balanced diet while accounting for their digestive health.