My husband’s mother lives with a diagnoses of celiac disease. This means she doesn’t eat anything that has gluten – which can be found in wheat, rye, or barley. Personally, I’m a big fan of gluten and I add gluten flour when making bagels. It puts the chewy in chewy bread. My mother-in-law is on the other end of that scale. Not that she doesn’t like chewy, its just that she has to avoid any speck of gluten which requires a fierce vigilance. Web sites, including the Mayo Clinic, advocates not even using the same counter top that bread may have touch for risk of a few molecules of gluten coming into cross-contamination. I hear those who are allergic to peanut butter need to maintain a similar vigilance least they inadvertently kick off a much more immediate and fatal allergic reaction. Celiac is more of a long term threat.
Imagine – food that every one else enjoys, and even shows up in medicines as a binder, can actually cause deep suffering and a shortened life span. Its one of those confused immunity systems things where what should be our friend (food) gets labeled as an enemy. Much like all wars, the immunity system’s defensive attack on the perceived invading force of the gluten protein takes out innocent bystanders, in this case, the villi of our small intestines. Villi is how we get the nutrients out of the food and into our body. Damaged villi is not so good at that. No villa, no nutrients.