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What does it mean to be Gluten-Free? It’s estimated that 1 in 133 Canadians or 250,000 people have celiac disease (and it’s growing) and approximately 3 million Americans. It’s a lifelong, genetically based disorder that occurs when gluten – a protein found in wheat, rye and barley – triggers an abnormal immune response that damages the lining of the small intestine interfering with the absorption of vital nutrients. It can be painful and debilitating. Symptoms can include anemia, diarrhea, arthritis, intense abdominal pain, weight loss and, in children, delayed growth. But most people have symptoms that are subtler, such as bloating, excess gas or fatigue. People who have gluten ‘sensitivity’ will also benefit from a gluten-free diet. These people test negative for celiac disease but react poorly to gluten and may report abdominal pain, headaches, irritability, depression and chronic fatigue. There’s no evidence, however, that following a gluten-free diet will…

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