Going gluten-free: Advice from Dr. Richard Besser’s Twitter chat


It often seems that health and diet trends emerge every week. Experts suggest adding a new superfruit into your diet, or an internet sidebar advertisement suggests that cutting out certain foods can “drastically improve weight loss.”

Because of the wide variety of information available, it can be very difficult to discern wise advice from the rest.

In this office, we often quote that “People confuse experience with expertise,” and isn’t that true? When someone online suggests a healthy addition (or subtraction) to a diet, we all take it as fact and rarely put much thought into it. With the recent gluten-free boom that’s happening in food supplier chains across the country, how can we know what is valuable information for us, and what might not fit?

A group of medical experts from across the globe came together for a weekly Twitter chat with Dr. Richard Besser of ABC News, including our own Dr. Lawrence Schiller, a gastroenterologist on the medical staff at Baylor University Medical Center at Dallas, to talk in detail about gluten from a medical perspective.

The Jimmy Kimmel Live show recently asked people who abstained from gluten, if they knew what gluten is, and it turns out they don’t.


Gluten is a protein found in wheat products that acts as a packaging for wheat starch, according to Dr. Schiller.

For the three million Americans that live with Celiac Disease, an autoimmune disease that results in gluten intolerance, these foods are no longer an option. So how can these people, with a true gluten intolerance, avoid it? “Read the packaging”, says Dr. Schiller. “It’s important to know what is in the foods that you eat.”

What if you think you’re at risk for Celiac Disease? What could you look for? Dr. Schiller suggested that patients who are concerned, be aware of weight loss, diarrhea and bloating when eating certain foods.

Interested in learning more from our chat? You can view the panel discussion below.

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Going gluten-free: Advice from Dr. Richard Besser’s Twitter chat