What the Hell is Hank Campbell Talking About??

hank campbell celiac

Ok…I’ve got a new rule that is in effect as of today.

The only people who are allowed to write articles about celiac disease are either medical professionals who understand the disease (and believe me, these are few and far between) and those actually inflicted with this crappy disease.

That’s it. Nobody else.

Because when just anybody can write about celiac disease, you get Hank Campbell and his idiotic article titled “Celiac: The Trendy Disease for Rich White People”.

I’m not going to link to it simply because I think he was just trying to stir the flames to get traffic to his horrible website and to draw attention to the fact that he’s releasing a new book in September.

But I will give you a Gluten Dude rundown of his main points, some of which I actually agree with before he quickly goes off the rails.

First, we’ll start with his website’s home page. Front and center is a link to his article. The link says “Celiac Disease as a Fad”. So for those who come to his site, see the link, but don’t click on it, they now have the impression that celiac disease is not real. Wonderful.

Next, let’s look at the title: Celiac: The Trendy Disease for Rich White People

It sucks.

It’s a stupid title that was written with the sole purpose to be controversial. And based on the few hundred comments he’s gotten, mostly from pissed off celiacs, it worked.

Now let’s break down the article a bit.

Are you white and a little resentful that black people get their own cool disease, sickle cell anemia? There is good news for you. Celiac disease is all the latest rage and you can be any color at all and claim it.

All I can do is shake my head…

How do you know if you are gluten intolerant? Elaborate assays? DNA? At least a blood sample? Nope, you just have to give up wheat and say you feel better and you are allowed to claim you have it.

So right away, he lumps celiac disease and gluten intolerance into one group. He later makes amends, but right away I was struck by either 1) his ignorance or 2) his poor writing technique.

Unfortunately, some people really do have Celiac disease, an actual immune disorder – gluten is like poison to them, not an ‘I feel better if I don’t eat a bagel’ issue. Those sufferers are not the laughable 1% suddenly claiming they have Celiac disease, though.

On the positive side, he seems to understand the seriousness of celiac disease. But then he dismisses all of those who may not have celiac disease, but still have serious issues with gluten.

And who the hell claims they have celiac disease without getting a diagnosis? Nobody I have ever come across. They may say they have gluten intolerance because THEIR BODIES ARE TELLING THEM THAT.

Even Lady Gaga is on the bandwagon, claiming she is going gluten-free in order to lose some weight, despite there being no scientific evidence that going gluten-free causes weight loss, other than any sudden shock to your system causes weight loss. Some studies even show that if you burn more calories than you can consume, you will lose weight.

I actually like the sarcasm here. People need to understand that there are no shortcuts to weight loss and going gluten-free to lose weight is a fad that can not go away quickly enough.

But Lady Gaga is a rich, white girl so Celiac disease is the perfect self-diagnosis to make in 2012.

Huh? Since when did Lady Gaga claim she has celiac disease?? Going gluten-free is not the same thing as saying you have celiac disease.

And at this point in the article is where Hank jumps off the sanity train.

Along with believing more in UFOs, psychics and astrology than right-wing people, left-wing people also believe they are hyper-sensitive to food.

Politics? Your bringing politics into the conversation?? I don’t care which way you lean, but what the hell does this have to do with celiac disease? (Although I do find it ironic that the extreme right-wing base these days seems pretty anti-science to me.)

And how do you know that left-wingers are more sensitive to food? Because ONE chef said so. That’s right…ONE.

Groups that skew toward membership with higher education levels and, usually, a more “liberal” or “left-leaning” tendency (environmental groups, women’s groups, advocacy groups, Democrat Party fundraisers, any group where the women far outnumber the men, etc.) tend to have a much higher percentage of members with “special” dietary needs, including gluten-free, all manner of allergies, vegans/vegetarians, lactose-intolerant, etc., while lesser-educated, more conservative types of groups and groups with more men than women tend to cheerfully eat whatever the hell we put in front of them.

So in one sentence you just insulted liberals, who are picky eaters, and conservatives, who are less educated. And how is this related to celiac disease again? What a mess of an article.

The people most inclined to have a ‘natural’ fetish tend to invent reasons to justify it, and they can afford it. Faux Celiac disease is for the agricultural 1% – if you can buy organic food, you can afford gluten-free too.

What a bizarre statement to make. I am rich…therefore I have celiac disease. Never mind the intense stomach pain; the unending exhaustion; the social awkwardness; the overall suckiness of having celiac disease. If you can afford it, you can be just like me!

I am educated.

I seriously doubt it Hank.

If he wanted to drive a point home that we can all rally behind, it should have been against the people who claim they are gluten-free, but then really aren’t. Or are just half-assed about it.

I was at a neighbor’s house a few nights ago. A woman was talking about a friend of hers who has celiac disease, but “she must not have it as bad as you because she cheats all the time.”

It just doesn’t work that way. But the truth it, I’m sure there are people who think I take it way too seriously. And that frustrates the ever-living hell out of me.

I hate celiac disease and the crap that comes with it.

And I hate articles like this written by people who are not qualified to talk about it.

Thank god for my new rule so this will never happen again.

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81 thoughts on “What the Hell is Hank Campbell Talking About??”

    1. I am not white. I am not rich. I ONCE believed that Celiac disease was “fu-fu”
      Then my daughter SUFFERED IN PAIN FOR YEARS and it was passed off as EVERYTHING else but we were never thought of checking for Celiac disease…..Then our new pedi suggested we check and after a few blood test and an endoscopy she was later diagnosed with Celiac Disease. My daughter is Gluten Free and IS NOW PAIN FREE!!!!

      She still faces JERKS like my former self in our family but WE know the truth and I have to admit….I was “ignorant” once but now I see this is A REAL DISEASE and IT IS IMPORTANT that people, like my former self, need to be educated.

  1. I am not rich. But, I am white and do have Celiac.

    I’ve been Gluten free for four months now and feelling better everyday.

    I know that even a little gluten hurts a Celiac’s stomach. But, I did it anyway out of curiousity. I wanted to know if I would immediately suffer. I had Sushi with lots of regular soy sauce. And, for dessert I had a non gluten free frozen yogurt with pretzels in it. Well, everything was smooth sailing until about 3:00am when I woke up screaming with pain. I had cold sweats and was doubled over with stomach cramps that went in waves from my upper abdomen to my lower belly. I spent two hours in the bathroom. I had to call out sick from work and was sick for two days. I will never slip again.

    Spending two hours in the bathroom and losing a day of work isn’t exactly what I call trendy or hip. Unfortunately, the celebrities who say gluten free is a weight loss tool are tools. Having Celiac & and going Gluten free has helped me lose weight only because I completely eliminated everything with gluten in it that includes mostly carbs. I ddin’t substitute with gluten free pastas, breads and cookies. But, there definitely isn’t anything trendy about it. I am just trying to feel good.

    Nice post Gluten Dude:-)

        1. I watched a video about wheatbelly and I think the point he is trying to make is the undesirable effects of modern wheat on the health. The wheat belly is just one of those effects.

  2. Love your rule! Disregarding all of the stupid, uninformed things that Hank says (which I know is hard to do) – this article actually did get me thinking about how much access to health care and good doctors influences a person’s chance of getting diagnosed. The disparity in health care and the income gap definitely affects who is able to seek medical treatment and get a solid diagnosis of Celiac. So while it’s definitely not a disease “for” rich white people – sadly they are the ones who can afford or are most likely to get treatment for it.

    I also kind of love when non-celiacs write articles like this because I doubt they anticipate the barrage of backlash from the gluten free community. Way to stick it to him!

    1. Don’t mess with a celiac!

      And I totally agree about access to health care. It’s a sad world we live in when money dictates our health.

    2. Anna,
      I completely agree with your comment. There are so many disparities when it comes to the medical diagnosis for Celiac Disease. I have awful symptoms that closely relate to those of CD and I requested a medical test from my doctor. As soon as I suggested this, she said, “this test is so stupid and you’re wasting my time. Everyone comes out positive” I complained to her superiors because her comments deeply offended me. I have been researching this disease, and no one has the right to call it a ‘fad”. My point is that people with higher income have the available resources to get diagnosed, as opposed to lower income people. Their doctors just don’t believe that it is something real that they can be dealing with.

  3. I went entirely gluten free nearly a year and a half ago. I was getting sick so often, that I just, through process of elimination gave up gluten.

    Of course, now I’m acquiring more and more things I need to avoid. Allergy test on Tuesday!

    As somebody who struggles to get people to believe me when I say I cannot have any gluten at all, especially family, since I haven’t been formally tested (and can’t now since I’d have to start eating gluten again) – articles like this, and people who talk about gluten sensitivities/celiacs when they don’t have any clue and don’t really want to know is so frustrating to me.

    1. Gluten intolerance is real. I may not have known it before starting my blog but there is no denying it.

      Unless you’re a right-wing scientist I guess.

  4. What an ignorant schmuck! And he hits a new all-time low by bringing politics into it. I’m a white woman and I’m also a Democrat and a liberal. Therefore, I must be “choosing” to have the disease. What a ridiculous load of crap! I don’t know who he thinks he is, but he’s obviously trying to piss of Celiacs and just make a mockery of the whole issue, not to mention spewing his own lies and ignorant views. If people take this guy seriously, I’m just speechless. Thanks for bringing this to our attention, though. I hope he catches hell for it!

  5. I read that article yesterday. It made me want to give him Celiac Disease. and a punch in the face to go with it. I found his response to reader comments on his page really defensive and down right rude. I don’t understand why people feel the need to shed negative light on a disease that deserves more awareness and understanding.

    1. I think Sandra is my new best friend ” It made me want to give him Celiac Disease. and a punch in the face to go with it.” HAHA

      Have to keep a sense of humor about idiots like this guy. 😉

      Our daughter has celiac, so we’ve been dealing with the GF diet for 18 years. I’m ‘only’ gluten intolerant, and have been GF for 13 years by choice. I don’t know if I have celiac disease bc I am not willing to suffer to get that diagnosis. Lab test showed antibodies to gluten in my intestines, so that’s evidence enough for me. Besides I know what it took to get testing for our daughter when she was a toddler suffering from malnutrition. It was easier, and cheaper in the long run, to pay for my own tests at an independent lab.

      I guess Hank thinks people like me enjoy NEVER eating out bc it seems like I get some cross contamination every time I do. I’m contemplating packing sandwiches on Udi’s bread for an upcoming 2-day trip bc it has become such a problem. Yep, but I’m following a GF diet bc it’s so darn trendy and fun!

  6. Thank God he finally found me! But caveat – I’m more middle class than rich, but I’ll let it slide. When I voted in the last election they handed me a blood test request form for Celiac disease and a contact at Mayo. Didn’t you guys get that too? You must have voted for McCain…

  7. This guy is a moron end of story.

    On another note maybe you do take it too seriously but it has happened to you, to your body, your life so you need to work through it however you need to in order to come to terms with it and learn to cope.

    Mine is “just” gluten intolerance no less real, damaging or painful than Celiac disease just because we have not taken the test. It was access to good medical care that figured out what the problem was and I am not white and tonight I could have used some of your “rabidness”. Went to dinner at a new guys house and did not want to make a fuss so did not ask the questions and make the requests I would have had I been at a restaurant and now here I am stomach visibly distended, extremely painful, it rumbles, I am in pain for not standing up for myself and my body’s needs – the next 24hrs will be really long and unpleasant Ugh

  8. I grew up in a blue collar, lower-middle class family. We certainly didn’t have a college fund socked away. Yet, I developed lactose intolerance around the age of 12, and I probably also had been sensitive to gluten then too (though nobody talked about it then). So, although I am white, and I am educated, I developed a food intolerance long before I got my education or became part of an upper-middle class family.

    What an awful article. Someone pissed him off, and he got angry for the wrong reason.

  9. 1. I have a biopsy-negative child who stopped growing for nearly a year due to horrible diarrhea – which resolved by eliminating both gluten and dairy. Fad? NO.

    (and because I’m feeling pissy…)

    2. If left-leaning people are more likely to have celiac, it’s only because we are more likely to question authority (i.e. ignorant doctors), do our own research, and try alternatives. Fatherly Dr. Expert who assures us that celiac is rare holds little influence over us.

    1. Good for you! You saved your little one’s life!

      I have met many Mamas like you who did not just accept the negative testing as the definitive answer. There are many reasons why someone tests negative on celiac testing and it does not mean they do not have it–or won’t develop it within a short time should they continue to ingest gluten.

      If by “left-leaning” he means wise, courageous, persistent people who know full well that what the medical community is telling us is wrong :

      “you can’t have celiac, you’re fat/ you can’t have celiac, it’s a rare disease of childhood/ You can’t have celiac, no one else in your family has it/you can’t have celiac, the test is negative”‘ etc. etc.

      and by doing so, they keep us ill, so we pursue answers so we can stop dying, then, YUP, I am about as left-leaning as it gets. 🙂

      I am so glad your child is flourishing!

  10. I have to laugh. I saw this article from Hank come through on my google alert. After reading it and being shocked, angered, and dismayed, I said to myself, I wonder what Gluten Dude thinks of this? You somehow manage to say everything that I am thinking. Keep up the good work.

  11. Wow! He managed to insult according to race, gender, politics, and socioeconomics. I was trying to figure what group of people he didn’t target with at least one insult in this ignorant rant. Who is this person and why should anyone read what he writes? I don’t know who he is or why his opinion is worth caring about. I’ll ponder it while I eat my gluten-free lunch that was grown in my gluten-free garden.

  12. Hey now. Science is for liberal crazies. Gluten wouldn’t exist in our food if it were bad for anyone. You should really stop trying to poison the world with this nonsense about celiac disease being something other than a trend.


    Thank you for writing what I was thinking when I read that article yesterday.

    I really hope the internet starts following your rules.

  13. As the mother of an undiagnosed 7 year old girl who has had issues for years I was very sad to see the article bashing gluten sensitivity the way he did. We took my daughter off gluten 3 weeks ago and she feels so much better and has energy she has never had before. I am so grateful for the friends who told me about gluten intolerance and suggested I try it for Ashlee. Yes, I get a lot of “friends” who think I am “just following a fad”. It makes me sad that they feel that way but I am so happy for my daughter. I love reading articles from well-informed gluten free people!
    Thank you!

    1. Glad to hear your daughter is doing better! It’s always great when we get our energy back and can think clearly again.

      Feel free to contact me if you need any advice on GF living. I was diagnosed in 2000, so I have quite a bit of experience 🙂

  14. I think you’re really going too hard on Campbell.

    His work in EVIL DEAD and THE ARMY OF DARKNESS is without peer.

    So he doesn’t know squat about Celiac Sprue. He sure knows how to take out gluten free zombies!!!!

    As Campbell said, “Shop Smart! Shop “S” Mart!!!”

    What’s that? HANK Campbell? Not Bruce? Are you sure?





    Can YOU see a difference?

  15. This guy wanted to stir the pot. I feel like it is just going to get worse for us (celiacs) in regards to being taken seriously, b/c of idiots like Hank. He did exactly what he wanted to do, piss people off.

    I woke up last night thinking; next we will be reading about a ‘gluten-free supplement,” and then I googled those words this morning, and viola, I am behind the times. “You can get the supplements you need, and still stay gluten free!” It is all the same vitamins we are told to take even if you don’t have CD. However, I wonder if the vitamins themselves are gluten free. all of this misinformation and lack of understanding and concern about a real disease that affects millions of people sucks, and pisses me off.

    I have to go now, need to make a GF sandwich so that I can eat lunch with some friends at a cafe where the owner does not mind that I bring my own lunch b/c of cross contamination in her small kitchen. thank God someone gets it, for today anyway.

  16. As a sociologist (from a blue-collar background no less), I find his insane correlation between socioeconomic status, race, education, political views and gluten consumption possibly the DUMBEST thing I’ve ever read in my life. Although, he may have *a* point. I’m Canadian, and with our healthcare system, it’s a lot easier for people in low-income families to get all the testing they need for a diagnosis, so I can see where there might be SOME correlation in the US as opposed to most other countries. But this recent shift in right wing politics (here in Canada as well) and a new-found pathological fear of anything remotely empirical is kind of, well … a little convenient for this type of BS rant. I mean, since when did SCIENCE become the enemy?

    Maybe I should start supporting a neo-liberal agenda and have a few wheat-filled crackers. Apparently that’ll fix everything.

  17. Wendy - PalmTreesGlutenFree

    Here’s a little snippet from his comments yesterday:

    If you have Celiac disease, what is the problem?  Where did I say you don’t have a serious issue?  If you are instead one of the charlatans who saw this on Dr. Oz and self-diagnosed yourself, then yeah, I am making fun of you.

    To Hank,

    You are an idiot! There are many of us that have had to self diagnose due to incompetent doctors. Why do you think so many people are not diagnosed and/or it takes years to be diagnosed? Because doctors don’t know enough about it nor does the public.

    I don’t walk around saying I have celiac disease. I do say I am gluten intolerant and I don’t know if I have celiac. I refuse to go through living hell to be tested further. I thought I was dying or close to it 2 years ago. Do I feel perfect? Do I feel 90% better? I had to figure it out on my own as my multiple doctors were not while I was going through about 6 months of hell.

    Now – my new doctors tell me how smart I was to have figured it out on my own. No idiot here … And no one just looking for the latest fad.

    As far as the demographics go … Well, I’m just not even going there. Just goes to show again what a moron you really are.

    And thank goodness for Dr. Oz …. As a friend of mine actually was diagnosed with CD after saying “That sounds like me”.

    1. Thank you, Wendy! We are in that boat together. Doctors who refuse to look at diet as a factor in a patient’s chronic complaint are just plain idiots. My doctor just kept telling me to eat more fiber as I got sicker and sicker. I even asked if she thought I should go off gluten and she said, No!” I never say I am celiac even though it is sorely tempting. I refused to eat gluten just for the test after I had been gf for 2 years.
      Perhaps what-his-name (Hank?) would like to feed me gluten at HIS house and have throwing up and having bad bowels at his house!

    2. Most of my test were negative but my genetic test was positive. My doctor still diagnosed it as Celiac based on the postitive genetic test, the positive response to a gluten free diet and the unreliability of the blood tests and END for a accurate diagnosis. I feel alot better since I started living gluten free.

  18. He made the first mistake by using the ridiculous title he did– and it went downhill from there. There’s that word “trendy” again.

    I am not rich, buddy; we spent all our savings trying to figure out what was killing me for 3 years.

    From what I gathered from his article and then,later in his comments defending himself from the bruhaha he instigated,
    he honestly thinks he is doing us a favor by “calling out” people for proclaiming themselves a celiac? (when they have not been diagnosed)


    he honestly believes that there is no such thing as gluten intolerance. (unless you are a celiac).

    He is not helping. He is wrong on so many levels— and I hope he continues to receive backlash for his asinine article.

    Here is what I wish for most of all:

    I am begging the blogging world, the journalists, the bimbos on the Today show and anyone else out there who thinks they are helping the cause for celiac awareness to please, please stop using the using the word “trendy” regarding the disease that tried to kill me.

    If you do not understand celiac disease, please, shut the hell up.

    I have enough trouble getting someone to take me seriously (and not roll their eyes and sigh with frustration or scoff at me ) when I ask for a gluten free menu because I need it to keep myself alive and healthy.

    I am still recovering from a rare outing at a restaurant–something I did because I was traveling and I wanted to trust this place– and here I am, 11 days later still in pain. My guess is? That server could give two shites about my need to be GF because she did not take my request seriously— because it IS labeled a “trend”.

    I am sick, suffering a major migraine for 3 days, severe increased muscle/bone.tendon pain, dizziness, ataxia, TMJ pain, heart palps, those lovely sores on my face and scalp, ITCHINESS , burning nerves, fatigue, NAUSEA, the big D and feeling really foggy and weak, short of breath, insomnia, yada yada, yada….

    Meanwhile, I finally did something “productive” today besides
    pat the cat and water my plants and wear sunglasses inside the house because my eyes hurt and the vertigo is awful and I wonder….

    …does anyone really care if one more celebrity goes GF to “lose weight”.??

    Stupid Beeyutches!–come over here and watch me lose weight as I live on the toilet and develop an indented red ring around my butt and have my legs go numb. You can hold the cold cloth on my head–.
    and the heat pack on my back needs propping, too.

    Don’t bother combing my hair–the strands will just fall out everywhere anyway….

    yeah, that’s me–still the trendiest person alive.

    1. Sorry your hurting Irish. I hate celiac. I hate people who don’t understand and respect celiac. Tomorrow is another day.

      1. Thanks, GD…:) yup, I’ve live (ha ha)

        my Dad always said “this too shall pass”.. (literally)

        Just goes to show– even those of us who use the “Spanish Inquisition technique” when questioning a server will still get burned occasionally…ah well.

        This is the Russian roulette that is my life– and yours.

        And we must never stop educating others about celiac, kiddo.
        Never. 😉

    2. So sorry, Irish. It has been so long since I was last glutened that I tend to think I’m ten-foot-tall and bullet proof as long as I follow “the rules”. I do hope you are on the mend now.

      No one realizes just how anal we have to be about everything. I just had to give a speech to a Mary Kay representative who was given my name (and phone number) by a friend for a free facial. I’m trying to explain why she can’t put crap on face unless I have verified that every single ingredient is gluten-free including the source for any vitamins. I knew I was wasting my breath when I had to spell g-l-u-t-e-n TWICE. Has she been living under a rock? I figured everyone has at least heard of gluten by now regardless of whether or not they have the facts straight. I almost spit out my drink when she said “It should be okay because it is all natural made from botanical extracts.” Umm…does she think wheat isn’t a flippin’ plant??? Maybe she doesn’t know what botanical means. Obviously, she and Mr.Campbell shared the same science classes.

      About Mr. Campbell…I find it very disturbing that this guy purports to be a scientist. I mean, come on!! He interviewed a CHEF to prove his point. WTH?? I considered posting a link to Fasano, et al,’s double-blind published research studies on gluten-sensitivity, but I hate to give his site another hit. Someone this ridiculous isn’t worth my time.

      Feel better soon!:(

    3. Ugh I am SO sorry you were hit. I was too and am still getting over it almost two weeks later. Thankfully the brain fog has mostly lifted but the achiness and upset stomach are still there.

      Aren’t we SO cool??

      Hang in there.

      1. Thanks so much for the support, you guys!! and I hope you feel better soon too, Alysa. Yes, we are so cool and trendy. 🙂

        I rarely get hit, but when I do….oy….. just. kill. me now.
        Lasts for weeks. Buggers! Thank God for a loving hubs and my sense of humor or it could be ugly around here.
        The darn neuro stuff takes the longest to resolve. geesh!

        Miss Dee:

        I think someone did post the Dr. Fasano link for him….to understand the gluten spectrum —and I saw that John Libonati had posted–his wife wrote the book Recognizing Celiac Disease—but do we think he will read any of it? Not bloody likely.

    4. My feelings about the article exactly. He’s the one who’s a truly sick, twisted individual. Because he seems to enjoy poking misery at the sick and blaming them for their problems as well as going on about all this “women,” “liberal,” “rich,” etc bullshit.
      I’m really sorry to hear that you are feeling so awful. I sure hope you feel better right away.

  19. Gah. Between “it’s trendy” and the cheaters, I’m finding it harder to be taken seriously than it was 10 years ago.

    I hate cheaters. OMG, I hate them. I don’t care if they want to screw up their bodies, give themselves cancer, whatever (well, I care, but I can’t stop them, so whatever), but I hate that they make it so hard for those of us who take this disease seriously to get any respect. If I hear, “I know someone with Celiac, and she eats regular food at my house all the time, and never gets sick” or “I know a Celiac who cheats with french fries in shared oil” one more time… NO. Either she’s lying or she’s a silent celiac and is hurting herself without knowing it.

    I have a friend who is from a culture where it is rude not to feed someone who visits. He is really really upset that we won’t eat at his house (hubby has celiac too). So I told him that it’s okay, I’ll drink too much of his wine instead. He said, “Okay. Deal. :)” Hehehe.

    1. I can’t stand it when people who have this problem cheat, either. It seems so irresponsible. And it also minimizes the condition making it sound like we’re a bunch of hypochondriacs.

      The GI who diagnosed me with Celiac Disease told me I could cheat when I felt like it. He was correct in his diagnosis, but that was all. Needless to say, that was the LAST time I saw him. I saw another GI who was even worse. She told me I had “mild” Celiac Disease and that my Celiac group was “paranoid.” Last time I ever saw her, either.

      It’s bad enough that the general public doesn’t understand this disease but when GIs are full of misinformation and ignorance, that bugs the hell out of me!

    2. That will be my second rule:

      If you cheat, you cannot say you have celiac disease or that you’re gluten-free. Period.

  20. I find it just as interesting –and absurd–that someone (or ANYONE) can claim that being GF is a trend!! I would say that this gentleman has NEVER tried a day in the life of us who HAVE to live this way. Had that ever been the case, his writings would have a much different tone. I, too, am one that suffers from Celiac–along with MS–and I too have people (even close family) that question how careful I am with my food choices. Cross-contamination is something that I am very sensitive to, and has hospitalized me several times because the stomach pain was so intense.

    For any who say it’s a “trend”–try it!! It really is NOT a glamorous or easy one. Moreover, it’s insulting to those of us who live GF due to our bodies response to it. It is hard, yes…but not easy, convenient, or “fun.”

  21. Loving your new rule!!! hahaha
    Your posts keep getting better by the way 😉 I can’t help laughing every now and then haha
    Thanks for everything dude!!

  22. Dude , I sent an email to “Hank” just letting him know how I feel 🙂 Also Dude I just recently found out I have Crohn’s as well ..I feel happy to be getting answers now , someone like Hank is ungrateful that they have their health . You know what they say what goes around comes around 🙂

  23. I think I’ll coin a new acronym: WAI (what an idiot!). As in Hank Campbell, WAI.

    Don’t know if I’m celiac, but I was diagnosed as gluten intolerant with a blood test back in 2002. This was after 30 years of going to specialist after specialist for one ailment after another.

    I stay off gluten not to be trendy (although I confess I am a trendmaker :-), but because I was tired of hurting all the time, bloating like pregnant woman when I’d not be able to poop for days, not being able to focus and losing so much bone mass that they wanted to put me on drugs for that!

    It’s now 10 years since I’ve been gluten free. I don’t cheat. Not to be different. But because I believe in personal responsibility. I know first hand what gluten was doing to my body, so I don’t eat it. Period.

  24. I just got a response from this moron for daring to speak my mind and criticizing his article. He wrote:

    “I never said all people were faking the disease – are you faking it? You seem awfully sensitive about me calling out poseurs while I defend people who have the disease. I never once make fun of liberals, not in this article or in 2,000 other articles I have written nor in a whole book about anti-science cranks. What I do make fun of are anti-science, militant, angry progressives who bend science to their belief of the month – and you show up and act just like the stereotype.”

    I think this tells me that this man is truly a miserable creature indeed.

    1. See what I mean? he thinks he is “doing us a favor” by exposing the frauds–as he calls them.

      I think we can see there is no point in arguing with him. He’s right and everyone else is wrong.

      I’ve tangled with plenty of those types. 🙂

  25. Not because I’m Mrs. Dude…. The mother of your children….your best friend….your biggest fan….your toughest critic….but….
    Great blog! I love your honesty, humor and no nonsense to the bull poop that is out there. I hate celiac with a passion!! It robs me of the best person I know. Sigh….

    1. Thanks Hon. I promise I’ll get back to the person I used to be. No…seriously…I mean it this time 🙂

      1. I know that Mrs. Dude (like Mr. IH) realizes that this is not something
        we invited upon ourselves and that we wish more than anything to be “us” again. 🙂 Full of energy and restored health.

        This disease affects the one afflicted with it and their loved ones, too.

        All we can do is try our best.

        We’re beyond lucky to be married to our best friends who did not bail on us when we were so ill. I hear many horror stories of others less fortunate.

        Please give Mrs. Dude a big hug from me.

  26. Hey- Just found your blog, great stuff. Especially this Campbell thing. I got diagnosed in Dark Ages of understanding this shitty disease when I was 16 in 1977 and I’m still pissed about it. It ruined my intentions of joining the military (I was in NJROTC and CAP, a total aviation freak) alienated me from my dad, and on and on. And where was all this GF stuff like Chex, Betty Crocker GF, King Arthur GF, etc 30 years ago? But back to the Campbell thing, if you read Living Without magazine they seem to interview a lot of celebrities who are GF but not Celiac and with questionable gluten intolerance. I can understand questioning the ‘fad’ idea, but not jeopardizing the health of us who actually have this stupid disease. There is a HUGE difference in being told “you can’t ever eat glutenated food ever again” and deciding it on your own. The Campbells of the world (and my dad) just don’t get it.

    1. I could not agree more. Even celiac.com covers gluten free celebrities. It is meaningless and potentially hurtful to us.

  27. A friend of ours has a little boy who has been sick pretty much since they started solids. He’s 4 now. He started projectile vomiting at 6 months, and the docs did no tests and gave him meds instead. Then he started over a year full of constant illness and ear infections, and so the doc put in tubes. No testing, not a second of discussion about why this might be happening. He’ll outgrow it, they said.

    When he didn’t, they recommended surgery to take out his tonsils, which the parents have now done, too. Child improved temporarily, and now is going downhill again. And the parents simply listen to their doctor, who has not once investigated the child to see if there is a WHY behind these problems.

    I know SO many children who had a reaction to food and went through this exact scenario, including many gluten intolerant children or Celiac Children. But the parents come across articles mocking the idea that any type of food could REALLY cause problem, so they discount the idea. They don’t question their doctors. And as you said, doctors are by and large ignorant as heck about Celiac Disease…and about food intolerances, in my experience.

    It pisses me OFF, so much, when crap like this happens, because it’s contributing to people getting hurt. >:-(

  28. I know this is an archived blog, but I’ve only just found this amazing site! I’m absolutely shocked by this guy!! It does really annoy me in a big way when people who have no idea about the illness jump on the bandwagon with it and this is the worst case, exploiting the illness for his own benefits! I am aware that some people view the gluten free diet as a way of losing weight and that does anger me. However, ironically, what I’ve realised is that when people genuinely have the disease, initially they are so upset by the things they can’t eat that they tend to binge on everything they can, me included, and as a result you gain weight.

    I totally agree that the only people who should be allowed to make comment on this illness are those affected and maybe medical professionals but as evidenced on this site it seems that not even doctors know what they’re on about half the time!

    My experience with my doctor was a case in point too. I was curious to see how well I was doing with my ‘diet’ as I’d heard that if you’re following it correctly tests should come up clear, as if you no longer have it. Of course I knew that it wouldn’t prove I no longer had it, just that I had been following the diet well. So I asked my doctor about having a blood test. It did in fact show I no longer had the illness and my doctor smiled at me and said ‘good news! You;re cured!’ I tried to explain to him that so long as I kept to the diet though, hey? He said, oh, I suppose so!

  29. Trendy? Septicemia tonsillitis all my life, insomnia, sleepiness so bad would fall asleep in school, hideously crippling depression, still born baby, c diff, bloody stools, lethargy, energy of an 80 year old, can’t drink alcohol 🙁 still get bouts of depression as our aeration is made in the gut and if your gut doesn’t work it doesn’t produce any serotonin. I’m so trendy. Tell you what, we can swap places
    For a month and see what you say.

  30. I dont have Celiac disease but i have gastric problems because of my anxiety. During all these years i have this problem(almost 10 years) i learned one thing, only people that have some problem in the digestive system will understand others with it. Its realy sad when people tell me im weak because i cant control my stomach when im anxious. And also, its sad see someone “making fun” of a disease.

  31. Love the new rule. I read that idiots article this morning and it made me so mad. How would he feel if someone dismissed an illness that he or one of his family members suffered from! I’m thinking he should have to take down his website for being so miss informed or just not caring about the facts whichever one it is.

  32. Is it okay for me to blog if I don’t have Celiac, and I’m not a medical professional, but am the well informed parent of a Celiac child? I hope so, because I recently started a blog that is mostly for kids, but also for family and friends of Celiac kids. There’s not much content yet, and I’d love some input from Celiac kids and their parents. My e-mail is jimnic@q.com

  33. I found the article and he closed his comments, big fucking surprise, right?

    *sigh* It’s sad that Celiacs are the “gays” of the dietary community these days. Wouldn’t be surprised if the Westboro Baptist Church started protesting against “Our Kind”.

  34. I found your post because I know someone who I believe is pretending to have celiac disease not because it’s trendy, but because it gives them an excuse to talk about themselves and look for sympathy at every meal.
    The reason I think this is because this person had a normal diet their whole life, then the GF diet fad started, and all of the sudden she claims having any gluten will make her throat and mouth close up, which isn’t even a symptom of celiac I thought!
    The point is, I understand you hate this guy’s article. But the fact is, there are people who fake this for the attention. They should also raise your ire.

  35. I’m white, but not rich. One thing is I’m not sure many people would consider my diagnosis an actual diagnosis. See, I had a negative on my bloodwork, and then after talking to my specialist he said he didn’t want to do the endoscope but that I most likely have Celiac and should just act as if I do. I used to have seizures, not the “normal” kind, but debilitating enough that they caused some mild brain damage (has destroyed my memory) and balance problems as well. It was my seizures that made it so the doctor didnt want to bother with the scope. I was on the maximum dose of 2 seizure meds and my neuro was contemplating a third when she suggested I go gluten free and see if it helps. 2 years later I am gluten free, claiming Celiac even though I haven’t been officially diagnosed, and I am off of both seizure medications. I don’t mind that I don’t have an actual diagnose, it is easier to say I have Celiac (which is what the specialist said would probably happen) than to go into the whole story.

  36. Gluten Dude…you nailed it. Wish I had read this BEFORE I became one of the “pissed off celiacs” commenting on his article lol. I could have just pasted this link!

    One thing you missed that I called him on was his “laughable 1%” comment. That 1% of the population actually have celiac is established fact after studies by prominent Celiac researchers, including Mayo Clinic. What may be a stretch is the number of people claiming gluten sensitivity…but then again, maybe not. That he has the audacity to believe HE knows how people feel when they eat gluten really annoyed me. Having barely heard of Celiac when my kids and I were diagnosed, yet having a myriad of seemingly unrelated medical conditions disappear on a gluten free diet, gave me profound respect for what gluten can do to a person. Who am I to say that those effects only take place in people who have the “blessing” of an official diagnosis? Hank Campbell is nothing more Han an opinionated, judgmental idiot.

  37. I would never usually write a comment on an article I discovered online, but I just feel the need to express my gratitude that you wrote this very well written response to that other article.

    After 10 years spent in what I can only describe as my own personal hell thanks to this condition that article made my blood boil.

    The only thing I would add is in response to the comment “And who the hell claims they have celiac disease without getting a diagnosis? Nobody I have ever come across.”;

    I personally am a self-diagnosed coeliac after years and years wrangling with various medical professionals who seemed to get their kicks telling me my chronic digestive problems were “in my head” and that “food cannot cause mental symptoms”. In England, the NHS tends to treat food related complications like an urban myth. Unless you have a broken bone protruding from your body or you have turned a worrying shade of green you are generally considered to be telling porky’s.

    After performing my own set of rigorous elimination diets I took my findings to my doctor who informed me my results were “compelling” but that to be tested and get a formal diagnosis, I would need to re-introduce gluten into my diet for three months!

    I have successfully re-introduced every imaginable type of food into my diet, but the relief I have experienced from the elimination of gluten has been so extreme that the idea of consuming gluten containing food for three months just to tick a box for my doctor fills me with almost indescribable terror so my response was understandably “#@!? that!”.

    I can only describe it as a curtain being lifted. My constant stomach pain has gone, my joints don’t hurt anymore, I can think clearly, I’m no longer depressed and aggressive, I get up in the morning, I go to sleep at night, I enjoy being alive!

    Phew, my comment has turned into it’s own article, sorry about that!

    I can remember symptoms as early as 8 years of age and first went to a doctor about it when I was 16. I gave up with doctors at age 22 (10 GP visits, 3 Dietitians, 2 Allergy Specialists, 1 Gastroenterologist) and it took me until 25 to figure it out.

    I’m currently 27 and I hope this might help somebody in a similar situation. If I had not figured this out by now I am certain that, for whatever reason, I would not have made it to 30.

    Anyway, thanks for writing this totally awesome article and screw that guy that described coeliac disease as “The Trendy Disease For Rich White People”, his article is unnecessarily hurtful to a huge amount of people and he should be absolutely bloody ashamed of himself.

  38. As a celiac suffer that actually had the biopsy… can you people who are saying your “self diagnosed” go get yourself checked. Just because your “Feeling better” does not mean your a celiac sufferer. It could be an intolerance or allergy to wheat, barley etc. There is a huge difference between having an allergy or intolerance to actually causing harm to your bowels.

    You don’t have to have the biopsy if your not a fan you can just have the blood test. My first biopsy was clear, the 2nd showed evidence of celiacs disease it was in the lower bowels. So yeah having a pipe down your throat for FA isn’t a good feeling…. the antiseptic spray didn’t even work i felt everything lol… sore throat for a week.

    Prime example was on a show recently i forget the name. They had a group of gluten free products and original products and gave 1 to one group and the other to the other group. A few people said they felt better on the “Gluten free” food. No more toilet problems etc. Funny thing is they were eating the same food they had eaten the week before. Alot of it’s in your head or like i stated it might be barley that’s causing the problem not wheat. Blame the modifications to our grains.

    1. “Alot of it’s in your head or like i stated it might be barley that’s causing the problem not wheat. Blame the modifications to our grains.”


      GMO’s! Screwing with mother nature in an unnatural way is not the same as splicing plants. Adding genes from bugs is simply not natural. Thanks Monsanto – now we all have Roundup in our systems and our soil, which we and it is dying from.

  39. There are actually people who’ve been diagnosed with celiac disease, but don’t go gluten-free. Not everybody who has CD has a noticeable bad reaction when they eat gluten. This is especially likely if they never went gluten-free.
    Or, they might just eat gluten and suffer through the reaction. Some people apparently do this – it seems weird, but the catalog of weird human behavior has no end …

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Who I am. And who I'm not.

Who I am. And who I'm not.

I AM someone who's been gluten-free since 2007 due to a diagnosis of severe celiac disease. I'm someone who can steer you in the right direction when it comes to going gluten-free. And I'm someone who will always give you the naked truth about going gluten free.

I AM NOT someone who embraces this gluten-free craziness. I didn’t find freedom, a better life or any of that other crap when I got diagnosed. With all due respect to Hunter S. Thompson, I found fear and loathing of an unknown world. But if I can share my wisdom, tell my stories and make the transition easier on you, I’ve done my job.

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