If you’ve been around the Internet block, you know you have to read everything with one eyebrow lifted, always checking sources and taking much of what you find with a grain of salt. While it seems you can find an answer to virtually all of your questions with a simple run through a search engine, you’re ultimately responsible for researching these answers and making the distinction between true fact or sheer fiction and everything in between.
You will no doubt use the Internet to find answers to questions that pop up along your gluten-free journey. And indeed the information you find can be fully credible, but much of it will indicate you need to keep searching. And always, always verify what you find with a reliable source.
When looking for information about gluten-free living on the Web, be leery of blogs and chat rooms with people asking questions and getting answers from each other, particularly when they don’t have credentials. These conversational venues can be mine fields of disinformation.
In the Name of Sale
Companies and storefronts can mislead you as they try to cash in on the gluten-free consumer. For example, any company site that promotes spelt as wheat-free and safe for the celiac diet is dead wrong. And there are sites that do this. Spelt is wheat, no matter how distant a relative it may be!
John GF Doe’s Web site
Anyone can have a Web site, and there are virtually thousands of sites operated by individuals that claim to be experts on the gluten-free diet. And even though they have the best of intentions in sharing their knowledge and experiences with the online community, be careful, because the information may be inaccurate! Again, enter and review these sites at your own risk.
Your chances of finding accurate information exponentially increases when you visit established and respected resources, especially when medical information is needed. These resources include: a national celiac or gluten intolerance support group headquarters site or chapter Web site; hospitals or respected medical/gastroenterology clinics; centers and associations such as the Mayo Clinic, National Institutes for Health, and the American Dietetic Association, or University centers such as the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University or the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Program.