When celebrities lose weight, or gain weight, it’s news. Recently the buzz has been about how thin Miley Cyrus has become, linking her weight change to a gluten-free diet.

I’m sure you’ve noticed, that over the past one to two years, grocery stores are setting aside special display cases labeled “Gluten Free!” What’s up with that?

A Gluten-Free diet is used to treat celiac disease. Celiac disease is a digestive disorder in which the body is unable to digest gluten (the protein in wheat, barley and rye – I wonder if Miley knows what gluten is?). It also interferes with overall nutrient absorption. While celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity are a real disorders, not everyone going gluten-free has been diagnosed with them. While self-diagnosing and subsequently putting yourself on a gluten free diet may indeed help you feel better, it may also mask your symptoms. The symptoms can include diarrhea, constipation, bloating, pain, or vomiting. Since many other gastrointestinal disorders may present themselves with similar symptoms, before you put yourself on a diet – it’s important to see a doctor to evaluate and diagnose whether you have celiac disease or not.

According to celiac expert Shelley Case, “The reason why people may lose weight on a gluten-free diet is they give up the junk food and higher calorie foods like pizza, muffins, cookies, cakes, etc, and eat more fruits, vegetables, lean meats, poultry, fish, low fat diary and other healthier items.” You can learn more at her website.

Stick with the experts, don’t get your dietary advice from Miley.