Now, before you issue a Fatwa against me (which I’m sure some of you will do anyway), this list is NOT about anyone with Celiac disease or Gluten Sensitivity.

So, herewith, seven signs that your ‘gluten allergy’ is fake …

1) You talk about your gluten allergy at parties

Have you ever been at a cocktail party and heard someone say, “I just found out I’m allergic to pencil shavings, and boy was it an eye-opener!” Nope, because that doesn’t sound cool. Allergies are not cool.

Odd bodily reactions to gluten however, have somehow managed to traverse trends and become some sort of badge of honour.

But no actual sufferers ever brag about them: because we know that when they say, “I can’t eat gluten,” they’re not saying I’m unique and original, they’re actually declaring, “If I lick a crouton my insides fall out.” And insides falling out is not the sort of thing one discusses at parties.

2) Your allergy comes and goes

You will eat at an Italian restaurant but walk away fine because you ordered the gluten free pasta. You’ll remind your server 10 times that you’re highly allergic but complain to a manager that you were never brought a basket of bread. You ask for gluten free bread, but extra gravy, please.

You only realised you had the allergy after spending a day sick watching daytime television and having gluten-free shrieked at you by a dozen airheaded harpies who have latched on to gluten as the current ‘Number One Threat to Parents and Their Children.’

3) You enjoy chemical imbalances and telling everyone

Having a gluten allergy is just another item on the list of genuine disorders people feel fine about latching onto and misusing in conversation, joining OCD and bipolar disorder. It’s common to see Facebook status updates along the lines of ‘cleaned my room today, my OCD is so bad lol’ or ‘I woke up in such a good mood but now I’m mad, why am i so bipolar.’

This “trend” of being proud of chemical imbalances and collecting them like Pokémon cards has resulted in a wave of misinformation and inaccurate self-diagnoses that both invalidate the troubles of those with actual problems and make it more difficult for those with real medical problems to get treatment and be respected.

4) You drink beer

Beer is gluten juice. You can’t drink it. To the people who say gleefully and with great surprise that beer doesn’t bother them, I would say that there’s a very good reason for that: you’re not actually allergic to gluten in any way, shape or form. Stop being ridiculous.

5) You’ve used the phrase “I’m trying to watch my gluten”

That would be like me saying, “I’m really trying to cut back on my uranium.” The last time my actually gluten intolerant friend ate gluten, she almost went to the emergency room because she thought her appendix was bursting.

If you’re not a faker, you know it’s more than a “try to watch” situation. I mean do the vampires in in Blade try to watch that Wesley Snipes doesn’t cut them down? Or do they go all the way and watch it? I think they just straight up watch.

6) You watch ‘talk shows’

I defy anyone to watch more than 10 hours of The View, Dr Oz or Oprah without wondering whether gluten has been secretly ruining his or her life. It’s all they talk about. Gluten-Free Summer BBQ Tips! Gluten-Free Weight Loss Secrets! How Going Gluten-Free Saved My Marriage, My Children, and Also Probably My Dog!

It’s enough to make you want to put a gluten-free bullet in your gluten-free head.

7) You say “I don’t know why, I just feel better without gluten!”

Like it’s some mystical new age therapy with intangible healing properties. It’s not Hare Krishna; it’s a food allergy. If you’re sure your gluten allergy is real because you cut out gluten and suddenly felt better, congratulations, you’re on a diet.

Improved diet usually results in feeling refreshed and renewed. Are you really surprised that when you cut out pasta, processed bread products, and most desserts you are rewarded with a feeling of better health?

You’re not dealing with an allergy; you’ve improved your diet.

Oh, and thanks for casting this whole web of doubt and illegitimacy over going gluten-free, the real sickies really appreciate it. They love seeing that look in a waiter’s eye when he thinks, “Is this a hipster crackpot, or someone who actually can’t eat flour?”

Really, thanks.

Ganesh Raj