Is this a good or bad thing?
Its a mixture of both.
The good news is that those who have been suffering from gluten allergy symptoms for years are finally discovering the cause of the problem, due to an increased awareness of what to look for, and even that something and common as wheat might be a major source of trouble.
It is also good news because those of us who have been following a gluten free diet for years are now finding it easier and easier to obtain gluten-free food. Restaurants are more understanding than ever, and many have a dedicated gluten-free menu.
This makes it much easier to get by in the world. It used to be easier just to eat at home and never go out.
Many following a gluten free diet are not allergic to gluten, but instead have celiac. This is a genetic disposition, triggered by the ingestion of gluten. Because it is genetic, the per-capita rates of celiac disease are probably about the same as they always were, but more people than ever are getting diagnosed. Doctors are beginning to realize that almost 1% of the population has celiac, and they look for less severe cases (where one, rather than both chromosomes carry the celiac gene).
The bad news is that an ever increasing consumption of processed foods may be causing a gluten allergy. Considered to be rare, a true gluten allergy may be under-diagnosed as doctors, convinced that a gluten allergy is unlikely, look else where for the problem.
As awareness increases however, more people are experimenting with a gluten free diet, simply cutting gluten-containing foods out of their diet to see if they feel better. Those who do are finding it easier than ever to eat without consuming gluten.