Gluten Sensitivity

Those with Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity also must avoid gluten. Doctors will want to rule out Celiac Disease before testing for Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity.

Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity is a potential diagnosis for people who test negative for Celiac Disease. It’s important that doctors rule out Celiac Disease before they consider Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity. Because of this, you’ll find this note many places on our Celiac Support Group website:

Very Important note from Celiac Support Group to anyone who thinks they might have a problem with gluten: Do not go gluten-free before being tested for celiac disease! Otherwise, these diagnostic tests for celiac disease may be falsely negative, and to know for sure will require a patient to eat a bunch of gluten again before retesting (doctors’ timetables may differ).

After the possibility of Celiac Disease has been eliminated, doctors will explore the possibility of Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity.

The easiest way to define Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity is to compare it with Celiac Disease.

In many ways, the two conditions are similar. Those diagnosed with Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity report many of the same symptoms as those diagnosed with Celiac Disease. Both people diagnosed with Celiac Disease and people diagnosed with Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity improve on a gluten-free diet. Both conditions involve the immune system. Neither condition is wheat allergy.

The differences between Celiac Disease and Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity include these:

The immune response to gluten for those with Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity does not appear to be an autoimmune response. Some consider the Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity response to be an “innate immune response.” This means a person’s immune system acts against gluten in a non-specific manner, treating gluten as it would any other agent it considers infectious. In Celiac Disease, a person’s immune system targets gluten in a specific manner.

There are no genetic markers associated with Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity, unlike Celiac Disease.

An endoscopy that shows villi atrophy in the small intestine indicates Celiac Disease. Villi atrophy is not present with Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity.

Certain cytokines (immune system substances) are associated with Celiac Disease. There are no specific cytokines that correlate with Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity.

Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity is estimated to affect from about one to about six times as many people as Celiac Disease.

Because Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity is a fairly new medical concept, it currently is unknown whether Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity is a transient or permanent condition. Celiac Disease is known to be permanent.

In other ways, Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity sometimes mimics Celiac Disease – but only sometimes. For more information, see Gluten Sensitivity Symptoms and Gluten Sensitivity Diagnosis

Contact us for more information about Gluten Sensitivity.