Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity is also an Immune Disorder

What is Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity?

People who tend to feel sick post eating gluten or wheat but do not suffer from celiac disease might have a biological explanation. This biological explanation would come for their symptoms, a study on this subject suggests.

Italy and US researchers found that individuals claiming to experience wheat sensitivity have certain biological reactions. These reactions are to the gluten proteins found in wheat, barley, and rye. One point to be noted here is that the reactions seem to be completely different. They differ from the reactions in people suffering from celiac disease. This disease is also a result of gluten sensitivity.

The people suffering from wheat sensitivity are difficult to identify. This is because they are generally self-diagnosed. Dr. Peter Green confirms this statement. Dr. Peter Green is a study author and the director of the Celiac Disease Center at Columbia University, New York. Celiac disease can easily be confirmed by way of biopsies and blood tests.

However, wheat sensitivity cannot be confirmed like this. Green states this to the Reuters Health. There are no biomarkers or anything else for confirming that individuals have a wheat sensitivity. The only way to do this was observing people who did not do well after eating wheat, Green said. People with gluten sensitivity can bulk on a gluten-free diet. This will help them in feeling better ultimately.

Reports of New Study

In a new study, researchers examined and then made a comparison of the blood samples of 80 people with gluten sensitivity. The study also included 40 people who were healthy without any health issue and 40 people suffering from celiac disease.

People who suffer from celiac disease have an autoimmune response when they consume gluten. This response results in the damage of their small intestine. In the research, patients with gluten sensitivity were tested for blood showing the symptoms of intestinal damage of some kind. However, this damage was not of the same kind that is often seen in people suffering from celiac disease.

These people did not show the same pattern of blood antibodies like the ones shown by people with celiac disease. The people experiencing gluten sensitivity also possessed evidence of a kind of body-wide immune response. The researchers did not see this response in people suffering from celiac disease.

The results of the study recommend there are measurable and identifiable traits in individuals experiencing wheat sensitivity. These traits in people are different from the ones with the celiac disease. Researchers have confirmed this fact in Gut- a journal.

The Next Step

The next step involves getting an improved understanding of things that happen within the intestines of individuals with gluten sensitivity. Additionally, the results would be confirmed in the US patients.

This is because most blood samples for this study were from people living in Italy. Green said that they would confirm the results in US people. However, before confirming the results, they will see the people prior to them going on special diets. New results generated from new studies confirm the fact that there is something going on in individuals with gluten sensitivity.

Green added that this would raise the chances that the research team will be developing a test. Post this, the team can easily segregate patients and treat them in the most appropriate manner.

What is Wheat Sensitivity?

Wheat sensitivity seems to be one of the most common medical problems. There are many people who experience changes within their bodies post having gluten. These changes are completely different and distinct from the ones accompanied by celiac disease.

Researchers have confirmed this fact. Researchers state that they are still not confirmed about the reasons that are triggering such response. However, studies in this field show that there are some biological changes in individuals with wheat sensitivity.

People experiencing wheat sensitivity seem to suffer from a compromised intestinal barrier. This results in a kind of immune response post eating foods containing gluten protein. Such foods include barley, rye, and wheat.

The symptoms of wheat sensitivity include abdominal pain, bloating and diarrhea. A headache, fatigue, memory problems, weakened thinking skills and anxiety are other common symptoms. Such patients do not suffer from celiac disease. Coming to what is celiac disease; it is a kind of genetic disorder. It is a condition where the immune cells constantly attack the small intestine lining post gluten exposure.

These people also do not experience wheat allergy promoting allergic reactions. Allergic reactions include itchy eyes, hives, and difficulty breathing.  There are no long-term damages to the small intestine.


Around 0.5% to 6% perfect of the population tend to suffer from non-celiac wheat sensitivity. This has been confirmed by researchers and physicians throughout the world. However, the doctors have also stated that the lack of proper tools hampers them from coming up with accurate and solid estimates. The subject calls for more evaluations and studies.

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