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BMC Med. 2014 May 23;12:86. doi: 10.1186/1741-7015-12-86.

Non-celiac gluten sensitivity - why worry?

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  • 1Department of Gastroenterology, Oslo University Hospital Rikshospitalet, N-0498 Oslo, Norway. k.e.a.lundin@medisin.uio.no.

Abstract

Wheat, once thought to be a critical ingredient in a healthy diet, has become a major threat, according to public opinion. The term non-celiac gluten sensitivity has been widely adopted to describe a clinical entity characterized by symptoms induced by gluten without the diagnostic criteria found in other gluten-related disorders. However, it has not been shown that gluten per se is involved, and it can be debated if the condition is a disease. Nevertheless, a large number of individuals go gluten-free, avoiding wheat, rye and barley, even without a defined medical cause. In a study in BMC Medicine, Volta and colleagues from Italy report on a large, multicenter attempt to enumerate the prevalence of non-celiac gluten sensitivity in secondary gastroenterology care. They found that approximately 3% of their more than 12,000 patients fulfilled their criteria for non-celiac gluten sensitivity. However, we are still challenged with finding stricter clinical criteria for the condition, developing a usable clinical approach for gluten challenge in these individuals, and understanding the pathogenesis of the condition.

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