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Med J Aust. 2017 Aug 4;207(5):211-215.

Non-coeliac gluten or wheat sensitivity: emerging disease or misdiagnosis?

Author information

1
University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW Michael.Potter@hnehealth.nsw.gov.au.
2
University of Newcastle, Newcastle, NSW.

Abstract

Non-coeliac gluten or wheat sensitivity (NCG/WS) is a condition characterised by adverse gastrointestinal and/or extra-intestinal symptoms associated with the ingestion of gluten- or wheat-containing foods, in the absence of coeliac disease or wheat allergy. Up to one in 100 people in Australia may have coeliac disease but many more report adverse gastrointestinal and/or extra-intestinal symptoms after eating wheat products. In the absence of validated biomarkers, a diagnosis of NCG/WS can only be made by a double-blind, placebo-controlled, dietary crossover challenge with gluten, which is difficult to apply in clinical practice. Of people self-reporting gluten or wheat sensitivity, only a small proportion (16%) will have reproducible symptoms after a blinded gluten challenge of gluten versus placebo in a crossover dietary trial and fulfil the current consensus criteria for a diagnosis of NCG/WS. A wide range of symptoms are associated with NCG/WS, including gastrointestinal, neurological, psychiatric, rheumatological and dermatological complaints. The pathogenesis of NCG/WS is not well understood, but the innate immune system has been implicated, and there is overlap with coeliac disease and the functional gastrointestinal disorders (irritable bowel syndrome and functional dyspepsia). Identification of NCG/WS is important as gluten-free diets carry risks, are socially restricting and are costlier than regular diets.

KEYWORDS:

Coeliac disease; Diet; Dyspepsia; Gastrointestinal diseases; Irritable bowel syndrome

PMID:
28987135
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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