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Nutrients. 2018 Nov 7;10(11). pii: E1705. doi: 10.3390/nu10111705.

Motility Disorders in Celiac Disease and Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity: The Impact of a Gluten-Free Diet.

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Gastroenteorlogy Unit, Brotzu Hospital, 09121 Cagliari, Italy.
Gastroenteorlogy Unit, Brotzu Hospital, 09121 Cagliari, Italy.
Gastroenterology Unit, University of Cagliari, 09042 Monserrato, Italy.
Gastroenteorlogy Unit, Brotzu Hospital, 09121 Cagliari, Italy.


Background: There is evidence that digestive motor disorders are frequently present in untreated celiac disease (CD) patients. Similarly, non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) can be associated with gut motor disorders. In both cases, gut dysmotility can improve or be completely reversed with a gluten-free diet (GFD). Methods: A literature search for motility disorders in CD and NCGS patients was carried out using the online databases PubMed, Medline and Cochrane. Results: Esophageal, gastric, small bowel and gallbladder motor disorders are common in both children and adults with CD. Although the clinical consequences of these disorders are not clearly defined, gastric dysfunction could affect drug absorption and metabolism in the thyroid and neurological conditions associated with CD. The impact of a GFD on motility disorders is, however, controversial. No systematic studies are available on NCGS. NCGS frequently overlaps with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) and similar pathophysiological mechanisms may be hypothesized. Conclusions: Mucosal damage may affect gut motility in untreated CD through perturbation of hormonal and neuro-immunomodulatory regulation. A persistent low-grade mucosal inflammation could explain the cases of persistent motor disorders despite a GFD. Further studies are needed to definitely assess the role of gut motor disorders in NCGS.


celiac disease; gluten-free diet; gut motility; non-celiac gluten sensitivity

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