One third of non-coeliac patients with gluten sensitivity can detect gluten

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One third of non-coeliac patients with gluten sensitivity can detect gluten

While true gluten intolerance is rare, this small randomised cross-over trial studied 35 patients (86% female) from a coeliac disease clinic who did not have coeliac disease, but were using a gluten-free diet because of self-identified gluten-related symptoms.1 When exposed (in a blinded fashion) to flour containing gluten, 34% had a significant increase in symptoms following the gluten challenge using the Gastrointestinal Symptoms Rating Scale. 49% of patients had symptoms when consuming the non-gluten flour.

So some of our non-coeliac patients who complain of gluten sensitivity may be correct in their assessment. We could potentially determine who they were if they were willing to undertake a blinded challenge.

It is helpful to know that there is a significant minority who are correct in their analysis. 

References:

  1. Zanini BR et al., Randomised clinical study: gluten challenge induces symptom recurrence in only a minority of patients who meet clinical criteria for non-coeliac gluten sensitivity. 

    Gems are chosen by the Goodfellow director Dr. Bruce Arroll to be either practice changing or practice maintaining. The information is educational and not clinical advice.

     
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    As published in NZ Doctor 09/11/2016