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.
- 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.