Celiac.com 10/09/2009 - The causes and mechanisms that fuel the development of gastrointestinal symptoms, along with the individual perceptions of those symptoms are varied and, in many cases, not well understood.

A team of researchers recently set out to explore the clinical and experimental evidence regarding the possible association between gluten sensitivity, celiac disease, irritable bowel syndrome, and the development of gastrointestinal symptoms.

The research team was made up of Elena F. Verdu, MD, PhD, David Armstrong, MA, MB, BChir, and Joseph A. Murray, MD. The team's hypothesis is that, even in the absence of fully developed celiac disease, gluten exposure can trigger symptoms that mirror FBD.

To test that hypothesis, the team set out to see how many people with gluten sensitivity are likely to suffer from symptoms similar to functional bowel disorder (FBD).

The team proposes model for the exploring and assessing factors influencing the development of gastrointestinal symptoms and dysfunction by gluten in FBD and organic disease.

They elaborate on their hypothesis that gluten sensitivity and post-infectious irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) represent two triggers that can explain at least part of the wide range of IBS symptoms and dysfunction. Better understanding this relationship offers researchers a better understanding of the role of