Celiac.com 06/04/2015 - Some researchers feel that people who self report non-celiac gluten sensitivity (SR-NCGS) and also follow a gluten-free diet might actually fall within the spectrum of irritable bowel (IBS). Interestingly, recent reports suggest that large numbers of people with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) also follow a gluten-free diet.
To screen for SR-NCGS and the use of a GFD, they used a cross-sectional questionnaire in 4 groups: ulcerative colitis (n = 75), Crohn's disease (n = 70), IBS (n = 59), and dyspeptic controls (n = 109). They also looked at diagnostic outcomes for IBD in 200 patients presenting with SR-NCGS.
A total of 25 out of 59 patients with IBS (42.4%), and 40 out of 145 patients (27.6%) with IBD reported SR-NCGS. That number was just 19 of 109 for dyspeptic control subjects (17.4%). As far a gluten-free diet, currently, 11.9% of patients with IBS, and 6.2% of those with IBD are following a gluten-free diet, as compared with just 0.9% for dyspeptic controls; P = 0.02.
For the purposes of of this study, the team made no differences between ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease. However, 40.9% of Crohn's disease patients with SR-NCGS suffered from stricturing disease, compared with 18.9% for Chrohn's patients without SR-NCGS; (P = 0.046). Crohn's disease patients with SR-NCGS showed higher overall scores on the Crohn's Disease Activity Index (228.1 versus 133.3, P = 0.002) than those without SR-NCGS.
The team analyzed 200 cases presenting with SR-NCGS, and found that 197 of them, or 98.5% were most likely diet-related IBS. However, 3 of the SR-NCGS patients (1.5%) actually had IBD, with all of the associated alarm symptoms, and/or abnormal blood parameters.
The results show that SR-NCGS is not exclusive to IBS, but is also seen in some patients with IBD, which is a more severe, more debilitating condition.
The team is calling for randomized studies to further delineate the nature of this relationship and clarify whether a gluten-free is appropriate for certain IBD patients.