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  • Jefferson Adams
    Jefferson Adams

    Study Shows Non-celiac Wheat Sensitivity is a Persistent Condition

    Reviewed and edited by a celiac disease expert.

      Is non-celiac wheat sensitivity a persistent condition?


    Caption: Photo: CC--Clare Black

    Celiac.com 08/23/2017 - A team of researchers recently set out to assess how many patients with a diagnosis of non-celiac wheat sensitivity (NCWS) still experienced symptoms of wheat sensitivity after an average follow-up time of 99 months.

    The research team included Antonio Carroccio, Alberto D’Alcamo, Giuseppe Iacono, Maurizio Soresi, Rosario Iacobucci, Andrea Arini, Girolamo Geraci, Francesca Fayer, Francesca Cavataio, Francesco La Blasca, Ada M. Florena, and Pasquale Mansueto.

    Using data collected from 200 participants from a previous study of non-celiac wheat sensitivity, performed between July and December 2016 in Italy, the team found that 148 of these individuals still followed a strict wheat-free diet.

    In total, 175 patients (88%) said that they had fewer symptoms after a diagnosis of non-celiac wheat sensitivity and general improvement.

    Of the 148 patients who adhered strictly to a gluten-free diet, 145 (98%) had reduced symptoms, compared with 30 of 52 patients who did not adhere to a gluten-free diet (58%) (P < .0001).

    Of the 22 patients who repeated the double-blind, placebo-controlled challenge, 20 reacted to wheat.

    The numbers and percentages of the 148 non-celiac wheat sensitivity patients on a strict wheat-free diet who reported that the following symptoms recurred after occasional and accidental wheat consumption: Lack of well-being 135 (91%); Tiredness 102 (69%); Foggy mind 68 (46%); Menstrual alterations 54 (36%); Anemia 46 (31%); Weight increase 45 (30%); Joint/muscle pain 35 (24%); Headache 31 (21%); Weight loss 30 (20%); Anxiety 18 (12%); Skin rash 16 (11%); Recurrent cystitis 12 (8%); Depression 10 (7%).

    From these numbers, the team concludes that non-celiac wheat sensitivity is a persistent condition.

    Clinicaltrials.gov registration number: NCT02823522.

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    I will never consider taking part in a double blind study! After spending most of my teen and adult years with painful swollen joints, terrible exhaustion and yes some intestinal problems, I went on the South Beach diet at 60 and the constant pain and fatigue went away. I had been diagnosed and treated for RA by different doctors with little relief until a rheumatologist at UM said some families had something - but good news no joint damage! 15 years later no wheat for me!

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    It's not "wheat" sensitivity because wheat basically doesn't exist anymore. What passes for wheat is a deformed GM version of it and I believe that's what causes the symptoms. It's like the Bizarro version of Superman.

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    It's not "wheat" sensitivity because wheat basically doesn't exist anymore. What passes for wheat is a deformed GM version of it and I believe that's what causes the symptoms. It's like the Bizarro version of Superman.

    This is a common misconception, but wheat in the USA is actually not genetically modified.

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    It's not "wheat" sensitivity because wheat basically doesn't exist anymore. What passes for wheat is a deformed GM version of it and I believe that's what causes the symptoms. It's like the Bizarro version of Superman.

    Please note that no commercial wheat is GMO. That is true globally. All strains of commercial wheat are hybrids. There has been some work to produce GMO strains of wheat for commercial markets, but as yet none is being grown or sold.

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  • About Me

    Jefferson Adams is Celiac.com's senior writer and Digital Content Director. He earned his B.A. and M.F.A. at Arizona State University, and has authored more than 2,000 articles on celiac disease. His coursework includes studies in biology, anatomy, medicine, science, and advanced research, and scientific methods. He previously served as SF Health News Examiner for Examiner.com, and devised health and medical content for Sharecare.com. Jefferson has spoken about celiac disease to the media, including an appearance on the KQED radio show Forum, and is the editor of the book "Cereal Killers" by Scott Adams and Ron Hoggan, Ed.D.

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