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Non-Celiac Wheat Sensitivity: It Exists

Celiac.com 09/03/2012 - Celiac disease numbers in Western countries are currently somewhere in the 1:100 range, but this does not account for a host of non-celiac gluten intolerant people. For many, it is common knowledge that gluten and wheat intolerance manifests in a variety of forms, and not all of them are diagnosable as celiac disease. This has not prevented scientific circles from debating the existence of such non-celiac wheat sensitivities though. A double-blind placebo-controlled study spanning 2001-2011 demonstrates that wheat sensitivity exists as a distinct clinical condition, separate from celiac disease.

Many who go to their doctors seeking a celiac disease diagnosis are disappointed when they are told that they do not have celiac disease, but the more catch-all, and less conclusive IBS, even though they have self-diagnosed and know that gluten aggravates their symptoms. Such IBS-diagnosed patients who attended the outpatient center at the Department of Internal Medicine at the University Hospital of Palermo or the Department of Internal Medicine of the Hospital of Sciacca between January 2001 and June 2011 were considered for the study.

After a number of diagnostic inclusion and exclusion criteria were applied, 920 patients were invited to participate in the study. Patients were monitored for 2-4 weeks while on a 30g minimum wheat-containing diet, then put on a standard elimination diet (no wheat, cow's milk, eggs, tomatoes or chocolate). Any further known food sensitivities were avoided as well.

After 4 weeks on the elimination diet, patients underwent double-blind placebo-controlled challenges, with single foods being presented at a time. Placebo and wheat (or other eliminated food) were administered for two weeks at a time, one after the other with a one week washout period in between.

Severity of symptoms was recorded during all phases of the study. Challenges were stopped if symptoms presented, and considered positive if the symptoms were the same symptoms originally diagnosed as IBS.

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There were two control groups: 50 patients with IBS who were not classified as suffering from wheat or food sensitivities, and 100 patients who had received celiac disease diagnoses.

Of the 920 participants, 276 (30%) suffered wheat sensitivity symptoms, became asymptomatic on elimination diet and symptomatic again during the DBPC challenge. 70 of these patients were diagnosed with wheat sensitivity alone, and two hundred and six were diagnosed with multiple food hypersensitivity. The first group of patients' symptoms resembled celiac disease, whereas the patients in the second group had symptoms that more closely resembled food allergy.

Relevant markers to distinguish wheat sensitivity from IBS include anemia, weight loss and history of food allergy in infancy. Wheat sensitive patients also tended to have more coexistent atopic diseases.

From this study, we know that non-celiac wheat sensitivity exists. Further studies will explore the distinction between the celiac-like and allergy-like types of the condition.

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2 Responses:

 
Denise
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said this on
10 Sep 2012 3:23:18 PM PDT
The focus needs to be on gluten syndrome, which includes all manifestations of gluten. Please investigate the brilliant and progressive research and work of Dr. Rodney Ford from New Zealand.

 
An Onimous
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said this on
11 Sep 2012 10:22:52 AM PDT
I've got Crohn's, but through trial and error I found that I have a wheat/gluten sensitivity too. My blood has always been a little on the anemic side and I have trouble keeping on weight. Nobody is perfect, and I'm willing to bet almost every human has a problem with wheat/gluten but they don't recognize it. Despite if they can notice any negative side effects or not, the gluten still has an opioid effect in the brain to trick it into craving more of it... Millions of people struggle with digestive problems or have trouble sleeping, and these two major common problems can be helped by avoiding gluten. If I was president, I'd outlaw the production/posession/sale/use of wheat and all other grains containing gluten. Isn't it about time we say NO to bad foods in addition to bad drugs?




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Hi! My daughter is 19 was diagnosed at age 16. It took about 12-18 month s for her to fully heal from the damage and feel "normal" again. Also because of the damage done she had reactions to dairy, so you may want to try no or minimum dairy until youre fully healed. Just a suggestion. Hope you start feeling well soon!

Hi yall! New to this blog, but really glad it exists because I have lots of questions. First off, I'm Allie! I'm 17 and newly diagnosed Celiac after about 3 years of searching for answers. I initially went gluten-free on the recommendation of a friend, I felt better in about a month and then my pediatric gastroenterologist had me do the gluten challenge, and my symptoms were the worst they have ever been, and ones I barely noticed before became very present. I did the biopsy and was diagnosed, it's been about 2 weeks and my symptoms are still pretty bad, although my diet has no known sources of gluten or cross contamination. Wondering if anyone has any input on healing post gluten challenge, any tips or how long it took for you would be quite helpful! Thanks

Might want to look into a keto diet, I have UC on top of celiacs and keto is working great Yeah I have major nerve and brain issues with gluten, gluten ataxia with nerve issues and brain issues. Seems to cause my body to attack my brain and nerve system. My brain stumbles fogs, and starts looping, the confusion causes me to become really irritable, I call it going Mr Hyde. Like my mind will start looping constantly on thoughts and not move driving me literally mad, or it used to. Now days it is primary the numbness anger but the gut issues and sometimes random motor loss limit me motionless to the floor now days for the duration of the major anger effects. Used to be a lot more mental then painful gut. I did a mental trauma post on it on while back where I came out about all my mental issues with gluten.

^^^^^^ good info, tips and tricks^^^^^^^^^ yes, crumbs will make you sick. also, breathing flour/pancake mix, etc that is in the air because eventually, you're going to swallow some.

Hello I was diagnosed Dec 15 of last year and went totally gluten-free the next day. I actually got worse before I got better - it's a steep learning curve - but now, 4 1/2 months later I'm finally seeing improvement. Hang in there.