Among the gluten avoiders, people with celiac disease are few while most of the people in the world who refrain gluten are said to have “nonceliac gluten sensitivity”. People who are free of celiac disease might be unnecessarily weaning themselves off the gluten. Celiac is a grim disease wherein the lining of the small intestine gets damaged and the ability of the intestines to properly absorb the nutrients from the food gets affected to a large extent. Gluten is mainly present in cereals like barley, wheat, rye, oats etc…and because of a reaction to gluten in humans, celiac is developed. However, sometimes people can react to gluten after eating it and it may lead to fatigue and gastrointestinal discomfort, if not celiac and this is what is termed as ‘non-celiac sensitivity’ by the doctors.
To analyze and diagnose celiac, some particular blood and bowel tests have to be carried out and if gluten is ingested then gluten sensitivity can cause various symptoms to appear. These symptoms can be intestinal which include abdominal discomfort, bloating, diarrhea and flatulence. Apart from these, other non intestinal symptoms may be lethargy, headache, oral ulceration and attention-deficit disorder. Even ataxia which causes in coordination, wobbliness, unsteadiness can be one the symptoms of gluten sensitivity.
As mentioned before, people may be refraining themselves from gluten if they believe that they are food sensitive and do not suffer from celiac disease. If the data has to be studied, then it can be said that the number of people with non-celiac gluten sensitivity is higher enough than those with celiac disease. Sometimes, non-celiac gluten can be a result of the ‘nocebo’ effect of gluten ingestion or wheat. When somebody takes a medication and experiences unpleasant and ill side-effects which in reality are just not related to the pharmacological action of the drug, then this negative placebo effect is termed as the nocebo effect.
It can be said that the people who rigidly abstain from gluten and have faith that their gluten free diets are helping them to reduce their symptoms, have hardly taken proper tests and have seldom gone through a proper diagnoses procedure and such people often think that till the time an authentic biomarker for non-celiac gluten sensitivity is found, the doctors should give a deep thought about carrying on open or single-blind gluten challenge tests on those with non-celiac gluten sensitivity.