Gluten sensitivity in non celiac disease may be a myth

Of course the research described here is properly described as weak, but a simple test of people claiming gluten sensitivity who didn’t have celiac disease shows they aren’t gluten sensitive in the majority of cases.

The nocebo effect is as real as the placebo effect.

People can really have intolerance and food allergies. In fact food allergies are sometimes the most severe.

Celiac disease is real.


8 responses to “Gluten sensitivity in non celiac disease may be a myth

  1. Here we go again. No, my wife does not have celiac disease. Yes, she is gluten sensitive. Confirmed. Please note: the study says it doubts the “prevalence” of gluten sensitivity. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

    • If there is the few non-celiac out there by some strange coincidence of genetic preedestination are indeed sensitive to gluten doesn’t mean gluten in general should be avoided by the overwhelming majority of people.

      To my mind people like your wife can’t even be expressed in a percentage of the population being so extremely rare.

      In short, whilst a minute group of the general public may have an adverse reaction to product X the chances of anyone else having it to are less then minimal

    • Yes, gluten sensitivity is real, though rare. I can’t even use the non-gluten alternative foods, as I seem to be sensitive to all of the grain proteins. Nobody is making any money off of my problem, and it has made grocery shopping a lot simpler. And though I get tired of my monotonous diet, it beats having symptoms that doctors always seem to interpret as my imminent demise. I’ve outlived at least two doctors who have said that to me, so I don’t worry about it anymore.

      Ken, it sounds like your wife has learned to adapt to not having gluten. I found that I just gave up everything that is normally associated with it, such as bread and cakes. Sometimes I miss it, but I don’t miss the severe pain I used to have. There is no reason to pretend to be normal, when very few of us are.

  2. I know a few people who claim NCGS, yet they aren’t always symptomatic when they eat something with gluten in it. Seems to me something else is going on with these people.

    • When there is a true allergy, quite often a reaction will be fairly quick, with quick meaning sometimes within the first 24 hours. A sensitivity can manifest itself in many ways, which is part of why gluten sensitivity (or any food sensitivity) can be difficult to track down. Some sensitivities are such, that a person could consume the offending food, seemingly without consequence, for sometimes months at a time. The results can be cumulative, building up slowly over that time, until the symptoms become too obvious to be ignored.

      There are some known medical conditions that act that way. Gout is the buildup of uric acid crystals at, or near, joints. At first, person may feel that they have sprained something, or maybe bumped something, without being aware of it, because suddenly a wrist, elbow, ankle or knee is hurting. And the pain can go away completely, and then return. Until something happens, such as taking Allopurinol, the attacks just get a little worse over time, and can cycle on and off for years.

      The same can be true of some food sensitivities. There haven’t been many studies done of this (probably because of so many variables), so a lot of it is guesswork. Some people may have some substance that builds up, or gets depleted, which in turn causes discomfort. If the discomfort is building up slowly, then when it gets to a crisis level, it can be difficult to figure out what is causing it.

  3. OK, here’s the way it works.

    If you are allergic to something it is not a subtle thing–it cause a reaction that is mediated by a release of histamine.

    If you have gout it an attack cuases a painful hot joint in the most common events, and gouty joints are painful. Again, not subtle, usually.

    The idea of build up is more likely just lesser events. Some gout sufferers have a milder form of attack that still causes gouty arthritis. The full blown aouty attack is usually unmistakable.

    Trust me on this, I am a Doctor.

    • John, though you may find this hard to believe, my husband suffered through 20 years of gout attacks before a doctor finally sent him to the specialist that took fluid from the inflamed joint and diagnosed him as having gout. For the first few years, the attacks were infrequent, and doctors blamed them on an imaginative variety of problems. After 20 years of attacks, he actually had accretions of uric acid on his ankles and elbows. However, doctors were still telling him that the x-rays looked fine, and his blood work was fine, so he couldn’t have gout.

      He finally had a severe gout attack that coincided with a doctor appointment, and the doctor (who had three weeks previous to this told him he couldn’t have gout because he wasn’t in enough pain) said “You have gout”. But then he had to be sent to a specialist, because regular doctors don’t draw fluid from joints, and he “lucked out” and had another severe gout attack just as he was getting ready to be seen by the specialist. She drew fluid, checked it under the microscope, and verified that he did indeed have gout.

      It took about five years of being on allopurinol before the accretions on ankles and elbows finally dissolved away, and my husband no longer has to wonder if he will spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair because it hurt so much to walk. He has mild gout attacks once or twice a year now, but they only last a few hours and are well tolerated.

      So, as I mentioned before, a condition like gout can start out with somewhat mild attacks, get worse over time, and be difficult to diagnose. So it can also be with a food sensitivity, problems start very mild, get worse over time, and can be confused with other problems. We don’t even have a good definition for what it means to have a food sensitivity, other than it is causing problems that would not otherwise exist. Is it causing general inflammation, which manifests in other symptoms? It is modifying some hormonal response? It is ignorance and apathy: Nobody knows, nobody cares.

      And then you say, John, “Trust me on this, I am a Doctor.” Yet we cannot say “Trust me on this, I do have problems, and it seems to have something to do with food.” Personally, I now never mention any food problems to my doctor. He basically had told me, years ago, that he knew nothing about food problems, and I would have to figure it out for myself. That is the reality of everyone that has, or thinks they have, a food sensitivity. Histamine reactions can be checked for, with a crude scratch test. Food sensitivity doesn’t even have that.

  4. Janice, If you look up gout and compare gouty arthritis to osteo arthritis, and rheumatoid arthritis, you will see someone dropped the ball. The three are easily distinguishable. Sure, some gout attacks are not so severe as others, but the joints involved are difference and the nature of the pattern or arthritis is different. All doctors should know that the serum uric acid is an unreliable test. I could go on, but your husbands problem was aggravated by doctors who really didn’t bother. When you describe “attacks” you’rs talking about gout.

    As for your comments about food sensitivities and allergeis, they are different from gluten “sensitivity” and present differentsly. Moreover, there is a grey zone area of irritable bowel disorders/food sensitivity that makes the diagnosis sometimes obscure.

    if you have an irritable bowel but think its a sensitivity/allergy, the tests for allergy/sensitivity are available.

    Their is another bowel problem called c1 esterase defficiency that can cause intermittent bowel problems and of course auto immune disorders like Crohn’s and Colitis.

    My point is that many people with functional (as in not diagnosed and pigeon holed) may be related to food allergies or sensitivities or the patient may have a hyperreactive bowel, kinda like people who get headaches under stresss, some people get bowel problems.

    The study on alleged gluten senstitivity without celiac disease just shows the problem of blaming gluten.

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