Gluten Sensitivity

Also called: Gluten Intolerance

Gluten is a protein found in wheat, rye, and barley. It is found mainly in foods but may also be in other products like medicines, vitamins, and supplements. People with gluten sensitivity have problems with gluten. It is different from celiac disease, an immune disease in which people can't eat gluten because it will damage their small intestine.

Some of the symptoms of gluten sensitivity are similar to celiac disease. They include tiredness and stomachaches. It can cause other symptoms too, including muscle cramps and leg numbness. But it does not damage the small intestine like celiac disease.

Researchers are still learning more about gluten sensitivity. If your health care provider thinks you have it, he or she may suggest that you stop eating gluten to see if your symptoms go away. However, you should first be tested to rule out celiac disease.

Dept. of Health and Human Services Office on Women's Health

Symptoms of Gluten Sensitivity

The following features are indicative of Gluten Sensitivity:
  • abdominal pain
  • bloating
  • diarrhea
  • vomiting
  • nausea
  • aerophagia
  • gastroesophageal reflux disease
  • aphthous stomatitis
  • headache
  • migraine
  • fatigue
  • fibromyalgia
  • muscle pain
  • joint pain
  • dermatitis
  • atopic disorders
It is possible that Gluten Sensitivity shows no physical symptoms and still is present in a patient.

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Common Causes of Gluten Sensitivity

The following are the most common causes of Gluten Sensitivity:
  • gluten
  • gluten-containing cereals
  • gluten-containing grains

Risk Factors for Gluten Sensitivity

The following factors may increase the likelihood of Gluten Sensitivity:
  • gluten exposure
  • increasing age
  • smoking
  • infant feeding patterns

Prevention of Gluten Sensitivity

Yes, it may be possible to prevent Gluten Sensitivity. Prevention may be possible by doing the following:
  • strict lifelong adherence to a gluten-free diet

Occurrence of Gluten Sensitivity

Number of Cases

The following are the number of Gluten Sensitivity cases seen each year worldwide:
  • Very common > 10 Million cases

Common Age Group

Gluten Sensitivity can occur at any age.

Common Gender

Gluten Sensitivity can occur in any gender.

Lab Tests and Procedures for Diagnosis of Gluten Sensitivity

The following lab tests and procedures are used to detect Gluten Sensitivity:
  • Genetic testing: To diagnose the gluten sensitivity
  • Intestinal biopsy: To diagnose the celiac disease
  • Anti-gliadin antibodies test: To measure the antibodies
  • Anti-tissue transglutaminase: To diagnose the celiac disease

Doctor for Diagnosis of Gluten Sensitivity

Patients should visit the following specialists if they have symptoms of Gluten Sensitivity:
  • Physicians
  • Dietitians
  • Mental health professionals
  • Allied health providers

Complications of Gluten Sensitivity if untreated

Yes, Gluten Sensitivity causes complications if it is not treated. Below is the list of complications and problems that may arise if Gluten Sensitivity is left untreated:
  • celiac disease

Self-care for Gluten Sensitivity

The following self-care actions or lifestyle changes may help in the treatment or management of Gluten Sensitivity:
  • Strict to lifelong gluten-free diet: Improves the symptoms of gluten sensitivity
  • Maintain healthy diet: Helps in managing the disease and improves the quality of life

Alternative Medicine for Treatment of Gluten Sensitivity

The following alternate medicine and therapies are known to help in the treatment or management of Gluten Sensitivity:
  • Enzyme therapy: Coadministration of prolyl endopeptidases is effective in lowering gluten toxicity

Patient Support for Treatment of Gluten Sensitivity

The following actions may help Gluten Sensitivity patients:
  • Education: Helps in improving the diagnosis and treatment of patients with celiac disease

Time for Treatment of Gluten Sensitivity

While time-period of treatment for each patient may vary, below is the typical time-period for Gluten Sensitivity to resolve if treated properly under an expert supervision:
  • More than 1 year

Last updated date

This page was last updated on 2/04/2019.
This page provides information for Gluten Sensitivity.

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