Non-celiac Gluten Sensitivity (NCGS)
What is Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity?
Non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) is a condition in which a person does not have a direct autoimmune reaction to gluten, but still experiences unwanted side effects if gluten is ingested. These side effects can include but are not limited to diarrhea, constipation, abdominal pain, and bloating. No structural impact to the small bowel resulting from the ingestion of gluten can be detected with non-celiac gluten sensitivity. However, a mild immune reaction to the gluten in individuals with this condition is possible and there may be abnormal blood tests with elevation of IgG antibodies to gluten.
Because the tolerance for gluten can vary so widely between people with NCGS, the best advice is to adjust gluten consumption to eliminate symptoms and optimize the quality of life. It is also common for sensitivity to gluten to fluctuate over time and with stress levels, similar to what happens in Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Some, but not all people with NCGS may develop moderate to severe symptoms to gluten exposure. In these people with moderate to severe symptoms it would be best to avoid gluten completely in order to eliminate or reduce symptoms.
For detailed information on Non-celiac Gluten Sensitivity and the Gluten-Free Diet go to:
- The Celiac Disease Foundation
- The Celiac Support Association
- National Foundation for Celiac Awareness
- The Gluten Intolerance Group of North America
- Celiac Center at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
- National Institutes of Health Publication No. 08-4269 September 2008.
- Real Life with Celiac Disease: Troubleshooting and Thriving Gluten-Free. Eds. Dennis M, Leffler D. AGA Press. Bethesda, MD, 2010.