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What is Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity?

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The immune systems of individuals with non-celiac gluten sensitivity react differently to gluten when compared with individuals with celiac disease. For example, individuals with non-celiac gluten sensitivity did not have flattened villi, according to the study conducted by Sapone et al.

The study also found differences in the immune system responses. With celiac disease, the immune response is an adaptive response. With non-celiac gluten sensitivity however, the response is an innate response, meaning it does not respond to a specific antigen.

There is no specific test for non-celiac gluten sensitivity. A diagnosis is made when other causes for the presenting symptoms are ruled out. The treatment is the same as treatment for celiac disease: a gluten-free diet.

Individuals considering a gluten-free diet should talk to their health care provider.


National Digestive Diseases Information Clearinghouse. Celiac Disease. Web. 26 February 2013.

MayoClinic.com. Gluten-Free Diet: What’s Allowed, What’s Not. Web. 26 February 2013.

Sapone, A. et al. “Divergence of Gut Permeability and Mucosal Immune Gene Expression in Two Gluten-Associated Conditions: Celiac Disease and Gluten Sensitivity.” BMC Medicine. Web. 26 February 2013.

Wall Street Journal. Clues to Gluten Sensitivity. Web. 26 February 2013.

New York Times. Gluten-Free, Whether You Need It or Not. Web. 26 February 2013.

National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. What is Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity?. Web. 26 February 2013.

National Foundation for Celiac Awareness. Should You Be Gluten-Free? Celiac Disease and Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity. Web. 26 February 2013.

Add a Comment2 Comments

EmpowHER Guest

Please support my petition for the Girl Scouts to sell a gluten free and allergen free cookie http://www.change.org/petitions/encourage-the-girl-scouts-to-sell-an-allergen-free-cookie

February 28, 2013 - 10:00am
EmpowHER Guest

NCGS is not de facto "less severe" than celiac, ant it is negligent to assert that as fact. Symptoms for both celiac and NCGS have a wide range of severity, and doctors still know little to nothing about the long-term effects of NCGS. Please do not start discounting a very real, painful medical condition.

February 28, 2013 - 6:21am
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We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

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