Nonceliac gluten sensitivity: sense or sensibility?

Ann Intern Med. 2012 Feb 21;156(4):309-11. doi: 10.7326/0003-4819-156-4-201202210-00010.


Recent studies support the existence of a new condition, nonceliac gluten sensitivity, which manifests as intestinal or extraintestinal symptoms that improve or disappear after gluten withdrawal in individuals with normal small-bowel mucosa and negative results on serum antitransglutaminase and antiendomysial antibody testing. Although the clinical value of this concept is under debate, the prevalence of nonceliac gluten sensitivity in the general population is supposed to be many times higher than that of celiac disease. The lack of an unambiguous definition of nonceliac gluten sensitivity, a major pitfall, is primarily related to the heterogeneous cause of this condition, whose symptoms are presumed to be caused by different mechanisms. If nonceliac gluten sensitivity is an etiologically heterogeneous syndrome, then management options should vary according to the predominant or concomitant underlying pathogenic pathways.

MeSH terms

  • Celiac Disease / diagnosis
  • Celiac Disease / immunology
  • Diagnosis, Differential
  • Food Hypersensitivity / diagnosis*
  • Food Hypersensitivity / immunology
  • Glutens / adverse effects*
  • Humans
  • Intestinal Mucosa / immunology
  • Intestinal Mucosa / pathology
  • Intestine, Small / immunology
  • Intestine, Small / pathology


  • Glutens