Background: Non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) is a recently recognized disorder, characterized by the occurrence of symptoms following gluten ingestion. It is often self-diagnosed by the patient, but should be confirmed by the response to a gluten-free diet, followed by a gluten challenge. Celiac disease (CD) and wheat allergy (WA) must first be ruled out.
Aims: (1) to determine the frequency of visits performed for symptoms self-perceived as gluten-related; (2) to assess in this cohort, the proportion of patients satisfying the diagnostic criteria for NCGS.
Methods: A two-year prospective study including all consecutive patients complaining of gluten-related symptoms. NCGS was diagnosed on the basis of the disappearance of the symptoms within 6 months of a gluten-free diet, followed by their reappearance with the reintroduction of gluten in the diet for 1 month.
Results: Three hundred and ninety two patients complaining of gluten-related symptoms were enrolled; 26 of these (6.63%) were affected by CD, 2 (0.51%) by WA and 27 were diagnosed with NCGS (6.88%). The remaining 337 patients (85.96%) did not experience any change of symptoms with a gluten-free diet. The PPV of the gluten-related symptom was found to be 7%.
Conclusion: Eighty six percent of patients reporting gluten-related symptoms have neither NCGS, nor CD, nor WA. Self-perceived gluten-related symptoms are rarely indicative of the presence of NCGS.
© 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.