Non-celiac gluten sensitivity: people without celiac disease avoiding gluten-is it due to histamine intolerance?

Inflamm Res. 2018 Apr;67(4):279-284. doi: 10.1007/s00011-017-1117-4. Epub 2017 Nov 27.


Introduction: Food intolerance/malabsorption is caused by food ingredients, carbohydrates (mainly lactose and fructose), proteins (gluten), and biogenic amines (histamine) which cause nonspecific gastrointestinal and extra-intestinal symptoms. Here we focus on possible etiologic factors of intolerance/malabsorption especially in people with non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) or the so-called people without celiac disease avoiding gluten (PWCDAG) and histamine intolerance.

Methods: Recognizing the recently described symptoms of NCGS (PWCDAG) we review correlations and parallels to histamine intolerance (HIT).

Results: We show that intestinal and extra-intestinal NCGS (PWCDAG) symptoms are very similar to those which can be found in histamine intolerance.

Conclusions: After a detailed diagnostic workup for all possible etiologic factors in every patient, a targeted dietary intervention for single or possibly combined intolerance/malabsorption might be more effective than a short-term diet low in fermentable oligo-, di- and monosaccharides and polyols (FODMAP) or the untargeted uncritical use of gluten-free diets.

Keywords: Diamine oxidase; Food intolerance; Food malabsorption; Histamine intolerance; Non-celiac gluten sensitivity.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Celiac Disease
  • Diet, Gluten-Free*
  • Food Intolerance / diet therapy
  • Food Intolerance / etiology*
  • Glutens*
  • Histamine*
  • Humans
  • Receptors, Histamine


  • Receptors, Histamine
  • Glutens
  • Histamine