Gluten-related disorders: Celiac disease, wheat allergy, and nonceliac gluten sensitivity

Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr. 2020;60(15):2606-2621. doi: 10.1080/10408398.2019.1651689. Epub 2019 Aug 12.


The consumption of gluten-free products is becoming an increased alimentary habit in the general population. The scientific unfounded perception suggesting that the avoidance of gluten would improve health or that gluten could be toxic for humans are fostering medically unjustified adherences to a gluten-free diet. Currently, only patients diagnosed with celiac disease are advised to follow a strict lifelong gluten-free diet. In the same way, patients diagnosed with IgE-mediated wheat allergy must avoid exposure to wheat in any form. In that context, a third disorder, called nonceliac gluten sensitivity, characterized by distress after gluten consumption and in which neither celiac disease nor IgE-mediated allergy plays a role, has gained increased attention in the last years. Although important scientific advances have been made in the understanding of the pathologic mechanisms behind nonceliac gluten sensitivity, this disorder is still a matter of active debate in the scientific community. In the present review, the most recent advances in the immunopathology, diagnostic biomarkers and susceptibility determinants of gluten-related diseases are summarized and discussed. Furthermore, an updated overview of the new potential therapies that are currently underway for the treatment of gluten-related disorders is also provided.

Keywords: Allergy; celiac disease; gluten; gluten sensitivity; gluten-free; wheat.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Celiac Disease* / diagnosis
  • Celiac Disease* / immunology
  • Celiac Disease* / therapy
  • Diet, Gluten-Free
  • Feeding Behavior
  • Glutens* / adverse effects
  • Glutens* / immunology
  • Humans
  • Wheat Hypersensitivity* / diagnosis
  • Wheat Hypersensitivity* / immunology
  • Wheat Hypersensitivity* / therapy


  • Glutens