Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity is a syndrome, distinct from celiac disease, characterized by intestinal and extra-intestinal symptoms linked to the body’s reaction to foods containing gluten. What are the dangers of self-diagnosis?
From an epidemiological point of view, it is estimated that it is more frequent than celiac disease and that mainly affects the women, compared to men. In general, the onset of symptoms appears after a few hours or days of gluten intake.
Non-celiac gluten sensitivity: how to overcome it
The one on which currently there are still no precise certainties are, instead, the mode with which patients should follow the diet. The problem arises from the fact that the SGNC can present itself in many cases as one transient syndrome, which does not require a particularly rigid gluten-free diet, and certainly not for life as is necessary for celiac disease.
Read also: Gluten sensitivity: symptoms, treatment and advice
With the analysis of over 26 scientific studies, which constitute the references of the new document, thirty of the world’s leading experts on gluten-related disorders were able to draw up a diagnostic protocol for confirming the disease.
“Once the necessary exclusion of celiac disease and wheat allergy has been overcome, it is therefore necessary to initiate the patient with suspected Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity to a path able to tESTING his answers e confirm the diagnosis“
explains the Dr. Luca Elli, head of the Center for the Prevention and Diagnosis of Celiac Disease of the Polyclinic of Milan, and member of the Dr. Schär Institute, world leader in gluten-free nutrition.
Diagnosis for Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity
But how can you diagnostic this form of illness? It is essential to face two steps:
- During a gluten-based diet, it is necessary to take a blood sample to check for the presence of antibody levels (anti-transglutaminase IgA and anti-endomysium);
- Flattened intestinal villi, evaluation which can be done with a gastroscopy
The professor Carolina Ciacci, full professor of Gastroenterology at the University of Salerno, wanted to underline the danger of a self diagnosis, a dangerous practice because it is carried out without specific skills on a complex and non-trivial subject. For example, the professor cites a widespread trend in the United States that sees a worrying increase in this practice: essentially when the subject reports that the symptoms typical of celiac disease disappear (or are relieved) thanks to gluten-free diets, the patient proceeds with a self-definition. It is not a medical diagnosis of course, and in these cases it is claimed to be suffering from one non-celiac gluten sensitivity
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The doctor goes on to say
40% of people affected by celiac disease present the classic gastro-intestinal symptoms (diarrhea, bloating, malabsorption, weight loss, protein and low calcium in the blood, asthenia, easy fatigue). The remainder of the people affected by celiac disease has a subclinical form “because the symptomatology, as a reported symptom, is very vague while there are laboratory signs such as iron deficiency anemia, present in 80% of these subjects.