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Healthcare professional Resource for Gluten Related Disorders.

Dr. Schär Institute

Prevalence of non-celiac gluten sensitivity

Estimated prevalence of non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) varies between 1% and 13% of the population, and as such may be higher than the prevalence of celiac disease. Unreported cases are likely to be at a similarly high level to celiac disease [1].
Research indicates that NCGS is probably more prevalent than celiac disease. Until now, however, there has been a lack of extensive epidemiological studies to verify estimated prevalence of this condition. Clinic data from the Center for Celiac Research, University of Maryland, showed that 6% of the 9,000 patients treated there between 2004-2010 met the criteria for NCGS and complained of corresponding symptoms, without having celiac disease or wheat allergy [2]. In a recent UK study 13% of a general population sample reported symptoms attributed to gluten [3]. 
  1. Aziz I, Hadjivassiliou M, Sanders DS.The spectrum of noncoeliac gluten sensitivity. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2015 Epub ahead of print
  2. Sapone A, Bai JC, Ciacci C et al. Spectrum of gluten-related disorders: consensus on new nomenclature and classification. BMC Med 2012; 10: 13.
  3. Aziz, I. et al. A UK study assessing the population prevalence of self-reported gluten sensitivity and referral characteristics to secondary care. Eur. J. Gastroenterol. Hepatol. 26, 33–39 (2014).

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Gluten Sensitivity Booklet

Based on the information from the consensus conference and further research Dr. Schär's Professional Team has developed a new booklet on gluten sensitivity. This booklet provides the most up to date information on the symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment of gluten sensitivity. The content summarizes the information from the expert consensus conference and further research from the leading researchers in this developing area of gluten related disorders.

Systematic review: non coeliac gluten sensitivity

Non coeliac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) is a controversial emerging disorder. Despite reported symptoms related to the ingestion of gluten, NCGS remains a diagnosis based on the exclusion of coeliac disease, given the absence of reliable biomarkers.

To evaluate the prevalence, diagnostic exclusion of coeliac disease and the efficacy of a gluten-free diet (GFD) for NCGS patients.

A PubMed search was performed up to December 2014. According to consensus diagnostic criteria, NCGS was defined as self-reported gluten intolerance, negative coeliac serology and absence of villous atrophy. Studies evaluating the impact of a GFD on patients with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) were also included.

Prevalence rates of NCGS (0.5–13%) differed widely. Seventeen studies, including 1561 patients (26 children), met the inclusion criteria for NCGS. HLA haplotypes could not be linked to histology [normal or lymphocytic enteritis (LE)] in 1123 NCGS patients. HLADQ2/DQ8 haplotypes were present in 44% of NCGS patients. After advanced diagnostic techniques in 189 NCGS patients combining LE and HLADQ2/DQ8 haplotypes, 39 (20%) were reclassified as coeliac disease. There was a higher than expected family history of coeliac disease and autoimmune disorders in NCGS patients. A GFD resulted in variable results for variable, but significantly improved stool frequency in HLADQ2 positive diarrhoea-predominant IBS patients.

Prevalence rates for NCGS are extremely variable. A subset of NCGS patients might belong in the so-called ‘coeliac-lite’ disease. The benefit of a GFD for NCGS patients is currently controversial. HLADQ2 positive diarrhoea- type IBS patients might gain symptom improvement from a GFD.

Resource: Aliment Pharmacol Ther. 2015 May;41(9):807-20. doi: 10.1111/apt.13155. Epub 2015 Mar 6.

Molina-Infante J, Santolaria S, Sanders DS, Fernández-Bañares F.
2015 April

What is the prevalence of Gluten Sensitivity?

International Expert Meeting on Gluten Sensitivity 2012 in Munich, Germany