Symptoms of non-celiac gluten sensitivity
Non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) occurs with non-specific symptoms that resemble those of celiac disease or wheat allergy and can have both intestinal and extraintestinal manifestations. There is also overlap between the symptoms of NCGS and irritable bowel syndrome.
As with celiac disease, the symptoms of NCGS are very diverse and the clinical picture is very broad. Therefore, it is not possible to distinguish between different gluten-related complaints on the basis of symptoms alone. Symptoms related to NCGS can vary from typical gastrointestinal complaints including diarrhea, abdominal pain and bloating to extra intestinal manifestations including fatigue, headaches and joint pain. In contrast to individuals with celiac disease, where strict avoidance of gluten is reguired, some patients may be able to tolerate a small amount of gluten without developing clinical symptoms. The list below illustrates the intestinal and extraintestinal symptoms that can manifest in NCGS patients.
Common symptoms of NCGS
|Gastrointestinal complaints||General complaints|
|Bloating||Lack of well-being|
|Diarrhea or constipation||Headaches|
|Upper abdominal pain||Anxiety|
|Nausea||Mental confusion ("foggy mind")|
|Gastro-esophageal reflux||Numbness in arms and legs|
|Aphthous stomatitis||Fibromyalgia-like joint and muscle pain|
|Heartburn or vomiting||Dermatitis/rashes|
Sources: Volta et al. BMC Medicine 2014, 12:85; A. Fasano, Center for Celiac Research & Treatment, Baltimore, USA
Further information on this topic
Videos by Experts 1
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.
Gluten Sensitivity – Definition, Symptoms and Differences to Coeliac Disease
International Expert Meeting on Gluten Sensitivity 2012 in Munich, Germany