Abstract and Introduction
Gluten sensitivity appears to be emerging as a separate condition from celiac disease, yet no clear definition or diagnosis exists. As a result, patients with gluten sensitivity experience delayed diagnosis and continuing symptoms if they consume gluten. This emerging medical problem may involve human genetics, plant genetic modifications, gluten as a food additive, environmental toxins, hormonal influences, intestinal infections and autoimmune diseases. The treatment is similar to that for celiac disease – a gluten-free diet. The use of a gluten-free diet or an elimination diet is encouraged in assisting people to determine whether or not they are gluten sensitive. It is time to not only recognize, but to treat and further research gluten sensitivity, as unconfirmed environmental factors continue to spread this problem further into the general population.
The aim of this perspective is to address some of the fundamental problems associated with the condition known as gluten sensitivity or nonceliac gluten sensitivity. Specific problems addressed include lack of a standard definition for gluten sensitivity, lack of diagnostic criteria, difficulty determining rising gluten sensitivity rates, identifying possible factors contributing to the gluten sensitivity problem (human genetics, plant genetic modifications, gluten as a food additive, environmental toxins, hormonal influences, intestinal infections and autoimmune diseases), and treatment.
Expert Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2012;6(1):43-55. © 2012 Expert Reviews Ltd.