Celiac Disease (CD) vs. Non-celiac Gluten Sensitivity (NCGS)

Here is information about gluten. Is it harmful or harmless? And what if gluten sensitivity caused by something else, for example — fructan?

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There are lot’s of food in supermarket with “gluten-free” label. Somehow Celiac disease became a problem for a great number of people. That’s just only if you ignore the fact that only 1% of people have been diagnosed with Celiac disease. But there are 13% of people with sensitivity to gluten. It started to be hip recently – going gluten-free. But is it really necessary to cross all gluten products out of your shopping list?

Celiac disease and gluten sensitivity are two different thing.

CD is a genetic, autoimmune disorder. It means that you can develop it only if you have genetic predisposition. Moreover, you have to consume gluten regularly and suffer from stress or trauma to activate CD. It’s a real disease and there are special tests to get diagnosed.

NCGS is really hard to be diagnosed. There is no biomarkers to identify non-gluten sensitivity. The only way to know for sure if you have gluten sensitivity is to remove gluten from your diet and if you feel better (and you don’t have celiac disease) that means that you have NCGS.

Doctor, will I die?

So, you’ve got a celiac disease diagnose. Doctor will offer you gluten-free diet with a number of prohibited products. Unfortunately, it’s not a short list: pasta, rice, wheat (bread), beer, cakes… But don’t worry – there are plenty of gluten-free options. So, try not to break the diet. According to the website Gluten.org eating gluten food when CD can lead to bloating, constipation, diarrhea, vomiting, joint pain, fatigue and so on. Celiac disease can’t kill you but can be the cause of heart failure or type 2 diabetes, which can be fatal. Are you scared? Stay calm, the right diet can save you from these risks. But what’s about non-celiac gluten sensitivity? That’s not as dangerous. Moreover, the discomfort people with NCGS feel after eating gluten food may be caused not by a gluten…

It’s not about gluten

Researches that were conducted by scientists from the University of Oslo and the Monash University report that NCGS may be caused not by gluten.

Earlier people though that gluten was a culprit of NCGS because gluten had been found in a wheat and people with NCGS who stopped eating wheat felt better. But that was a wrong assumption.

During the researches non-celiacs were divided into three groups. Every different group ate different cereal bars. Bars tasted and looked the same but the first had gluten, while the second was gluten-free (placebo effect), and the third contained… fructan.

Fructan is a sugar chain that can be found in wheat, barley and other grains. It turned out that the cereal bar with fructan was the most harmful one. Surprisingly, the gluten bar had the same effect as the gluten-free one.

So, it appears that people on gluten-free diet can consume food with high gluten but low fructan. For example, it can be soy sauce. Why it is so important?

Gluten, after all, has its own role in our body. Gluten free diet can be a cause of diabetes 2 type. Gluten itself boosts our immune system. Some studies claim that the best way to improve triglyceride level is to eat high gluten bread.

But anyway specialists recommend not to choose any diet – gluten- or fructan-free before you visit a doctor.

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