Opposing views exist about whether or not gluten-insensitivity is an actual ailment for people who are not diagnosed with celiac disease. The term gluten-intolerant has become more widespread over the past few years and for those who believe the sufferer’s symptoms are a myth or self-created (hypochondria), they may find the term obnoxious and a bit pretentious.
The experiment involved 40 subjects with celiac disease, 40 with self-reported non-celiac wheat sensitivity (NCWS) and 40 gluten-tolerate individuals. After 6 months of exposure to gluten, their results revealed that the self-reported gluten-intolerant subjects experienced symptoms similar to that of celiac disease sufferers. Researchers found that the NCWS subjects had leaky guts. Specialized microbes and bacteria that are specific to the GI tract were leaking into the bloodstream and causing low-grade inflammatory responses. The activation of the immune system is what causes the discomfort that people with NCWS experience.
A tissue biopsy also showed that repeated exposure to gluten in NCWS subjects resulted in epithelial cell damage, a common symptom of celiac disease. Once NCWS subjects were placed on a gluten-free diet, researchers saw improvements in the overall health of their GI tract.
It looks like your gluten-intolerant friend wasn’t fibbing after all when he talked about his stomach pains after devouring a bowl of pasta. What may have appeared to be a new fad to some, actually has medical backing to support that some people’s bodies just aren’t down with wheat.