Coeliac disease is an autoimmune disease where the only treatment is a lifelong gluten free diet. In addition to coeliac disease, there are other conditions that may require you to eat a gluten free diet for good health, including gluten sensitivity.
A relatively new term is “gluten sensitivity without coeliac disease”, also known as “non-coeliac gluten sensitivity”. This means that, after having carefully ruled out coeliac disease and wheat allergy, you still experience symptoms from eating gluten which disappear when you exclude gluten from your diet.
The symptoms may be similar to coeliac disease, such as abdominal pain, a swollen stomach, diarrhoea, constipation, fatigue, and joint pain. There’s a good deal of uncertainty surrounding the condition and research is ongoing regarding the mechanism, diagnosis, and prevalence of gluten sensitivity. Some studies suggest it is much more prevalent than gluten intolerance. We also don’t know whether the condition is chronic or what the maximum gluten ingestion amount is that applies to this group.
If you suspect you have gluten sensitivity, it’s important not to start eating a gluten-free diet without seeking professional advice to exclude coeliac disease or a wheat allergy.