People who feel ill after eating wheat but who do not have coeliac disease may finally have a biological explanation for their symptoms, a new study suggests.
Researchers from the US and Italy found that people who claim to have “wheat sensitivity” do have biological reactions to gluten proteins in wheat, rye and barley. It’s just that the reactions are different from what is seen in people with coeliac disease, which is triggered by gluten.
People with wheat sensitivity have been a very difficult group to identify, because they are mostly all self-diagnosed, said study author Dr Peter Green, who directs the Coeliac Disease Center at Columbia University in New York.
While coeliac disease can be confirmed through blood tests and biopsies, the same is not true of wheat sensitivity, Green said.
“We had no biomarkers or anything to say they had a disease process going on other than reporting they do not do well when they eat wheat,” he said.
As a result, people would put themselves on a gluten-free diet and ultimately feel better. For the study, the researchers analysed and compared the blood of 80 people who reported wheat sensitivity, 40 with coeliac disease and 40 healthy people without either condition.
Source: Times Live