A review of 5 years of evidence shows gluten sensitivity may not be a permanent condition
By Amy Ratner, Beyond Celiac Medical and Science News Analyst
Those who have non-celiac gluten sensitivity may not always have to follow the gluten-free diet for life, a review of five years of research suggests.
While non-celiac gluten sensitivity has not been studied as extensively as celiac disease, it was included in an evidence-based update on the pathophysiology, diagnosis, treatment and implications of the conditions done by the Center for Celiac Research and Treatment at Mass General Hospital for Children.
In an article published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) researchers noted that it’s important to determine whether a patient has celiac disease or gluten sensitivity because the diagnosis impacts long-term treatment.
In fact, researchers found that gluten sensitivity may be a transient condition, unlike celiac disease, which requires life-long commitment to the gluten-free diet.
“We are still not sure about many things with non-celiac sensitivity, including whether it is a transient or permanent condition,” said Alessio Fasano, M.D., director of the celiac center and an author of the JAMA article. “Expert recommendation for non-celiac gluten sensitivity treatment is that the gluten-free diet should be followed for 1 to 2 years before retesting gluten tolerance.”
Here are some other points the researchers noted about gluten sensitivity:
Biomarker: a measurable substance in an organism whose presence is indicative of some phenomenon such as disease.
Antigen: Any substance that causes your immune system to produce antibodies against it.
Innate immunity: Nonspecific defense mechanisms that come into play immediately or within hours of an antigen’s appearance in the body. These mechanisms include physical barriers such as skin, chemicals in the blood, and immune system cells that attack foreign cells in the body. The innate immune response is activated by chemical properties of the antigen.
Adaptive immunity: An antigen-specific immune response. The adaptive immune response is more complex than the innate. The antigen first must be processed and recognized. Once an antigen has been recognized, the adaptive immune system creates an army of immune cells specifically designed to attack that antigen. Adaptive immunity also includes a “memory” that makes future responses against a specific antigen more efficient
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