Celiac Disease

Non Celiac Wheat Sensitivity

The difference between Celiac Disease and Non Celiac Wheat Sensitivity ( NCWS) is in intestinal permeability and genes regulating the immune response in the gut. Intestinal permeability connotes the ability of the mucosal layer of the digestive tract to prevent bacteria, antigens, and undigested food proteins from seeping through the gastrointestinal barrier. Those who have Celiac Disease or Non Celiac Wheat Sensitivity often have a high degree of permeability, also called the leaky gut.

Although Non Celiac wheat sensitive patients may have diarrhea, abdominal pain and other symptoms associated with Celiac Disease, they do not necessarily have the same type of damage to the mucosa in Celiac Disease. In other words the mechanisms of intestinal damage are different but the manifestations & management in both conditions are similar.

Health Impact of Wheat related Disorders:

That there is a wide range of diseases and medical conditions that are associated with intake of wheat is revealed by the statement of Dr. Alessio Fasano (Director of Pediatric Gastroenterology at the Massachusetts General Hospital for Children, Boston). He claims that around 300 health conditions are linked to wheat/gluten intolerance.


Epidemiological research shows that the frequency of Celiac Disease continues to be on the rise. In the United States, for example, the frequency has increased over the last 40 years from 2 cases per thousand to 10 cases per thousand (1%). Though authentic data is unavailable about prevalence in India, according to projections, it is estimated that 1-2% of the Indian population suffers from Celiac Disease. It has gone up four times since the 1960s.

Highly Under-diagnosed Condition:

Wheat sensitivity is often compared to an iceberg where the visible tip represents those with the symptomatic ailment. The greater proportion of the iceberg represents thtose with silent or latent forms of the disease. It is estimated that over 90% remain undiagnosed. According to estimates, it can take more than 10 years from symptoms to diagnosis, even in the Western countries.