University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository

University of Lynchburg DMSc Doctoral Project Assignment Repository


Family Medicine


Elyse Watkins, DHSc, PA-C, DFAAPA, NCMP



Purpose: The purpose of this article is to review non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) and the difficulty in diagnosis due to its lack of testable biomarkers, the complexity of the gastrointestinal system, and the understanding of the disease. Method: This study utilized literary reviews from PubMed with the search terms “non-celiac gluten sensitivity.” Filters were applied to improve the appropriateness of results including articles published within the last 5 years, meta-analyses, systematic review, randomized controlled trials, and reviews. The search resulted in 100 articles and 13 were selected due to full article access from open sources or the University of Lynchburg’s library.

Results: Salerno Criteria is the standard for NCGS diagnosis. No significant tests exist to identify NCGS. Treatment of NCGS is avoidance of gluten-containing foods.

Conclusion: Non-celiac gluten sensitivity is difficult to diagnose and the best diagnostic tool currently is a double-blind placebo-controlled challenge. Patients must undergo wheat allergy and celiac disease screening to rule out alternative pathology. Clinically, patients present with similar symptoms and may self-diagnose. Increased awareness of NCGS may prevent misdiagnosis. Further research is required to establish the pathophysiology of NCGS with possible biomarker identification.


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