Non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS) is a condition in which you experience negative reactions to gluten or symptoms similar to those suffered by people with celiac disease without actually having celiac disease. Patients with non-celiac gluten sensitivity do not possess the antibodies or the intestinal damage commonly associated with celiac disease.
The Differences Between Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity and Celiac Disease
Patients with non-celiac gluten sensitivity tend to have more symptoms that aren’t specific to their gastrointestinal system. In the hours (or in some cases days) after ingesting gluten, they often experience:
- Mental fogginess
- Numbness in the extremities
- Joint pain
How Do You Know If You Have Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity?
That’s one of the biggest problems with NCGS. If your symptoms don’t manifest until hours or days after you eat something with gluten, it can be difficult for you and your doctors to quickly and definitively establish a causal relationship between your symptoms and the condition.
Unlike celiac disease, there’s no simple blood test to diagnose NCGS, and certain health issues or activities might also lead to fogginess, numbness or joint pain.
It might be necessary to visit a food sensitivity and food allergy expert that can help you through the necessary diagnostic processes. For example, at Optimum Health Rehab we help our patients develop and execute effective rotation diets and elimination diets to identify conditions like gluten sensitivity.
On an elimination diet you will completely eliminate foods, especially those with gluten, from your diet for a predetermined amount of time. Once your symptoms start to improve your wellness team can correlate the eliminated food to the relief you experienced.
This strategy is frequently used for food allergies and food sensitivities like non-celiac gluten sensitivity. Once your health care team has accurately determined gluten to be the source of your symptoms, they can then help you develop a diet and adopt lifestyle changes to manage your condition.
Rotation diets function similarly to elimination diets. Your food sensitivity team will help you put together a diet consisting of a handful of specific foods or ingredients on specific days. This essentially isolates ingredients and creates a clear delineation between different types of foods, making it easier to correlate symptoms to types of foods.
Treatments for Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity
Gluten intolerance is hard on people who suffer from it. Not only are the symptoms unpleasant, but people frequently experience a reduced quality of life due to the need to deprive themselves of their favorite foods and drinks.
There is no cure for celiac disease. It’s a hereditary, permanent immune system condition.
Non-celiac gluten sensitivity doesn’t invoke the same type of immune response, so the damage to the gastrointestinal system (if any) is minimal. Some patients diagnosed with non-celiac gluten sensitivity may be able manage their symptoms even while including a limited amount of gluten in their diet.
There are also examples of patients who have reversed non-celiac gluten sensitivities with desensitization diets. Be aware that there’s no guarantee desensitization will work for your gluten sensitivity. There are also risks involved with desensitization diets, which is why you should only attempt to adopt one with the help of health care professionals experienced in nutrition, food allergies and food sensitivities.
Helping Georgia Patients with All Types of Food Sensitivities
The team at Optimal Health Rehab understands how important food is from a social and quality of life perspective. Knowing that you can’t ingest anything with gluten is nearly as frustrating as not being able to figure out why you are frequently experiencing numbness, joint pain or mental fogginess.
We approach each patient’s unique case with:
- Rigorous, detail-oriented and regimented analysis
- Compassion and empathy for what they’re going through
- An emphasis on sustainable treatment and recovery plans
- A focus on their quality of life
We prescribe carefully controlled diets and cutting-edge panels to accurately identify food intolerances. Then we work on finding the best possible solution for each patient.
Desensitization is a viable option for some patients. If you’re a candidate for a desensitization diet, we’ll help you down that road in the safest way possible. Even if desensitization isn’t an option for you, we’ll do our best to help you find alternative food replacement options that help you maintain at least a semblance of diet normalcy.Nutrition & Healthy Eating