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Gluten Sensitivity: Family and Related Conditions

There are a lot of unanswered questions about non-celiac gluten sensitivity, so we contacted Stefano Guandalini, MD, Medical Director for the University of Chicago Celiac Disease Center, to tell us what early research has or has not uncovered about this condition.

Does having a family member with celiac disease make you more susceptible to non-celiac gluten sensitivity?

Although there are no published data yet, the experience of many of those who work on celiac disease is that indeed there appear to be clusters of cases of non-celiac gluten sensitivity and celiac disease in the same families. My experience is the same.

If I have non-celiac gluten sensitivity now, does that mean I would develop celiac disease if I continued to eat gluten?

We really don't have data to answer that. Once we know exactly what triggers non-celiac gluten sensitivity, we'll be able to answer that question. A helpful thing however would be to get tested for the celiac genes: if absent - while you certainly may still be gluten sensitive - you won't  stand a chance of becoming celiac.

Are there any conditions that appear to be related to non-celiac gluten sensitivity?

We simply don't know enough about non-celiac gluten sensitivity to answer that. So far, the only known symptoms/signs associated (in addition to IBS-like ones) are fatigue, headaches and "foggy mind".

 
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