Many people suffer neither from celiac disease nor from a wheat allergy, but are still sensitive to the consumption of wheat and related grains. Experts estimate that between 0.5 - 7% of the population suffer from a wheat-related intolerance. In one study in which people were asked to self-assess their symptoms, the findings were clearly above that of the experts: 13 percent of the study participants felt they were affected by wheat intolerance.
To date, the data on wheat sensitivity (or non-celiac, non-wheat-allergy) is poor, according to the experts. The disease lacks internationally accepted definitions, and the causes remain unclear. Affected individuals often assume that they suffer from celiac disease, but this can often be ruled out by appropriate testing.
If, however, celiac disease and gluten intolerance are not considered appropriate diagnoses - what explanation remains, then? Some experts believe that certain substances in the wheat, so-called amylase trypsin inhibitors, are responsible for the discomfort. Others see the high quantity of grains in our diet as the problem.
Scientists and doctors are still investigating wheat sensitivity, but so far the recommendations for patients are usually based on expert opinions rather than on broad data.
Wheat sensitivity symptoms
Those suffering from a wheat sensitivity experience unspecific symptoms which can often resemble those of celiac disease. These include:
- Stomach pain
- Difficulty concentrating
- Disrupted sleep
- A sense of despondency
- Muscle aches
- Bone and joint pain