What causes gluten allergy in adults

While there are genetic combinations that lift the risk of celiac disease, these don't seem to own much influence on developing non-celiac gluten sensitivity. There needs to be more research in this area.

An earlier study by Dr. Fasano found the genes most implicated in celiac disease, HLA-DQ2 and HLA-DQ8, were present in those with gluten sensitivity more often than in the general population, but still only appeared in 56% of patients that met his criteria for gluten sensitivity.

Gluten Sensitivity and Genetics

Getty Images


You can’t eat spaghetti without feeling ill or cramping.

Or bread. Or cupcakes. That’s because stomach pain—nausea and abdominal cramps—after eating something containing gluten is the most common symptom of NCGS, says De Latour.

But it can be hard to join the dots between what you ate and your pain. De Latour suggests keeping a detailed food journal to better identify triggers.

Common Causes

As of yet, there is no explanation for why non-celiac gluten sensitivity occurs and how it might be related to celiac disease. It is possible that gluten sensitivity and celiac disease represent diverse aspects of the same condition, but they may be completely different.

Some researchers theorize that the problem in those told they own gluten sensitivity may not be gluten at every.

Instead, it may be some other compound found in wheat (and possibly in barley and rye, which are closely related to the grain).

Researchers own identified other compounds in wheat, specifically, that they tell could be responsible: fructans and amylase trypsin inhibitors.

What's more, the results of one study suggest that gluten sensitivity symptoms happen because microbes and food proteins are crossing the intestinal barrier into the bloodstream, causing widespread inflammation.

Here's what the research shows on every of the three grain components and how they might be related to non-celiac gluten sensitivity.


Gluten is the grain component that tends to get focused on the most.

What causes gluten allergy in adults

It is a protein that grain plants use to store nutrients for the next generation of plants. Found in the seeds of grain plants, it's the part of the plant we ponder of, and use, as food.

The initial research on non-celiac gluten sensitivity fingered gluten as the problem in the newly described condition. That study said gluten made some people's intestines leaky and inflamed without causing celiac disease. The researchers concluded these people were reacting to gluten in the foods they ate.

However, since that initial study, there own been several more studies that used pure wheat gluten to attempt and induce symptoms in people who believed they were gluten-sensitive.

These studies own had mixed results.

One study published in the journal Gastroenterology, for example, removed every gluten grain-based foods from 37 subjects' diets and then fed them with pure wheat gluten. (The subjects didn't know when they were eating gluten and when they were eating a placebo.) The people in the study didn't experience digestive symptoms while eating the pure gluten, but some of them did get depression.

Another study used the same technique to "challenge" people who said they were gluten-sensitive with gluten and found that some of them did react to pure gluten.

What causes gluten allergy in adults

In that study, 101 people said their digestive symptoms improved when following a gluten-free diet, and 14% of them got worse when they unknowingly ingested gluten as part of the study.


The aforementioned Gastroenterology study noted that the problem with wheat is its fructans—complex carbohydrates that ferment in your large intestine, potentially causing gas, bloating, cramping, pain, diarrhea, and constipation.

When the study found that its participants did not see their intestinal symptoms worsen with pure gluten, the researchers implicated FODMAPS (fermentable oligo-, di-, mono-saccharides and polyols).

These are found in wheat, as well as foods such as garlic and onions.

FODMAPs seem to cause digestive symptoms in numerous people with irritable bowel syndrome, and a low-FODMAP diet is proven to reduce symptoms in almost three-quarters of those with IBS. But it's far from clear whether the problem in gluten sensitivity is really the FODMAPs, and whether the solution is a low-FODMAP diet, rather than a gluten-free diet. Again, more research is needed.

Avoiding High-FODMAP Foot Types

Amylase Trypsin Inhibitors

Amylase trypsin inhibitors are proteins made by the plant to protect itself from insects—essentially, natural pesticides.

They make it hard or impossible for bugs to digest the starches in the grain kernel.

Modern wheat has been bred to own lots more of these proteins. The problem is, amylase trypsin inhibitors in wheat (and possibly other gluten grains) seem to cause inflammation in some people, both in their intestines and elsewhere in their bodies.

Researchers studying these proteins speculate that they could frolic a role in celiac disease, in non-celiac gluten sensitivity, and possibly in other conditions that are driven by inflammation.

Your skin is dry and flaky.

While there aren’t any scientific studies to back this one up, lots of people with gluten sensitivity report having skin conditions, including extra-dry skin, rashes, acne, and patches of eczema.

Lifestyle Risk Factors

Currently, the diagnosis of non-celiac gluten sensitivity rests on symptoms improving when you are on a strict gluten-free diet (after excluding celiac disease and other causes) and returning if you consume gluten.

It is challenging to maintain a gluten-free diet, especially avoiding cross-contamination.

What causes gluten allergy in adults

It takes commitment and constant vigilance. Consulting with a dietitian can assist you study what you can eat, what you must avoid, and how to prevent being exposed to gluten.

An Overview of the Gluten-Free Diet

A Expression From Verywell

It's nowhere near clear correct now what might cause non-celiac gluten sensitivity. It could wind up being how your body reacts to gluten, FODMAPs, amylase trypsin inhibitors, some combination of the three, or something else entirely. If gluten isn't to blame, but something else in gluten grains is, then people who own the condition might need to follow a diet free of all components of wheat, barley, and rye—not just gluten.

Gluten Sensitivity Tests and Diagnosis

Some people who tell they're sensitive to gluten grains do seem to be reacting to gluten, but numerous others don't react when fed pure gluten unknowingly.

More research on this is needed.

Amylase trypsin inhibitors may contribute to or even cause what people call non-celiac gluten sensitivity. However, correct now, they're the least studied of these three possible causes.

Gluten can be a cruel, cruel mistress—it’s part of numerous of the best things in life (cake!

What causes gluten allergy in adults

bagels! pasta!), but ends up making some people feel beyond shitty (there’s an ex-boyfriend reference here, but I’ll resist).

ICYMI: Gluten’s a protein in wheat, rye, and barley—and it can be really hard to digest for some people, says Rabia De Latour, M.D., a gastroenterologist and advanced endoscopist at NYU School of Medicine.

The most well-known group is people who own celiac disease, an autoimmune disorder where eating gluten causes permanent damage to the little intestine.

What causes gluten allergy in adults

It affects about one in 100 people, according to the Celiac Disease Foundation.

But there’s another group, too: people with gluten «intolerance,» a.k.a. non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS).

These people—who could account for 0.5 to 13 percent of the population according to two recent studies, published in Gastroenterology and The Psychiatric Quarterly—have most of the same symptoms of celiac disease but don’t show any of the physiologic changes, love damage to the little intestine and malnutrition, De Latour says.

But unlike celiac disease, which can be definitively diagnosed, you can’t know for certain if you own gluten intolerance, says De Latour.

What causes gluten allergy in adults

«Gluten intolerance is not well understood in the medical community but it shouldn’t be dismissed as psychological or just a fad,» she says. «It’s really a diagnosis of exclusion—once we’ve ruled out celiac through a blood test and an endoscopy, then NCGS is what we’re left with.»

There are some beautiful major symptoms of gluten intolerance, however, that you won’t be capable to ignore—here are nine signs that you might be gluten intolerant.

You’re super bloated.

Bloating can be caused by so numerous things, from hormones to beans.

But if you aren’t properly digesting gluten, your stomach can definitely start to feel swollen and tender—especially after particularly glutinous meals, says De Latour.