Re Dr. Martiquet’s recent article “Should you be gluten-free” (Coast Reporter, Aug. 10). The article focuses on the original concept of gluten intolerance based on damage in the intestinal tract known as celiac. In the 1950s, medical understanding accepted a very limited number of associated symptoms and the estimated number of cases was low, about one in 2,000.
Since then, the estimated rate of celiac has increased to the current one in 133. Along with this, an expanded concept of gluten intolerance has developed to include “non-celiac gluten intolerance” (NCGI) and a much larger range of possible symptoms that may occur with or without evidence of intestinal damage.
Medically estimated rates of NCGI are as high as 30 per cent of the population, and are considered controversial in some circles.
While testing for intestinal damage by biopsy is invasive and risky, NCGI tests are non-invasive. They may include blood tests for antibodies, DNA testing for the gluten intolerance gene and eating a 100 per cent gluten free diet for a few weeks and observing any changes in a person’s health and wellness.
For more information on the research being done on symptoms potentially related to gluten intolerance, see: www.celiac.com/categories/Celiac-Disease-Research%3A-Associated-Diseases-and-Disorders/.
Deborah Pageau, Gibsons