Dr. Phelan By General Practitioner Published:

There’s now far more help available for people who experience gluten intolerance than used to be the case, with restaurants and supermarkets stocking specialist alternatives to many foodstuffs.

There have been concerns that some people might have been unnecessarily paying for higher priced gluten-free products when they had not been diagnosed with coeliac disease.

Scientists now believe that they may have confirmed the cause of sensitivity in non-coeliac patients, identifying high levels of a protein called zonulin in the stomachs of people who are gluten intolerant.

Gluten intolerant

This should offer some peace of mind for people who believe they are gluten intolerant but haven’t been formally diagnosed as coeliac.

Zonulin’s job is to remove substances from the gut, explaining why some non-coeliac people feel pain and discomfort when they eat products containing gluten.

People who think they might be gluten intolerant should speak to their doctor. Home tests are available for anyone interested in screening themselves for the antibodies associated with coeliac disease.