Diagnostic tools are available for celiac disease and wheat allergies. At this time there are no diagnostic tools to detect gluten induced non-celiac gluten sensitivity, except positive response to the elimination of all gluten containing foods. Current recommendations include working with your medical team to rule out the possibility of celiac disease before initiating an elimination diet.
People with celiac disease and people with gluten sensitivity respond positively to a strict gluten-free diet. A non-celiac gluten sensitivity diagnosis is currently used for people suffering some of the same symptoms, from ingested gluten, as people with celiac disease, but the celiac diagnostic blood tests are negative and no damage is present in the small intestine.
Prevalence of celiac disease is about 1% world wide with a diagnosis rate of about 25% in the US.
An estimated six percent of the U.S. population, or 18 million people, may be classified with gluten sensitivity, based upon patient data review in Sweden and Italy.
Gluten can be hard on digestive tracts DR. PAUL DONOHUE column November 3, 2011