If You Don’t Have Celiac Disease, Should You Avoid Gluten?

Studies have confirmed that some people who don’t have celiac disease suffer from a condition known as non-celiac gluten sensitivity. For these people, consuming gluten does cause a flare of unwanted symptoms. In this article, we discuss how you can determine if gluten is a problem for you.

If you need help confirming NCGS and implementing an elimination diet, click here

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In Monday’s video, we discussed the diagnosis of non-celiac gluten sensitivity. The clinical studies suggest that NCGS is a legitimate issue. Therefore, just because you don’t have celiac doesn’t mean gluten isn’t causing a problem for you. Those with NCGS can still experience unwanted symptoms related to gluten ingestion.

Another thought is that some people may be reacting to the FODMAPs found in wheat products vs. the gluten itself. For many people, foods high in FODMAPs can contribute to uncomfortable digestive symptoms, such as gas, bloating, constipation, and diarrhea.

So how do you know if you have NCGS? The best way is to do an elimination diet for four to six weeks. We suggest starting with a paleo-style diet to see how you feel. With this protocol, you’ll be eliminating a lot of the common allergenic, inflammatory foods, such as grains, dairy, legumes, soy, refined sugar, and processed foods. And you’ll be eating nourishing, anti-inflammatory foods, like clean protein, fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts and seeds, and healthy fats.

Then following your elimination period, you can slowly start adding foods back in one at a time. We suggest adding a new food every three days. That way, if you have a reaction, it’s easy to determine which food caused it.

Over time, you’ll be able to develop a customized protocol that works for you and helps you feel your best.

If you do find that you have NCGS, here are a few tips to maintaining a gluten-free lifestyle.

  1. Many fresh foods are naturally gluten-free, such as fresh meat, chicken, fish, eggs, cheese, fruits, and vegetables.
  2. Once a food is processed, the chance for gluten-containing ingredients increases.
  3. Always read your food labels.
  4. Wheat-free does not always mean gluten-free. The product may contain gluten from rye or barley.
  5. Rice and soy beverages may use barley enzymes.
  6. Most vinegar is gluten-free except malt vinegar.

Gluten-free grains/starches include:

  • Rice
  • Corn
  • Potato
  • Soy
  • Tapioca
  • Sorgum
  • Bean flours
  • Cassava
  • Quinoa
  • Amaranth
  • Buckwheat
  • Millet
  • Teff
  • Nut flours
  • Arrowroot

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