Prevalence of a gluten-free diet and improvement of clinical symptoms in patients with inflammatory bowel diseases

  • Herfarth H
  • Martin C
  • Sandler R
 et al. 
  • 88


    Mendeley users who have this article in their library.
  • 37


    Citations of this article.


BACKGROUND:: Maintaining a gluten-free diet (GFD) without an underlying diagnosis of celiac disease has enjoyed widespread acceptance in the Unites States.

METHODS:: We performed a cross-sectional study using a GFD questionnaire in 1647 patients with inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) participating in the CCFA Partners longitudinal Internet-based cohort.

RESULTS:: A diagnosis of celiac disease and non-celiac gluten sensitivity were reported by 10 (0.6%) and 81 (4.9%) respondents, respectively. Three hundred fourteen (19.1%) participants reported having previously tried a GFD and 135 (8.2%) reported current use of GFD. Overall 65.6% of all patients, who attempted a GFD, described an improvement of their gastrointestinal symptoms and 38.3% reported fewer or less severe IBD flares. In patients currently attempting a GFD, excellent adherence was associated with significant improvement of fatigue (P < 0.03).

CONCLUSIONS:: In this large group of patients with IBD, a substantial number had attempted a GFD, of whom the majority had some form of improvement in gastrointestinal symptoms. Testing a GFD in clinical practice in patients with significant intestinal symptoms, which are not solely explained by the degree of intestinal inflammation, has the potential to be a safe and highly efficient therapeutic approach. Further prospective studies into mechanisms of gluten sensitivity in IBD are warranted.

Author-supplied keywords

  • Celiac disease
  • Crohn's disease
  • Gluten
  • IBD
  • Ulcerative colitis

Get free article suggestions today

Mendeley saves you time finding and organizing research

Sign up here
Already have an account ?Sign in

Find this document


  • Hans H. Herfarth

  • Christopher F. Martin

  • Robert S. Sandler

  • Michael D. Kappelman

  • Millie D. Long

Cite this document

Choose a citation style from the tabs below

Save time finding and organizing research with Mendeley

Sign up for free