It seems the idea that gluten is bad for us has become so mainstream that it is just accepted as a fact when it is not. Celiac disease is the only disease caused by intolerance of gluten and it involves a severe immune reaction to any gluten that reaches the intestines. There are specific tests for this disease and there is a genetic component.
Here in Australia celiac affects 1 in 70 people ,which is less than 2% of the population. However it is believed many people remained undiagnosed. For people with celiac a strict gluten free diet will help them live mostly symptom free.
For the rest of us we have the capacity to breakdown gluten and enjoy all our favourite wheat based snacks and meals. Yet gluten is the now often the first reason people think is causing their gut problems. Gluten is blamed for bloating, diarrhea , abdominal cramps and even brain fog, fatigue and a myriad of other symptoms you can easily find online. In many cases people test this assumption by switching to a gluten free diet and find that there symptoms have greatly improved.
There is no doubt that people can develop a sensitivity to gluten because the gut is unable to breakdown the protein. But this neither proves gluten is the problem or eradicates the cause.
For non-celiacs the problem is changes in your gut including alterations to your delicately balanced gut micro-biome, the presence of chronic inflammation in the gut lining and in some more developed cases the permeability , also known as “leaky gut” , becomes loose allowing large molecules and bad bacteria to find their way into your blood stream leading to skin rashes and sometimes autoimmune disease. All of these changes in your gut can be a result of many health conditions that are have been found to alter your gut function , micro-biome and causing food sensitivities. For example IBS, SIBO, Crohns and UC are all associated with killing off healthy bacteria and causing inflammation in your gut mucosa (lining).
Gluten sensitivity is not a life-sentence. It is reservable when you find and treat the cause. If you suspect you are feeling lousy due to gluten then consult a doctor or health practitioner for a diagnosis including appropriate tests.