Gynecological Disorders in Patients with Non-celiac Wheat Sensitivity

Antonio Carroccio, Pasquale Mansueto, Ada Maria Florena, Maurizio Soresi, Salvatore Incandela, Francesca Fayer

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1 Citation (Scopus)


Background: Non-celiac wheat sensitivity (NCWS) most frequently presents clinically with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)-like symptoms, although many extra-intestinal manifestations have also been attributed to it. No studies to date have evaluated the presence and frequency of gynecological symptoms in NCWS. Aim: To evaluate the frequency of gynecological disorders in patients with NCWS. Patients and Methods: Sixty-eight women with NCWS were included in the study. A questionnaire investigating gynecological symptoms and recurrent cystitis was administered, and patients reporting symptoms were then examined by specialists. Three control groups were selected: 52 patients with IBS not related to NCWS, 56 patients with celiac disease (CD), and 71 healthy controls. Results: 59% of the patients with NCWS showed gynecological symptoms, a higher frequency than in healthy controls (P = 0.04), IBS controls (P = 0.01) and CD controls (P = 0.02). Menstrual cycle alterations were more frequent in patients with NCWS than in healthy controls (26.5% vs 11.3%; P = 0.03); the patients with NCWS suffered from recurrent vaginitis (16%) and dyspareunia (6%) significantly more frequently than healthy controls. Twenty-nine percent of patients with NCWS reported recurrent cystitis, a finding higher than in the control groups (vs healthy P = 0.0001, vs IBS P = 0.001, vs CD controls P = 0.04). Microbiological examinations were negative in most of the patients with NCWS and recurrent vaginitis or cystitis. During the 1-year follow-up, 46% of patients with menstrual disorders and 36% with recurrent vaginitis reported resolution of symptoms on a wheat-free diet. Conclusions: Patients with NCWS showed a significantly higher frequency of gynecological symptoms and recurrent cystitis than patients with IBS.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages8
JournalDigestive Diseases and Sciences
Publication statusPublished - 2020

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Gastroenterology

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