The inflammatory, immune-disrupting effect of wheat is so significant, that it led one group of researchers to pose the question: "Is gluten safe for anyone to eat?" Their research published in the prestigious journal GUT found that wheat gluten elicits a significant inflammatory response in all individuals, whether they have coeliac disease or not. (1)
The main symptoms of gluten sensitivity are not digestive symptoms. Gluten affects all body tissues - including most worryingly - the brain. The first symptoms of gluten sensitivity are often depression, headaches, and brain fog. (Gluten-brain)
Gluten's effect on the brain can progress as far as serious dementia.
Gluten inflammation also causes fatigue, obesity, muscle weakness, thyroid disease and osteoporosis.
A negative coeliac test does not rule out gluten sensitivity.
Gluten sensitivity is a serious medical condition that is distinct from coeliac disease, and distinct from wheat allergy. A negative test for coeliac disease means nothing. Another blood test called "gliadin IgG antibodies" is more sensitive, but even that is not fool-proof. The only way to diagnose gluten sensitivity is to try avoiding gluten for some weeks and see how you feel. If you are gluten sensitive, the improvement will be obvious.
Is wheat your drug of choice?
In some people, wheat gluten forms an opioid peptide in the body called gluten exorphin. This molecule is an addictive morphine-like compound. On initial consumption, gluten exorphin causes mild euphoria, but it is not a good thing. The exorphin is a neurotoxin and in the long term, it can damage the nervous system. (The casein protein in cow's milk is similar to gluten and can also form an exorphin.)
Bernardo D et al. Is gliadin really safe for non‐coeliac individuals? Production of interleukin 15 in biopsy culture from non‐coeliac individuals challenged with gliadin peptides. Gut. 2007. 56 (6): 889–90. PMID 17519496