Could fructan cause a problem if someone has non-celiac gluten sensitivity (NCGS)?
Someone with NCGS is reactive to gluten from wheat, barley, and rye. Individuals with NCGS may also be sensitive to fructans, a type of carbohydrate and one of various types of FODMAPs (FODMAP stands for Fermentable Oligo-, Di-, Mono-saccharides and Polyols or short chain carbs). In certain cases, a person may react to fructans or FODMAPs and not gluten.
Generally, NCGS is diagnosed by first ruling out other conditions that may be causing the symptoms, and then eliminating gluten and watching for symptom improvement. If you still experience symptoms after eliminating gluten from your diet, it could be a sign of an intolerance or sensitivity to components of gluten-containing foods other than the gluten itself.
Some gluten-containing foods contain fructans, such as wheat. Non-gluten-containing foods may also contain fructans, such as onion and watermelon. Going on a gluten-free diet could reduce fructan intake. Some research indicates that individuals who think they are gluten sensitive are actually reacting to fructans. Read the study: Fructan, Rather Than Gluten, Induces Symptoms in Patients With Self-Reported Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity and our Educational Bulletin on Gluten Sensitivity and FODMAP.
Individuals should work with a healthcare team, including a knowledgeable dietitian, if gluten sensitivity is suspected in order to explore and rule out other possible conditions.